Well since you mentioned the Bible…

Well since you mentioned the Bible… June 16, 2018

All of this is a mess. I have been struggling to find the words to respond to the current chaos our country has found ourselves in. Yesterday pushed me over the edge though.

I love the Word of God. I really do. I cherish it and do my best to live by it. Because of this, I am so deeply offended by the use of Scripture to justify heinous acts taking place at our border. So as I’ve spent the last couple of weeks typing and deleting blog posts and tweets at an attempt to capture my thoughts in a profound way, the words by AG Jeff Sessions and Press Secretary Sarah Sanders have compelled me to hit “publish.” Not because the world needs to hear my thoughts but because we all need to say something. This is not ok. In fact, it’s really, really bad.

When I was finally ready to pull the trigger and commit to words made public, the only thing that made sense is scripture. God’s words. The words that were taken out of context, twisted, and used to propagate pure evil.

May the Word of God inspire us, convict us, and actually be used in the way it was intended.

We’ll start with Romans 13, since that seems to be a favorite lately:

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  Romans 13:8-10

This one might hit a little close to home:

Woe to those who make unjust laws,
    to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
    and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
    and robbing the fatherless.                                                                                                                                                                Isaiah 10:1-2

Some oldies but goodies:

Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were a foreigners in Egypt.                                                                        Exodus 22:21

Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.                                                                                                                                                                                            Exodus 23:9

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.    Leviticus 19:33-34

You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the Lord your God.                                          Leviticus 24:22

The community is to have the same rules for you and for the foreigner residing among you; this is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. You and the foreigner shall be the same before the Lord: The same laws and regulations will apply both to you and to the foreigner residing among you.                                                                          Numbers 15:15-16

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.            Deuteronomy 10:18-19

Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset, because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.                                    Deuteronomy 24:14-15

Do not deprive the foreigner or the fatherless of justice, or take the cloak of the widow as a pledge. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there. That is why I command you to do this.  Deuteronomy 24:17

This one sounds serious:

Cursed is anyone who withholds justice from the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow. Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”                                                                                                                                                                                            Deuteronomy 27:19

Some ways are about to be frustrated:

The Lord watches over the foreigner
    and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
    but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.                                                                                                                                      Psalm 146:9

Those prophets though:

If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.        Jeremiah 7:5-7

This is what the Lord says: Do what is just and right. Rescue from the hand of the oppressor the one who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Jeremiah 22:3

See how each of the princes of Israel who are in you uses his power to shed blood. 7 In you they have treated father and mother with contempt; in you they have oppressed the foreigner and mistreated the fatherless and the widow.  Ezekiel 22:6

Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.      Zechariah 7:10

“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.                                                                    Malachi 3:5

Jesus’ actual words:

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  Matthew 5:43-48

Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.                                                                                                                                  Matthew 22:37-40

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.                                                                                                                                                          Matthew 25:35

From the same guy who wrote the stuff about submitting to (not enforcing or even obeying) the law:

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ…                              Philippians 3:20

Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.                                                                                                                                                                                  Hebrews 13

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.                                                                                        Romans 12:13

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.                                                        Ephesians 2:14-22

And one more that is kind of relevant to all this nonsense:

But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.                                                                                                                                          Luke 18:16

And all God’s people said, “Amen.”

 

 

 

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Etranger

    We definitely do need to say something, and I am glad to see so many people doing so. The case against a Sessions and Sanders would be more powerful if the objection didn’t rely on the same book (e.g., the Bible). Theirs is just another interpretation, essentially just as legit as yours. We can criticize them from a place of reason and basic human decency.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I think we are well past having to say something.

    I think we are at the donate to political campaigns OR take to the streets with signs.

  • Bob Myers

    Thank you for your work and your witness to what the scriptures have clearly called us to. Unfaithfulness to these scriptures in both word and deed have brought us to this current humanitarian crisis. Only long term faithfulness in word and deed will bring us out of this sad chapter. The saddest part is not what is happening in our nation and through our government’s cruelty. The saddest thing is that the church is so out of step with the heart of God.

  • Brandon Roberts

    well said.