Session 1: Defining Religious Liberty, part b

Scripture: Matthew 18:23-34

“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a ruler who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As the ruler began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the ruler ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ The ruler took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded. His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’ But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told the ruler everything that had happened. Then ruler called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant. I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ In anger the ruler handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.”

Questions: The Oppressed becomes the Oppressor

  1. What causes some people to want to overpower and oppress others even if they themselves have been oppressed?
  2. Religious oppression is not new. Is there something unique about religion that empowers some to want to oppress others? If so, what do you think it is?