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  #1  
Old 05-23-2017, 11:37 AM
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Default Slaves Obey Your Masters

Ephesians 6:5-9 Paul wrote: "Slaves obey your earthly masters with fear and reverence, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ... (9) and masters treat your slaves the same way..."

Matthew 6:24 Jesus says "No one can serve two masters... You cannot serve both God and money."

Obviously there are many more verses recognizing, and possibly even condoning slavery.

What are we Christians meant to take from these passages?

How should we put these verses into practice considering things our jobs might ask that go against what we believe in? Let's say for instance, a court reporter who just cot asked to complete the marriage listener for a fat couple?

Should that person obey the law of the land and submit to their masters?

Is it unconscionable to think that anyone trying to take (enslave) that which was given by God, free will (personhood), to be in direct conflict with God's law? Yet there are many instances of slavery being considered and even commented on without the absolute condemnation of the practice.

How can one reconcile any dissonance between the scriptures being inspired by the infallible Holy Spirit but written by fallible men, and then compressed by Constantine, which just so happened to keep human slavery a just action?

I'm well aware of different forms of slavery, but it simply boils down to this, Slaves are not in control of their lives. God created us with free will. How can it be legitimized, for any reason, for one person to enslave another?
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Old 05-23-2017, 4:29 PM
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In those days there were two types of slaves. Those conquered in war and those who were debtors. The latter is the overwhelming majority of slaves. This was actually merciful in many ways. It offered the person a way out of their debt by working it off. They were then set free. A good slave would actually become a member of the family. When set free they then had a network to help them out reestablishing a way to make a living. Of course it could also be quite cruel in breaking up families etc. But it wasn't quite like the slave trade set up by the Africans etc. I am in no way trying to equivocate the institution of slavery. However, at the time that was the way it was. The scripture is simply stating to those slaves that their debts needed to be paid and the contracts that they made for that end needed to be abided by. So, the modern moral of the story isn't to be good slaves. It is to honor your word. If you agree to do something mutually agreed to then abide by it. As usual, context is everything. The New testement must be understood first in the eyes of a first century Greek. Not a 21st century American. This mistake is far too prevalent in modern culture.

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Old 05-23-2017, 5:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RAMCLAP View Post
In those days there were two types of slaves. Those conquered in war and those who were debtors. The latter is the overwhelming majority of slaves. This was actually merciful in many ways. It offered the person a way out of their debt by working it off. They were then set free. A good slave would actually become a member of the family. When set free they then had a network to help them out reestablishing a way to make a living. Of course it could also be quite cruel in breaking up families etc. But it wasn't quite like the slave trade set up by the Africans etc. I am in no way trying to equivocate the institution of slavery. However, at the time that was the way it was. The scripture is simply stating to those slaves that their debts needed to be paid and the contracts that they made for that end needed to be abided by. So, the modern moral of the story isn't to be good slaves. It is to honor your word. If you agree to do something mutually agreed to then abide by it. As usual, context is everything. The New testement must be understood first in the eyes of a first century Greek. Not a 21st century American. This mistake is far too prevalent in modern culture.
^^^. +1000 what Ram said.

I'll add a bit more....

Staying on topic, the bible does indeed talk about slavery, however slavery in terms of biblical times was NOT the same as 18th and 19th century slavery in America. People don't realize that they actually used the Bible to abolish slavery in every nation that Christianity went to, including America. In addition to abolish slavery, the Bible was also used to undo oppression, and to give women their rights to every nation that Christianity went to.

The Bible primarily documents the inspired story of freedom (the Exodus). The bible gives instructions on how slaves should be treated (Deut 15:12-15; Eph 6:9; Col 4:1). Atheists love to see this as the Bible condoning all forms of slavery. As previously noted earlier, slavery in biblical times was very different from the slavery that was practiced in the past. Contrary to popular falsehood and "fake news," slavery in the Bible was NOT based exclusively on race. Sinful man practiced slavery, not God. God had Moses demand freedom for the Jews in Egypt too.

Now, "Man-stealing" which is what America did in the 19th century to Africans, was in fact punishable by death in the Bible:

Exodus 21:16 (NKJV)
“He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.

"Slave traders" were also condemned like murderers:

1 Timothy 1:8-10 (NIV-1984)
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

Deuteronomy 15:12-18 talks about setting a servant free after seven years of indebted service from him/her. It also gives instruction on what to do if the servant doesn't want to go free, but wants to stay with the slave owner for life.

On a side note, here's an interesting piece of history that many of the so called "anti-racists," atheists, secularists and philosophical naturalists are truly ignorant about. In 1934, Michael King Jr changed his name to "Martin Luther King Jr." He did that in honor of Martin Luther; a great (Christian Protestant) reformer who changed the course of history.

Even Martin Luther King Jr made it crystal clear, that the consistent application of BIBLICAL principles will inevitably lead to emancipation, as opposed to slavery. How different from say former president Obama who once said just a few years ago that "the bible teaches slavery." MLK Jr. appealed to the principles of Christian brotherhood in order to bring about racial justice.

