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Slavery and the Bible

As a follow-up to our discussion about interpreting and applying the Bible to a changing world, let’s look at the way the church has re-focused its view of the Bible and slavery.

Looking back, we now see the inhumane and horrendous nature of the abduction-and-racially-based slave trade supported by many church members for a significant period in our history. But let’s also look at how many church members in England and the United States clung out of self-interest to some isolated texts of the Bible, without considering the larger issues of justice, and mercy, and without comparing the social and cultural conditions that changed between the times of Old Testament Israel, the New Testament Church, and our national founding fathers.

Imagine being non-African, colonial land owners who are profiting financially through the human slave trade, while knowing that Moses regulated slavery; that neither  Apostles Paul or Peter called for the end of slavery; and that both urged  Christian servants to submit even to cruel and abusive masters.

How could we have ended up on the side of the abolitionists in light of the fact that the New Testament repeatedly says things like, “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (1Peter 2:18-21).

Today, it doesn’t take being of African ancestry to see the enormous humanitarian evils of of abduction-based, involuntary,  human slavery, let alone the most basic principles of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. But look what happens if we focus on inspired words to ignore the plight of others,  while overlooking what our Lord called “the weightier matters of justice, mercy, and faith.”

Yes, some will think that treating any text of the Bible as being temporary counsel based on social conditions— rather than as an expression of God’s unchanging will– opens the door to what some us us would call “the slippery slope.” But I’m guessing that first century religious leaders would have thought Jesus was walking on that slippery slope when he said, while knowing full well the importance of no-work Sabbath policy,  “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day” (Luke 14:5)?

Seems to me that sometimes it is necessary to carefully climb down a slippery slope of Bible interpretation and application to get to those who have fallen into a pit on our “Sabbath”…

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45 Responses to “Slavery and the Bible”

  1. BruceC says:

    Very good Mart. Wonder what the Lord thinks of us when we use Scripture incorrectly to support “our” view? You are 100% right. Wonder why those involved in the slave trade never thought of Christ’s words to do unto others as you would have others do unto you. If they did and truly took it to heart the slave trade would have ended. But the greed of human nature trumped it out so to speak and God’s Word ignored or used out of context. And here we find ourselves; an “enlightened race” in the 21st century and slavery still taking place. Just the thought of it revolts my innards. What many don’t know is that it wasn’t all the fault of white people in pre-emmancipation America. Tribes in Africa were capturing those of other tribes and selling them to the slave traders as a way of escape and making money or getting goods in trade for themselves. I am far from racist. But many civil rights leaders don’t even want this brought up. It goes way beyond race and includes those of different nationality or religious beliefs also. The Nazis used the Jews for forced labor the entire length of WWII as an example. Perhaps the worst cruelty of all is to use God’s Word to support this activity.How fallen man is and how in need of true enlightenment that can only come by faith in Christ.

  2. dep7547 says:

    I think the slave traders probably did think of the words “do unto others…” they just tried to cover up their offences with “good deeds” such as feeding them–of course it was not the choicest foods that they were fed with! To honestly evaluate English/American history, we must also consider that there were far more people that were adamantly against slavery than for it; they simply did not possess the finances to make their voices known. Tragically, however, it is these impeded voices who still shoulder most of the burden of responsibility for the actions of a few priveleged individuals whose descendants continue to reap rich rewards from the incivility of their ancestors.
    I agree with you BruceC, there are many civil rights leaders who prefer to cover up the misdeeds of their cultural heritage. The problem with this scenario is that it continuously silences the voices of reason on both sides of the issue and replaces them with voices of opposition. There must be something in our nature that causes us to submit because even after being warned by God of the consequences of seeking a king, Israel, themselves, sought after such leadership.
    Because this topic runs as deep as the blood in all of us, I am going cut this short for fear that it already sounds racially charged–which is not my intention. With that, I prayerfully submit these words. God bless you all!

