Author Topic: Slaves, Obey Your Masters  (Read 8102 times)

Recusant

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #105 on: March 20, 2012, 09:23:52 PM »
The writers of the New Testament lived in a different world. They weren't much above slaves themselves in the Roman world, so they had to watch how they reacted with their surrounding culture as they established the new faith.

The early Christians were free people. A strong distinction was made in the Roman era between slave and free, just as it was centuries before, and centuries later. Yes, the general population of Judea may not have had great status, but then neither did the general population of any province of Rome. However, it so happens that these people had been practicing slavery themselves for a long time before they became part of the Roman empire, and understood quite well the distinction between slave and free, and knew themselves to be free. The slave-holding aspect of the "surrounding culture" was not foreign to these people; their holy book condoned slavery before Paul ever put pen to paper.

It seems that they adopted the principle of "don't make waves, unless it's about an ultimate issue."  They were prepared to die for their faith, but didn't try to change every evil practice in the Roman empire.

The practice of slavery, as I pointed out above, was not something that the Romans had imported to the area. It seems you're trying to imply that the poor proto-Christians had to meekly accept the ways of the evil Romans. Their ancestors had been proud slave-makers and slave-owners long before the arrival of the Romans, so that particular assertion falls by the wayside.

It all depends on how you see the Bible - if it's the inerrant Word of God, then you have to contend with the charge that it promotes and cndones some bad stuff.  If it's just a written record of people who have experienced God in some way and they are trying to relate that in terms of their own culture, then stuff like slavery is not as big an issue.  It's just how those people worked their faith out in their world.  We might do it 100% differently today.

Just people telling us stories; no divine revelation? We can consider a couple of things then.

1. The distinct possibility that none of the gospels was in truth written by an eye witness.

2. The epistles tell us that Paul never actually met Jesus except in his self professed vision of a presence which he said was Jesus.

In light of these circumstances, why give the New Testament any weight at all as a source of moral guidance? The Old Testament is at least as dubious if we dispense with a supposed direct revelation from YHVH, I think. Does Christianity have any moral authority, according to this view? If it does, from whence does it derive? I don't think that the say-so of some 1st century true believers quite does it. The say-so of their predecessors really isn't sufficient, either.

We can also consider something that Thomas Paine pointed out: "It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man." (Letter dated May 12, 1797 my emphasis) I don't agree that man has learned cruelty from the Bible, but it could reasonably be said that man was and is able to justify cruelty by recourse to the Bible.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2012, 10:22:14 PM by Recusant »
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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #106 on: March 21, 2012, 03:22:09 AM »
The practice of slavery, as I pointed out above, was not something that the Romans had imported to the area. It seems you're trying to imply that the poor proto-Christians had to meekly accept the ways of the evil Romans. Their ancestors had been proud slave-makers and slave-owners long before the arrival of the Romans, so that particular assertion falls by the wayside.

Particularly when you consider that less than 200 yrs ago some Xtians in this country were using their god and his bible to defend the practice of slavery.  No evil, powerful Romans around to inflict obnoxious practices on them, the people buying and keeping slaves were the people in power.  And they were insisting on their biblical right to do it in the face of a growing movement to knock that shit off, to put it simply.  I'm sure someone is going to bring up the fact that many of the anti-slavery faction were also Xtians using the bible to support their view, but this is just another example of cherry-picking, not a contradiction of the bible supporting slavery.
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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #107 on: March 21, 2012, 04:27:37 AM »
The practice of slavery, as I pointed out above, was not something that the Romans had imported to the area. It seems you're trying to imply that the poor proto-Christians had to meekly accept the ways of the evil Romans. Their ancestors had been proud slave-makers and slave-owners long before the arrival of the Romans, so that particular assertion falls by the wayside.

Particularly when you consider that less than 200 yrs ago some Xtians in this country were using their god and his bible to defend the practice of slavery.  No evil, powerful Romans around to inflict obnoxious practices on them, the people buying and keeping slaves were the people in power.  And they were insisting on their biblical right to do it in the face of a growing movement to knock that shit off, to put it simply.  I'm sure someone is going to bring up the fact that many of the anti-slavery faction were also Xtians using the bible to support their view, but this is just another example of cherry-picking, not a contradiction of the bible supporting slavery.


That's right. And 200yrs later, states like georgia and arkansaw (sp?) are still extremely rascist....and even still think owning another human.being is their god given right.
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Recusant

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #108 on: March 21, 2012, 07:38:52 AM »
. . . 200yrs later, states like georgia and arkansaw (sp?) are still extremely rascist....and even still think owning another human.being is their god given right.

