Slavery in the Bible and Witnessing....

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by RalphIII, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. RalphIII

    RalphIII
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    Hello All,

    I had a debate with a self professing agnostic co-worker and would like some input and direction please. Note: He is actually confused and contradictory at times...

    He (let's say John) claims to have been a Christian at one time having been raised Catholic but attended other denominations as he grew up. He however became turned off to religion because of a lot of poor examples encountered (hypocrites, etc) and as he had many questions of the Bible with nobody addressing them. He is an analytical type (into science), very quirky and an introvert at one point but has gotten better in that regards. This also contributed to his disdain of religion as others apparently shunned him, especially when younger.

    I just started the job a few weeks ago and have quickly gained favor with my co-workers. I'm 48yrs old (btw) and I try to serve as a good Christian "example" via my actions (kind, helpful, understanding, well spoken, etc). In other words, I'm very modest with my Christian demeanor but others quickly pick up that I'm a Christian.

    This particular co-worker (John) has gained a lot of respect for me for various reasons. I'm also quickly becoming a mentor of sorts to another young co-worker (young David). None of this was intended because it may be a short lived job for me, but it's just how it's turning out. We've all become close co-workers.


    ________________________________________________________________


    Anyhow, young David and I took the initiative to help John with a project he was working on. We began talking about various subjects because John is inquisitive and likes to converse with me on many things. Anyhow, this quickly turned into a debate over Jesus, Christianity and the Bible. I could tell he had some disdain and apparent pent up emotions. I've asked him to write down his questions as well as Scripture over the weekend.

    Here are a few questions he initially raised. I have/gave my own opinion but would like to get your input on each point as well. Please provide relevant Scripture and some great sources or authorities as I will be addressing this for him!!!!


    1) He thinks the Bible condones and advocates slavery: Yes, parts of the Bible seemingly does this, such as Leviticus 25:44-46a. However, other parts of the Bible seemingly and explicitly forbid such...1 Corinthians 7:23 "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men". God also had Moses lead the Hebrews out of their oppressive slavery in Egypt...

    BTW, I don't believe the Bible contradicts itself, it's just a matter of getting at the truth or meaning...

    Sin and Slavery is man's doings and it's part of our own condemnation. Slavery was never God's intention for man but we made our own bed by rejecting the will of God. Much of the slavery was self-imposed whereas people sold themselves into it. It wasn't the Hebrews or Jews kidnapping folks and then turning them into slaves as we envision today or with the Old South?


    2) He stated Jesus made no mention or addressed slavery, as to imply Jesus must also condone slavery: I don't think this is necessarily true. Just because the Bible doesn't mention Jesus specifically addressing "slavery" it doesn't mean He never did so with the original Apostles or others and that such wasn't passed down to Christians.

    a. Paul encouraged Philemon to free his run-away slave Onesimus. Paul was of course an important teacher of the Gospel and in fact wrote many parts of the New Testament.
    b. Jesus did specifically say in Isaiah 61:1 “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me...He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound..."


    3) My co-worker also brought up homosexuality, the Chick-fil-A incident, in addition to divorce among Christians and abortions among Christians. He also noted God ordered the killing of both women and children in battle. I will have to follow up later with this one. Your view in regards to any of those things is appreciated.


    4) Lastly, please provide any relevance in regards to the New Testament and Old Testament. Did the New Testament Covenant change the law or perception of any of these things?

    God Bless,
    Ralph
     
    #1 RalphIII, Apr 20, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2014
  2. pinoybaptist

    pinoybaptist
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    Primarily I think your co-worker (as most others, maybe even some on this very board) thinks a Christian is a Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, SDA, or whatever flavor else.
    So, first things first.
    They are NOT Christians, they are denominations among what is called "Christendom".
    Catholics say they belong to Christ, AND Mary, AND the guy in Rome whoever he is, etc., etc.
    Protestants protested originally the doctrines and tenets of their church of origin, the Roman Catholics, but still every now and then, cooes and wooes Mama Rome, that is, many retained some of the doctrines of Rome, like pedobaptism.
    Baptists ?
    Hehehe.. look around here and see for yourself.
    Some here believe man has a free choice, to choose God, or sin.
    Some believe God chose His own people.
    Some write and preach things that will make your hair stand on end.
    As for the SDA and whatever flavor else, you know what that means, methinks.

    Now, slavery.
    Well, the slavery that THIS country went through is not the type of slavery in Bible times.
    The slaves of Americans were kidnapped from their home countries, and then sold to slavery.
    Slaves of Bible times, from what I understand from 'scholars' became slaves because they were deeply indebted financially to the rich of their societies (feudalism is the modern word, I think, in some cases).
    Then others became slaves because they were vanquished in battle.
    Still others became slaves of the rich, but not necessarily because they were in debt, but because they needed the renumeration (domestic helpers, anyone ?).
    Onesimus, the slave of whom Paul wrote, ran away from his master, but the letter seems to indicate he was running away from obligations of debt (if he oweth thee anything, put it on my account, said Paul), which nobody ought to condone.
    He had an obligation to his master to work until whatever he owes is paid.
    At least that is what I understood.
    Others here might be able to elucidate further.
    And Paul was likely pleading for Philemon to not subject his slave to the harsh laws that dealt with runaways, of his time.
    Well, I hope this helps a bit.
     