  3. SFDBWV says:

    The history of slavery in the world goes back as far as known history has been recorded. In every culture and people.

    It would also seem some slaves accepted their fate while others longed for freedom. There where more than one slave revolt in the Roman era. The best known of course was Spartacus.

    The old golden rule…Thoes who have the gold make the rules.

    I would have to say that in todays “enlightened ” society slavery is considered “barbaric” at it’s least. Yet in all the Islamic nations slavery is still practiced. Where there is slavery, there is slave trading. Even today. What do the “enlightened” nations of today do about it????? Nothing! Just like it has always been.

    In the Garden of Eden, there were no slaves. Yet Adam and Eve were the property of God and subject to His rules. Disobedience came with a very severe punishment.

    The laws of Moses which God gave, came with instruction as to how to deal with slaves and even how to become a slave by ones own choice.

    The NT instruction to slaves, seems to me to say, except your fate, do well, honor God even as a slave. It does not condone the owning of slaves.

    The redeemed heart of believers came with a conscience. To brutaly take away anothers freedom as the slave owners did, can find no agreement in scripture.

    People will forever find a way to condone wrong behavior. Just like people today who see it as ok to commit adultery, lie, steal, bear false witness, even murder. And twist the word of God to give credibility to bad behavior. This is human nature, not Christ like behavior. The ownership of slaves in early America was no different. It was an economic matter.

    Yet isn’t it ironic, that any of us would gladly submit to be the slave of Jesus Christ…..

  4. carlj says:

    This topic made me think that even though a lot of people feel that enslaving someone against their will is wrong and detestable, are we not guilty of enslaving certain races by our opinions of them. I remember growing up in the 60s and listening to members in our church being so concerned that as the result of the Civil Rights Act, Black people would begin attending our church. I also remember hearing ministers use the Bible to justify segregation and even hear people today use scripture to justify that people should not marry outside of their race even though the origional intent of the scripture was to caution Jews not to marry non-Jews and Believes not to marry unbelievers. Isn’t the real problem that many of us still hold a lower opinion of certain races?

  5. poohpity says:

    Wow this was a good tie in with the marriage disconnect. We can take any part of the scripture and bend it around to be proof of treating someone like less than. With the marriage thing I noticed that some used it to grant the dominance of one over another and again with the slavery. It seems also that way with the rich and the poor. I guess one could find anyway they wanted to for the purpose of domination, superiority, and self importance. I thought it was wonderful how Paul addressed this issue in Gal 3:28 ;There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus. He also mentioned that the bondage we had was to sin. I would add that of thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought.

    Even in the OT the main focus is to love God and to show mercy and justice to others just as it has been shown to us. The slavery in the law it seems people had to sell their self to someone to be able to feed their family. Also God repeatedly reminded them they were once slaves in a foreign land and to treat people and aliens (i.e. Ruth) with compassion because they know how it felt.

    Gosh I love it how everything in scripture eventually all wraps around everything else. It all comes to the conclusion of what Jesus said was the greatest commandments; To love God with all your being (my words) and to love others as God has loved you (my words) but the meaning is there. That fulfills it all.

    Gosh don’t you just love our God we are all on the same ground with Him.

  6. Mart De Haan says:

    Really good perspectives this morning. Thank you!

    Got to thinking that since I’ve been focusing on the interpretation and application of some “submission texts”, might be time and important for me to say that I’m convinced that love and humility-based submission for the sake of God and others is a central and core value of the Bible.

    What I’ve been hoping would come through these posts and conversations is the shared awareness that every follower of Christ is asked to adopt a servant role to others rather than Lording it over them. That includes husbands, masters, and elders– not just wives, slaves, and children.

    Our example for this is not Jesus sitting on his throne as the head of the church, but the Son of God letting go of his rights, adopting the form of a servant, and surrendering himself to the suffering that was necessary to pay the price for our rescue.

