Quote of the Day: Borders

 

“And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,” — Acts 17:26, English Standard Version

While on the way to a Bible study months ago, John Lennon’s Imagine came on the radio. I started ranting to my wife about the insipid lyrics. I remembered a guest on “Red Eye” years ago who said that he hated “Imagine no possessions” worse than “Imagine no religion” as the latter can be chalked up to adolescent babbling, but private property is key to being free men or something like that.

The second stanza begins with “Imagine there’s no countries.” When we got to the Bible study, the pastor asked us to begin reading with Acts 17:26. I’ve forgotten what the larger lesson was that night. It wasn’t about “Imagine,” but I was struck by the difference. John Lemmon was asking me to imagine no countries and the Bible is reminding me that God has created nations and determined their boundaries.

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There are 19 comments.

  1. Member

    Amen to that.

    • #1
    • May 14, 2019, at 5:22 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Member

    There is a lot of bad theology in the hippie tunes of the late 60s/early 70s, viz., Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky.

    Greenbaum said: “I thought, ‘Yeah, I could do that,’ knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes.”

    • #2
    • May 14, 2019, at 5:43 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. Member

    9thDistrictNeighbor (View Comment):

    There is a lot of bad theology in the hippie tunes of the late 60s/early 70s, viz., Norman Greenbaum’s Spirit in the Sky.

    Greenbaum said: “I thought, ‘Yeah, I could do that,’ knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes.”

    And it sounds like it.

    • #3
    • May 14, 2019, at 5:45 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. Member

    In other words, like a man and a woman can be essential to each other yet distinct and wildly different, peoples can be different yet precious to God and to each other. The differences are sometimes full of meaning and sometimes simply practical. 

    • #4
    • May 14, 2019, at 5:46 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  5. Member

    No country = no say in how we’re governed. I’m not sure why the anti-democratic nature of open borders isn’t apparent to more people. Brits seem to be catching on.

    • #5
    • May 14, 2019, at 6:32 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  6. Member

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    In other words, like a man and a woman can be essential to each other yet distinct and wildly different, peoples can be different yet precious to God and to each other. The differences are sometimes full of meaning and sometimes simply practical.

    Perhaps the same can be said of cultures as implemented in countries. To at least some extent countries are based on cultures. If there were no countries, would we all devolve into a mass of sameness, erasing the differences among people that give the world so much interest? Maybe not. The United States is one country and we still are able to keep the cultural differences that differentiate the Northeast from the Southeast from the Southwest, etc. But maybe that’s because the United States consists of 50 mini-countries we call “states.” So, I think that without “countries” humanity would be at risk of becoming an uninteresting mass of sameness. 

    • #6
    • May 14, 2019, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Member

    Well, I don’t think we ever have to worry about erasure of cultural differences. It can happen to a limited extent — American states and regions have been largely homogenized by television, telephones, and such, despite our remaining differences. But even the brutal regimes in China and Russia couldn’t make everyone alike. 

    Technologies do enable ever larger governments, though. If God doesn’t pull the plug in the next 500 years, there might indeed be something like a world government one day. Think the UN or EU writ large. 

    A redneck friend (not a philospher) once suggested a similar view on racial mingling. “God made us different and the differences are good, so don’t spoil it” essentially. My response was basically the same: No amount of mixing is likely to eliminate the variety, so mingle on.

    • #7
    • May 14, 2019, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Thatcher

    Bishop Wash: The second stanza begins with “Imagine there’s no countries”.

    The whole concept of “no countries” is absurd, as it doesn’t solve anything. All civilized societies have some form of structure, such as the family, neighborhood, villages, towns, cities, townships, counties, states, regions, countries, packs (NATO, Warsaw, etc.) up to world organizations such as the U.N. (arg!), International Red Cross / Crescent, and the World Court. How does anyone exist without boundaries that define their land and the governmental structures above them?


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    • #8
    • May 14, 2019, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  9. Coolidge

    I’m new here.

    Cool place.

     

     

    • #9
    • May 14, 2019, at 6:33 PM PDT
    • 13 likes
  10. Coolidge
    TBA

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    In other words, like a man and a woman can be essential to each other yet distinct and wildly different, peoples can be different yet precious to God and to each other. The differences are sometimes full of meaning and sometimes simply practical.

    Perhaps the same can be said of cultures as implemented in countries. To at least some extent countries are based on cultures. If there were no countries, would we all devolve into a mass of sameness, erasing the differences among people that give the world so much interest? Maybe not. The United States is one country and we still are able to keep the cultural differences that differentiate the Northeast from the Southeast from the Southwest, etc. But maybe that’s because the United States consists of 50 mini-countries we call “states.” So, I think that without “countries” humanity would be at risk of becoming an uninteresting mass of sameness.

    Or several snarling masses of murderous opposition? 

    • #10
    • May 14, 2019, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. Coolidge
    TBA

    JoeDan (View Comment):

    I’m new here.

    Cool place.

    Glad to have you here. 

    • #11
    • May 14, 2019, at 7:38 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  12. Member

    JoeDan (View Comment):

    I’m new here.

    Cool place.

    Welcome home.

    • #12
    • May 14, 2019, at 8:11 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Coolidge
    TBA

    I am a Beatles fan, but a Lennon detracter. He was far more self-indulgent than he was deep; and nations, religions, or eternal judgement can really get in the way when one wants to indulge in, for example, underage girls.

    • #13
    • May 14, 2019, at 8:32 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Member

    For an excellent treatise on this issue I highly recommend Yoram Hazony’s new book The Virtue of Nationalism.

    • #14
    • May 14, 2019, at 9:59 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. Member

    Mike Rapkoch (View Comment):

    For an excellent treatise on this issue I highly recommend Yoram Hazony’s new book The Virtue of Nationalism.

    I’ve gotta read that. In the meantime, here’s the video of his speech at Yale on the subject:

    • #15
    • May 15, 2019, at 5:12 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Member

    Yes that’s a great analogy – God specified what was to be Israel even in measurements.

    • #16
    • May 15, 2019, at 6:02 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  17. Member

    I thought it was especially dumb when they performed it at the Winter Olympics last year… in South Korea of all places.

    • #17
    • May 15, 2019, at 1:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    I am a Beatles fan, but a Lennon detracter. He was far more self-indulgent than he was deep; and nations, religions, or eternal judgement can really get in the way when one wants to indulge in, for example, underage girls.

    Andy Ferguson has a great piece about the mythologizing of Lennon’s genius at the expense of Paul McCartney, who was apparently the group’s essential talent.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.weeklystandard.com/andrew-ferguson/love-me-do%3f_amp=true

    • #18
    • May 15, 2019, at 2:08 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  19. Podcaster

    Bishop Wash: the Bible is reminding me that God has created nations and determined their boundaries.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisegesis

    • #19
    • May 15, 2019, at 2:42 PM PDT
    • Like