  3. salzer mtn

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    As far as God ordering the killing of woman and children, God is God, he has a right to do anything he wants too without being questioned by anyone. There are plenty of religious people today that think themselves to be Gods favorites and if one of their children dies or any close family member, they question God as if other people deserve this but not them. Hannah said, God killeth and maketh alive. No one will ever understand God until they see him as all sovereign. We don't ask, has God got the right to do something but it is right, because God does it.
     
  4. ShagNappy

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    First. People cannot comprehend that what was slavery then was not what happened when the European trafficked Africans across the Atlantic to North and South America. Not even close enough to be compared. Slavery in the ANE, and later in Roman times, was not necessarily a bad thing. Most times slaves became a part of the families they served, and most eventually obtained freedom, or either chose to stay as servants to their masters. Actually, it was common for people to sell themselves into slavery to pay a debt. The master would then be accountable for educating them, feeding them, paying them, etc. They would run businesses for their masters, raise their families, etc. Comparing slavery then to the atrocity that happened here is comparing apples to slugs. The Bible simply stated, that if you refused to free them, which you should, you are treat them better then yourself. A precursor to the Master coming as a humble servant to be sacrificed.

    Again, it was a non-issue. Different concept then. Besides, with the arrival of Jesus all believers became slaves to God.

    Homosexuality is not an allowed discussion here. You will have to take this to the private gender section and discuss it there. As for Genocide... horse hockey. What God commanded was that anyone who would not leave the land would be slaughtered. There were only 2 "incidents" of this anyway. And both were not cities as we know cities. Jericho, for example, was a military outpost and any one there who was not military was there to "serve" the soldiers. During the time of the ANE that made them enemy combatants. Besides, most women and children fled and were left alone. Just because God made the command, that the people that were being driven out would receive as well, doesn't mean it happened, or that He intended it to happen.

    Depends... Moral law, Civil law, Ceremonial law? This is the most frustrating thing non-believers go on about as far as I am concerned. A great many of the things they claim God called sin were never sin. A great deal of what God called the Israelites to do, or not do, was to make them different from the other people of the world at that time. He wanted anyone walking passed a Jew to know they were different. Since we are not Jews we are not under the civil and ceremonial laws. We are to be set apart and different by our love for all, our service to God and man, and our taking the message to the world. Salt and light! Display our Hope through Jesus.
     
  5. JonC

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  6. pinoybaptist

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    Somebody even said that if we look at the genealogies leading to Noah, it seems a good number of those people might have been alive during the flood.
    But I don't know about that.
    But you are correct.
    God can do what He wishes with His creation, or with His people.
     
  7. RalphIII

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    Hello All,
    Thanks for the quick response and your initial input! I would appreciate a little more though, especially some Scripture and/or other authoritative scholarly links.

    I fully accept God is in complete control and that He is a just God. He knows what is best for mankind in all His wisdom! So I fully accept God would have had a significant and just reason for ordering the death of women and children in those instances.

    I however will need some historical facts in regards to such. If you have any Scripture or links showing "why" the judgment on those people in part constituted what it did, that would be good. I cannot simply say to an atheist or agnostic, well God is just.


    First, I don't know what the "ANE" is but your points are all very good and as I had concluded. Joseph after all was sold into slavery by his own brothers but became ruler of Egypt next to Pharoah. There are however some remaining issues.

    1. Not all slaves apparently found freedom or were granted such after a period? Leviticus 25:44-46a states slaves could be kept forever; "...they shall be your permanent slaves..."

    2. Not all slaves were treated the same with some apparently incurring harsh punishment.

    a) Again Leviticus 25:44-46a, "...But regarding your brethren, the children of Israel, you shall not rule over one another with rigor."

    b) Exodus 21:20-21 speaks about harsh punishment of slaves but it also serves to clarify some things. Your continued input would be appreciated.

    20 “And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he remains alive a day or two, he shall not be punished; for he is his property.

    How was the Master punished in case he killed a slave? This is definitive Scripture which shows a significant difference to modern slavery as we know. What would constitute a slave to incur a beating? Would he have had to break the law or such?

    Please provide some scholarly reference if possible.



    Have you got anything that I can reference or a scholar who studied the period, places or incidents? How do you know the women and children fled?



    God Bless,
    Ralph
     
  8. ShagNappy

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    ANE = Ancient Near East

    Genocide Discussion:

    http://youtu.be/wI4d-6oqmNc Lots of great information. It's finals week so I am up to neck in studying so this is the best I can do right now.
     