You can't convince me otherwise that MLK Jr. (a black man) would embrace the holy bible if it indeed condoned slavery as was the norm here in America over 150 years ago.
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Old 05-23-2017, 5:24 PM
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Well said Trash. Well said.
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Old 05-24-2017, 5:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Sgt. J Beezy View Post

How should we put these verses into practice considering things our jobs might ask that go against what we believe in? Let's say for instance, a court reporter who just cot asked to complete the marriage listener for a fat couple?

Should that person obey the law of the land and submit to their masters?
Comparing a court reporter having to listen to a fat couple to a slave is hardly a fair comparison. The court reporter can quit anytime without getting thrown in jail or getting flogged.
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Old 05-24-2017, 5:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
Now, "Man-stealing" which is what America did in the 19th century to Africans, was in fact punishable by death in the Bible:

Exodus 21:16 (NKJV)
“He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death."
Weren't African blacks sold to Americans at open "markets" by black/arab slave drivers?
That doesn't necessarily equate "kidnapping" - doesn't validate it either.

BTW here's a great resource for anyone with kids in grade school;
http://www.textbookleague.org/35slave.htm
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Old 05-24-2017, 6:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike76 View Post
Weren't African blacks sold to Americans at open "markets" by black/arab slave drivers?
That doesn't necessarily equate "kidnapping" - doesn't validate it either.

BTW here's a great resource for anyone with kids in grade school;
http://www.textbookleague.org/35slave.htm
The open markets were filled by man stealers. So, kidnapping.
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Old 05-24-2017, 7:28 AM
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All I know is Joseph made his brothers people go to work for the Government (Egypt).

Fast forward to Moses freeing those same Government Workers, but calling them slaves.

Make of that what you will, But I do agree there are several different types of slavery in the Bible.
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Old 06-04-2017, 7:21 AM
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The Greek word for slave: dulos has been largely translated as servant of bond-servant in modern translations to our detriment. While bond-servant may be a better translation in a handful of situations, slave fits far better.

The Holman Bible is one of the few that translate dullos correctly.

Where this becomes very important is for us to understand that we are indeed slaves purchased at a price. A slave does not have choice to disobey his master. This opened my eyes and perspective on my relationship with the Savior.

I strongly recommend reading the book Slave:

https://blogs.thegospelcoalition.org...ew-book-slave/
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Mike76 View Post
Weren't African blacks sold to Americans at open "markets" by black/arab slave drivers?
That doesn't necessarily equate "kidnapping" - doesn't validate it either.

BTW here's a great resource for anyone with kids in grade school;
http://www.textbookleague.org/35slave.htm
Race plays no significance on whom the captives nor slave "masters" are/were. Race has no bearing on whether or not they were a "man-stealer," "kidnapper," or "slavedriver."
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Old 06-04-2017, 10:54 AM
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The ancients had no bankruptcy laws. I debtedness was typically managed through indentured servitude, or what the OT calls slavery. Indentured servants had rights and a termination date to their servitude. Biblical slavery has no resemblance to the modern understanding of slavery.
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Old 06-04-2017, 11:14 PM
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The ancients had no bankruptcy laws. I debtedness was typically managed through indentured servitude, or what the OT calls slavery. Indentured servants had rights and a termination date to their servitude. Biblical slavery has no resemblance to the modern understanding of slavery.
^^^ +1000%!

In biblical times, "slaves" termination date usually was during the seventh year of servitude.

Exodus 21:2 (NIV)
"If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.

But many times the slave wanted to remain with the master:

Exodus 21:5-6 (NIV)
"But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' 6-then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.
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Old 06-05-2017, 12:20 AM
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Lincoln abolished slavery in America. The government is not our masters.
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Old 06-06-2017, 5:22 PM
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Lincoln abolished slavery in America. The government is not our masters.
Who suggested otherwise?
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Old 06-06-2017, 6:58 PM
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"God created us with free will. How can it be legitimized, for any reason, for one person to enslave another? "

You don't think pigs, cows, and chickens have free will ? We enslave them and all other animals we eat. You don't think the cops can tell you what to do ? You don't think your boss can tell you what to do ? It's all a matter of degree. We're all slaves. No big deal.
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Old 06-07-2017, 2:56 AM
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Times have changed. And yes there is still bondage and slavery. Women are still bought and sold in variable degrees. People are owned by world systems. The 7 year release mentioned in the bible would have been better then the types of bondage known today...
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Old 06-07-2017, 6:00 AM
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Originally Posted by bbguns44 View Post
"God created us with free will. How can it be legitimized, for any reason, for one person to enslave another? "

You don't think pigs, cows, and chickens have free will ? We enslave them and all other animals we eat. You don't think the cops can tell you what to do ? You don't think your boss can tell you what to do ? It's all a matter of degree. We're all slaves. No big deal.
I don't actually.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:54 AM
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...
How should we put these verses into practice considering things our jobs might ask that go against what we believe in? Let's say for instance, a court reporter who just cot asked to complete the marriage listener for a fat couple?

