Christians: how did you figure out slavery was bad, when the bible never speaks against it not even once ?

19 Answers

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    I really think that people who raise this objection are missing the point. If you'll permit me, I'll set the stage by talking about slavery, ancient and modern, because in our culture the issue is understandably charged with overtones that it didn't have in the ancient world. In his book "Race and Culture," African-American scholar Thomas Sowell points out that every major world culture until modern period, without exception, has had slavery.

    While it could be be tied to military conquest, usually slavery served an economic function. They didn't have bankruptcy laws, so if you got yourself into terrible hock, you sold yourself and/or your family into slavery. As it was discharging a debt, slavery was also providing work. It wasn't necessarily all bad; at least it was an option for survival.

    Please understand me: I'm not trying to romanticize slavery in any way. However, in Roman times there were menial laborers who were slaves, and there were also others who were the equivalent of distinguished Ph.D.'s who were teaching families. And there was no association of a particular race with slavery. In American slavery, though, all blacks and only blacks were slaves.

    That was one of the peculiar horrors of it, and it generated an unfair sense of black inferiority that many of us continue to fight to this day. Now let's look at the Bible. In Jewish society, under the Law everyone was to be freed every Jubilee. In other words, there was a slavery ban every seventh year. Whether or not things actually worked out that way, this was nevertheless what God said, and this was the framework in which Jesus was brought up.

    But you have to keep your eye on Jesus' mission. Essentially, he did not come to overturn the Roman economic system, which included slavery. He came to free men and women from their sins. And here's my point: What his message does is transform people so they begin to love God with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Naturally, that has an impact on the idea of slavery.

    Look at what the apostle Paul says in his letter to Philemon concerning a runaway slave named Onesimus. Paul doesn't say to overthrow slavery, because all that would do would be to get him executed. Instead he tells Philemon he'd better treat Onesimus as a brother in Christ, just as he would treat Paul himself. And then, to make matters perfectly clear, Paul emphasizes, "Remember, you owe your whole life to me because of the gospel."

    The overthrowing of slavery, then, is through the transformation of men and women by the gospel rather than through merely changing an economic system and impose a new order. The whole communist dream was to have a revolutionary man followed by the new man. Trouble is, they never found new man.

    They got rid of the oppressors of the peasants, but that didn't mean the peasants were suddenly free. They were just under a new regime of darkness. In the final analysis, if you want lasting change, you've got to transform the hearts of human beings. And that was Jesus' mission.

    It's also worth asking the question: How did slavery stop? The driving impetus for the abolition of slavery was the evangelical awakening in England. Christians rammed abolition through Parliament in the beginning of the nineteenth century and then eventually used British gunboats to stop the slave trade across the Atlantic.

    While there were about eleven million African who were shipped to America, and many didn't make it, there were about thirteen million Africans Africans shipped become slaves in the Arab world. Again it was the British, prompted by people whose hearts had been changed by Christ, who sent their gunboats to the Persian Gulf to oppose this.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Ok then. How would you correctly translate 1 Corinthians 6:9 : Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, NOR HOMOSEXUALS? Romans 1: 18-32. How about that passage? You can't change the bible to fit you; you change to fit the bible. If you are going to question the translation certain verses of the Bible you might as well question the whole thing in it's entirety. How about an Old Testament scripture? Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination". Was that mistranslated too? Also on the off chance that you are right, which by the way I highly doubt, I would rather err on the safe side.

  • Ray G
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Do you need instructions to walk around a tree? The Bible gives us very plain and simple rules for the ethical treatment of slaves. There is a right way and a wrong way to do anything. The most recent incident of slavery that we think about in America is that of the blacks before the Civil War. Many of them were not being treated according to the rules of the Bible and that made it wrong. That society was going about it the wrong way. Nowadays, slavery would be an unsound investment, even if you did do it right, according to the Bible. With modern tech, you no longer need to keep hoards of humans to work for you.

  • Lowly
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Slavery still is bad. The girls that Pres Clinton helped to free from North Korea were trying to highlight the plight of those sold, betrayed, or otherwise sent into lives of slavery between Korea and China...and other destinations. The rescue was well publicised, not so well public the reason they were arrested in the first place.

    I guess my question back at ya is ...are you doing as much as christians...or even Bill fight modern day slavery?

    Source(s): article of some interest in the fight against injustice hope the link works !
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  • 1 decade ago

    The first enslavement was in Egypt, but the curses in Duet 28:48 Duet 28:68 speaks of what happened to black people here in America. Joel 3 also speaks on it too.

    Youtube videos: American black people are the people from the book and the second one is biblical curses of black Israel.

    1) Judah: African-Americans (Blacks)

    2) Benjamin: West Indies/Caribbean

    3) Levi: Haitians

    4) Ephraim: Puerto Ricans

    5) Asher: Colombians/Uruguayans

    6) Gad: North American Indians

    7) Issachar: Mexicans

    8) Simeon: Dominicans

    9) Manasseh: Cubans (Formerly known as Dan)

    10) Zebulon: Guatemala/Panama

    11) Naphtali: Argentina/Chile

    12) Reuben: Seminole Indians

  • 1 decade ago

    Wow that's dumb.

    You really haven't read the Bible have you, or a History book for that matter?

    Even in the old testament it stated that if a run away slave came to hide on someones property, they didn't have to give them up.

    Paul expressed how the masters should not treat slaves as work animals but as human beings. A slave even escaped and ran away in the new testament with the apostle pleading that the former master not take the slave back.

    All these were stepping stones for Christians to slowly but surely eliminate moral wrongs of society.

    uneducated troll = unsuccessful troll

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The Bible is a muddled contradictory mess; some passages support slavery others say slavery is bad.

    Christians (as did everyone else) only figured out slavery was bad because of the shifting moral zeitgeist which is derived through our evolved sense of altruism and enacted by the advancement of our social contract, not because some archaic babble said so.

  • Bobq
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Ownership of slaves is practiced only among the wealthy, or the upper class. The cultures that recognize the dignity of each individual were the first to be repulsed by ownership of another human being. Judaism obviously used their religion to justify and keep the status-quo.

  • 1 decade ago

    Read Deuteronomy 23 15-16, but I am guessing you have never read the Bible!

  • cheir
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Bible is neutral about the issue:

    1 Corinthians 7:21; Were you called while a slave? Do not worry about it; but if you are able also to become free, rather do that.

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