Christians and slavery

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Nov 5, 2005.

  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    I watched a documentary this morning called "Whispers of Angels" ( http://www.whispersofangels.com/ ).

    Something it got me to thinking (very dangerous, I know [​IMG] ).

    How should Christians have responded at the time:

    1. About slavery in general?
    2. About the Fugitive Slave Laws?
    3. Most specifically about one aspect of the Second Fugitive Slave Law that said that any citizen on the street could be recruited by law enforcement officials to help capture fugitive slaves, even in northern cities? ("By it “all good citizens” were “commanded to aid and assist [federal marshals and their deputies] in the prompt and efficient execution of this law,” and heavy penalties were imposed upon anyone who assisted slaves to escape from bondage." - http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0819828.html)
    4. To the illegal work of the Underground Railroad?

    Should Christians have obeyed that law? Should they have helped capture runaway slaves?

    Any and all on topic thoughts appreciated.

    [ November 05, 2005, 09:09 AM: Message edited by: C4K ]
     
  2. Petrel

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    Deut. 23:15-16

    "If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand him over to his master. Let him live among you wherever he likes and in whatever town he chooses. Do not oppress him."

    With a law like this, it's a wonder slavery survived as an institution. I suppose most slaves either didn't know how to make it on their own or thought their current situation was tolerable, or else all slaves would have run away!

    In light of this law and because I think slavery is wrong, I don't think they should have helped capture runaway slaves--instead they should have helped them.

    It does bother me why God allowed so many things in the OT that we would consider wrong. :(
     
  3. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Since Slavery was immoral and racist, I would say that we should not have supported it. No Christian should own a slave, and all Christians should have spoken against it and helped the slaves escape through the underground railroad.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  4. Bunyon

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    I would have resisted any effort by law enforcement to get me to go after run away slaves.

    Keep in mind though I is not like the owners enslaved the slaves. They bought them, but it was there own country men of there own race who cpatured, sold and enslaved them. A better option, if one could afford it, would be to buy a slave and treat them like a freed man or woman.

    That is to provide an environment that they wanted to be in and to work with them to gain their freedom. That would be necessary because most slaves would need the help and mentoring of a freeman to gain the skills and knowledge to make it on there own.
     
  5. NiteShift

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    I'm not really addressing the questions that were brought up by C4K, just adding some observations of slavery in general. Someone will probably jump all over me, but what the heck, it's just internet [​IMG] )

    Some of my ancestors were slaveowners, and I have read some of their comments, taken from journals and conversations. At least in this part of the country, the life of a slave was not that different from the life of a poor white. Most of them had a skill, such as wagon-building, blacksmithing, stonemasonry. As such, they had a certain amount of autonomy. A distant relative of mine had a slave whose job was to run a ferry-boat at a river crossing. After the war and freedom, he contunued to work at that job till his death. It was not uncommon for a slave to become angry, run off, and then come back.

    Of course, the life of a fieldhand working cotton could be a very different existance.

    Slavery didn't begin in America, it was an institution left to us by our European ancestors. I'm not defending it, but I'm pointing out that people who did own slaves were not neccessarily wicked people, and didn't see anything unusual in it. It was just a fact of life for them.
     
  6. gb93433

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    Amrican slavery was deliberatley stealing people. It was a much different context than much of what happened in the OT and NT. What happened in the OT and NT was very often the result of war. Many slaves owned land, got married, etc. They often ran the affairs of the person who owned them. They were one of the family.

    American slavery was an issue that divided Baptists into the northern and southern Baptists.
     
  7. jarhed

    jarhed
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    History does not necessarily support this statment. Keep in mind that there were slaves (and worse, slaves that didn't know they were slaves until they tried to leave) in the North as well. Mr. Lincoln, in Clintonesque fashion "FREED" the slaves only in the South with the E.P. halfway through the war. He did this because he would have lost the war that day if he would have freed all the slaves. Do some reading on the textile mills of the North and their viscous and murderous enslavement of the immigrants (particularly the Irish).

    Your assertion of diff. context? Most of the slaves were captured when one African tribe made war on another (just like in the Blble, and many of them from the same area), and sold the spoils. IT WAS THE SAME, ask the fellow that carried the cross of Christ when we get to glory.

