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Does The Bible Condemn Slavery?
April 6, 2004 | comtedemaistre

Posted on 04/06/2004 10:11:02 AM PDT by ComtedeMaistre

I had an interesting debate yesterday with a group of pro-life activists, who are trying to make their case against abortion, by comparing our society's tolerance for abortion with the tolerance for slavery that existed in America in the 1800s.

I am pro-life, and I am supportive of the goals of the pro-life activists. And I also agree with them that slavery is an outdated practice, that goes against the declaration of independence, and the idea of liberty on which this country was founded.

But I was worried about attempts to misrepresent the teachings of the Bible, about what it designates as sinful or not. It is clear that the Bible prohibits abortion, because in the 10 Commandments, there is an explicit prohibition against killing. Murder was wrong 200 years ago, 500 years ago, or even 2000 years ago, and the Christian Church has always been consistent in its teaching against the taking of innocent human life.

But does the Bible have a similar prohibition against slavery? If it does, I am not aware of it. Perhaps some of you freepers who know your Bible well, can comment on this matter.


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We can all agree that slavery is immoral. But does our society's rejection of slavery stem from the classic liberalism on which our nation was founded, or is there a Bibilical basis for it?

To the best of my knowledge, Muslim societies still tolerate slavery, and their Koran and religious leaders seem to have no objections to it.

Is our objection to slavery based on the Declaration of Independence, or on our religious heritage?

1 posted on 04/06/2004 10:11:04 AM PDT by ComtedeMaistre
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To: ComtedeMaistre
The Koran actively advocates enslaving non-believers. I don't recall reading anywhere in the Bible where enslavement and slavery are advocated. It is true that slavery is accepted in the Bible, but I can't think of anything in it that promotes it.
2 posted on 04/06/2004 10:14:35 AM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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3 posted on 04/06/2004 10:14:41 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
There is something in there about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.
4 posted on 04/06/2004 10:17:03 AM PDT by San Jacinto (Now is the right time for another campaign contribution to Bush/Cheney '04)
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To: Support Free Republic
"Do unto others as you would have done to you." Unless you want to be a slave...
5 posted on 04/06/2004 10:18:45 AM PDT by X-Servative (Surviving in CA...)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
The Bible does not directly condemn slavery. But the Old Testament establishes principles of just treatment of slaves. And the New Testament argues that all men, whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, are equal in the sight of God.

So you can make the argument that Christian principles of social justice and spiritual equality, which draw on earlier Jewish principles, make slavery undesirable and ultimately made slavery vanish.

It wasn't just Americans who outlawed slavery. The Pope pronounced against it early. The British outlawed it. Most of Europe followed. But, even earlier, slavery gradually disappeared in Christian Europe and only reappeared when European explorers encountered it among the Arabs and Africans and started a new era of slavery out of pure greed.

The modern west is the only place where slavery has been abolished. In all other places and times it was taken for granted.
6 posted on 04/06/2004 10:19:07 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
It doesn't condemn slavery. It does condemn slave traders

1 Timothy 1 9We also know that law[1] is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

7 posted on 04/06/2004 10:19:17 AM PDT by Tribune7 (Arlen Specter supports the International Crime Court having jurisdiction over US soldiers)
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To: Paleo Conservative
On this site, the answer is yes, the Bible condemns slavery.

"Then, thousands of years before Abraham Lincoln ever muttered the Emancipation Proclamation, Mosaic Law takes another radical step and bans involuntary servitude altogether in Exodus 21:16: "He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death." Deuteronomy 24:7 states: “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently, or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.” Kidnapping and enforced slavery are forbidden and punishable by death. This was true for any man (Ex. 21:16), as well as for the Israelites (Deut. 24:7)."

http://www.joshclaybourn.com/blog/archives/001448.html

8 posted on 04/06/2004 10:19:31 AM PDT by Enterprise ("Do you know who I am?")
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Timothy 1:10 - For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
9 posted on 04/06/2004 10:20:29 AM PDT by semaj ("....by their fruit you will know them.")
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Your question has had a million answers over the years. Many people have attempted to use the Bible to fortify positions on both sides of the slavery issue. There is no direct "Slavery is bad" statement. But, in my opinion, the major themes of the NT are contrary to slavery. It's certainly hard to see how one could attempt to carry out the second greatest commandment "Love you neighbor as yourself" with slaves.

