Religion and Slavery

A person who often replies to this blog…and me…are in a discussion on slavery in the Bible.

I feel that by condoning the practice in many places in the Scripture, the Bible is letting us know that Christianity and the Bible is not ‘Divinely Inspired’ or the actual work of a God.

For those who want to look it up, here are a few places to go:

Exodus 21:4-6 Guidelines for buying, selling, treatment, etc.
Deuteronomy 15:15-17 Handle your maid slaves
Exodus 21:7-9 Sell your daughters into.
Joel 3:8 Sell off your sons and daughters
1 Timothy 6:1-2 Masters are worthy of honor
Matthew 10:24 and John 13:16 Masters are better, maid slaves be submissive in ALL ways
Ephesians 6:5 and Colossians 3:22 ‘Slaves obey your master’
10 Commandments, numbers 4 and 10 recognize and therefore give tacit approval to slavery.
Matthew 8:5-13 Jesus heals Roman centurions slave while praising centurion.
Luke 12:47 Jesus recommends the beating of slaves.
Matthew 24-25 Jesus reminds slaves they are not better than their masters.
Neither the Old nor New Testament condemns slavery. By not condemning, there is tacit approval given.

There is Christian Apologetics out there that try to minimize what they were teaching and practicing.
It took secular leaders and common people to finally get together and condemned it. As you know a war was fought over it…surely a God would know this, and put a verse in the Bible to call Christians together to end slavery…never happened.

If you put yourself into the position of the writers of the Scripture and realize that they were brought up seeing slavery all around them. Their fathers and grandfathers and so on were brought up with the practice all around them. Some of them were slaves maybe. There was no thought that slavery is a BAD (unless you were one) thing…that a God would not allow it, or condone it. So they wrote slavery into the Bible as common everyday stuff.

One of the lines of apologetics for slavery follows:

Another crucial point is that the purpose of the Bible is to point the way to salvation, not to reform society.” http://www.gotquestions.org/Bible-slavery.html

I believe that yes…religion, God, and the Bible’s purpose IS to reform; not only society, but also man himself. This Bible is used all the time as an example to reform man and society. Jesus was set up to be a shining example of how a human should be.

So the Hebrews did not realize when they wrote their ‘holy text’ that slavery wasn’t normal, it wasn’t a Godlike thing to do, and a real God would not condone enslavement. This of course speaks to the Bible not being inspired by God, but written by man.

And lets not forget all those Old Testament babies being bashed against the walls, and the pregnant women being run through with a sword…at God’s direction. No amount of apologetics can explain these actions as the works of a loving God.

The only reasonable explanations for all of the carnage, rape, murder, torture, and slavery that is recorded by the old Hebrew scribes and Paul is…it is a product of human minds…not a God creature.

“Once there was a time when all people believed in God, and the church ruled. This time is called the Dark Ages.”

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Did God Give US Free Will?

Do we REALLY have free will?

Some of the best known Christians in history have taught there is no free will, including St. Augustine , Martin Luther, and John Calvin. The Christian Bible states in many places that God creates our future and decides our fates. It constantly denies that we have free will. If God knows exactly what will happen, (Being omnipotent and omniscient of course) the status of choices as free, is questionable.

“Praise be to [God], who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will-to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1:4-6 NIV

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:4-10 NIV

“For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” Romans 8:29-30 NIV

“Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad – in order that God’s purpose in election might stand: not by works but by him who calls – she was told “The older will serve the younger”. Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated”. What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” Romans 9:10-15 NIV

“It does not therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed on all the earth.” [Exodus 9:16] Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” ” Romans 9:16-19

“[God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, ” 2 Timothy 1:9 NASB

All people living on the Earth will worship [The Devil], except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to [Jesus].” Revelations 13:8 NIV Pretty much the whole thing

Schopenhauer talks of free will and moral responsibility thusly:

“Everyone believes himself a priori to be perfectly free, even in his individual actions, and thinks that at every moment he can commence another manner of life. … But a posteriori, through experience, he finds to his astonishment that he is not free, but subjected to necessity, that in spite of all his resolutions and reflections he does not change his conduct, and that from the beginning of his life to the end of it, he must carry out the very character which he himself condemns….”

So what is one to make of all this? Christians, today tell me that I have free will and it is by my own choice whether I go to heaven or hell. But, then you read Revelations 13:8 (above). Of course this is just one of MANY inconsistencies to be found in that confounding book; the Bible.

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