Slavery

Discussion in 'Free-For-All Archives' started by Eladar, May 28, 2002.

  1. Eladar

    Eladar
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    0
    Why didn't God instruct His people to free all slaves? Isn't holding someone against their will evil?

    My views on the material world are rather callous. From my perspective slavery isn't an issue, but I don't believe my view is the norm.

    How do the rest of y'all handle God's acceptance of the evil institution of slavery?
     
  2. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Perhaps modern day issues such as political correctness and women's lib, the feminist agenda, gay rights, etc., tend to cloud one's view about the Biblical view of servitude in the day of Moses, Christ, or Paul.
    Perhaps the atrocities of the American past, sometimes even committed and justified in the name of Christianity, tend to cloud one's view about the Biblical view of servitude in the day of Moses, Christ, or Paul.
    The word "slave" has an ugly connotation to it because of the way slaves were treated you learn in your history books. And that is true of history.
    The word "slave" in the Bible simply means "servant"

    Rom 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
    ---The Greek word for "servant," is "doulos" meaning slave. Paul says I am a slave of Jesus Christ. Is this a bad thing put into this light?

    Eph.6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;
    6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;
    7 With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
    8 Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.
    9 And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.

    In the above verses Paul addresses slavery as it was in his time. He did not try to overhaul an entire social system by foolish demonstrations and protests. He worked within the law, and the Word of God. Are the principles that are taught for "slaves" and their masters any different than for employers and employees?
    In Paul's day a well-off man like Philemon might have a "slave" or servant such as Onesimus. He would give him "room and board," and such things as he would need.
    In today's world a wealthy man might hire a maid to clean his house, or even a butler to serve him. Is there any difference?
    The abuses of American slavery are not to be equated with "slavery/service of the Bible.
    DHK
     
  3. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2002
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think it is just like divorce: God did not desire it to be, but because of the hardness of men's hearts, allowed it and regulated it.

    (Mat 19:8) He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
     
  4. Naomi

    Naomi
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Messages:
    370
    Likes Received:
    0
    Slaves?? :confused: I'm still trying to deal with the "pain in childbirth" situation :(
    I have alot of questions to ask when I get to Heaven! ;)
    Naomi
     
  5. Eladar

    Eladar
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,012
    Likes Received:
    0
    SS,

    The Bible clearly states that God hates divorce. God never tells anyone to get divorced, but in the Old Testament God says that certain groups will be slaves to other groups.

    No where in the Bible does it say that God hates slavery. DHK, I think you have some rose colored glasses on if you actually believe that masters didn't beat their slaves. Paul does say that Christian masters are not to beat their slaves. Therefore I'd say that the kind of slavery we had here in the US isn't totally different from the slavery of Biblical times.
     
  6. DHK

    DHK
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    37,982
    Likes Received:
    134
    Among God's people, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, there were all kinds of atrocities committed. In the Book of Judges the Levites concubine was abused all night by wicked men, and the next morning butchered by her husband into twelve pieces and mailed to heads of the twelve tribes throughout the nation. Lot offered his two virgin daughters to be abused all night by homosexuals. Two starving mothers boiled and ate one of their children, intending to eat the other the next day. Some Israelites were guilty of sacrificing their own children to idols by "passing them through the fire," offering them as a burnt offering to a false god. There are incidents of incest, adultery, fornication, murder, and spousal abuse. Yet the law still stood in effect. The Hebrews or the Christians were not permitted to abuse their spouses or their slaves. But both took place. Just because it took place does not make it right. Just because their is mention of it in the Bible, does not mean that that was the norm among Hebrews and Christians. I do not believe abuse was the norm. In fact it was abnormal. There were strict penalties attached to it. This was not so in the history of the U.S., where for a time, "anything goes." All power was in the master's hand to punish, torment, or kill as he willed. The history of black slavery is a sordid one compared to what the Bible has to say about how a master should treat and did treat his "slave" or servant.
    DHK
     
  7. registrar

    registrar
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Just because God says that certain people will be slaves to others does not mean that he mandates that they be slaves to others. There is a difference. I think the key issue is personal freedom. How much does God dictate and actually control the actions of his creatures? I personally believe (from what's going on around me and the story history tells) that God allows much more personal freedom than some on this board are comfortable with. With freedom comes the choice to do evil or good, and many people choose evil. Hence, slavery was prevalent throughout OT and NT times.

    I agree that DHK is wearing some rose-colored glasses. Whatever slaves/servants were called, they were often mistreated; therefore, Paul gave a mandate in the NT for masters to treat their slaves well. I do agree with DHK, however, that well-treated slaves in the OT & NT were more akin to modern-day servants than what we commonly picture as a slave.

    [ May 31, 2002, 12:49 PM: Message edited by: registrar ]
     
  8. Eric B

    Eric B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,806
    Likes Received:
    2
    He acknowledged this. The point was "Yet the law still stood in effect. The Hebrews or the Christians were not permitted to abuse their spouses or their slaves. But both took place. Just because it took place does not make it right."
    So if people's point is "Quit making so much out of slavery in America; it wasn't so bad, because God allowed slavery in the Bible", the American slavery cannot be justified by the Bible, but was rather based on wrested scriptures.