Fundamentally I think it's silly to use such an analogy in an instance where one is not needed. If there is anything a Christian can stand firm on it's that killing a child is contrary to Christian principles.
10 posted on 04/06/2004 10:21:55 AM PDT by Lost Highway (The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Actually slavery exists in the bible with no condemnation. it actually says for slaves to honor their masters. With that said, an explanation of a type of slavery that existed back then is in order.

Other than captured peoples who were enslaved by their conquerors there was also those who, more or less, opted for slavery. If their debts got out of hand they could go to a rich man who would pay off their debts and they would be "enslaved" for a period of 7 years at which time they were to be released. If they didn't want to be released they could opt for a continuation of that slavery.

There is also a passage about not being a cruel master.

There is more to it than that, but that is a start.

11 posted on 04/06/2004 10:22:08 AM PDT by bibarnes (I'm Rich???)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
When discussing this, one also has to draw a distinction between slavery and indentured servitude. They're not the same thing, but the latter will often be misrepresented as the former.

Qwinn
12 posted on 04/06/2004 10:23:04 AM PDT by Qwinn
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To: bibarnes
*nod* Exactly... the term for that is indentured servitude. I was typing my post before I saw yours.

Qwinn
13 posted on 04/06/2004 10:23:57 AM PDT by Qwinn
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Historically speaking it -- or at least the "push" -- stems from our British backround and kinfolk across the sea. Which, in turn, rises out of 18th c. enlightenment, yada...yada...yada.

We can all agree that slavery is immoral.

Question: Just why do we consider slavery immoral? I mean besides "Well, because it is!" What is it about slavery that we find so detestable as to declare it "immoral"?

14 posted on 04/06/2004 10:24:17 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: ComtedeMaistre
There is no direct prohibition against slavery in the New Testament that I have ever seen. Jesus command to "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" ought to persuade Chistians not to own slaves. But there was no command to foribly overthrow the social order of that day - instead the institution was probably intended to wither away as the people converted to Christianity. Check out the letter to Philemon (regarding an escaped slave, in the New Testament) by the apostle Paul.
15 posted on 04/06/2004 10:28:00 AM PDT by TexasRepublic (Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition!)
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To: Qwinn
Before I got to yours, I was thinking of the difference between indentured servitude and slavery along with Post #11. While the former was lawful and the latter condemned, most think the terms are synonymous but aren't.
16 posted on 04/06/2004 10:28:01 AM PDT by lilylangtree (Veni, Vidi, Vici)
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To: yankeedame
Question: Just why do we consider slavery immoral? I mean besides "Well, because it is!" What is it about slavery that we find so detestable as to declare it "immoral"?

"We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness..."

17 posted on 04/06/2004 10:28:22 AM PDT by Lost Highway (The things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Francis Wayland, author of "Moral Science" (1840ish) had an interesting take on this:

He said that although slavery was condemned by virtue of rational tenets, like "love thy neighbor" (self-evident thuths), Jesus admonished that hearts should be changed by opening the heart of the adversary by judicious application of love. He further calculates that had the Gospel called for personal freedom to be won by violence or flight, that the Roman Empire's movers and shakers would have been hardened in their intolerance of Christianity such that the 'cult' would surely have been wiped out.

It makes sense to me...it worked; but try explaining that to someone...although the MLK devotees should be able to get a handle on it. Ghandi, and all that.

18 posted on 04/06/2004 10:28:32 AM PDT by dasboot (I do not mock. Much.)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
You've gotten some good replies here, particularly from Cicero in Post #6. Remember, too, that what we experienced in the United States, chattel slavery, was different from most other slavery that has been practiced throughout history. Slavery has been a widespread practice throughout most cultures and periods. The Bible did not forbid it, but did not condone it either. Like Cicero said, the Bible was concerned that the practice was just and slaves did have rights and recourse to some justice. Most of the book of Philemon in the NT is about a slave, Onesimus (sp?). Paul basically says to do well what you are expected to do in whatever circumstances you find yourself. However, if Onesimus's owner freed him, then that would be better. But it was not demanded.

American slavery evolved into something else. It was man owning man with few if any rights. It was an entirely different category of practice, IMHO. I do not believe that this type of slavery can be justified in any way by the Bible.

19 posted on 04/06/2004 10:29:19 AM PDT by twigs
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To: Cicero
It wasn't just Americans who outlawed slavery. The Pope pronounced against it early....

