How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
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14-06-2013, 10:54 AM
How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
I've been an atheist since I was old enough to think for myself which is around the age of 9 or 10. I was an atheist before I knew what "atheist" meant. Anyway, I'm 40 now and I'm just now learning about the bible and what Christians believe. I've found that the old testament god is a horrible creature that kills on a whim. I wasn't surprised to find that the "old god" endorsed slavery since he endorses every other immoral act known to this world. However, I found in the new testament where god tells slaves to obey their masters. Therefore it's in both versions. How do modern Christians justify this? Why on earth would African Americans follow this god as so many do? The more I learn about the bible the more confused I am about what Christians believe.
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14-06-2013, 11:23 AM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
Bitches be crazy.

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14-06-2013, 11:41 AM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
(14-06-2013 10:54 AM)matt1162 Wrote:  The more I learn about the bible the more confused I am about what Christians believe.

Hehe. The more christians learn about the bible the less they believe. Drinking Beverage

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14-06-2013, 11:55 AM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
There are various arguments which could be postulated.

One would be that the Bible is pedagogical meaning it leads in a fatherly manner. An example of this is that Moses allowed divorce and then Jesus said that he only allowed because of the Jews own stubbornness and that no one should get a divorce. So one could argue that God started by putting restrictions on what you could do to slaves and then eventually got rid of it altogether as the people used less and less slaves (I don't recall slavery being prominent in Judaea but I could be wrong)

Another thing (in relation to the new testament verse) is that all authority is said to come from God, so one should obey ones master regardless if one is a slave or a hired worker. Of course there would be restrictions on this as no one is allowed to order you to commit a moral evil. Also if ones master is abusive there could be justification to leave.

Also Another argument would be that Slavery is a spectrum. There is out and out plantation slavery. There was the household slavery were the slave was considered a part of the family, there is serfdom, peasantry, wage slaves like the coal towns in Cape Breton that existed until the 1950's where they paid you in company credits that could only be redeemed at a company store and you lived in a company house.

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14-06-2013, 12:09 PM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
Slavery is not condoned in the bible:

1. Kidnapping a person is punishable by death in the Torah, e.g. slaves were kidnapped by Muslims in the interior of Africa (slavery is legal in Islam) and brought to the shores of Africa for whites to transport them to the South. Under biblical law, white slavers in the South should have been executed. The kids who fought for the South were often Christians, the slave masters may have called themselves Christians but could not have been born again. The real problem is people don't follow God's Law under a theocracy!

2. In the NT, Paul admonishes masters to treat their slaves kindly and slaves to serve their masters the same way. The context has to do with satisfaction where one is "called", that is, if saved while a slave or master, deal. "Kindly" can be taken to mean free slave if one is able to do so, etc. The whole book of Philemon has to do with an escaped slave returned to his master and Paul insists that Philemon receive Onesiphorus as a saved BROTHER. The Bible likewise encourages people who are sick without condoning sickness, etc.
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14-06-2013, 12:10 PM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
They use the NT, although I don't understand it, they obey Paul but when Jesus encourages the others to obey the old laws people ignore that. Is paul a better god or something?

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14-06-2013, 12:16 PM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
I feel the exact same way! I've never believed, which makes me a default atheist from birth, and also have the strange experience of coming to learn what Christians believe and that they really do believe it, and what the bible actually says, and that almost no Christians really know what is in it. It's mind boggling!

It was strange enough to learn when I would meet someone who would believe it that, "Oh, you really believe Noah's Arch?! That's not just a story?? A person is supposed to have really lived inside a whale for three days? You actually think that actually happened?!" I had no idea, and those where the easy things to deal with. For me as a born non-believer but with a family background in what was in the bible, it was not a matter of coming to terms with the fact that these things weren’t' real, it was coming to terms with the fact that other people actually do.

This lead me to read more and study more about the bible because I always thought, "how can you believe this bullshit" and rather than simply relying on the Sunday School version, that I learned before we quit going to church at age 6, upon reading what it really said it became even harder to understand how anyone could believe what was in there. I knew the Genesis story because I was exposed to it as a child, but never took it as more than stories. I was too young to be indoctrinated to "know" that it was real yet, and then we stopped go. So I knew about it, but didn’t have any reason to believe it. It was all Santa Claus and Pinocchio. And I never believed in Santa Claus either.