    In the process, Jesus’ submission was not passively servile, but courageously loving– to seek our good.

    Seems to me that “submission” , like leadership, is not in itself morally good. Submission can be courageously loving, or pathetically self-centered. The issue is our motive and wisdom in surrendering our own rights, whoever we are, in order to seek the well-being of those who depend on us.

    In the kingdom of God/Christ, no one is above or beneath the call to be a servant… of Christ…and of those who in one way or another need our attention, respect, and love…

  7. poohpity says:

    This comes at a time in my life when I am faced with the decision to move in with my mom. My mom really knows how to be verbally abusive to me but on the other hand with her cancer I know she doesn’t want to be alone these last months. This is a very big struggle for me and what you wrote makes me think I need to lay aside the abuse for her welfare. When I think about this I just cringe inside and hate to give up what I feel is my freedom from oppression. This is quite a hard dilemma for me. I know it sounds like a duh choice but it is really hard for me because I want to do what the Lord would have me do but I have a hard time denying self.

  8. rokdude5 says:

    Believe it or not, slavery still exists today though most people wont recognize it. A lot of illegal immigrants will come to the States only to be caught up in situations where they are forced to work grueling hours and/or forced to engage in crimes including prostitution.

    Some say that some of the Somali pirates were actually shanghied and forced into the piracy or be tossed into the open sea.

    Should any of these folks be truly and humbly submissive engaging in crimes? I cant imagine it to be the case. Would you? Should we?

    God didnt creat the institution of slavery but just like anything, He can turn things around to His glory. I would like to think that in some slave families, a mutual love and respect began to grow. And it grew to a point where the ultimate act of love and grace, the slave owners granted freedom to their servants. Keep in mind a lot of freed slaves did return willingly to their masters when the Civil war ended. Some of those duo-family still have reunions to this day.

    Also keep in mind a captain who quit dealing with transporting of new slaves from Africa because of the barbarbic treatment wrote one of the most beloved hymn ever….”Amazing Grace” by Capt. John Newton.

    Lastly, is there any distinction between being a “servant” of God as a oppose to being a “slave” of God? I know who I want for my Master no matter what the title is even if its “Slave Assistant.”

  9. Laurielee says:

    In reading the Bible, I don’t see where it TELLS people to take or keep slaves, it just refers to it as a matter of “being”, the way of the world. However, I have seen people use the fact that we have come to see slavery as wrong and the way women were treated to justify throwing out issues where God SPECIFICALLY said not to do it. Homosexuality, for instance. At at some time, If you are agreeable to it, Mr. Mart, I wish you would do an article on it.

  10. poohpity says:

    Thank you for the words of encouragement. I have been the only person in my family that has ever had counseling and a lot of healing. None better than what I have received from the Lord. I think that is where the dilemma lies, to be back in the same environment I have healed and grown out of. The people that have tried to live with her have left because of the verbal abuse, that includes a sister, a grandchild, me, and a friend. My mother is a believer and years ago it seemed that the Lord was changing her heart and behavior but over the last few years the old behaviors have come back. I guess that is why I am so sensitive to how people talk to each other especially Christians. This topic along with all of God’s Word repeatedly tells us that what comes out of the mouth reflects or heart. That includes how we treat spouses, each other and how we think of ourselves. It all seems to go together. People need to realize the damage of words on a persons soul and even what we think about status in life, slavery or any other thing that demeans a human being.

  11. daisymarygoldr says:

    I am a slave! Non-African, Non-English and Non-American… Yes, you heard it right and I mean both in the literal and spiritual sense. Literally speaking, being paid for a 8 -5 job which involves work that goes beyond 24/7, project deadlines that force me to sacrifice my hunger and sleep and the nature of the service I render is such that I can neither complain nor quit. To my earthly mind all of that is nothing but plain cruel bondage of slavery right now in the 21st century… in a land where I do not have the liberty to enjoy the rights and freedom of a citizen… not by choice but due to circumstances.

