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Discussion in 'The Law of God' started by DonP, Apr 13, 2009.
I did. Go back and read carefully what I said in each of my post. You will find my answer.
Nobody said slavery was desirable, Sarah, but nobody every argued that desirability of an outcome has anything to do with its Biblical legitimacy.
You did not give the meaning of the verses in Col 4 and Eph 6 where masters are told to treat their slaves well.
You are not interpreting scripture. Please see this for your sake.
Its not about slavery it is about your ability to properly handle the word of God that you need to consider this
While slavery isn't generally desirable, making a strong case for its sinfulness via Scripture just isn't possible. If we bear in mind the differences between biblical slavery and the ungodly slavery of early American history, biblical slavery is much more palatable though. in my opinion--and no offense intended to my ancestors who held slaves--whips should be reserved for livestock and masochists.
I think if one thing is apparent, it's this:
Defining "slavery" is critical, if we are going to be conversing intelligently.
Here are modern versions of legal slavery:
Conscription/Draft/National Service = government expropriation of labor at a price it sets for itself
Taxation = its well known that "tax freedom day" is about mid-March (and getting later), when we stop working for the government and start earning money for ourselves and our families
Prison = they don't compel inmates to work anymore, but neither are they their own masters. Why shouldn't there be honest servitude for some crimes anymore? Jail is terribly inefficient as punishment, and penalizes the victims of crime further by forcing them to maintenance the perpetrators.
My point is: this is an intractable issue, that is often subjected to reductionist analysis. Why was slavery permitted in ancient Israel? No answer can be reduced to sociology; it has to be understood first theologically, and then placed in the ANE setting. Israel was a very different place, with very different rules (however one finds similarities) from the nations surrounding.
It seems slavery in Israel was strongly regulated, for the ultimate purpose of eliminating it, case by case, most of the time.
Treating persons as property seems (in general) to deny them fundamental worth--a dignity with which God has endowed each person. This thought, then, seems incompatible with a Christian anthropology. This is not the same thing as passing judgment on someone--taking away something of his (life, liberty, or property) in reaction to his criminal activity.
Warehousing people (prison) is the actual dehumanizing of the imago dei. Judging them and depriving them of the fruits of their labor, or even their life, is actually treating them humanely--that is, as a human.
The fact that this expression would seem shocking to many (most?) modern Americans, reared on a simplistic diet of "slavery=evil", despite the fact that they have themselves adopted euphemisms for "acceptable slaveries," shows me the worst thing about racially-based chattel slavery on this soil in the early days of European colonization.
Namely, our speech on this subject is compromised and confused. This allows both for the perpetuation of further injustice, as well as silencing reasonable speech.
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I would think Jesus' command to treat others the way we want to be treated answers the original question. I don't believe anybody here would want to be a slave in any fashion or by any definition.
Well, for that matter, I don't think most people on death row want to be executed either. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be.
Christ bought me with a price. If I don't like that slavery, then I don't like Christianity.
That's the point...we are to be slaves to Christ not man or sin.
-----Added 4/13/2009 at 04:27:04 EST-----
Except that the death penalty is commanded.
I won't pursue the masochism topic here but why do you think slavery is not desirable? God invented it.
I think it is very desirable. Look at our country now. We have welfare.
If slavery was in effect these people would be being taken care of by others with the means instead of the state.
For those who would go out and unwisely extend their debt with no consequences they would end up repaying instead of stealing then others being taxed to cover their thievery.
It would also be a significant deterrent to excessive purchasing and worldliness.
Some realized they were nto good leaders and needed to have a boss to provide work for them so they willingly became bond slaves for life.
We have a perverted view of slavery from the early American and other slave trade that was not regulated humanely as it ws under the Jewish economy.
Many southern slave owners treated their slaves well, educated them, provided Christian education for them and they were in a much better living situation that they were in the oppressive black on black waring lifestyle they previously lived under and poor living conditions.
If that is your position, then you are speaking nonsense. You can't have it both ways, Sarah. You either submit to biblical slavery and thus do not attempt to argue that all slavery is evil, or you simply depart from Christianity. Pick your poison.
Tell that to the Jew who was owned by the Egyptian.
-----Added 4/13/2009 at 04:35:37 EST-----
Slavery to Christ is much different than me being your slave. Maybe you should define slavery.
Simple- Being bought with a price. That is how God's Word defines it, and I won't go beyond that for the sake of appeasing idle attitudes. Whether guilty man has abused this principle or not has no bearing on what slavery is. If you deny the principle, you deny Christ. period.
This thread is sounding strangely familiar.
Pastor John Weaver discusses the Bible's position on slavery in parts 4 and 5 of his message series entitled Where We Are and How We Got Here. It's available on sermonaudio.com I highly recommend it.
We could continue to allow Islam to take over and then they will just cut the hand off someone for stealing. Somehow that makes slavery look good to me for preserving the humanity.
If we obey Paul's rules for slaves, it is a kind thing to help care for those who are unable to be responsible for themselves. They may even learn and be able to take care of themselves when their debt is paid off.
Again Paul is not endorsing men stealing and I think it would be wrong to buy slaves that were kidnapped for the purpose of sale. But those legitimately indentured by their own actions should be able to have their debt traded just as banks sell loans.
But as you mentioned the draft. A man can be shot for leaving. Or put in prison. What makes this not slavery? His wages?
Shall we slap the slave traders on the back on congratulate them for releasing those poor, ignorant Africans from their oppressive and ignorant homeland?
I didn't think that "the end justifies the means" was an acceptable Christian ethic.
Already stated previously kidnapping is wrong and my personal opinion is that buying a kidnapped person would be wrong.
But if I was a black in America in the worst situation here, I would praise God that slave trader stole my great grandpa and got me here. I have been to Africa and for most it is far worse than the poorest most ill treated person in America.