There has been a lot of chatter on social media the last few days from professing Christians throwing around their differing opinions on Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. And while everyone has their opinion, the most extreme is comparing this student loan forgiveness to the cross by calling Christ’s sacrifice “debt forgiveness.”
Here is the most extreme example:
While many who profess Christ hold this view, thankfully, many Evangelicals see this view for what it is and have called it out.
While it is true that Christ’s death on the cross was sacrificial, exchanging our debt for freedom in Christ, there is far too much difference here to make the two even remotely comparable. First, every child of Adam owes a debt to his Creator for crimes committed against Him. God alone is the holder of that debt and He alone determines if and how it will be forgiven. No other debt is comparable on that level alone. God is the creator of all things seen and unseen, nobody else holds that position.
On the other hand, this student debt forgiveness scheme is a case of one party loaning somebody else’s money to a third party and then forgiving that debt as if that money were their own. It was not their money to loan in the first place, and it certainly is not morally right to not only forgive a debt with somebody else’s money, but to force them to further pay for it to boot. All the while, these politicians who are playing Monopoly with everybody else’s money are completely untouched by any of this beyond their hope of gaining a political advantage by it. It is an unholy scheme of buying votes from the largely unproductive sector of society by extorting money from the largely productive one.
The attempted analogy of saying that Christians should be in favor of this because Christ paid our debt is a loud blinding testament to the absolute shallowness of biblical knowledge in the American Church world today. God caused the existence of all things. God set in motion all of the conditions for that creation. We are personally indebted to our creator and, again, He alone can determine whether that debt will be forgiven.
Further, He has himself provided the one and only means by which we gain that forgiveness. In his eternal grace and mercy, He has, in the second person of the eternally begotten son, paid that debt himself.
It requires an Olympic gold medal level of biblical illiteracy to try to analogize this biblical truth with silly politicians moving around other people’s money under the authority of pagan political power. We shouldn’t be surprised that they would do this, but we should be heartbroken that Christians don’t see it for what it is and somehow try to liken it to the sacrifice of Christ to pay the debt of the sins of His people.
The takeaway from all this shouldn’t be the corruption of our government—that’s a given. The takeaway lesson should be that at even the most fundamental level those calling themselves by the name of Jesus Christ have no idea what His word actually says and certainly no idea how to apply it to the wretched political landscape they see before them. That being the case, it is no wonder that this country is in the shape that it’s in. We are supposed to be the salt and the light of the one true and living God in the darkness of this world, but some of us are just as dark as they are.
Even if you somehow come to the conclusion that this is a good move for the country—which I see absolutely no way that this could possibly be true—at least have the decency not to cheapen the cross by comparing it to irresponsible student loan forgiveness.