Slavery and religion

Life just sucked for everyone back then. Being a slave isn’t even the worst fate you can suffer from. It wasn’t uncommon for people to go into more indentured servitude style of slavery to pay off debt or just to have a roof over their head. Slave owners have a interest in keeping their property and investments alive and well. If you had some valuable skills, you could live pretty well at the time like being able to teach the children of elites.

With that in mind, you can kind of see why it wasn’t on the top of the list of things to do on earth.

Not that I condone any form of slavery. But our modern context of slavery is usually from the trans Atlantic slave trade. Slaves during the Roman times were somewhat different in their roles in society. Most can even earn their freedom.

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There’s no denying that it’s one of the dark historical parts of Christianity. The best I got is they were wrong. I don’t make the claim that Christians are any more morally superior than anyone else.

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The early Christians didn’t see it as their job to fix society. That whole idea came along much later.

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Except, that is, for the Doomsday cult variety of Christianity, which is not what it was 1000-odd years ago but is certainly still around, and to a greater extent than most people outside of it realize.

And are you not insinuating, Rowland, that such an interpretation is actually a good thing, i.e. we should all stop worrying about the future and daring to think we have any agency and instead just do what some great guide or leader (like you) tells us to do?


That’s a strange claim coming from someone who believes in the One True Path. Isn’t teaching morality one of the things religion is supposed to do?

What we need is a corrective for the delusion that we know how to fix society and direct the future. A little humility. Don’t drive past your headlights, and don’t immanentize the eschaton either.

Religion is commonly used to prop up morality, but it’s supposed to be about much bigger things.

The world will end when it ends. In the meantime, get on with life.

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Teaching morality doesn’t get very far as Jesus Said to about religious leaders at the time who kept religious laws to the dot. He even said they would kill him following their morality through religious laws.

Being a Christian doesn’t make one morally superior or right. You will always fall short of Christ. By grace along are you redeemed.

This is one of the messages Christ came to deliver. Not one of us is righteous in the eyes of god.

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The case against righteousness:

Not specifically about the slavery thing, but applicable.

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He doesn’t say to free him. Paul wasn’t a fan of slavery; you can see he twists himself into knots, threatening Philemon, and doing everything short of ordering him to free Onesimus. He can’t, because, as rowland notes, Christianity already had a reputation of being radical, and if they condemned slavery, even among fellow Christians, it would be going too far.
Which is what you’d expect from a human made group, though maybe not from the Alpha and Omega.

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I don’t see that at all, though it may actually be rowland’s belief. He is right in saying the early Christians were not very concerned with Earthly morality- except for sex, and even here Paul said it’s better if you don’t do it, because the end of the world is coming and you should concentrate on that, but if you are thinking about it that much, just go ahead, get married, and worry about more important things. Extra-marital sex and infanticide they were concerned about because it affected your chance at heaven; slavery not so much, because it would soon be over anyway.

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Ok so unto Timothy now, wow you are hard at work. Let me finish that off for you.

“Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.”

I just happened to be reading it today!

I included that portion in my link. Can I ask what your point is?

  1. your link doesn’t work. :grinning:
  2. I finished the quote off for you with the crucial bit left out.
  3. What is the point of the half quote?

That’s odd! I linked to 2 Timothy 6:1-2. Our software created the preview you see (fitting as much of the text as was possible into the fixed available space for previews), but I’m not sure why the link doesn’t work. This one should:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Timothy+6%3A1-2&version=NIV

The entire text:

6 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.
False Teachers and the Love of Money
These are the things you are to teach and insist on.

My intended point is that this is clearly endorsing slavery (not simply condoning).

But what about Ephesians 6:5?

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It is a much stronger verse than the already mentioned ones. I did not recall this one in the thread so far unless i missed it. I think that was also by Paul.

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That’s not likely for either one of these letters.

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ephesians.html

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/1timothy.html

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Oh ok good links. There are a few bibles now with chronological dates for the New Testament. I will have to get one.
In fact i will change that to extremely good links, I have some reading to do myself these links provide plenty of material. :crossed_fingers:

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" They were not to communicate with passersby or connect with other people at weekly church services."

But allowed to go to “church” services. Well that makes sense, since that religion will tell how to behave as a slave and obey their masters.