Braxton Brewington is an organizer and spokesperson for the Debt Collective.

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Debt Forgiveness Is a Core Principle of Christianity

by Braxton Brewington 09-26-2022

Claude Vignon - Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. Image credit: Reuters, Icom Images / Alamy.

In Leviticus 25, God instructs Moses and the people of Israel to institute a year of Jubilee. Every 50 years, at the blast of a trumpet, the Jubilee would mark a moral and economic shift in society: Slaves were set free, land was returned to its original owners, and any outstanding debts were eliminated (25:1-12). Similarly, in Deuteronomy 15, God says that every seven years, creditors should “remit the claim that is held against a neighbor” because “the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed.” In the New Testament, Jesus instructs his followers to pray “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Matthew 6:12, Luke 11:4). Scripture is clear when it comes to debt abolition and the freeing of the debtor: God demands a society that delivers justice and freedom to all and rejects a society that physically and rhetorically shackles its people.