shame crimes

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shame crimes

Deuteronomy 19:14 -15

Deuteronomy 19:14 “Do not move your neighbor’s boundary marker, established at the start in the inheritance you will receive in the land Yahveh your God is giving you to take possession of.
Deuteronomy 19:15 “One witness cannot establish any violation or mistake against a person, whatever that person has done. A fact must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

shame crimes

Moses knew that individuals in the community would be tempted to prey on others. These two prohibitions represent one kind of temptation there would be. Both are particular violations of another person’s human rights. In both examples, the violation makes the innocent party look guilty. It is bad enough to steal from me, but if you steal my boundary marker, you make me look like a thief. If you accuse me of a crime, you have committed a crime against me. Both of these are crimes against a person’s reputation. They are shame crimes. Like many other cultures around the world, in Israel the shame crime was considered especially reprehensible.

Loving our neighbors like ourselves means protected their honor, not preying on it. God’s counsel for New Testament believers is to “give preference to one another in honor” (Romans 12:10). We need to be lifting up each other, not finding secret ways to tear each other down.

Lord, show us how to lift each other up, and so demonstrate the love and respect you call us to have for one another.

About Jefferson Vann

Jefferson Vann is a former Christian missionary and a candidate for pastoral ministry. You can contact him at marmsky@gmail.com -- !
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