    [ June 01, 2002, 09:44 AM: Message edited by: Eric B ]
     
  9. rsr

    rsr
    Expand Collapse
    <b> 7,000 posts club</b>
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2001
    Messages:
    10,075
    Likes Received:
    102
  10. tragic_pizza

    tragic_pizza
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,395
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anybody stop to think that slavery was different in Biblical times than in the early days of America?

    Slaves were taken as the result of war, OR sold themselves into slavery to pay of debts or gain experience in a field -- perhaps even to travel.

    In specific cases, slaves were also released in the Jubilee year. )Leviticus 25:39-41)

    Slavery in the US was racial in nature, and the result of kidnapping rather than of war. Apples and oranges, as you can see.
     
  11. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    It surprises me that no one here has mentioned that the Southern Baptist Convention was born out of support of slavery and carried that same attitude towards Black Americans into opposition against civil rights during the 1950's and 60's.

    Thankfully, the SBC did finally apologize.
     
  12. tragic_pizza

    tragic_pizza
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2001
    Messages:
    3,395
    Likes Received:
    0
    I live in Alabama. We don't talk bad about the SBC here, 'cause they still know how to lynch in these here parts.

    I'M KIDDING.

    (I hope)

    ;)
     
  13. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    Slavery in the USA was not that much differant from that in Biblical times. It is incorrect to say it was about kidnapping since the African slave trade was run by the Africans themselves. They sold their prisoners of war to Europeon and American traders. Maybe we need to hear Nigeria apologize for their part in the slave trade. It was not totaly racial either since in some parts of Louisiana Free blacks owned black slaves.

    The SBC was not borm out of slavery but there were many differances between them and the Northern Baptists. The SBC apologizing for slavery was as silly as Walmart apologizing for slavery since the SBC never owned slaves.

    While I don't agree with Slavery it is easy for us to judge the past when it was an accepted institution. Many slaves, specially household slaves (and I am not talking about just American slavery) lived better than the poor who were not slaves. Every race on the face of the earth has been slaves at one time. In Romans 16 Paul greets the various members of that Church who were made up of aristocrats, middleclass and slaves as working together in the church. I don't think the institution was viewed as evil by 1st century people since it was so established and considered part of ordinary life.
     
  14. trying2understand

    trying2understand
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2001
    Messages:
    3,316
    Likes Received:
    0
    The 1995 SBC resolution on racial reconciliation says otherwise. It admits the SBC has it's roots in the support of salvery and that it's members owned or supported the ownership of slaves and later opposed civil rights for Blacks in America.

    This is a fairly recent and public document. It should not be difficult for you to confirm it for yourself.
     
  15. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
    Expand Collapse
    <b>Moderator</b>
    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 4, 2001
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ezra 10:10-11 Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, "You have been unfaithful and have married foreign wives adding to the guilt of Israel. "Now therefore, make confession to the LORD God of your fathers and do His will; and separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives."

    A slight correction to your misstatement regarding divorce. God did command the Israelites to divorce the foreign wives.

    As for slavery and the SBC, to my knowledge, no one in the current owned slaves and no one alive was owned by anyone in the SBC as a slave. Therefore, any apology was purely form over substance. It was no problem to admit and recognize the sins of the forebearers, but this modern idea that we have to apologize for things we did not do is based in an existential philosophy rather than any actual theology.

    What is interesting is that while people here are arguing that slavery is wrong and should be done away with, Paul under the inspiration of the NT did not argue that. He never told slaves to rebel, fight for their freedom, run away, etc. He told them to be submissive to their masters. That is an important point for today's theology and I think it goes right to the heart of the weakness of the modern church. Many are using the church to try to transform society from without. Paul taught that society would be transformed from within. The mission of the church is not the stamping out of what we consider social ills. It is the transformation of the human heart through the life changing power of the gospel. Until the heart is changed, societal transformation will be surface at best, hypocritical at least, and have no real value in spiritual life.
     
  16. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am well aware of the 1995 SBC resolution and it was a silly resolution by well meaning people. Slaves were owned by individuals that included Anglicans, Methodists, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Jews etc...Should all these Churches and Judaism apologize for Southern slavery?
     
  17. Eric B

    Eric B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,806
    Likes Received:
    2
    Alot of [guilt-ridden] Conservatives use this excuse, but for one thing, those African slave traders may have not even known what they were selling their countrymen into. their goal was certainly not to destroy them as a people or a culture as the West did.
    Plus, who were the Christians in the matter? We cannot excuse something like that because "they did it", all the while putting down their "savagery" and "paganism" (Just like when some BJU defenders excused the dating rule as "part of the etiquette of the south" when the school supposedly is against such "compromise with the world"). Indentured servanthood was certainly allowable in a Christian context, but just because it often devolved into brutal chattel slavery where people were castrated, the women raped, etc. and totally devalued as people does not make it right. The slavetraders acted like they were God over these people, and this cannot be reconciled with scripture.
    And there was still kidnapping as well, like Kunta Kinte, who was free and had only gone off to fetch something for his family. I forgot which came first, but even if Africans may have sold some of their own to the Europeans, that did not give license to do what they did.