    However, when I see it all with the mind of Christ, the drudgery turns into delight and my slave-job becomes a serving-joy. I recognize that in serving human masters and those who are in need, I am serving God- my heavenly master. So, masters or slaves, husbands or wives…the Bible teaches us to be “faithful” and honor God in everything we do….just the way Christ submitted Himself to the father and humbled to become a servant.

    Spiritually speaking, slavery is all the more wonderful to me. I was enslaved to my sins when Christ paid the price to deliver me from its cruel chains. Today I am free and no longer serve sin. Instead I am a bonded slave of Christ and my desire is to serve Him alone with all of my mind, soul and strength! Hence, I am proud to be a slave and consider it the highest calling of my life. And the wonderful part? …is that within the Body, there is no slave or master. We are all one….children of the same Heavenly Father!

    With that understanding of slavery, my service to Christ who is the Lord of the Sabbath, includes serving others…serving them even on the Sabbath. In doing that I do not see myself climbing a slippery slope and I also do not see the Church which is rescuing the fallen on the Sabbath… to be walking on slippery slope. Isn’t the Church already actively demonstrating justice, faith and mercy? I’m sorry… I think as always I am missing the point you are trying to make…

  12. poohpity says:

    Beautifully put dmg and I do not feel you missed the point at all.

  13. drkennyg says:

    Wow what an important issue to think about. I grew up in suburban Philadelphia as a middle class child in a stable family. We were Lutheran and my mom had been a 2nd grade teacher in Philadelphia with an all black classroom. My dad was a civil engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We were taught not to develop prejudice yet my sinful nature did in fact lead me to have many prejudices throughout my life. It was a way of feeding my shameful self-importance. Fortunately my brother was much better at life than I and became born again in the 70s. I have had many discussions with him and indeed he helped me a lot in finding Christ. My church was the final worldly influence and I was reborn in 2003. Bible study and church activities has since brought some fruit.

    Poohpity I really like your posts and I hope that your mom is not as she was before and that maybe you can have a positive effect on her life now. Jesus washed the feet of His disciples before His final death on the cross for us. This was to show that His purpose was to serve and not be like a traditional earthly king but to be our Lord and Savior

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Deborah, I thought you already lived with your mom. As things progress she will need more help and supernatural love from you. She can only hold power over you that you give to her.

    Many people in pain are abuseive to others. It is a strength God will give to you and will grow in you to over look the abuse and just smile and say I love you.

    My prayers are for you to do the right thing and show your mother, Christ through you. Up to the end.

  15. BabyJ says:

    I have been reading this blog for many months now, but I have never felt compelled to post a message on my own until now.

    Carlj, I completely agree with your sentiments that the bigger problem now is that many of us harbor unequal attitudes towards people of other groups. This has not and will not change because of a “minority” in the White House. These attitudes are not solely subject to race, but to all differences. Of course the world would be a much better place if we could learn to love each other for being human and not punish one for the sins of another. Alas we are only human, some of us striving to be more like God, but still only human. As a black female, I know I fall short many times on showing love and forgiveness to my fellow humans for situations that happened years ago. The hardest thing to do for me is forgive those who have wronged me or my family personally. The knife seems to cut deeper when the subject of the matter has racial undertones. But I rejoice in that fact that God is still working on me. That he is teaching me everyday how to look at people for the humanity, not the color of their skin, not their politics, just that they are human. The fact that he is growing me, gives me hope that he is also working on others.

    There was a comment made earlier about the fact that Africans sold their own people into slavery. Slavery in Africa and slavery in America were diametrically opposed. I am not condoning any kind of slavery. Granted my ancestors sold their kin to the slave traders. However, from my studies of history, the characteristics of African slavery were much different from those in America. American slavery lasted the entire lifetime of the slaves. While some American masters where “good” to their slaves, many were not. The physical, sexual, emotional, religious, and mental abuses suffered by the American slaves were not evident with the slaves of Africa. At some point in African slavery, the slaves were afforded the same rights, liberties and opportunities as their masters. Though American slavery no longer exists, many American blacks are still waiting for the same opportunities that others have.

