Jeff Sessions recently cited Romans 13 as justification for separating children from their parents at the border.
NO! Just NO!
He conveniently leaves out verse 10: “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Specific passages in the Bible can be troubling. Here are some things we need to remember:
- We are always called, not simply to look at what is said, but why it is being said. I asked a group of church people one day what the shortest verse in the Bible is. The majority of hands went up. John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” Then I asked why he was weeping. Only a few hands went up. Knowing the words on the page only gets us so far.
- We need to look at the whole sweep of the story. Troubling passages? Yes. But God created the world out of love. God sent Jesus out of love. Jesus commands us to love one another. God’s ultimate vision of the world is one of love, where death and mourning will be no more.
- We Christians may believe that the Bible is the best picture of what God wants from us, but we also need to believe in a God that is bigger than the book. Limiting our understanding of God to the Bible is like someone claiming they understand me because they read something I wrote in their yearbook 30 years ago.
Oh, and by the way, Jesus was killed for disobeying unjust laws. Jesus called out unfair power structures and stood on the side of those who were oppressed. And though he often seemed all lovey dovey, he seemed to get really pissed when you talked about hurting a kid.
“If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:6.