    Alot of this is based on the idea that the people and organizations today are profiting on the past. This may be forgivable, but what I see as ther biggest problem is that many won't even at least admit it was wrong, (like in all the pronouncements of how pre-60's America was so "godly", despite all those horrors) and also refuse to see how that has affected the people who were victimized by it, and their descendants (effects like that don't just disappear all of a sudden, but people keep thinking "what's wrong with them? That was so long ago; why don't they just get over it. Actually, there is documentation in which it was planned to have such a long term effects, but most people aren't aware of that). There is alot of narural guilt (that makes people so defensive in the first place), but if people would at least come to terms with it and acknowledge the wrong of the past more, then issues like reparations would have less opportunity to take hold (I see it as ultimately a futile issue that can actually become a straw man that can hurt (invalidate) the entire cause of civil rights).
    This is true, but it also goes the other way. I always found it ironic how those who cried the most "The Bible does not tell us to end racism", would then be the forefront in trying to end sexual sin and make the public schools teach Christian doctrine and prayer. Once again, this stemmed from a belief that the race issue wasn't even wrong.
     
  18. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    EricB,

    I know nothing of [guilt-ridden] :D Conservatives but it is ridiculous and revisionist Liberal history :rolleyes: to say African slave traders may have not even known what they were selling their countrymen into. They did not look at them as their countrymen since they were prisoners of war and assumes African culture is united (It is as ridicolous as saying Japanese, Philipinos, Koreans, Chinese are countrymen) Africa is a Continent not a country. Even the African hero of Amistad fame according to many sources went back to Africa to be a slaver trader himself (In other words if true he was for his freedom not everybody). You assume the Africans were ignorant when slavery was an accepted part of African culture and they cared less about what the Europeons did to these slaves they sold.


    You also stated,

    In what way? Yes, the British and the French Imperialism often was brutal but no more than that of Shaka Zulu's Zulu Empire which butchered totured and enslaved other African tribes. I do not know of the west destroying their culture unless you believe the Christian missionaries sent into Africa were wrong for preaching Christ to those worshipping stones. I have met many people from Africa and I do not see where they have lost their culture but most I know are very intelligent and articulate and very dedicated Christians.

    You are correct the Slave trade was a evil enterprise as John Newton found out by the grace of God. Your error is that you present the African nations as innocent victims when in reality they prospered in enslaving people. My church participates in sending blankets to Sudanese Churches and slavery is still a real thing there and in other African countries.

    [ June 02, 2002, 02:20 PM: Message edited by: Kiffin ]
     
  19. Eric B

    Eric B
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2001
    Messages:
    4,806
    Likes Received:
    2
    I didn't literally mean of the same country, but rather "fellow-Africans"
    I was referring to what happened to Africans brought over here who were made to hate temselves, and society continued to portray us as some dumb goonish lipped jungle bunnies who are only good enough to be slaves. (BTW, You've been over to the music board, on the side of those who accept contemporary. Where do you think all that criticism of the "African beat" behind the supposed "sensuality" and "demonism" of the modern styles comes from?) Of course, those who remained in Africa, even Christianized parts, did not suffer this as much, and even the West Indians retained more of their culture. And those here are now trying to reclaim the culture (but unfortunately, this may include the religious aspects as well, since Christianity had come to be associated with the west, since it was the West that said that to be Christian was not only to give up stone worship, but also to become Western in every other respect--the music being a big case in point).
    But This is precisely the assumption conservatives make. It's they who have been portraying the Christian West as innocent and undeserving of so much criticism with the focus on the evil of the victims ("Oh, they sold slaves themselves"; "oh, they worshipped demons and were backwards, so we actually did them a favor by bringing them over here", "our society was so godly until these liberals came with their agendas", etc. as if that justified what their fathers did). But when you reemphasize the wrong on their side and how the supposed moral inferiority of the Africans was blown out of proportions, then it's "Oh, so you're saying it was the Africans who were so innocent and peaceful...". But nobody is saying that. It's not one side is innocent or the other. Scripture has concluded all under sin, and just like our original parents, we point to the other when confronted with our sin. Of course, most liberals do not believe this, and in decrying racism may tend to focus on the West's sins and ignore the African's sins. "Sin" is not the point to them, just the issue at hand. But to us, we must acknowledge the sin on both sides. I'm not saying you don't, but just blaming "liberal revisionists" for the whole issue is what I am challenging.

    [ June 02, 2002, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: Eric B ]
     
  20. Kiffin

    Kiffin
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    2,191
    Likes Received:
    0
    EricB,

    I do not believe the West was not at fault nor do I think our ancestors were as godly as we often potray them. There never has been a Christian nation and never will be on this fallen earth. I do accept that the west did evil things in Africa but I also accept the fact that the African kings themselves did evil things as well. Your overall points are well taken and are valid. The problem with modern revisionist history is the opposite of ignoring or intentionaly ommitting that the Africans had a part in slavery and were not innocent bystanders but were partners with the west in this enterprise.
     

Share This Page

Loading...