Pro-slavery advocates of the 18th and 19th centuries used five basic tenets based on the Bible to express the heart of their argument:
- God established slavery and there are numerous examples through the Old Testament
- Righteous people practiced it
- The moral law allowed for it
- Jesus accepted it
- The apostles upheld it.
For those of us who believe that women should not be limited by their gender, these arguments sound eerily familiar. In fact, there is more to defend the practice of slavery in the Bible than there is to limit the role of women.
The abolitionists also used the Bible to express their convictions. They said that although the Bible described slavery, abolition best expressed the overall emphasis of the Scriptures, and especially the teachings of Jesus.
When we examine the tenor and trend of the Bible concerning women, there is equally compelling evidence that the traditional approach that subordinates women does not line up with the heart of God.
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9 replies on “Five basic tenets”
This is crap. God did NOT establish slavery. Slavery was common to ALL ancient cultures at that time. If you go back and read the text, he gave instructions for the “ethical/fair” treatment of slaves. Also slavery in the Hebrew culture was NOT lot like slavery as we know if today. Slaves were often given to people to pay off a family debt and/or many slaves were prisoners of war. Exodus 21:16 says: Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper’s possession. Also many times the slave/master relationship in the new testament is more akin to an employee/employer relationship.
Scott, I agree with you that God didn’t establish slavery–exactly the point I was trying to make. We know that God hates slavery. But the pro-slavery advocates used it as one of their arguments. In a similar way, the people who believe that the role of women should be limited (basing it on Genesis 2 and 3) have misunderstood God’s intentions.
I would not call it crap, more like illustrating a point. I do not believe that the author was writing with ignorance to passages on Jubilee and the sort, rather they are trying to get people to look at the commonality of historical context. 3 scriptures from Paul should not be taken out of context to create dogma. This male Christian is tired of men who yell “show me in the word brother,” and then when you do try to explain, they go grab someone else higher up their theological pole to discredit differing pov’s. Am I a minister, yes. Did I graduate from a reputable Bible University, yes. Do I need to be a scholar of Koinea Greek to show historical context, NO!
Bob, exactly!! God hates slavery and I believe he hates the subordination of women too.
Well Paul stated it most perfectly..the letter kills but the spirit gives life.
To even imply that the Spirit would contradict the word is to imply a contradiction in the Person of God and it is the pathway to apostasy and spiritual and moral catastrophe. The Spirit is not going to contradict the word of God, He is the one who inspired it. Nor is the Spirit of God is contrary to the teachings of Christ’s apostles. The “word” as an outward commandment, which in itself is holy and just and good, cannot enable us to meet the requirement it sets forth, and is therefore is death to our natural man/the flesh.
The Spirit (as the Law of Life written on the heart) is life in that it is not merely an external requirement that demands us to meet it yet doesn’t provide the means to do it – but it is the means and way inside of us as life and righteousness and causes and enables us to keep the righteous requirements of the Royal Law of God.
The word and the Spirit are in perfect harmony and unity, never in contradiction. One is external and works death due to the sin that is in us, and one is life to overcome the sin and death that works in us by nature, but they *are not* at odds with one another!
Wow, what a stretch and a spiteful thing to insinuate about those who hold to the word of God and oppose egalitarianism. I’m not even going honor this foolishness with a comment concerning the content of it. It is just erroneous on so many points/levels.
I don’t think there is any doubt in the scriptures that God has firmly put a distinction between the roles of men and women. Not a distinction of equality as people, but certainly as pertaining to roles within the church and the home. I believe however that sadly many women today are still being fooled by the very same trick that Satan used on the very first woman. “did God really say?” ” God is withholding something from you because if you eat of this fruit you will be equal.”
Compromising obedience to God for the sake of “equality” is what started all the trouble and it will certainly be what causes a lot more trouble.
Is there a difference between men and women? Absolutely! Every cell of our bodies has a different DNA. I used to believe as you obviously do–that men should lead and women follow. But it was studying the Scriptures that persuaded me otherwise. Check out “The challenging Scriptures” tab at the top of this blog.