By the Pope, you mean, the Roman Catholic Church. And, for better or worse, the Church, particularly in the early years, did not condemn slavery; however, throughout all time it did strongly urge the dying to free their slaves -- either on their deathbed or in their will -- as a finial good deed.

20 posted on 04/06/2004 10:35:16 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Oh, I can take it but I'd much rather dish it out.")
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To: ComtedeMaistre
There were various Biblical reasons for slavery: indebtedness, captured enemies, etc. Others have already discussed the topic of just treatment of slaves.

But the rubber meets the road in this aspect: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Abortion is the killing of a child who has God's gift of life in it.

There is no "Thou shalt not enslave." Nothing of the sort. Slavery is not killing, either. So for someone to try and compare the two makes no sense to me. At best, we're talking about a violation of freedom or civil rights with slavery, which cannot compare to the deprivation of life itself.

[And as an aside, I don't understand the slavery reparation people, either: if they want compensation for past crimes, then the way to go might better be related to the murders of relatives that took place, which have no statute of limitations, and in which the harm is indisputable.]

So I would not entertain the debate, for if handled on the terms of your opponent, you would have to accept that "apple=orange" from the very start.

21 posted on 04/06/2004 10:35:37 AM PDT by alancarp (NASCAR: Where everything's made up and the points don't matter.)
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To: yankeedame
I don't remember the exact dates, but there was a council that discussed Spanish enslavement of the Indians in South America, and the Pope pronounced against it. The Church opposed slavery in South America, but the Conquistadores went ahead and did it anyway. But the practice gradually died out.
22 posted on 04/06/2004 10:40:04 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
I honestly feel like we have to be very careful not to shout where Scripture chooses to remain silent. And indeed, the only explicit prohibition of slavery I can think of in Scripture is the injunction against making fellow Israelites slaves in the Pentateuch. Where Scripture is not silent is when it comes to the treatment of slaves, of course.

I have a feeling that we modern readers tend to conflate our notions of slavery with those of the Biblical era. The American institution of slavery was truly evil in many respects, including the forcible abduction and despicable treatment of (most) of its victims. Thus I think that we could make a very convincing case that Scripture prohibits the practice of African slavery practiced in the United States up until its eventual prohibition.

I think it's much harder to make the case that Christian doctrine prohibits all slavery of any kind. But hey, let's give it a shot anyway, remembering of course what I said in the first paragraph.

The Old Testament is replete with reminders that the LORD God delivered the Israelites from slavery. In addition, the delivery of the Israelites into slavery again was depicted as a punishment. For example, Ezra 9:9 says, "Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage." Thus I do think that there is a general theme that the state of bondage is a harmful or oppresive fate; and if so, it would seem clear that as Christians it would not be acceptable for us to impose that fate on others.

Where this argument gets difficult is that there were explicit commands made to the Israelites to enslave certain peoples. But given that there were also commands to kill certain peoples, and we're comfortable accepting that such practices are wrong today, I think we can argue past that :)

Anyway, this is by no means complete, these are just my thoughts. I wish you the best in your studies.

23 posted on 04/06/2004 10:40:19 AM PDT by mcg1969
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To: twigs
As you say, modern slavery tended to be different and worse than ancient slavery. Another difference was that modern slavery was racist. Blacks were viewed as different from other people, or as not really human. That was, strangely enough, a kind of Enlightenment scientific component. It was connected with the modern idea of Progress and with evolutionary theory, which argued that some "races" were inherently inferior.

In ancient times, it was the luck of the draw whether you were enslaved. Weak or conquered people ended up as slaves, but not because they belonged to a particular race.
24 posted on 04/06/2004 10:42:59 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Thou shalt not steal. Slavery is the theft of an individual's sovereignty of will.
25 posted on 04/06/2004 10:44:19 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: bibarnes
Good point. I would also like to add to that, in the New Testament, the Greek word doulos which is the word translated slave in the slave passages, also means servant and is thus translated in other parts of the bible. Basically it's up to the determination of the translator based on what HE thinks of the context, as to whether doulos is translated slave or servant.
26 posted on 04/06/2004 10:46:34 AM PDT by BSunday (Become a monthly donor. Every little bit helps. Even as little as 3 bucks.)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Your vaniety posts are not news. Put them in chat.
27 posted on 04/06/2004 10:46:35 AM PDT by The Other Harry
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To: spunkets
exactomundo baddabing ping:

Thou shalt not steal. Slavery is the theft of an individual's sovereignty of will.

