Hover over Romans 1:20-22 for proof of God's existence, and over Matthew 5:27-28 for Judgment Day’s perfect standard. Then hover over John 3:16-18 for what God did, and over Acts 17:30-31 for what to do.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Something for atheists, on Sunday...

"Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, 'for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.' Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, 'Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, "I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick" (Luke 7:1-10).

This man’s "slave" was sick. So did his master undo his shackles, lash him 100 times as punishment for being ill, and then throw his still live body over some cliff? No, this wasn’t an African American who was a victim kidnapping, and of the cruel American slave trade. This was biblical slavery...nothing to do with skin color or with being kidnapping, as slaves were in American history. Biblical slavery most often came as a result of debt. If you got yourself into financial trouble, you could work the debt off as a "bond-servant." Nowadays, you can either forfeit your debt to another by declaring yourself bankrupt, leaving the person to whom you owe money, high and dry. Or you can liquidate your assets and pay off as much debt as you can.

In the past, if you couldn’t pay your debt you would be imprisoned, and held in what was called debtor's prison until you or your family could satisfy your creditor’s demands. In the middle ages, these prisons were often a large communal cell where both men and women lived in filthy conditions for months or even years. It all depended on the size of the debt. However, the Bible gave those in debt the ability to pay off their debt in time, and to then regain their freedom.

[EDIT] Matthew 7:12 says "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you", showing that slavery and Christianity are hardly compatible no matter what form it takes.

So those who say that God endorses the cruel practice of slavery should study history, and see the difference between slavery in American history and the bond-servants of the Bible.