Friday, April 03, 2020

Is amnesty biblical?

If nice neighbors came and patiently inquired if they could become Jews, most Jews didn’t turn them away. But Paul was out there begging any pagan who would listen to convert willy-nilly, so he wasn’t just accepting the occasional pagan as a proselyte. Foreigners to the USA can go through an arduous process and obtain a green card and then eventually become a US citizen—a process I, a New Zealander, have still not managed to complete as I write these words after fourteen years living in North Carolina. But some advocates want an amnesty for everyone who walks over the border, north or south, or who enters by air or sea and overstays. Paul was throwing the green card process under the bus. He was proclaiming an amnesty.

Wow. The special privileges of the Jewish nation quashed again. Not only was present history a struggle, but a horde of despised, unclean, bullying pagans were being admitted into the playground of the future. We can practically hear Paul’s offended compatriots crying “Jews for Heaven and Heaven for the Jews” as they flogged him in their synagogues, expelled him from their communities, and eventually planned to take him out for good.—Paul: An Apostle’s Journey, 26–27

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