A Wall Without A Castle - An Article on Border Enforcement


In perhaps the best-known inaugural address in U.S. history, Franklin D. Roosevelt calmly declared, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Jesus tells us the same thing in John 14, to “let not your heart be troubled…neither let it be afraid.” Often fear is used as a weapon to galvanize movements or to garner support, but a cause built on fear rather than hope, grounded in anxiety rather than truth, is a cause destined to fail.

When it comes to the current policies of the United States Federal Government and to the political climate in general, on both sides of the aisle, I am concerned that our human inclination toward isolationism and protectionism may in fact be drowning out our better angels of reason and compassion. 

No one is disputing the need to protect our borders. In fact, at the end of the Obama administration, illegal immigration was at a 40 year low in this country after being at an all-time high just a decade or so beforehand. Nor is anyone arguing the need to be watchful and to keep vigilance. Strength and wisdom are not opposing values.

But when a government enforces an ambiguous policy that separates parents from children, fathers from sons, daughters from mothers, and then relies on that same government to make sure their kids are placed in the hands of family members rather than strangers, the pendulum has swung too far. "America First" may be a fine campaign slogan, but it is not the gospel of Christ.

Is it just me, or have we forgotten that every event of domestic terrorism in this country, aside from Pearl Harbor, has happened at the hands of U.S. citizens or those we were here legally, not illegally? For every MS-13 threat from without, there are a thousand threats from within. If we’re not careful, we may very well build a wall without a castle (watch the first 5 minutes of this sermon).

In cases of domestic violations, the USFG is often required by law to separate families. In the cases involving the US border, they are not, nor have they ever been. It seems to me that we ought to ere on the side of compassion when children are involved. There are recorded documentations of children not being able to be placed with their parents again because the federal government is not the best keeper of records (IRS anyone?).

I recognize our country has challenges, but using children as pawns is not the solution. The USFG seems ill prepared at best to enforce this new policy given that children are sleeping on floors and in tents. Many of these families are either looking for work or fleeing from persecution. Doesn't mean they should be rewarded for crossing the border, but neither should we be penalizing their kids. Let these children remain with their families while their cases are being reviewed, as the policy has been for decades. To do otherwise is not only fearful; it’s simply inhumane.

Barry E. Fields

All Things New is the preaching and teaching ministry of Barry E. Fields, pastor of Hawesville Baptist Church, a regional congregation on the Ohio River with two campuses in Kentucky (Hawesville) & Indiana (Crossroads Tell City) and membership in five counties.

Originally from Bowling Green, he grew up at Glendale Baptist Church under the ministry of Pastor Richard Oldham, competed for Western Kentucky University's nationally recognized speech and debate team before receiving a B.A. in History in 2007, completed an M.Div. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville in 2010, a Th.M. in 2012, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Homiletics and Church History at Southern, serving as Garrett Fellow to Dr. Hershael York from July 2012-December 2014. He has also taught theology and church history as an adjunct instructor for Campbellsville University. Before coming to his present ministry, he was pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Buffalo, Kentucky, for almost 5 years.

Active in denominational life, Barry currently serves on the Southern Baptist Convention's Young Leaders Advisory Council, a small group of pastors and ministry leaders seeking to engage the next generation in cooperative missions and ministry; recently completed a term on the SBC's Committee on Committees; currently represents the Blackford Breckinridge Baptist Association on the Kentucky Baptist Convention's Executive Mission Board; and has served on the KBC's Committee on Nominations, as well as several associational roles.

In his free time, he enjoys reading history and politics, listening to WKYU's Barren River Breakdown (Bluegrass and folk music) along with a variety of podcasts, as well as watching historical and political documentaries and the Andy Griffith show. Barry has a desire to help people fulfill the Great Commission through the Great Commandments: by showing the love of Christ, we can better share the love of Christ, and make disciples of all nations. And just so you know, he bleeds BLUE (UK Basketball)!