Two major political issues in the United States are consumer debt and immigration. These topics are often polarizing, with opposing views lining up via their political affiliation. Republicans generally want tighter border control, while some democrats call for complete amnesty. Democrats often support a large scale redistribution of wealth that Republicans oppose with a passion.
The conservative view places a high value on work ethic, smart spending, and paying your dues. Laws are in place and must be followed and consequences for breaking the law must be adhered to. If you are illegally in this country, deportation is justice. If you are in debt from which you can never escape, it is your own fault…you made your bed, you must sleep in it.
The liberal view places a high value on equality and welfare of all. The system as is, benefits the wealthy while taking advantage of the poor. Therefor, laws must be enacted to protect the poor and give them equal access to a good standard of living. People in debt are often in debt because they had no opportunity to prosper or because they were subject to “predatory lenders.” Those in this country illegally should be given the same rights as others. We should not deport these people, but welcome them.
I give these generalized, by no means all encompassing, views to show the polarity we have.
Now, entertain me for a moment while I lay out a scenario. Average indebted households have $15,863 in credit card debt, $156,584 in mortgage debt, and $33,090 in student loan debt. Many will never pay off the debt, no matter how hard they work. Imagine if all debtors, seeing their borrowers as slaves to the debt, offered total forgiveness. All debt paid in full.
Imagine we looked at those that were not born in this country, those that did not come to this country through legal means, and we forgave them of their transgressions and instead of deporting, welcomed them as full citizens of our nation. Any debt they incurred on society, by breaking various laws to get, forgiven.
Depending on your political affiliation, the proposal sounds either appealing or appalling. But this is not a political post nor is my blog designed to be political in nature. I use politics to point out significance of our forgiveness in Christ.
We were indebted to God, a debt which we could never repay. As conservatives would point out, it was our own fault…although even Adam tried to shun responsibility and blame it all on Eve. There are consequences of breaking God’s law, eternal separation from God, death, and hell. That is the bed we made. Some would accuse God of creating a law that was unfair. Or claim that the burden of punishment was too much…as Cain did after he murdered Abel.
Some worked feverishly to live up to the law of Moses, only to become more aware of their bondage to sin. The debt was insurmountable. God, our debtor, offers complete forgiveness to those who call upon the name of his Son, Jesus. Hard work wouldn’t cut it. A handout was needed.
Furthermore, God offers amnesty. We do not deserve to be in his presence. God’s word says, “I will call them ‘my people; who are not my people.” (Ro 9:25; Ho 2:23) and “Once you were not a people, now you are the people of God. Once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Pe 2:10)
I imagine the ancestors of Republicans trying to earn their way into God’s favor and the ancestors of Democrats trying to blame other people, or complain about the unfairness of it all. I am glad that the kingdom of heaven is not a democracy made up of angelic liberals and angelic conservatives debating our fate!
God gave us complete debt forgiveness and complete amnesty.
I know we cannot force debt forgiveness or amnesty, I’m not even sure if those would be appropriate. I do think the topics should be talked about honestly and open-mindedly. Too often we simply jump to the side we see our political party on. If we want our political standing to match our religious convictions…we cannot pick and choose the topics to which that applies. We want our country to support a biblical definition of marriage, but not biblical views of feeding the poor…of forgiveness…
God forgave us while we were still sinners, we are his people because we have received mercy. Let our lives reflect His love and mercy in every way.