  16. mtman says:

    I was raised in the 40-50’s which was before the civil rights act. I recall the joy when I heard it was passed. I first witnessed prejudice when I was traveling with two of my black friends in the military. We crossed the Mason Dixon line and the bus pulled over and ordered my two buddies into the back of the bus. They obediently got up and went to the back and I went along. The bus driver said I could not be in the back as I was white. I refused to move unless they allowed my buddies up front. We sat on the side of the road for a very long while before my buddies convinced me to go up front or I would be making it worse for them. That still makes me angry!! We were all airmen, serving together, willing to fight and die for our country and each other, worked together, sweated together, worship together, slept together, shared about everything together but we could not sit together on a Greyhound bus. Then I found out we couldn’t even use the same drinking fountains. Aren’t we still slaves to our prejudices? Don’t we make slaves out of ourselves? Yes they can kidnap people and sell them into slavery but more than that we enslave ourselves with out prejudices, narrow mindedness, and myoptic views. Aren’t we slaves to political mores by labeling ourselves one way or the other? I think American slavery still persists and will until we can accept each other as fellow human beings and equals it will prevail for a long time.

  17. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    My understanding of what Mart is saying is at different times in society the Bible has been manipulated to suit the desires of man versus the true intent of God’s word. The Bible was and has been used to uphold slavery and many other forms of injustice. The truth that we know exists in God’s word needs at all times to be applied with Godly wisdom and sometimes that can be seen as a slippery slope when observed by others. Christian interpretation and application can sometimes overlook the intent of the heart that is reaching down the slippery slope and be misinterpreted.

    If I am in error in my understanding of this I don’t resent correction. Your post as always was great.

    I never knew my mother until I was grown and after meeting her I worked at having a relationship with her. I am so thankful that I had the time to get to know her. She was not perfect but she was my mother and I loved her. God be with you in your decision.

  18. daisymarygoldr says:

    Thanks for the clarification, gr8grannyjacobs!
    poohpity, praying for your Mother’s health and your move-in with her…

  19. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    People who thought you were breaking the law by healing on the Sabbath by my interpretation saw the healing on the Sabbath as a sin or at least walking on a slippery slope. They thought God’s law was being broken. They were well intentioned (maybe) but were wrong. Sometimes we have to reach out to people in unconventional ways to share God’s love and we can be misunderstood by other believers who have a mind set on exactly how the reaching should be done.

    Sorry if I offended you was only trying to help.

  20. poohpity says:

    I currently live with my two sons, one is in college and the other is looking for work and starts college in the fall. I also have the responsibility of all my mother’s finances as well as my household but I haven’t lived with her for many, many moons.

    I went to South Africa summer of 2007 and the treatment of the black population is horrible and in the north the damages done to women and children is absolutely shocking. It does not really make a difference what country one lives in what humans have done to other humans takes my breath away. Even being in the 21st century what still happens in Africa is overwhelming and very shocking. Slavery is still alive and growing there. Even the colleges are geared toward services like housekeeping or working in the hospitality field. The women are so oppressed there we can not even fathom.

  21. daisymarygoldr says:

    gr8grannyjacobs, no I’m not offended. I meant to say that you did help me see the point more clearly:) and you are right, that we have to reach out to people in unconventional ways to share God’s love and that’s exactly what I meant when I asked in my comment- Isn’t the Church already engaged in reaching out to people in unconventional ways? Some in my family work in “red light” areas to reach out and provide physical and spiritual healing…and rescue those that are hopelessly enslaved. I see the church right here in this country, and have friends who are actively involved in all kinds of outreach ministries…reaching out to set the captives free… out on the streets and inside the strip clubs. They are not climbing down a slippery slope and they are not misunderstood by other believers… hence my question: what is the point of this subject when the Body of Christ is already reaching out to rescue the fallen… even on the Sabbath? Is it to reiterate and encourage what is already being done or is this to point out what the church is failing to do? Never mind my Qs gr8grannyjacobs, but thanks again for listening!

