Slavery

Saturday, Aug. 30

Yesterday’s blog raises a number of questions for me. In dealing with human differences, why do some people have the potential to become great athletes or great musicians or scientists or poets? Why do some people gravitate toward evil more than others? Apparently inequality is part of human life, but there are some inequalities that appear to be worse than others, perhaps into the unjust category. Slavery is one of them. I guess we would not question that slaves and non-slaves fit the inequality test. I am amazed and baffled by this one. God seems to accept slavery as an institution. He just wants slaves to be treated with respect. I could find no Scripture that rejects slavery or puts it into the category of sin. This seems to be quite a contrast to the specific and detailed instructions under the Mosaic Law. God insists on a strict standard of behavior with penalties for the smallest of sins. The whole book of Leviticus covers this in detail. How does one reconcile God’s way of dealing with slavery with the strictness of the Law? How does stealing a coat from a neighbor a sin that demands restitution plus penalty and slavery is OK? Cheating is a no-no, but holding another human being in bondage is not? I’m also amazed and baffled that the New Testament does not reject slavery. Among other things, Jesus re-defined lusting after a woman as adultery, yet does nothing to modify the views concerning slavery. I am reluctant to call slavery sin simply because it is apparently not labeled such in the Bible. But I admit that this is a problem to me. I would be delighted if someone would enlighten me further on this one. Am I missing something?

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