28 posted on 04/06/2004 10:46:36 AM PDT by dasboot (I do not mock. Much.)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
One of the first problems is the meaning of slavery. Jewish slaves had significant rights that included instant freedom if they were beaten, rights to asylum from other Jews simply upon their request and inheritance rights. A better comparison to modern day is a slave is equivalent to an employee.
29 posted on 04/06/2004 10:48:23 AM PDT by VRWC_minion
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Yes, slavery is forbidden in the Bible now. Check the following:

1 Timothy 1:8-10 - "We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteousbut for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers and mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers..."

1 Corthinians 7:21 - "Were you a slave when you were claled? Don't let it trouble you - although if you can gain your freedom, do so."

Philemon :15 - "Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back for good - no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother."

The reason I say "now" is because slavery was allowed in the Old Testament. Jews were allowed to enslave pagans of other nations. They were not allowed to enslave a fellow Jew, one of the faithful. Believers were to be enslaved only to God.

There are some who believe that this was symbolic, like so much else in the OT, of man's hopelessness without salvation in Christ. Pagans, who were enslaved already with their pagan gods and enslaved by their pagan rulers, were enslaved by believers as a visible reminder of the curse they put on themselves.

Today, the covenant of Jesus Christ is for all nations everywhere. Therefore we have no idea who will be saved tomorrow and who won't be. Therefore slavery is unacceptable everywhere, because anyone can follow Christ, and should therefore be enslaved only to God. So the slavery practiced int he American South, which often involved Christian masters and Christian slaves, was especially an abomination to God. But any kind of slavery is offensive.

The base of the abolitionist movement was made up of a lot of Christians because they understood it to be an issue of the rights of man.

30 posted on 04/06/2004 10:49:01 AM PDT by Zack Nguyen
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To: ComtedeMaistre
I like the letter Paul wrote to Philemon.
31 posted on 04/06/2004 10:49:19 AM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: Cicero; yankeedame
The Catholic Church also came out strongly against slavery on the Canary Islands. I believe that was somewhere in the 13th or 14th centuries.

Qwinn
32 posted on 04/06/2004 10:49:30 AM PDT by Qwinn
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To: semaj
> for menstealers...

Not required for slavery to exist. Someone can (historically... not justification) sell themselves or their offspring into slavery; slaves can be taken in the form of POWs or other military conquest, or a religious, political or ehtnic group might find themselves on the wrong side of the kings views of things.

What I think this means is just that... kidnapping people, like taking someone off the road at night.
33 posted on 04/06/2004 10:49:34 AM PDT by orionblamblam
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To: Cicero
I agree. The racist element was new; in the past, any conquered people became slaves, even those of the conqueror's own ethnic group. The racism inherent in our slavery cannot be defended by any word from the Bible. It's interesting how our perceptions towards other people took a definite dive when we, as a culture, left the Bible as the primary source of truth and adopted science.
34 posted on 04/06/2004 10:50:02 AM PDT by twigs
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To: alancarp
> But the rubber meets the road in this aspect: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Abortion is the killing of a child who has God's gift of life in it.

"Thou shallt not kill" is a commandment that does not exist. It's "murder" which is a different order of things. Now, whether or not aborting a fetus is murder is a separate arguement... but "killing" is permissible (and hardly avoidable).
35 posted on 04/06/2004 10:51:49 AM PDT by orionblamblam
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Gentiles no longer slaves
Gentiles, who were not under the Law of Moses, also become inheritors through Christ, so at this point Paul begins to use the word you again: "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, `Abba, Father.' So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir" (4:6-7).

Since God had given the Holy Spirit to these gentile Christians, that was proof that they were his children, with the right to inherit the promise. They were no longer slaves under a restrictive authority. But what kind of slavery had Jesus redeemed them from?

Paul explains: "Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods" (4:9). They had been enslaved by pagan religions.

"But now that you know God--or rather are known by God--how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?" (4:9). The Gentile Christians, having been rescued from slavery, were thinking of returning to bondage. They wouldn't have put it in those words, of course, but Paul is pointing out that this is what it amounts to.

Apparently they were being tempted with a different sort of slavery than what they came out of. They were being told that they had to be circumcised and that they had to obey the Law of Moses (4:21; 5:2-4). They had come out of pagan principles but were in danger of going back into another set of rules--another nonfaith approach to religion.

