Today marks the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.
In talking with others, especially young adults, it is a good time to address slavery in the Bible. Particularly, what was slavery in the NT and why doesn’t Paul abolish it? This article does an excellent job. Read the whole thing.
Both Keller and Carson make the point that ancient slavery was not the same as American slavery.
This is a huge issue for young adults to understand for several reasons:
1. Homosexuality – I have heard it argued that “The Christian understanding changed on the biblical understanding of slavery and women’s rights. Similarly, in a few years we will also have a more progressive view of homosexuality.”
2. (Related to #1) The Bible’s Perceived Social Backwardness – Although conservative Christians would believe that the Bible addresses subjects that as relevant now as 2000 years ago, these verses on slavery do make one pause. This article helps us understand these verses.
3. Christian Influence and Slavery – Although a distant memory for some, there was a time that Christians in the United States used these passages to support unspeakable inhumanity. Christians led the fight against slavery. But unfortunately, Christians also defended the practice. It is right for current Christian leaders to repent of this evil and lead the way in reconciliation. The denomination I grew up in, The Southern Baptist Convention, was started in support of the issue of slavery. However, I am excited that this same group of churches has just elected a black president.
As Christians we need to understand the part of our Bible that speaks to slavery. And pass it on to others. The whole article is here.