  9. Jordan Kurecki

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    Here's a post by Ray Comfort:

    love apologetics. In fact, "The Evidence Bible" is filled with hundreds if not thousands of them. However, it’s important to know that if you want to be effective in reaching the unsaved not to spend too much time addressing their “carnal” mind with apologetics, because that is where they harbor their hostility towards God’s moral requirements (see Romans 8:7).

    Give them answers, but always keep in mind that the Bible tells us that they are “enemies of God in their minds” (see Colossians 1:21). So we must make sure we do what Jesus did and address the ally of their conscience, using the moral Law (the Ten Commandments). A. W. Pink said,

    “Just as the world was not ready for the New Testament before it received the Old, just as the Jews were not prepared for the ministry of Christ until John the Baptist had gone before Him with his clamant call to repentance, so the unsaved are in no condition today for the Gospel till the Law be applied to their hearts, for ‘by the Law is the knowledge of sin’ (Romans 3:20). It is a waste of time to sow seed on ground which has never been ploughed or spaded! To present the vicarious sacrifice of Christ to those whose dominant passion is to take their fill of sin, is to give that which is holy unto the dogs. What the unconverted need to hear about is the character of Him with whom they have to do, His claims upon them, His righteous demands, and the infinite enormity of disregarding Him and going their own way.”
     
  10. Berean

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    Change the subject, ask him if he has been fishing lately or hows the children doing in little league Hows his golf game. You think you are going to convince him he is lost?
     
  11. RalphIII

    RalphIII
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    If this is the case, how do you ever witness to an unsaved person? Aren't we called to do just that as Christians, so none be lost?

    I will answer his questions most likely in general but as promised. I would however appreciate some input in regards to Scripture and Biblical events. In the end however, my intent is to stress that God is a just God and He desires a relationship with every man, so none be lost. He doesn't desire to punish any man and the world isn't as He desired, but as we have made it through our own rebellion/sin.

    God Bless,
    Ralph
     
  12. Winman

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    As for God commanding to kill women and children, I believe the answer is shown in scripture. It is so these persons would not lead Israel into idolatry.

    Exo 23:28 And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee.
    29 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.
    30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.
    31 And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee.
    32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.
    33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

    If these persons were allowed to live, they would grow up to serve the false gods of their fathers and influence the Jews to serve their false gods.

    Now, I personally believe all small children who die go to heaven, so in a sense God is even being merciful to these children, for if they were allowed to live they would worship false gods and be lost.

    And we actually see this in our own culture, many thousands, perhaps millions of African Americans have converted to Islam in the last 60 years or so. There was a huge movement among black persons in this country in the 60's to convert to Islam, a very notable example was Mohammad Ali, who was raised Cassius Clay and a Christian (his father was Methodist, but he was raised Baptist by his mother). He converted to Islam and certainly influenced many thousands of black persons especially to follow in his footsteps.

    So, many thousands or even millions of African Americans will die and go to hell because of Islam.

    But this was the reason God told the Jews to kill the women and children of those nations they pushed out of the promised land.

    Exo 34:11 Observe thou that which I command thee this day: behold, I drive out before thee the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
    12 Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee:
    13 But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:
    14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:
    15 Lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go a whoring after their gods, and do sacrifice unto their gods, and one call thee, and thou eat of his sacrifice;
    16 And thou take of their daughters unto thy sons, and their daughters go a whoring after their gods, and make thy sons go a whoring after their gods.

    I hope this helps answer at least one of your questions.
     
  13. Gina B

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    The killing of men, women, and children - they were unbelievers. This was before the permanent sacrifice. The wages of sin is death. Believers among these people were saved. It seems another picture among many we see of how salvation works.
    This was war. Were they to raise the children of the enemy up so they could turn against them for vengeance later?
    And just a thought...in this unbelieving group that did not follow the moral guidelines of the believers, is it possible that disease was rampant and it was necessary to staunch the spread of disease by getting rid of the carriers?

    Where your friend sees people being killed, others see a harlot's salvation, justice, and hope.

    I guess it's all in what one considers the truth.
     
  14. RalphIII

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    Thanks for all the replies!

    My co-worker did provide all the Scripture which he has questions with, as seen below. I just wanted to get some input from other Christians to be sure I was proper in my response and as you might have some input/Scripture that I overlooked.

    Most of the Scripture he provided does deal with the Canaanite wars but some of it deals with slavery, virgin wives and a few other subjects. I'm good on most of it but I would appreciate some further input with a few details.

    It's late tonight though, so I will post again tomorrow (Mon) sometime.

    God Bless,
    Ralph






    1. Exodus 21:20-21
    2. Leviticus 25:44-46
    3. Numbers 31:1-24
    4. Deuteronomy 13:15-16
    5. Deuteronomy 20:13-20
    6. Deuteronomy 21:10-14
    7. Deuteronomy 22:23-24 and 22:28-29
    8. 2 Samuel 6:6-7
    9. Joshua 11:18-20
    10. Judges 11:29-40
    11. Judges 21 (whole chapter)
    12. 1 Kings 14:11-12
    13. 2 Kings 2:23-25
     

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