(Paul uses the uncommon Greek word stoicheia here for principles of the Galatian heresy, the same word he used in 4:3 for the slavery "we" had under the old covenant "basic principles." The context of the letter makes it clear that the slavery the Galatians were falling back into was an obligation to old covenant customs.)

Paul then mentions one way they were falling back into servitude: "You are observing special days and months and seasons and years!" (4:10). In a heresy that involved circumcision and the Law of Moses, it is not difficult to figure out what sort of days, months, seasons and years were being advocated. The old covenant said a lot about special times.

But if Paul was talking about the Sabbath and festivals, why didn't he say so? It is because the Galatians were coming out of one religion and into another. Paul used words that applied to both religions to point out the similarities involved. Pagan religions had their special days, months, seasons and years; so did the old covenant. They have a different set of days, but it is a similar idea. The Galatians had come out religious bondage, and were going back into a religious bondage.

So Paul asks: How could you do such a thing? Can't you see how foolish this is? Don't you know that this can enslave you all over again?

Paul does not say exactly how they were observing these special days. He did not say they should observe them in a better way or a different way. He just said that the way they were observing them was a form of bondage, of feeling obligated to something that was not obligatory.
36 posted on 04/06/2004 10:51:55 AM PDT by VRWC_minion
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To: Cicero; yankeedame; All
Here, I found some interesting information concerning the Church's positions on slavery historically.

http://users.binary.net/polycarp/slave.html


The Church was pretty consistent in it's opposition to -racial- slavery, which didn't appear in widespread form until roughly the 15th century.

Qwinn
37 posted on 04/06/2004 10:52:53 AM PDT by Qwinn
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To: ComtedeMaistre
This reminds me of a scene from WC Fields.

A friend finds him flipping through the Bible. Shocked at the thought of WC contemplating conversion to the straight and narrow his friend asks. "What on earth are you doing?"

WC's reply?

"Looking for loopholes."

That slavery is condemned in the Bible for the Christian heart is without controversy.

However the Bible is gracious to the unsaved world, advising that by our Christian behavior we can win the lost.

So the Bible advocates first winning the slave owner through example, then it assumes after becoming a Christian the slave owner will of his own accord give up on treating his fellow man as a slave.

Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Not to add to or change the Mosaic law which already condemns slavery.

Do some research on Google about the abolitionist movement. Many whose leaders were preachers and learned theologins, some of them of African descent.

Then look into the darkness of your own heart, and ask God to send you the light one more time on this question. In other words - what would Jesus do?

Finally many of the early Christians were the lowest and downtrodden of the society of that day. Women and slaves made up the bulk of early Christianity.

Why? Because they spiritually found a friend in Jesus. And they truly were felt set free out of conditions they found themselves in.

And who is your friend you might ask...

Read the story about the good samaritan...
38 posted on 04/06/2004 10:53:58 AM PDT by shineon
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To: twigs
> The racism inherent in our slavery cannot be defended by any word from the Bible.

And yet the Bible is the source of that racism (at least today, with the white supremecists), with claims of "mud people" or whatever.

> It's interesting how our perceptions towards other people took a definite dive when we, as a culture, left the Bible as the primary source of truth and adopted science.

Yeah. Damned heretics and their beliefs that the Earth goes 'round the sun... everything went downhill from there! The Inquisition was the pinnacle of human achievement!
39 posted on 04/06/2004 10:54:50 AM PDT by orionblamblam
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To: ComtedeMaistre
The term "slave" in the Bible is different from the term we use to mean slave today. In the OT, quite a few people entered into slavery willingly. The owner had as many obligations toward the slave as the slave had toward the owner. The owner was not to separate a family, and was responsible for clothing, feeding and caring for the family. After seven years of service, the owner was to give a slave the option of being set free, and if he was set free, the owner was obligated to also free his family and give him enough sheep, etc, to start his own herd (that's where the 40 acres and a mule came from). If the slave decided to remain a slave, he was the property of the owner for life.

In some respects, many of the "slaves" in the Bible were what you would consider an unpaid apprentice. After seven years, they were given the choice of striking out on their own, or staying with the company, so to speak.

Also, when the OT mentions slaves in many instances, remember that the fact that the Bible mentions something does not mean that God condones it. The accounts of David and Bathsheba and Lott and his daughters being prime examples.