In school I had learned how Southerners had attempted to use the bible to justify slavery, but I "knew" that wasn't in there. I knew enough about life by this point that I realized as long as someone says it's in the bible and someone else wants to believe that it's true they won't question it because it confirms what they want to believe, like with anti gay people. I didn't believe there was anything anti gay in the bible, because why would they waste their time writing about that? That’s not about love and acceptance. That would just make the bible look so negative, it wouldn't make any sense for it to be in there. And Slavery definitely was not in there other than in Egypt, and obviously God was against it there.

I too got a little older and realized, even though I thought the bible was complete made up bullshit I still had my warm fuzzy Sunday School version of the bible in my mind so I thought it was made up, but still mostly good things and sayings, so what could it hurt any? The only parts I've made a point to read where the innocuous parts (though I was too young to realize that the woman eating the fruit first was not innocuous). But when I actually looked up the verse that anti-gay people put on their signs I thought to myself, "Holy shit! God ready does hate fags (the protestors words, not mine)...God's a dick". That's when I first learned that there is not just made up shit in the bible that is bad because it confuses people about science and reality and people misuse it to fight with and kill one another, but it actually is bad in it’s own right.

I still "knew" there was no way it said anything positive about slavery, but one day I decided to do something most Christians do never would think to do. I decided to read the bible cover to cover so that I could actually know what it says when I have to deal with these Christians quoting things to me that contradicted their own quotes that they quoted, but they never seem to see it that way. Well I read that book,...GOD LOVES SLAVERY…holyshit, he LOVES slavery...what the fuck? I realized this book is evil, if evil were a real thing.

I already knew it was wrong, but it was from having actually read the bible, a thing that many Christians say you just have to do and it has all the answers and you will not be able to doubt the "truth" of it anymore. But it is when I read it that I came to realize either, no Christians have actually read this thing, except for the select verses they like, or else they would not be Christians anymore, or they do read the whole thing and they are hateful, evil, immoral people, and from that time on my understanding of what Christians are and Christianity was and is about completely changed.

Reading the entire bible was an amazing event in my life, because it made me realize that I'm surrounded in a world of zombies...it's insane, and I still learn new crazy things about the bible and people's belief all the time, and every time I do it only cements me farther away from it, rather than as they would say that learning about the bible would bring you closer to it. It's insanity...

...
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14-06-2013, 12:17 PM (This post was last modified: 14-06-2013 02:51 PM by KidCharlemagne1962.)
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
(14-06-2013 12:09 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Slavery is not condoned in the bible:

1. Kidnapping a person is punishable by death in the Torah, e.g. slaves were kidnapped by Muslims in the interior of Africa (slavery is legal in Islam) and brought to the shores of Africa for whites to transport them to the South. Under biblical law, white slavers in the South should have been executed. The kids who fought for the South were often Christians, the slave masters may have called themselves Christians but could not have been born again. The real problem is people don't follow God's Law under a theocracy!

2. In the NT, Paul admonishes masters to treat their slaves kindly and slaves to serve their masters the same way. The context has to do with satisfaction where one is "called", that is, if saved while a slave or master, deal. "Kindly" can be taken to mean free slave if one is able to do so, etc. The whole book of Philemon has to do with an escaped slave returned to his master and Paul insists that Philemon receive Onesiphorus as a saved BROTHER. The Bible likewise encourages people who are sick without condoning sickness, etc.

We must have read different bibles. It tells you who can be slaves, for how long, how badly you can beat them etc. What about serving cruel masters even more slavishly?

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14-06-2013, 02:34 PM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
They don't. They ignore it, like all contradictions in the Bible.

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14-06-2013, 02:48 PM
RE: How do Christians justify slavery in the bible?
(14-06-2013 12:09 PM)PleaseJesus Wrote:  Slavery is not condoned in the bible:

1. Kidnapping a person is punishable by death in the Torah, e.g. slaves were kidnapped by Muslims in the interior of Africa (slavery is legal in Islam) and brought to the shores of Africa for whites to transport them to the South. Under biblical law, white slavers in the South should have been executed. The kids who fought for the South were often Christians, the slave masters may have called themselves Christians but could not have been born again. The real problem is people don't follow God's Law under a theocracy!

2. In the NT, Paul admonishes masters to treat their slaves kindly and slaves to serve their masters the same way. The context has to do with satisfaction where one is "called", that is, if saved while a slave or master, deal. "Kindly" can be taken to mean free slave if one is able to do so, etc. The whole book of Philemon has to do with an escaped slave returned to his master and Paul insists that Philemon receive Onesiphorus as a saved BROTHER. The Bible likewise encourages people who are sick without condoning sickness, etc.

Cognitive dissonance at it's finest. Thumbsup

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

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