Inconvenient Scriptures

Jubilee is a biblical idea. It’s the 50 year radical redistribution/restoration. It’s the time when debts are cancelled, land is returned to owners, indentured servants are set free, foreigners are welcomed, and more. You can find the full details in Leviticus 25.

Funny how I never hear those who argue for literal interpretation of Scripture point to this passage as one we should follow. I can actually get on board with following the year of Jubilee. But I rarely hear anyone argue for it. Apparently we’re too busy using Scripture as a weapon to point out other people’s sins that we aren’t guilty of.

The year of Jubilee would have a huge economic impact in quite literal and practical terms. The average American carries over $90,000 in debt. Imagine if all that debt was wiped away. Imagine the impact that would have.

I can also imagine how those who make money off of our debt would respond. Maybe in the same way that the people of Nazareth responded to Jesus’ first sermon in Luke 4 when Jesus preached the Jubilee – they tried to throw him off a cliff.

Implementing would be a radical freeing of people from debt. It would be a transfer of wealth the likes we have never seen before. It would probably make the argument for returning of lands to native tribes that were taken from them. It would probably also make the arguments around compensation to families who’s relatives were forced into enslavement.

No wonder we would rather just push this passage out of sight.

Leviticus 25 isn’t the only inconvenient passage of Scripture though.

“Romans 13! Romans 13!” This is the passage of Scripture where Paul says “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities”. A couple of years ago this passage was used with abandon by some prominent Christian pastors and public figures and public officials to argue why we needed to get on board with an immigration policy that separated families at the border.

But a funny thing happened. We now have mask and vaccination mandates and the same people who were shouting “Romans 13!” are very silent about Romans 13, often arguing that such mandates are restrictions on religious freedom. What happened? Romans 13 became an inconvenient passage of Scripture.

Inconvenient Scriptures don’t provide the ammunition a person needs to twist God into just another weapon to be used against enemies.

Scripture isn’t a weapon to be used for your own benefit and agenda and conveniently set aside when it doesn’t work for your argument.

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