    Slavery is a tough question only because it is uncomfortable, however the Bible commands slaves to serve thier masters as unto the Lord.

    I wonder how God feels about the way the North literally raped the wealth away from the South and crippled her economically for all of 100 years during reconstruction? All the stolen land? All the stolen wealth? The winner wrote the history...but it doesn't change the facts.

    Also, there are worse things than slavery. Take a drive through South Chicago or East L.A. sometime and see what the power of Federalism has done for the Black man in America!
     
  8. Brother James

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    Col 3:22 Servants, obey in all things [your] masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

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    Col 4:1 Masters, give unto [your] servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.

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    1Ti 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and [his] doctrine be not blasphemed.

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    Tts 2:9 [Exhort] servants to be obedient unto their own masters, [and] to please [them] well in all [things]; not answering again;

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    1Pe 2:16 As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.

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    1Pe 2:18 Servants, [be] subject to [your] masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
     
  9. Brother James

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    Phm 1:10 I beseech thee for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten in my bonds:


    Phm 1:11 Which in time past was to thee unprofitable, but now profitable to thee and to me:


    Phm 1:12 Whom I have sent again: thou therefore receive him, that is, mine own bowels:


    Phm 1:13 Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered unto me in the bonds of the gospel:


    Phm 1:14 But without thy mind would I do nothing; that thy benefit should not be as it were of necessity, but willingly.


    Phm 1:15 For perhaps he therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever;


    Phm 1:16 Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?
     
  10. Johnv

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    I would love to say that, if I were living in the mid 1800's, I would have agreed with your sentiment. The truth is, had I been living in that time, I probably would have personally opposed it, but accepted its existence as a "necissary evil" as Thomas Jefferson said.

    I admit this, not to strengthen a position contrary to yours, but to admit to my own weakness in the "if it were me" arena, especially in comparison to your firm stamde on this topic. An area I need work on, I suppose.
     
  11. Wife of One

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    Pardon me for correcting But, you didn't forget the Isrealites in Egypt did you? Slavery is as old as history.
     
  12. JGrubbs

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    There were many good Christian men in the South who owned slaves, they had the mindset that if they didn't own the slaves and work to educate and evangelize them, that someone else would get the slaves and abuse and mistreat them. One example of a great Christian man who owned slaves and helped create some of the first black Sunday School classes was Thomas Jonathan (Stonewall) Jackson.
     
  13. Johnv

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    I don't doubt the devotion and sinceity of anyone who owned a slave and treated that person with benevolence, but owning another human being is still owning another human being, and should be recognized for what it is.

    Though, while I detest slavery as a moral evil, I understand why Thomas Jefferson saw it as a "necessary evil".
     
  14. NiteShift

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    Yes of course. I only meant that it came to us by way of Europe.

    One thing is for sure, we would all have been better off if the institution had never taken root here. We are still dealing with the results, and probably will be for a long time to come. Intelligent men and women in our past, many of them slaveholders themselves, realized the problems they were storing up for coming generations.
     
  15. Bunyon

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    Why don't we just get over it. It is a hundred and 50yrs in the past now. Why do we act as if it is yesterday and all white people were slave owners?
     
  16. Filmproducer

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    It's all in perception. Slavery may have ended years ago, but racial hatred and violence has not, (and this goes both ways). Our country will remain racially divided until we leave behind this "us vs. them" mentality.
     
  17. Bunyon

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    You know FP. I am loosing hope that this is ever going to happen. Because I see the hollier than thou civil rights leaders being more racist than the supposed racist they think they are fighting. And as long as racial divides are subsidized by the government, they wont ever end. In other words, as long as it pays handsomly to be a victim, floks will find ways to be victims and remain victims.
     
  18. Johnv

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    I agree, bunyon, but many who say we should get over slavery can't seem to get over secession. Whassupwiddat??
     
  19. Bunyon

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    I am glad to be a USA citizen even though I have some sympathy with what the Confederacy was fighting for. But like, Gen. Robert E. Lee, I consider the outcome providence. Lee did not question it and neither do I.
     
  20. Johnv

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    Bunyon speaks my mind.
     

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