Christian Thought of the Day

Sep 2015
13,443
4,928
Brown Township, Ohio
Saul was a Roman tax collector but on road to Damascus saw the light and changed his name to Paul. Paul met the Good Samaritan on the road to Damascus.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2010
64,833
25,702
Colorado
Exactly how it's written. When Paul wrote this, slaves were considered property and not people. There are all sorts of laws in the bible about not eating shelfish, not wearing clothes made of two fabrics, and even not sitting in a chair where a women on her period has sat in the last 7 days (Leviticus 15:19-33).

But God apparently didn't have the ability to say "Don't own people as property."

Don't even get me started on Exodus 21 where God lays out the rules for how to own, treat, trade, and trick slaves into owning them for life.
Don't get me going on the OT period. When I tried for decades to defend the "inerrant" Bible, I finally concluded that the OT was the record of how the benefits even of being "God's favored nation" were useless to "redeem" the hearts and minds of human beings.

Are you familiar with, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here"?

The Gospel, in the story, isn't a declaration of a secular revolution in which slaves are freed. It's an announcement of the coming Kingdom of God on earth. In the story, the Devil offered all the kingdoms of the earth to Jesus:

Luke 4:5-7
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Slavery is a part of this world system. The advice in Ephesians basically was given to keep the Christians who were slaves from running afoul of the authorities.

As an aside, what is debt besides self-imposed slavery?
 
Dec 2018
870
533
Wisconsin
Don't get me going on the OT period. When I tried for decades to defend the "inerrant" Bible, I finally concluded that the OT was the record of how the benefits even of being "God's favored nation" were useless to "redeem" the hearts and minds of human beings.

Are you familiar with, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here"?

The Gospel, in the story, isn't a declaration of a secular revolution in which slaves are freed. It's an announcement of the coming Kingdom of God on earth. In the story, the Devil offered all the kingdoms of the earth to Jesus:

Luke 4:5-7
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Slavery is a part of this world system. The advice in Ephesians basically was given to keep the Christians who were slaves from running afoul of the authorities.
IT I respect your opinion. But this type of dialog is one of the biggest tragedies of Christianity. Otherwise intelligent people have to tie themselves into knots to defend slavery. The bible not only permits slavery, it explains how to buy slaves, trade slaves, beat slaves to unconsciousness as long as they don't die within 7 days, etc. We are not talking about indentured servitude. We're not talking about giving people a residence in exchange for service. We're talking about owning people against their will as property.

And forgive me if I'm misunderstanding your position on the OT, but I get irritated when people try to push the OT aside and focus on the NT. For one, the OT makes all the prophecies that Christians claim are fulfilled in the NT. So if you push it aside, those prophecies don't mean squat. Second, the OT contains the ten commandments. So if we're going to disregard the OT, are we throwing aside the ten commandments as well? And if not, what process are we using to disregard one thing and not the other? From my perspective, and again I'm not saying you specifically are doing this, Christians seem to selectively highlight the parts of the bible they like and push aside the parts they don't want to acknowledge.

As an aside, what is debt besides self-imposed slavery?
Don't go down this road. I promise you this is not an approach you want to take.
 
Oct 2010
64,833
25,702
Colorado
IT I respect your opinion. But this type of dialog is one of the biggest tragedies of Christianity. Otherwise intelligent people have to tie themselves into knots to defend slavery. The bible not only permits slavery, it explains how to buy slaves, trade slaves, beat slaves to unconsciousness as long as they don't die within 7 days, etc. We are not talking about indentured servitude. We're not talking about giving people a residence in exchange for service. We're talking about owning people against their will as property.

And forgive me if I'm misunderstanding your position on the OT, but I get irritated when people try to push the OT aside and focus on the NT. For one, the OT makes all the prophecies that Christians claim are fulfilled in the NT. So if you push it aside, those prophecies don't mean squat. Second, the OT contains the ten commandments. So if we're going to disregard the OT, are we throwing aside the ten commandments as well? And if not, what process are we using to disregard one thing and not the other? From my perspective, and again I'm not saying you specifically are doing this, Christians seem to selectively highlight the parts of the bible they like and push aside the parts they don't want to acknowledge.
I'm running into your prejudices here, your mistaking what I'm saying to what you've heard others say.

I'm not defending slavery, though you see it that way. Let me make clear: My spiritual beliefs are "small u" universalist. I'm just telling you how I see slavery "in the story." Moreover, and I thought I made it clear, I don't totally reject everything in the OT, but, the god of the OT is the alter ego of the NT god.

What process do we use to disregard one thing and not the other? I can't speak for "we." I'm aware of a "little voice" that has been a companion since I was 5 or 6. It's never steered me wrong but, I've gone long stretches ignoring it.

I don't believe I'm special in this regard. I think each of us, through contemplation, through meditation, through reading the "holy" scriptures of various cultures, by cultivating a strong will to evolve, and to cultivate a comfort with mystery, staying open, staying teachable, distancing ourselves from the temptation to believe we have found "the" answer, that we have found "the" truth, can access this "voice" which is hard to describe with words.

