Biblical Fact Checking CNN’s Analysis of Jeff Sessions
Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a speech to law enforcement officers in Fort Wayne Indiana. In it, he defended the Trump administration’s family separation policy plaguing illegal aliens at the border. During the speech, Attorney Jeff Sessions, stated family separation is consistent with the teachings of the Bible. CNN writer, Candida Moss, penned a post titled, “Theologian: Jeff Sessions misreads the Bible to justify separating families.” After reading it I found misunderstandings and outright misrepresentation of Bible facts.
I decided to address the work of Ms. Moss point by point and clear up any misunderstandings presented in her post. Before I begin I would like to note the irony of the separation of church and state. Furthermore, how members of the Federal Government will pick and choose when to lean on the Bible and quite frankly the Most High does not work that way. The Heavenly Father blesses Nations whose leader walk in His ways and that is not even debatable.
Biblical Fact Checking
1. More precisely, Sessions said, “Persons who violate the law of our nation are subject to prosecution. I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13 to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order.
It is true that in Romans 13, Paul instructs his audience of Jesus followers to obey the laws of the government. It is a generic statement about obedience that does not refer specifically to families, children, or immigration. As a result, it has been a fruitful Bible verse for those looking to squelch political dissent.
In American history, as historian John Fea has noted, this passage has historically been invoked in two contexts: by loyalists who opposed the American Revolution and by defenders of slavery in the 1840s and 1850s.
Answer: Paul was a Disciple and student of the teachings of Jesus Christ and it was Jesus who framed a distinction between Kingdoms. This happened when the Pharisees conspired to trick Jesus and put Him in the cross-hairs of the Romans by attempting to make Jesus an authority over the money of Caesar. Jesus caught on to their agenda and replied in, Matthew 22:21, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Paul carried this on with Romans 13:1, “Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God and those which exist are established by God.”
Jesus did not entangle Himself with the politics of Rome and there were worse things in Rome then. Pedophilia was the norm, prostitution, murder, and public inhumane executions. That is just a sampling without even mentioning the slave system of Rome, yet Jesus did not concern Himself with championing these issues. Jesus came to DEMONSTRATE the power of Spirit and to testify to another world where the power of His Father emanates…and how we can do it too!
Jesus, basically said human laws are going to do what they do, but the Spiritual Kingdom has own set of laws so do not get them twisted.
2. Next, Ms. Moss, uses this Scripture to justify a major Biblical event there is no relation. Here she submits, “You shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, having yourselves been strangers in Egypt.” (from Exodus 23:9). Then she segues to the following: The iconic story of what happens to those who reject outsiders, however, is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the book of Genesis. Often erroneously cited in Christian circles as a story about homosexuality, the sin of Sodom is that the people of the town sought to mistreat and abuse outsiders. The punishment? Their behavior is such a breach of the principle of hospitality that God rains down fire upon their heads.
Answer: It is true we should not oppress anyone including strangers but to mix this Scripture with Sodom and Gomorrah is a travesty, at best. Ms. Moss, totally left out the context of Sodom and Gomorrah with discussions between Abraham and the Lord. Prior to any strangers showing up Scripture said, 20 Then the Lord said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous 21 that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”
The sins in this ancient city were grievous, meaning: very severe or serious. Not having a welcome center is not a grievous sin. Prior to the strangers (angels) even arriving in Sodom and Gomorrah, 26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.” Abraham, worked hard to save Sodom and Gomorrah, he negotiated hard and searched to find righteous people there and by the time He was done could not even find ten righteous people.
The next nail in the coffin for Soddoma and Gomorrah was the fact they want to “know” the strangers. This is defined as sexual and they wanted to have sex with the angels. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.” So when Ms. Moss, exerts Sodom and Gomorrah was not about homosexuality she needs to rethink what she wrote and earn her Spiritual GED.
3. The New Testament is full of similar stories in which Jesus suggests that welcoming outsiders is a basic expectation. When he dispatches his disciples on missionary journeys, he tells them that if they are not welcomed by locals they should shake the dust off their feet when they leave, as a forewarning of the dire punishments those people would receive on
Answer: This is another example taken out of context because it was not just about welcoming, but listening to the Gospels. This means if they reject the Gospels they will face a judgment like Sodom and Gomorrah. It is important to understand “listening to the Gospels.”
4. Given that both the Hebrew Bible and Jesus have a particular concern for the treatment of orphans and children in general (Psalm 68:5, James 1:27, Matthew 19:14), it seems especially strange to suggest that separating families is somehow biblical.
Answer: Jesus taught to love one another so any act contrary to that is in fact antichrist. With that being said, all governments are the antichrist and this is why Jesus will destroy ALL of them when He returns.
5. Perhaps the biggest problem here is that the power dynamic is off. When Paul and Jesus say “obey laws” or “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s,” they are advising the disenfranchised and powerless about how to interact with an (immoral) government with which you sincerely and morally disagree. It is advice for the vulnerable, not the powerful (Matthew 22:21).
Answer: That is exactly what Jesus did when He said, “render to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” Why worry about a spiritually powerless government when you could have power over them? The power to resurrect, heal, teleport, and command angels. Jesus was not getting into the physical weeds of Caesar because He had a higher calling. This is what we should be focussing on and transcend as a people over Government through Jesus.