Sessions' And The Bible
Lifestyle

Sessions' Misuse Of Romans 13 Should Challenge The rest of us To Read Our Bibles

Use this example as an opportunity to open up the Good Book for yourself and see what it says.

210
Sessions' Misuse Of Romans 13 Should Challenge The rest of us To Read Our Bibles

America is a unique country that was founded on Christian morals and principles. We pledge ourselves as a "nation under God", and we still allow "In God We Trust" to be printed on our currency.

Though America as a whole does not constrain to Christian principles and biblical teachings alone, there is something to be said about the 70.6 percent of Americans claiming to be Christian (as of 2014). That's a whopping 250.4 million of the then-318.6 million citizens.

Why, then, is this percentage of people not speaking up against the misuse of Romans 13 by Attorney General Jeff Sessions?

On June 14th, Sessions defended the separation of immigrant families trying to get across the border with a passage from the book of Romans. In Romans 13:1, Paul addresses his audience with this command:

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God."

This is truth. We are called to respect and obey the leaders of our government UNLESS they call us to disobey the Word of God.

"...learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow's cause."
- Isaiah 1:17
"He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" - Micah 6:8
"He (God) executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt."- Deuteronomy 10:18-19
"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, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' ... And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'" - Matthew 25:35-36,40

Ouch.

This is not an argument against the value of following the law in order to enter the country. I agree that we should be keeping track of those who enter our country just as we are kept track of when we enter others' countries.

This is an argument against the unjust treatment of human beings who are trying to secure a hopeful future for their children.

This is an argument against the use of Scripture as justification for separating families because it will deter future immigrants from trying to cross the border.

Romans 13 was speaking to the Roman Christians at a time when there was more political peace in Rome, at the beginning of Nero's rule. A popular school of thought is that Romans 13 is addressing not the actual Roman government but the authority in the Jewish synagogues of Rome. Because Romans focuses on the relationship between Jews and Gentiles (people who were not Jewish by heritage), it would make sense that his passage in Romans 13 is still addressing that relationship. Paul was saying to keep peace, if at all possible.

He was not saying to uphold man's law above God's law no matter what because Almighty God agrees with every law imperfect man installs.

This context completely changes the meaning of this passage. If you believe that this passage doesn't mean what I described it as, then read it for yourself! Listen to commentaries, ask questions, but most importantly, read the actual scripture. Don't just take what I am saying as God's final Word; be curious, and study His word on your own.

That's why it is so important to read our Bibles as more than a fortune-cookie, where we receive our verse for the day and try to apply it to the life we are living. No matter what context we read Romans 13, though, we know that God commands us multiple times to care for the orphan, the widow, and the sojourner (just another big word for immigrant), so if man's law goes against this, man's law is wrong.

When we study the Bible, we can see these Biblical examples where followers of God broke man's law because it contradicted God's law:

- Esther hid the truth of her heritage in order to infiltrate the kingdom, and she led the Jewish people to be saved from a horrific massacre.
- Daniel was thrown into a lions' den because he would not pray to King Darius.
- 10 of the 12 original disciples of Jesus were brutally murdered for calling Jesus the Son of God and for spreading the Gospel message.

Instead of pulling verses out of the Bible to justify our current actions, we should allow our lives to be transformed by the Word of God, and He commands us to love Him first and allow that love to spread into how we love our neighbors.

If you read further into Romans 13, verse 9 says that "the commandments... are [all] summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."

These are our neighbors, whether we find them to the South or to the East of us.

Our neighbors need food.

Our neighbors need shelter.

Our neighbors are seeking asylum in our borders.

Our neighbors need love.

Love is not separating family members.

Love is not turning away the stranger.

Love is treating them like Jesus would.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Swoon

119 People Reveal How The Pandemic Has Affected Their Love Lives, And Honestly... Relatable

"I haven't been able to get out of the 'talking phase' with anyone."

The reality is, there's no part of life the pandemic hasn't affected. Whether it's your work life, your home life, your social life, or your love life, coronavirus (COVID-19) is wreaking havoc on just about everything — not to mention people's health.

When it comes to romance, in particular, people are all handling things differently and there's no "right way" of making it through, regardless of your relationship status (single, taken, married, divorced, you name it). So, some of Swoon's creators sought out to hear from various individuals on how exactly their love lives have been affected since quarantine began.

Keep Reading... Show less

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B just dropped the hottest summer single yet. It's called "WAP" and we're going to get into all the intoxicating lyrics.

This song empowers females and their sexuality. These women put the ridiculous music industry female beef to bed, and I mean tucked away in a coma.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Write Down The Holy Grail Recipe Everyone Begs You To Make

Because everyone has a signature cocktail, cake, or pasta they bring to every potluck.

NBC

From back when I used to bring my mom's classic white chocolate chip cookies to preschool on my birthday to now stirring up my signature tequila cocktails at every friends' barbecue, I've always had a couple of standby recipes in my culinary rotation.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Meet My Cat: Cheshire, The Stray Turned House Cat Who Lives in Michigan

I never considered myself a cat person, but Chess immediately stole my heart.

Madelyn Darbonne

In 2016, a stray cat gave birth to a litter of three grey kittens on my aunt and uncle's property. I had never considered myself to be much of a cat person, but these furballs immediately stole my heart. I got to watch them grow up until they were old enough to leave their mother's side.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How To Binge-Watch A TV Show —And Then Write A Review About It

Writing your favorite and least favorite things about a show could not be more fun.

Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Looking for a new show to binge? Stop scrolling through your options and listen.

Sometimes a good show doesn't come down to the genre or the actors involved, it comes down to the fact that it is simply a GOOD show. If any of these things sound appealing to you, you should definitely watch.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

11 Reasons Why Getting A Cat Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Mental Health

Cats may mess up your puzzles but they'll always love you unconditionally — as long as you have some catnip, that is.

Scout Guarino

Alright, everyone, it's time to stop spreading the rumor that all cats are mean, aloof, and hate everyone. Like dogs, each cat has its own personality and tendencies. Some like a lot of attention, some like less — each person has to find the right cat for them. As for me, my cats Bienfu and Reptar have seen me at my worst, but they've also helped pull me out of it. They're a constant in my life and they give me the strength to get through the day in spite of my depression, and there's even scientific evidence to support it!

Keep Reading... Show less

I've been bleaching my hair since I was in seventh grade. Yes, you read that correctly, seventh grade. That's nearly 10 years of maintaining a very light shade of blonde that too-often brings about dryness and brittle strands.

Keep Reading... Show less

Chances are if you're here, you're probably interested in writing an open letter. Yay! We're excited to have you.

Of course, not all open letters are created equal. In fact, there's a recipe to writing one for Odyssey that'll get featured on one of our many verticals. When it comes to Swoon specifically (for those new around here, that's our dating and relationships vertical), we receive dozens of open letters each month, many of which are all very similar.

Keep Reading... Show less

With a new phone comes great responsibility: Do not break it! And the best way to do that is with a case. However, picking a case can be a challenge. No need to fret, I am here to help break down some of the best cases for the new iPhone SE 2020. Honestly, I think it's going to be impossible to choose!

Keep Reading... Show less

To some who have been out of the dating world for a while, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things after being single for some time. So, I asked 26 people what they think is important to know before looking for love again, here's what they had to say.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments