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We post a Forward Day by Day Meditation for every day of the year - and we invite you to consider them and talk about them here. If you'd like to comment, you can log in to Disqus with your Facebook, Twitter, or Google account; just click "Login," or the appropriate logo below. Or, you can sign up for a Disqus account; just use the entry form below, or click the "D" logo to start the process. You can find the past week's Meditations in the box at right (or below, for mobile users), or search for previous entries on the Archives page. You can also listen to the Forward Day by Day podcast anywhere you find podcasts!
1 Peter 2:16 As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.
This second verse, taken out of context, was used to justify slavery in the United States. White slave owners cited this and other verses, invoking the authority of the Bible and God as permission to hold slaves. They used their freedoms as citizens and Christians as a pretext for evil.
It is impossible to fully understand and empathize with the mind of a past individual or culture so I will not presume to explain that which I could never understand. But I believe that history and the people of the past speak to current times and living people. I wonder how other Christians and I use the freedoms given to us by God today as a pretext to benefit ourselves. In what ways do we use our freedoms to disadvantage others, even to oppress?
MOVING FORWARD: Research Absalom Jones, the first African American priest in the Episcopal Church. What can his witness teach you today?