Given By Rev Madison Shockley on June 24 2018
Today’s reading is not from the lectionary. Our Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, sited passages from Romans 13 to justify the separation of children from their families at the border. Mr. Sessions believed that this passage gives him the authority to do what he and our government are currently doing along the border. He addresses this passage towards the protesters so they will fall in line with their government. Yet this policy goes against international law. One Hundred and forty nations have signed the Declaration of the Rights of Children but the US has not. This passage is a good example that some passages in the Bible do not have equal weight. Sessions is now being held accountable by the church for his misuse of scripture. When you combine poor scholarship and incomplete information, you have bad theology. By taking one verse/text out of context and using it in a way it was not intended, you have what is called “proof texting.” One must understand the circumstances of Paul to truly understand the intent of Paul’s writings. Paul is actually encouraging rebellion. Jesus is Lord, not Caesar. Today, we continue to resist. We protested the separation of families doing slavery. We protested the separation of Native American families. We now protest at the border for immigrant family rights. We must not allow our government to dehumanize immigrants so they can be treated so poorly. Paul talks about love. Love is the fulfilling of the law. Paul never said to obey the authorities but to obey Jesus and keep God’s law of love.