Sunday, January 25, 2015

Does the Bible support slavery:Why would we ask such a question

Does the bible support slavery? This topic is trending, but I have to ask “Why?” Slavery exists in today’s global society, and has existed since the beginning. Slavery highlights the condition of man’s heart, to capture and subjugate others to a man’s will. I have to wonder if we, as Christians, do the same with God’s Word.
 
Depending on the condition of our hearts when we read the word, we “hear” it is different ways. Are we still holding onto the illusion that our will somehow has an effect on God’s Word? Have we learned to push our own thoughts, desires, and expectations aside so that we can truly hear what God is saying?

I have heard of a type of study termed Precept. This study involves three steps: observation, interpretation and application. Precept offers sound advice about interpreting the scripture in that Precept teaches that one scripture alone cannot form a belief, but the belief must be supported throughout the scripture. What caused me to pause in this is the third tier of Precept: The first step in application is to find out what the Word of God says on any particular subject through accurate observation and correct interpretation of the text. Once you understand what the Word of God teaches, you are then obligated before God to accept that truth and to live by it.

While the concept of Precept is excellent, are we studying God’s Word in this way to increase our knowledge of God’s Word, or to increase our submission to God’s Word? Submission means to surrender our concepts, expectation and desires to God and be willing to hear what He says to us.  As we study God’s Word, we acknowledge that God discussed slavery. However, Jesus teaches us that we must treat others as we would treat ourselves. Jesus teaches us how to live as Christians in Matthew 5. The entire chapter is devoted to bringing our flesh into submission to God’s Word. Even if the Bible discusses slavery, Matthew 5:39: But I say to you, do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (ESV) Cross reference.

This is the will of God:

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come; buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples.
Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the Lord your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the Lord, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 55:1-12 (ESV)