Saturday, May 05, 2007

10 Questions That Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer, Question 5, Part II: Why is God such a huge proponent of slavery in the Bible?

Let's continue answering this question by looking at the transcript:
- Colossians 3:22-24 – Slaves need to obey their masters.

- Ephesians 6:5 – Slaves need to obey their masters just as they would obey Christ.

- 1 Peter 2:18 – Slaves need to obey their masters, even if their masters are harsh.

And so on…

And why do all intelligent people abhor slavery and make it completely illegal? You have to come up with some kind of weird rationalization to explain it.

Let me answer the last question in this quotation. Why do all intelligent people abhor slavery and make it completely illegal? Because of the influence of Christianity. What was the faith of William Wilberforce, the man who struggled for many years to outlaw the slave trade in the British empire? He was a devout Christian.

Is there anything about atheistic beliefs which would make me want to abolish slavery? Survival of the fittest. Stinks for them. We are all just matter in motion. Why should I care that a bunch of atoms called "owners" own a bunch of different atoms called "slaves"?

Now, let's look at the Bible verses they didn't quote.
22 Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

1 Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Colossians 3:22-4:1

5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

Ephesians 6:5-9

The command of slaves obeying masters is complemented by masters treating their slaves lovingly.

The makers of this video also omitted another important verse.
Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death. Exodus 21:16

When we see passages which tell slaves to obey their masters, we must keep some things in mind. The point of Christianity was not political. It was not to come in and completely change social institutions. The point was to proclaim God's salvation to everyone and to create a body of believers wherein both slaves and slave-owners would be equal.

The point of Christianity is to escape the wrath of God and to live a new life devoted to God and to spread that news throughout the whole world. Christians had bigger fish to fry than to overthrow all societal institutions. Christians were concerned about both slave and free, Jew and Gentile, male and female.

We live in a world where "intelligent people abhor slavery" because of a faith where the dignity of all men is upheld.

For further reading on the topic of slavery go here or here.


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