40 posted on 04/06/2004 10:55:35 AM PDT by Richard Kimball
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To: ComtedeMaistre
After understanding the issue of what a slave is you need to understand that the bible is first about saving souls, not about social justice. Jesus said let the dead bury their own dead. His mission was much more urgent than worrying about the economic systems, which would change once hearts and minds are changed.

The above on slavery in Galations should put Pauls views on slavery in perspective. Slavery was not prescribed but a sense of being a slave to sin was and still is vastly more important.

the argument in a sound bite is that a slave can know and love Christ in the world while an aborted baby cannot.

41 posted on 04/06/2004 10:56:25 AM PDT by VRWC_minion
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To: spunkets
That's true of modern slavery, not so much of historic slavery. In the past, slaves had rights and many were able to work their way out of their status. American slavery was an abomination.
42 posted on 04/06/2004 10:56:29 AM PDT by twigs
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To: shineon
> after becoming a Christian the slave owner will of his own accord give up on treating his fellow man as a slave.

Nice thought, but in practice, the North/South American slave owners simply saw their slaves as less than their fellow man.
43 posted on 04/06/2004 10:57:10 AM PDT by orionblamblam
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To: orionblamblam
I yield that point (kill vs. murder) -- and this thread was started by one who pretty much stipulated the point about abortion and murder. The question here really is, then, whether slavery and abortion are topics that can be equated in debate. I think not.
44 posted on 04/06/2004 10:58:42 AM PDT by alancarp (NASCAR: Where everything's made up and the points don't matter.)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
For the most part Jesus addressed problems within the Jewish culture of his time, and did not mention problems of the Greco-Roman culture (such as slavery, homosexuality, and idolatry). As Paul and the apostles took the Gospel to the world, they addressed these "Gentile" issues based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Christ.

Read the book of Philemon in the New Testament, along with a good commentary. In this book (actually a letter written to a slave-owning, Greek named Philemon, who became a Christian under Paul's teaching), Paul says he has found Philemon's runaway slave (named Onesimus) and, praise the Lord, the slave has become a Christian. Paul sends the slave back, and says to Philemon "by the way, don't you dare punish him" (runways could be killed by their owners under Roman law), "in fact next time you have communion make sure you include Onesimus. I'll be by sometimne to make sure you treated him right." Can you imagine a slaveowner washing the feet of his own slave? That's what Paul was ordering Philemon to do.

Paul knew that slavery could not exist within a society that took Christianity seriously.

45 posted on 04/06/2004 11:04:24 AM PDT by far sider
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To: ComtedeMaistre
African slavery in this country gradually grew worse, particularly after the invention of the cotton gin, where their labor became an economic necessity for some (or so they thought). It didn't start out that way. A key factor in this creeping evil was the argument that Africans were not actually human. That is what is happening today in the debate regarding abortion. The pro-life forces hold that life begins at conception; pro-aborts do not. They are using the same argument that earlier generations of slave holders did--that the unborn are not yet human and do not possess souls, just as the earlier folks held that Africans did not posses them. We should see from our own history that that is extremely dangerous territory.
46 posted on 04/06/2004 11:04:56 AM PDT by twigs
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To: twigs
It was always true. Slaves never had rights, only their coercive masters did. Slavery appeared to be tolerated in the Bible, but here's what God said about it: Matt 19:8 "Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning." The passage applies not only to divorce, but to slavery and other things. He is also not restricting His comment to Moses and his contemporaries.
47 posted on 04/06/2004 11:08:44 AM PDT by spunkets
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To: VRWC_minion
I believe that social justice is the outgrowth of practicing what Jesus calls us to--belief in His saving grace. If social justice becomes the goal, then we lose sight of Him. OTOH, if our society is not just, I would respectfully submit that we are not following what Jesus calls us to.
48 posted on 04/06/2004 11:09:38 AM PDT by twigs
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Jews-- like Jesus-- viewed taking a man's unborn child as a crime, but not on par with murder.
49 posted on 04/06/2004 11:10:59 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative (...He had committed no crime against America so I did not bring him here...-- Worst.President.Ever.)
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To: ComtedeMaistre
Leviticus 25, 44-46 defines how one may obtain a slave, that the slave may be left as an inheritance or may be sold, that Hebrew slaves are to be treated more kindly than other slaves.
50 posted on 04/06/2004 11:14:46 AM PDT by wtc911 (Europe without God plus islam = Eurabia)
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