  22. SFDBWV says:

    Ok I will open up the dialog with a quote from Genesis 9:25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his bretheren.
    :26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shal be his servant.
    :27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

    Ham’s trespass against his father caused Noah to curse Ham’s generations as servants to his other brothers.

    I am sure that slavery proponents used this passage of scripture to validate slavery.

    Did Noah have authority from God to curse generations of Ham’s decendants?
    Why did the Holy Spirit include this event into the writen word?

    My questions are for the purpose of discussion. I in no way agree with cruelty or slavery of any peoples.

    Tho there are many who voluntarily submit to the slavery of sin. God provides a free way out of such bondage. Jesus Christ.

  23. Mart De Haan says:

    Thanks for giving me a chance to talk about a video series that we did on Africa and the Bible…The Myth of a Cursed Race.” In short, the idea is that the curse was on “Canaan, the son of Ham”.

    You can see the video by going to our Day of Discovery site at: http://www.dod.org/

    Once there to to the “Viewable programs” near the top of the page and look in the list for the first in the series of Africa and the Bible.

    We worked with host Wintley Phipps and the series is, I think, one of the most important we’ve done because it addresses the myth that African people are destined by God to be a “servant race”.

  24. carlj says:

    The aspect of servanthood within this context makes sense to me. Since Jesus spent a lot of time emphasizing servanthood and the enemy orchestrates situations to get us to thinking on ourselves rather than servanthood, there must be a part of our being that is unlocked when we practice servanthood both in attitude and application. What is so crucial about servanthood that the enemy battles against it and attempts to blind us to it?

    Jesus taught that when someone asks something of us we should go above and beyond what they asked. Or, if someone mistreats us we should show kindness. And, if someone asks what is different about us because we don’t get bogged down in our personal situation or political issues or social issues, we can be ready to give an answer. I once heard someone say that suffering is fertile ground for the gospel.

    To lift myself above this current world to see the bigger picture is a challenge.

  25. Mart De Haan says:

    Because this subject has such explosive implications, am going to copy here an excerpt from the Bible Knowledge Commentary. It’s a bit long– but shorter than the video I’m pointing to above :-) (which I still hope some of you will watch when you have time)…

    9:24-29. Because of this incident Noah prophesied about his sons’ descendants. He began with the direct words, Cursed be Canaan! However, Noah was not punishing Ham’s son for something Ham did. Instead, Noah’s words referred to the nation of Canaanites that would come from Ham through Canaan…Noah’s oracle predicted that the Canaanites would be in servitude to the Shemites and Japhethites (vv. 26-27). But this was because the Canaanites lived degrading lives like Ham, not because of what Ham did. The point is that nationally, at least, drunken debauchery enslaves a people. This is why, in God’s program to bless Israel, the Canaanites were condemned. They were to be judged by God through the Conquest because their activities were in the same pattern and mold as their ancestor Ham.

    The Canaanites would have to be dispossessed from their place by Israel under Joshua in order for blessing to come on Shem (v. 26) and for the Japhethites to dwell in the tents of Shem (v. 27). This meant that the Japhethites would live with the Shemites on friendly terms, not that the Japhethites would dispossess the Shemites. So verses 24-29 actually set the foundation for Israel’s foreign policy in the land (Deut. 20:16-18
    Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-c1985). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (1:41). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

  26. gr8grannyjacobs says:

