Considering the political and social climate in the United States and the cry of liberationists on every street corner, I found the following quote by biblical theologian Elmer A. Martens’ noteworthy. He writes,
The exodus event was a political event since it involved the escape of a people from Pharaoh, a political power. But the liberation pointed forward to a life with Yahweh, to a covenant community, to a life enriched by Yahweh. This goal of a religious and spiritual nature is crucial. Freedom in the exodus story points to a life under the lordship of Yahweh. Elimination of social injustice is important, but the liberation movement, if it is to be theologically underpinned, must ask, freedom for what? [emphasis added] If liberationist will appeal to the exodus event for justification of social and political action, then the whole of exodus must be kept in mind. Yoder put it well: “Exodus is not a paradigm for how all kinds of people with all kinds of values can attain all kinds of salvation.[i]
In a nutshell, before you can claim a biblical precedent for social or political action – which is vital – you must adhere to the full biblical model. One cannot pick and choose the portions that conveniently suit their agenda.
[i] Elmer A. Martens, God’s Design: A Focus on Old Testament Theology (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 1998), 66.