Scriptural Reflection

Sacred writings of the various religions around the world and throughout history provide guidance for living a good and fruitful life. Many of the different writings provide similar directives; in fact, some are not only in various scriptures, but also in the common parlance. An example is the Golden Rule:

Do to others as you would have them do to you.[1]

Unfortunately, scripture is often seen as a buffet from which “believers” can pick and choose which thoughts to ignore and which thought to accept. Some use their chosen quotation to justify decidedly unchristian behavior.

I have heard many self-proclaimed Christians who are vehemently opposed to immigration, even when it is the only hope for people who are in danger of their life.

They pontificate their justification. They endorse obvious falsehoods from their political leaders. They use both scripture and politics to justify their personal bias.

I was born—and died—long before Jesus was born, so I was not in a position to be a Christian. However, your Christ was a devout Jew and read the Tanakh, the Jewish scripture, which is nearly identical to the Christian Old Testament. The Tanakh includes the Torah, the five Books of Moses (including Exodus) and the Nevi’im.

Both Christian and Hebrew scripture contain this advice:

Exodus 22: 21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt. 22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry. 24 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.

[1] Luke 6: 31

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