    I know exactly what I am trying to say but can’t seem to write the words correctly to convey my understanding or meaning. Will try again. Jesus died for our sins but that was not the understanding of His day. He died because He went against all the beliefs of the church of His day. He correctly interpreted God’s word and used the word with the perfect interpretation.He was seen as a sinner. People looked at the law and their own interpretation versus the true meaning of the scripture. We have much of that same behavior today and have throughout history. Thus we condoned slavery using the Bible as our defense and overlooked the weightier matters of justice, mercy, and faith. Perhaps I misunderstood what Mart was saying or misinterpreted his meaning……

    Steve the Samaritan woman was the first thought in my head at reading your post. Established beliefs prevented Jesus to even speak to that woman and yet He did. To some that was interpreted as a slippery slope but we know how it ended. The verses you quoted could have been used in condoning slavery but was that the true intent of the scripture? The Myth of a Cursed Race is well worth watching as I have viewed it several times.

    It is probably obvious why I don’t teach Sunday School to those above three. Truly I am here to learn and grow.

  27. SFDBWV says:

    Yes I would recomend that everyone watch “The Myth of a Cursed Race” As RBC does, it is a superb and marvelous explanation of The scripture of Genesis concerning Ham’s son Canaan’s curse.

    gr8, hindsight is a power we all possess. Like biblical prophesy we really aren’t able to understand it until it unfolds whereby we can “see” it. Even though we are suppose to “see” it with faith and spiritual eyes. In Jesus’s day even though the religious leaders had the “Word” they didn’t understand it and often misinterpeted it to mean something else alltogether.
    We have the aid of the Holy Spirit, but often we too are guilty of misinterpetation. For many a reason.

    Historicaly, the enslavement of people didn’t exclude any race of people. conquered people became slaves of the conqueror.

    Sin is no different, we are enslaved to sin by being conquered by it.

    But God Himself has provided a Savior, Jesus the Christ.

  28. poohpity says:

    We are a servant of righteousness, grace and mercy. If I am held captive to anything it would be the love of Christ. So no matter what our outward circumstances are, our identity is in Christ Jesus and we have a choice to serve righteousness or evil. That was what I found so appealing about those who were under great oppression their hearts and souls were made strong by their beliefs in the freedom of Christ.

    Any story in the present day that I have heard about physical imprisonment or slavery, those have had success within because they were given great faith and have overcome great obstacles. It is like with the Lord there will always be an exodus from bondage.

  29. SFDBWV says:

    Physical actual slavery still is being practiced today. What should we as Christians be doing in order to stop it?
    In most of the countries that practice slave trading, Christians are at risk and missionaries are a favorite target of the current administation’s thugs.
    What of the “white” slave trade we hear about concerning women in the sex trade? How do we help in doing something about our disgust concerning slavery?
    Do we just talk about it?

  30. poohpity says:

    I think we can do more than talk. I believe we can get involved with lobbying and there are ways to change legislation. There are different internet sites that tell you how you can get involved. I am a member of the ONE campaign which helps with the world’s poverty and aids/hiv pandemic along with malaria and other diseases by writing congress and the senate. It is at ONE.org. That is only one organization there are many more dealing with women and the sex slave trade. You can be a voice by changing the laws because you have to care for Matt so some stuff you can do from your computer. Any little help can turn into big changes.

  31. Helmet says:

    We lived in a small town for two years, then, government opened border for croup land owners to bring ‘pick ups’, we did, and a neighbour told my husband ‘oh it has a big box’ talking about the back side. ‘you are able to go to oaxaca (one of the most poor states in mexico)and bring it back full of women, the younger they would be the more money you can get for them’ ¿why? ‘men here, woul buy them from you, buy for wives or to keep the house’ ¡¡!! we knew women were brought like oxes standing in pick up’s back side, their parents in oaxaca sold them for some coins.
    But, if the Bible doesn’t talk about slavery to end, is, I think, because we don’t want it to.

