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The heart and spirit of the law

From the Reverend Jeremy Blevins, Richmond United Methodist Church

June 22, 2018 – We have been bombarded by pictures, as well as audio and video clips of migrant children being torn from their parents.  Unless we are somehow numb to the presence of human suffering in our world, these images are horrific to behold.

Regardless of our political allegiance, religion, ethnicity, or any other distinguishing factors, human beings in general have been given a sense of morality.  Deep down, we almost instinctively know what is good and what is evil at all times.

Taking a mother away from her child is evil.

Now consider that since May 2018 over 2,300 children have been taken away from their parents by our current administration—our government.

All who have been complicit in such depraved actions, and who are thereby responsible for any subsequent anthropic fallout as a result of these crimes, will be judged by God.  There is no moral justification for the separation of families that comes from the Bible, from any law, or any earthly authority whatsoever.

In his second letter to Timothy, in the third and fourth chapters, the Apostle Paul is describing godlessness in the last days as well as encouraging and instructing Timothy in the responsibilities of a Christian leader and the proper handling of God’s Word.  In verse four, Paul warns that “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” (NIV)

Whether we look at how the serpent lies to Eve in the third chapter of Genesis (twisting the words that God spoke to Adam in the previous chapter), or we have the devil using the authority of scripture (quoting the Hebrew Bible in efforts to tempt Jesus) in the fourth chapter of Matthew, we realize that human interpretation of Holy Writ ought to always be a task undertaken with great humility and sobriety.

United Methodist Sunday school teacher, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, only added more insult to the abomination of family separation when he tried to use the thirteenth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans to defend his morally bankrupt administration’s unconscionable actions.

Sessions’ misapplication of Romans chapter thirteen to the issue of family separation was a poor attempt to answer a question that few are asking.  When children are being forcefully separated from their mothers and fathers, no one is lobbing cerebral and theo-philosophical inquiries at the spokespersons of governing powers regarding the divine ordination of present governments or the necessity of law for the proper functioning of civilized nations.  Objecting voices just want babies and parents reunited.

Sessions’ engaging in a discussion of law as it relates to a chapter of the New Testament and then using it to justify family separation is fallacious.  In the gospels, Jesus frequently addresses the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees who were experts in following the law of Moses.  Jesus reserved his harshest condemnations for them, in essence, charging them with missing the whole point as they attempted to follow God’s laws.  In their zeal, they too had completely missed the heart and spirit of God’s law.  Jesus summarizes God’s laws in the two greatest commandments to humankind:  Love God and love your neighbor.

Does it seem like we are loving God and loving neighbor if we are breaking up families?

I think the morally correct answer is apparent.

Blaming a political party now or in the past for the current family separation crisis or using children as negotiating tools or bargaining chips is also unjustifiable and morally reprehensible.

Those of us who strive as imperfect beings to follow Jesus Christ, should be reminded of the words of Jesus Christ to his disciples from Matthew 25:35-40 (ESV):

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me…”

By Standard Staff •

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One Response to The heart and spirit of the law

  1. John Carver Reply

    June 25, 2018 at 10:00 am

    I completely agree with you, but keep in mind this abomination has been going on for the last 3 presidents & has only been brought to light in this 4th presidency. It was wrong in the beginning & is still wrong, but as a christian, harsh words toward the current administration should also be applied to the previous 3, not just the current one.

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