That's painting with a mighty broad brush. I don't think it's reasonable to say that entire states are guilty of racism, except to the extent that their laws support racism (which in the case of the two states you mention, used to be the case). On the other hand, I would agree that there are still individual racists in those states (and certainly elsewhere), some of whom might be willing to endorse slavery, given a context where they felt at ease.
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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #109 on: March 21, 2012, 10:18:49 AM »
It seems that they adopted the principle of "don't make waves, unless it's about an ultimate issue."  They were prepared to die for their faith, but didn't try to change every evil practice in the Roman empire.
plus I think this statement is wholly incorrect. Early Christians apologists went around telling everyone else they worshipped false gods and demons, and that they were going to burn in hell as a result. I don't see how that can be called 'not making waves'! They were generally considered as troublemakers and intolerant fanatics by the Romans.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 10:26:12 AM by Too Few Lions »

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #110 on: March 21, 2012, 03:01:11 PM »
I'm not so sure it is simply a 'line' but more a norm.

I'm not sure what you mean by this (you're more than welcome to elaborate, and correct me if I misunderstand you),

Simply...that the best position to take is the position of the whole and not part.
Quote from: Recusant
As certain rustic philosophers are wont to say: "That dog don't hunt." Jesus taking Old Testament morality and extending it to include thought crimes is not the same as saying that a previous morality is both still valid and current while at the same time not to be considered and rejected in light of modern understanding. We're talking about unequivocal dictates, not vague guidelines which "require thought."

Dictates that apparently require logic.  If outright murder is wrong, then mental stabs, (hate or most any negative emotion) aimed at our "brother" does the same.  The OT "morality" were the very words and dictates of Jesus himself...or at least this was his claim.

Quote from: Recusant
Here's a page based on the question, Does God condone slavery?.  I read about 1/4 of it and skimmed the rest.

I don't blame you. An honest person such as yourself must feel a bit nauseated by the blatant tap-dancing taking place on that page.

*chuckle*  I didn't stop reading for the "tap dancing".  It was simply that it seemed we were in agreement.(Edit:  That I was in agreement with the article)   I was honest in how much I read in case a point was brought up that I didn't see which I may not agree with.  I assume you read it all and disagreed.  

Quote from: Recusant
I think that Jimmy Carter, as politicians go, is admirable in many ways. He seems to be less of a liar than the run of the mill hacks. You'll notice that in that quote, he doesn't deny that slavery is condoned in the Bible.

Respectfully, I think you missed the point.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 06:35:22 PM by AnimatedDirt »

Sweetdeath

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #111 on: March 21, 2012, 04:33:07 PM »
. . . 200yrs later, states like georgia and arkansaw (sp?) are still extremely rascist....and even still think owning another human.being is their god given right.

That's painting with a mighty broad brush. I don't think it's reasonable to say that entire states are guilty of racism, except to the extent that their laws support racism (which in the case of the two states you mention, used to be the case). On the other hand, I would agree that there are still individual racists in those states (and certainly elsewhere), some of whom might be willing to endorse slavery, given a context where they felt at ease.
You're right. I could of said some assholes of those states, because I have been to them before in person.
Law 35- "You got to go with what works." - Robin Lefler

Wiggum:"You have that much faith in me, Homer?"
Homer:"No! Faith is what you have in things that don't exist. Your awesomeness is real."

“I was thinking that perhaps this thing called God does not exist. Because He cannot save any one of us. No matter how we pray, He doesn’t mend our wounds.

Hector Valdez

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #112 on: March 26, 2012, 10:08:26 PM »
See Sig.

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #113 on: March 26, 2012, 10:58:02 PM »
See Sig.

I do believe you're the first person I've come across here on HAF who has quoted themselves in their signature.  :D


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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #114 on: March 26, 2012, 11:06:25 PM »
See Sig.

I do believe you're the first person I've come across here on HAF who has quoted themselves in their signature.  :D

*Snerk*

That's brilliant.  I'm going to do it from now on.  Starting in 30 seconds when I change my signature. 


Sweetdeath

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #115 on: March 26, 2012, 11:36:32 PM »
See Sig.

I do believe you're the first person I've come across here on HAF who has quoted themselves in their signature.  :D

*Snerk*

That's brilliant.  I'm going to do it from now on.  Starting in 30 seconds when I change my signature. 



You're awesome, Ali :)
Law 35- "You got to go with what works." - Robin Lefler

Wiggum:"You have that much faith in me, Homer?"
Homer:"No! Faith is what you have in things that don't exist. Your awesomeness is real."

“I was thinking that perhaps this thing called God does not exist. Because He cannot save any one of us. No matter how we pray, He doesn’t mend our wounds.

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #116 on: March 26, 2012, 11:51:28 PM »
See Sig.

I do believe you're the first person I've come across here on HAF who has quoted themselves in their signature.  :D

*Snerk*

That's brilliant.  I'm going to do it from now on.  Starting in 30 seconds when I change my signature. 



*stifles chuckle*
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Hector Valdez

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Re: Slaves, Obey Your Masters
« Reply #117 on: April 01, 2012, 05:49:28 PM »
Lalalala....I can't hear you... :-*