    Just take a look, any sin we fell in, take us as slave isn’t it? If I smoke, if I lie, if I take gossip in my mouth and ears, what we see, what we do, any thing that don’t glad to God. I think we can be focus in our vountary bad slavery, and be willing in the best, our voluntary slavery to Jesus. Then, we will be pleasing God when others see our behaviour, watching how we deal with our boss, husband, the transit police, all authority, and so our neighbour… my grandfather told a pastor, when a man spit at his face and just clean it to keep preaching, “I want what you have” and he received it, Christ in his heart. That pastor was a Christ slave, didn’t he?

  32. sitsathisfeet says:

    I agree Helmet I think the best we can do is bring Christ to others, one heart at a time. I have a friend who works in the schools teaching to gang members. She makes no apology for her belief in christ and never fails to talk about it with her ‘kids’. I am too scared to work like she does, but her kids respect her, call her mom or mamma, and ask her about God. For some it is the only exposure they will ever have to the gospel. She recently told about one of the kids who wanted to leave the life, but if he did he would be killed, unless he were to go unknown somewhere far away with a new identity. My heart goes out to her and those kids she is teaching and living Christ to them.

  33. bkalcorn says:

    God created man to be His servant but, after the Fall man became a slave to sin. bka

  34. SFDBWV says:

    Thank you Helmet, for bringing me back down to earth. You are very right. As long as slavery or drugs or pornography are desired by people, someone will provide it form them.

    But forced slavery is unconscionable behavior and I think any forced cruelty perpetrated against another human being is sin.

  35. poohpity says:

    God only made one race. Dependent upon where there live they adapted to the environment which maybe how they developed different characteristics. Caucasian is about the most diluted of them all. We all came from the same family tree, I bet that befuddles your mind.

  36. poohpity says:

    What type of credentials would impress you? You might read the first 11 chapters of Genesis if you believe the bible is true and then you could Google human beings common ancestry and DNA results. When you study both the puzzle pieces will fit together and then you will be able to form your own opinion. The only credentials I have that matter in this area are that I believe the bible and scientific research has not proven it wrong.

  37. sjd says:

    I enjoyed watching the “The Myth of a Cursed Race”. Thanks for pointing it out.

    Mart says “Seems to me that “submission” , like leadership, is not in itself morally good. Submission can be courageously loving, or pathetically self-centered. The issue is our motive and wisdom in surrendering our own rights, whoever we are, in order to seek the well-being of those who depend on us.

    In the kingdom of God/Christ, no one is above or beneath the call to be a servant… of Christ…and of those who in one way or another need our attention, respect, and love…”

    I say, Amen

    Gary, you might want to check out http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aig/race-definition.html
    or just google as poohpity suggested, as there is a lot of good information out there for you to learn from. Not that I need it, but scientific research suports the common ancestory as has always been taught by the Bible, as seen in Genesis 1-11. I pray that you will find the answer.

  38. SFDBWV says:

    Gary, If it’s credentials you seek then you’re at the wrong place. We are ordinary people sharing our faith and walk in Jesus Christ with each other.

    While we all have various opinions they are just that, our own opinions on whatever matter the topic may be.

    You question of race inferes a division of people. Yet there is only one race. The human race. If you are a secular non Christian you may believe the things that modern science would have us believe about evolution.

    Yet for me I believe what the bible tells me. One thing the bible relates is the geneology of man from Adam to you and I.

    How we developed different skin color is better explained by a geneologist. Yet from a laypersons view, I would imagine inbreeding and clans were the original culprit. Then there is the selective breeding. Just as God showed Jacob concerning cattle and sheep. To obtain the color results desired. I can only play the game of guessing? But maybe God allowed this to test us. To see if we could see past a persons skin color to the person inside.

    Good luck in your quest for answers Gary. God will help you see and understand.

  39. Mart De Haan says:

    Good discussion and responses. There are so many things we don’t know about why God does what he does. I find it interesting that when Miriam and Aaron criticize Moses for marrying an Ethiopian woman, God is still considering Moses faithful and the most humble of men (Numbers 12).

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