Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

Question for Christians: what do you think about this bible passage?

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

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    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.

  • 1 decade ago

    Slavery was a common practice throughout the world in those days. most people lived in and around walled cities, what we would call city-states. when they fought. the winners would take captive all who remained alive at the end of a battle and they became slaves. If you had slaves you could sell them if you chose. So the practice of slavery became a big business.

    A close reading of Levi 25:44-46, shows it is not an endorsement of slavery, but simply rules by which the people of God, were to conduct themselves. If you look close at this statement, it indicates that God was anti-slavery. He forbid the people of Israel to make slaves of their own people. That was not the case with the rest of the peoples around them.

    A lot of verses like that one get pulled out and used in an attempt to make God look unjust or as having a cold-heart. All these verses, when studied it the light of historical events, prove otherwise.

  • 1 decade ago

    The biggest issue among Christians is the fact that the Bible was written by people, not God. I do not personally believe all that is in the Bible. People make mistakes, so the Bible will have mistakes.

    Slavery is not right, morally or ethically, so in turn that makes this statement from the Bible incorrect. This was written by a 'prophecy' saying that this is God's word. And as God is perfect and we know he did not write the Bible, we know that not everything in the Bible is true to His word, or what He wants.

    We as Christians can only make the best choice possible when reading the Bible in deciding what is true and correct and what is not.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It means past adherents of the Abrahamic faith who did reside in Israel could indeed purchase those who are residing in Israel or passing through were free to sell to them slaves but not other "Israelites".

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think it was a concession to man's hard hearts, much like the guidelines given in the OT for divorce (per Jesus) but far from God's highest plan and hope for his people.

  • 1 decade ago

    Christians don't follow many of the old testament teachings

    we follow the new testament, the old testament is just there to show what the difference is between right & wrong, seeking justice & having mercy, etc.

  • 1 decade ago

    It was another time. At least God told them not to enslave their own people.

    Leviticus 25:44-46 (21st Century King James Version)

    44Both thy bondmen and thy bondmaids, whom thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen who are round about you. From them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.

    45Moreover of the children of the strangers who sojourn among you, from them shall ye buy and from their families who are with you, whom they begot in your land; and they shall be your possession.

    46And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession. They shall be your bondmen for ever. But over your brethren, the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigor.

  • Inconsistent garbage

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    They'll say it's out of context or it doesn't count because it's from the Old Testament and god didn't love us yet in the old testament. Or some such nonsense.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. (John 8:34)

    Are you FREE or a slave?

    Source(s): If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)
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