Umm, what? Being overweight is not a prohibition of God, though Solomon warns of sluggardly behavior in Proverbs being bad for you. Court reporters don't complete marriage licenses. Perhaps you meant a reference to homosexuals and county recorders?

Should that person obey the law of the land and submit to their masters?

If it is part and partial to your job, you should obey your employer up and until the point where it violates God's law or local statutes. After that you have a religious obligation to refuse even if it costs your job

Is it unconscionable to think that anyone trying to take (enslave) that which was given by God, free will (personhood), to be in direct conflict with God's law? Yet there are many instances of slavery being considered and even commented on without the absolute condemnation of the practice.

Free will is an illusion. God knows exactly what is going to happen in advance, so while we have the choices (e.g. free will to choose), God knows exactly what we are going to choose well before we do

How can one reconcile any dissonance between the scriptures being inspired by the infallible Holy Spirit but written by fallible men, and then compressed by Constantine, which just so happened to keep human slavery a just action?

Research, prayer, more research, more prayer. In the end you have to decide where there is inconsistency and why, as some points have been argued for millennia without a clear resolution

I'm well aware of different forms of slavery, but it simply boils down to this, Slaves are not in control of their lives. God created us with free will. How can it be legitimized, for any reason, for one person to enslave another?

Coercion or incarceration does not eliminate free will choices, only limits our ability to follow through on certain choices.
My thoughts in BOLD inline above.
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Old 06-09-2017, 8:08 PM
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^^^ +1000%!

In biblical times, "slaves" termination date usually was during the seventh year of servitude.

Exodus 21:2 (NIV)
"If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything.

But many times the slave wanted to remain with the master:

Exodus 21:5-6 (NIV)
"But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' 6-then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.
12 “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. 13 When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. 14 You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. 16 It shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; 17 then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also you shall do likewise to your maidservant.
18 “It shall not seem hard to you when you set him free, for he has given you six years with double the service of a hired man; so the LORD your God will bless you in whatever you do.

Deut 15:12-18
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by bbguns44 View Post
"God created us with free will. How can it be legitimized, for any reason, for one person to enslave another? "

You don't think pigs, cows, and chickens have free will ? We enslave them and all other animals we eat. You don't think the cops can tell you what to do ? You don't think your boss can tell you what to do ? It's all a matter of degree. We're all slaves. No big deal.
Pigs, cows, chickens are NOT human beings. Jesus didn't die for the sins of animals. You're derailing the topic at hand. Your analogy is NOT germane to the original topic. Besides, man was given title by God to rule ALL of the animal kingdom:

Genesis 1:26
"Then God said, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

Your post fails.
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Old 06-19-2017, 4:59 AM
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In modern culture one could simply translate this as employees obey your employer.
When you think about this it makes for a better day, a person doesn't want to get on his master's bad side.

Also slavery is still alive and well but takes different forms

Proverbs 22:7
"The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave."
How many Americans are enslaved by debt and have to work constantly to pay it in this day and age?

Another form of slavery is the tax system. IIRC Tax freedom day is in May, that means every penny you make up until then goes to the politicians.
For almost half the year you are working for free, that is what slavery is in a nutshell.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:00 AM
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In modern culture one could simply translate this as employees obey your employer.
When you think about this it makes for a better day, a person doesn't want to get on his master's bad side.

Also slavery is still alive and well but takes different forms

Proverbs 22:7
"The rich rules over the poor, And the borrower becomes the lender's slave."
How many Americans are enslaved by debt and have to work constantly to pay it in this day and age?

Another form of slavery is the tax system. IIRC Tax freedom day is in May, that means every penny you make up until then goes to the politicians.
For almost half the year you are working for free, that is what slavery is in a nutshell.
Excellent points.
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Old 06-21-2017, 9:53 AM
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Proverbs 22:7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. As some of the posters mentioned, there wasn't a concept of credit card debt or bankruptcy. So I live under the belief that if you have modern debts like student loans, you're a slave to the lender under a impersonal and sometimes (cruel) relationship when you don't make enough payments.

Now, debt is packaged and sold thousands of times, and the collector may be 3-4 times removed from the lender eliminating the relationship between the two parties. I believe if people had a more biblical, and thereby close relationship to their lenders, debts will be paid faster and on time. The bible has many non-direct financial ways of repaying debt, for example Jacob working 7 years + 7 more years for his goal. These type of non financial ways can't be implemented in modern society, especially when your credit score is getting destroyed and people are blowing up your phones with collection calls.
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Old 06-21-2017, 6:31 PM
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In both passages the issue Jesus and Paul are recorded as saying and writing is in regards to an individuals relationship with God. Basically, if you are a believer in Christ, you will choose to follow Him in all areas of your life. You are spot on in your assessment that "slaves are not in control of their lives." So Jesus and Paul use a physical illustration (not condoning slavery but using an everyday 1st century Palestine practice) to highlight a spiritual principal.

Summary: Christians are not in control of his or her life (flesh) but after accepting Christ they will now live by the Holy Spirit.

Further reading: Galatians
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