Showing posts with label Slavery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slavery. Show all posts

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Out of this World

“We brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.”

No matter how public our profile in life may be, and no matter how good our intentions, one of the things we cannot take out of the world with us is any rock-solid evidence that we have reformed its institutions or brought light to the darkness of the culture around us in any lasting, positive way. Unlike the changes that Christ brings to the individual human heart, the effect of any changes we introduce into the system will always be fleeting at best.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Colorblindness, Privilege and Inspiration

Dependability is a great thing.

Whenever I find myself with nothing obvious to write about, it’s a huge relief to know that in a pinch I can always rely on Rachel Held Evans to have written something worthy of polite dissection. Today is no exception.

The inimitable Ms Evans holds forth here on the subject of her own “sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” after an unfortunate non-PC slip of the tongue at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Diagnosing the Problem

“Behold, we are slaves this day ... behold, we are slaves.”

“We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.”

You can’t solve a problem unless you know what it is.

John 8:33 records a very strange statement, the second one I have quoted above. It appears to have been made not specifically by the Pharisees or Sadducees (though there may have been some of these present, of course), but more generally, by men who had just made a public confession of belief in Christ.

The statement was this: “We have never been enslaved to anyone.”

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Invisible Chains

“For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”

“We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone.”

There are few things more pathetic than a slave who doesn’t realize he’s a slave. But denial is a powerful thing.

In one of the Pauline epistles, there’s a sad little instruction to slaves not to pilfer. Well, I find it sad.

Think about it. Why would a slave bother engaging in petty theft?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

What Does Your Proof Text Prove? (3)

Jessica Misener at Buzzfeed wrote a piece a while back on “shocking Bible verses” and happened to include this one:

“Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly.”

Jessica’s tongue-in-cheek characterization? “Slavery rocks.”

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Did God Invent Slavery?

If the ongoing debate over the appropriate Christian response to the institution of slavery is not the single touchiest subject currently batted around by evangelicals in multicultural societies, it has to be at least Top Five.

Some Christians, perhaps wisely, dodge the issue entirely if at all possible: “Are there slaves today anywhere in the West? Have there been any for over a century? No? Well then, it’s irrelevant what I think about it. Next question!”

Most of us wouldn’t put it that baldly, but we would be just as happy discussing something else.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Quote of the Day (23)

Intellectual autonomy is a chimera, a mirage, a phantasm, a will-o’-the-wisp.

Most of us make our choices (be they heaven or hell, life or death, blessing or ruination) primarily on the basis of the testimony of others, not because of any independent intellectual exercise. Those who succeed in freeing themselves of the “outdated worldview” characterized by belief in the existence and authority of God have merely accepted the default assumptions of other, much more dubious would-be authorities.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

No Getting Around That

Rachel Held Evans vs. John Piper? Who could resist weighing in? Not me.

Some background: My favorite popular Christian blogger Rachel Held Evans has been sharing with her readers how well ditching “strict gender roles promoted by conservative evangelical culture” in favor of “a relationship characterized by mutuality and flexibility” is working for her and her husband Dan as they welcome their new baby into the world.

Yes, Dan is helping Rachel out by changing diapers, doing laundry, rocking the baby and making pot after pot of coffee.

Bravo, Dan.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Let’s Not Make a Habit of It

What does “sin” mean to you? What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I use the word?

Is it something that you’ve done recently? Maybe it’s something that has been done to you. Or is it some remote, vile and peculiar thing that you’ve never engaged in personally but would like to see eradicated from society?

It seems to me that the Lord never dealt with sin as an abstraction. He never addressed the subject in a merely theoretical way. At the well in Sychar he told a Samaritan woman, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband”. 

That’s pretty specific.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Colorblindness, Privilege and Inspiration

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Political Correctness, the Slave Metaphor and New Testament Truth

Mary C. Curtis at the Washington Post is not a fan of politicians invoking the “slave” metaphor to get attention:
“There are many ways to make a coherent, urgent political point without recalling the rope and the whip, the rapes and murders. Slavery, part of our shared American history, is not just a word … To use past anguish as present-day metaphor trivializes evil and shows disrespect to those who endured.”
But, to be fair, hyperbole is a pretty common device.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Slavery in the Old Testament [Part 2]

Since the accusation has been made that God endorses slavery, I began in yesterday’s post to examine the subject of slavery in Israel to ask whether God, in fact, endorsed it at all. Let’s continue with a second relevant principle to bear in mind.

Two Principles Worth Considering (continued)

As established yesterday, the fact that God tells his people to obey laws in general does not mean they are good laws or that he approves of them.

But this case is different. The objection may well be raised that the Mosaic Law is not like ‘laws in general’ in that it came directly from God, and said exactly what he wanted it to say.

However, even the Law of Moses did not perfectly represent God’s will, preference or desire for his people. This may initially sound a bit heretical, but God was not ‘ok’ with some parts of Israel’s Law, especially when they were slavishly and literally followed rather than used as a guideline to discern a higher, more loving intent. Those who merely followed the letter of the Law doing the minimum possible would inevitably fall short of God’s real purpose.

Principle #2: The Law did not represent God’s perfect will.

The Law in its written form (the ‘letter’) represented whatever diluted version of God’s will that his people might reasonably and generously be expected to follow, given that they were a mixture of believers and unbelievers characterized by stubbornness, selfishness and rebellion from Day 1. And even so, Joshua told the Israelites who promised to obey the law that they wouldn’t be able to keep it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Slavery in the Old Testament [Part 1]

The following quotes are lifted from another blog commentary. Like many comments that appear after blog posts with a sizable audience, they are completely unrelated to the actual topic under discussion. Possibly to their credit, neither the moderator nor any other commenter took the bait these two were dangling.

I, on the other hand, have great difficulty resisting a baited hook, so here goes:
“I have always wanted a slave and from what I can read in MY bible that is totally ok with God right?”
— Emily
“Hi Emily, You see God only let them keep slaves then, because at the time that was how economies worked. There was simply no other way for God to help Israel prosper, they needed to be just the same as the surrounding nations.”
— Minion68
(It ought to be mentioned, in case it is not evident, that the second comment is pure sarcasm, as Minion’s other comments relating to the same post make exceedingly clear.)

From their tone, I get the feeling that both commenters have already made up their minds.