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Does Heaven Have a Wall Like the One Trump Wants at the US-Mexico Border?

Does heaven have a wall? That’s a question being debated after Trump ally Robert Jeffress again defended the president’s desire to build a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border by insisting that “even heaven itself is going to have a wall around it.”

In a recent appearance on Fox News, the Texas pastor dismissed Nancy Pelosi’s description of Trump’s proposed border wall as “immoral” by calling the House Speaker’s claim “absolutely absurd.”

Jeffress insisted the Bible teaches that one of government’s primary responsibilities is to keep citizens safe, and that there’s nothing wrong with using a wall to do that.

“I remind people that God used a wall. He told Nehemiah to build a wall around Jerusalem to keep citizens safe,” he added. “The Bible says that even heaven itself is gonna have a wall around it. Not everybody’s gonna be allowed in. So if walls are immoral, then God is immoral.”

Jeffress, who pastors a megachurch in Dallas previously led by a segregationist, faced challenges to his claim about heaven’s walls from other Christians online. They suggested his interpretation of the Bible’s reference to heaven having walls omitted salient points.

Pinpointing Revelation 21 as Jeffress’ apparent scriptural reference, Dallas Theological Seminary professor Sandra Glahn tweeted:

“The US is not New Jerusalem. Plus that city’s wall has 12 gates (Rev 21:12) and they are never shut. The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it.’ (vv 25-26).”

Tennessee pastor Ray Ortlund also cited four points of conflict with Jeffress’ remarks:

“This invalid use of the Bible (1) absolutizes a debatable human argument, (2) pressures other believers to agree, (3) links the name of Christ to a problematic leader, and (4) silences the glorious truth the Bible really is asserting. I could say more. But that’s for starters.”

https://twitter.com/rayortlund/status/1084152413764890629

Progressive Baptist Church pastor Charlie Dates suggested that the Southern Baptist leader’s remarks had historical roots:

“And we wonder how American slavery was *justified* from the pulpit. This is what Frederick Douglass understood to be plantation theology. This is for the empire, not the Kingdom of God. This is a not legit Biblical theology.”

President Trump welcomed a partial government shutdown on December 21 after Congress failed to pass spending bills that would have allotted the $5.7 billion he has been demanding to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Amid what has become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, reports have emerged of some federal workers visiting food banks to help make ends meet and at least one diabetic worker revealing that she has to ration her insulin, as hundreds of government employees have gone for weeks without pay.

This was not the first time Jeffress has appealed to the Bible to voice support for the president’s desire to erect a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border. In his Inauguration Day sermon, the pastor promoted the same message, comparing Trump to the Old Testament figure Nehemiah and insisting that “God is not against building walls.”

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Nicola A. Menzie
Nicola A. Menziehttp://www.nicolamenzieonline.com
Nicola A. Menzie a religion reporter whose bylines have appeared on the websites of the Religion News Service, The Christian Post, CBS News and Vibe magazine. Nicola is the Managing Editor at faithfullymagazine.com. You can find her on Twitter @namenzie. Email: nicola.menzie (at) faithfullymagazine.com.

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