Thoughts on the path to freedom from debt
I was talking to Christopher, one of the people from around Bundaberg who occasionally sleeps rough, and if you have ever chatted to him you would know that he has a strong focus on the Bible, and particularly the Authorised King James translation.
He is convinced it is the best, and everything else is a dangerous degradation of the truth.
One of his concerns is that in more modern translations the words are changed, and so the meaning must also be changed.
One of the areas we started to discuss was the Lord’s Prayer, and the way that the words had changed.
It got me thinking about three words that are, or have been, used in the Lord’s Prayer somewhat interchangeably; debt, trespasses and sin.
The original word can be translated equally well as debt or sin, and I understand why modern translations moved away from debt, as it carries with it, an exclusively economic meaning. The next step was to use the word ‘trespasses’ which I grew up with, which is an attempt to straddle the economic implications of debt, and the personal impacting of sin.
These days however trespass is almost exclusively about property crime, and it would be a very strange conversation if you accused a person of trespass because they had spread a rumour about you.
I would like in many ways to return to the language of debt, as for many people the term sin is too ‘religious’, and at the same time, it has become something so nebulous that it does not say anything meaningful.
On the other hand, we all know the power of debt.
The debts we carry are able to drive us in ways we do not want to go.
Many people are forced to work hours away from their family because of debt, people loose homes because of debt, countries are not able to develop aid programs because of debt.
These are just financial debts, those same forces are paralleled in the ways we incur spiritual debts, to God and to each other.
Jesus taught us that the path to freedom from debt is not to have the most, but to forgive the most.
Rev. Andrew Schmidt Good Shepherd Anglican Church