It's not exactly a voice, rather, it's sudden insight, sudden complete answers to specific questions. On rare, very rare, occasion the "voice" was like a person talking. In those cases, I received information that saved my life, and twice startled witnesses were present who asked, "Why did you do that?" that being take the action that prevent serious injury or death.
 
Dec 2018
870
533
Wisconsin
I'm running into your prejudices here, your mistaking what I'm saying to what you've heard others say.

I'm not defending slavery, though you see it that way. Let me make clear: My spiritual beliefs are "small u" universalist. I'm just telling you how I see slavery "in the story." Moreover, and I thought I made it clear, I don't totally reject everything in the OT, but, the god of the OT is the alter ego of the NT god.

What process do we use to disregard one thing and not the other? I can't speak for "we." I'm aware of a "little voice" that has been a companion since I was 5 or 6. It's never steered me wrong but, I've gone long stretches ignoring it.

I don't believe I'm special in this regard. I think each of us, through contemplation, through meditation, through reading the "holy" scriptures of various cultures, by cultivating a strong will to evolve, and to cultivate a comfort with mystery, staying open, staying teachable, distancing ourselves from the temptation to believe we have found "the" answer, that we have found "the" truth, can access this "voice" which is hard to describe with words.

It's not exactly a voice, rather, it's sudden insight, sudden complete answers to specific questions. On rare, very rare, occasion the "voice" was like a person talking. In those cases, I received information that saved my life, and twice startled witnesses were present who asked, "Why did you do that?" that being take the action that prevent serious injury or death.
I did misunderstand your position. My apologies.

However I will push back on your referencing passages of the bible as "in the story." The bible has been used all over the planet to tell people how to live their lives. Policies have been created based on the bible. People's lives have been greatly BENEFITED because of the bible. People's lives have been greatly DEVASTATED because of the bible. I think refering to these passages as just part of the story is minimizing the issues it has caused.

For fear of getting into a broad conversation where we just talk in circles, I'll ask you specifically about my original comment regarding slavery (we can DM if you'd prefer). What is your position on Exodus 21, where it outlines the rules and regulations for owning slaves? What is your position on Ephesians 6:5, where slaves are ordered to obey their masters?
 
Apr 2013
35,420
24,036
Left coast
Exactly how it's written. When Paul wrote this, slaves were considered property and not people. There are all sorts of laws in the bible about not eating shelfish, not wearing clothes made of two fabrics, and even not sitting in a chair where a women on her period has sat in the last 7 days (Leviticus 15:19-33).

But God apparently didn't have the ability to say "Don't own people as property."

Don't even get me started on Exodus 21 where God lays out the rules for how to own, treat, trade, and trick slaves into owning them for life.
I have always like the bit in the bible about how it is OK to beat servants/slaves as long as they don't die within a day or two.

Even more interesting that some versions of "god's word" uses servants and not slaves.
 
Oct 2010
64,833
25,702
Colorado
I did misunderstand your position. My apologies.

However I will push back on your referencing passages of the bible as "in the story." The bible has been used all over the planet to tell people how to live their lives. Policies have been created based on the bible. People's lives have been greatly BENEFITED because of the bible. People's lives have been greatly DEVASTATED because of the bible. I think refering to these passages as just part of the story is minimizing the issues it has caused.

For fear of getting into a broad conversation where we just talk in circles, I'll ask you specifically about my original comment regarding slavery (we can DM if you'd prefer). What is your position on Exodus 21, where it outlines the rules and regulations for owning slaves? What is your position on Ephesians 6:5, where slaves are ordered to obey their masters?
No problem. I've known very few universalists. I've been hammered by Christians, Jews, Hindus, and others, who all are, of course, right and I'm not. :)

What I mean by "in the story" is taking what is written as part of the overall story in the time and particular cultural context of it apart from whether it's "right" or "wrong," something a universalist does all the time 'cause we haven't a horse in the race. People's interpretations of what the Bible says indeed have been used to tell people how to live their lives, and in millions upon millions upon millions of case, how to live their lives or be put to death for not living their lives "according to the Bible" or the Vedas, or Koran or Vladimir Lenin, or whatever.

I oppose slavery under any circumstances, but slavery as an institution surely extends into prehistoric times. It exists today. It ended in the major industrial/colonial powers only in the last couple hundred years.

When the OT and NT were written, slavery was rampant, part of all cultures, part of humankind. I have no honest way of saying what my opinion of slavery would have been had I been alive in 1174 B.C.E. or 73 C.E.
 
Nov 2012
16,699
5,570
Michigan
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I thought it was "Love", not "Charity"?
The Greek word being translated is “agape” which is a reference to filial love, that is a generous love for human kind. The English language word love has erotic and other connotations that fail to express the thoughts of the author (Paul).
 
Nov 2012
16,699
5,570
Michigan
I have always like the bit in the bible about how it is OK to beat servants/slaves as long as they don't die within a day or two.

Even more interesting that some versions of "god's word" uses servants and not slaves.
At no point in any book of the Bible did any word translated as “slave” mean the same thing as the peculiar and ugly business we called slavery in American history.
 
Likes: Gordy