Friday, November 13, 2009

Deep Roots

The other day as I was reading the Bible I came across the following in Ephesians Chapter 6:

Slaves and Masters
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. As Slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slave or free.

Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them; remember you both have the same master in heaven, and he has no favorites.

There is so much In this passage that means so much on so many levels. First and formost it says we are all equal in Gods eyes. But what does it say about slavery. I found myself asking, "Does God condone slavery?" I had to find out more about what exactly this all means and the short answer is yes, and no. I will elaborate on what I discovered.

Slavery in the time of Jesus was much different than it is today. Slavery exist still in our modern world, masked by the evil of mankind. We in the U.S.A., are fortunate enough to say it is rare if not non-existent here. However, in third world countries across the globe it still happens and it isn't pretty. Millions of people in the world are in slavery through forced labor, sex trade, minions of drug lords, etc. Most of the time in America when we talk about slavery we think about the abduction and slavery of Africans as we founded this nation. It was wrong and we still suffer for those sins through racism and cultural segregation of our own doings. When I say "our own" I'm not talking about whites, I'm talking about people. However, that's another subject in itself. Slavery today is wrong, it's immoral, and it isn't Christ like because through the years mankind has made it something it used to not be.  The slavery of a race or a people is wrong now, just as it was when the Hebrews were enslaved in Egypt. This isn't the slavery Paul spoke of in his letters. And it isn't slavery as seen by God's plan.

Slavery at a time was a voluntary means of living a better life. Folks starving in debt, might sell themselves willingly to slavery to pay off debt and to ensure that they are taken care of, for their labor in return. It wasn't really any different that being employed if Gods plan and intent is followed. Let me repeat the above again "Masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Don't threaten them; remember you both have the same master in heaven, and he has no favorites."

Men, as we always have, took slavery as it was then and meant to be, and through greed and hatred made it something bad. It's hard for me to even write this because today slavery is such an ugly word of disgust. But it wasn't God's intent. Does God condone slavery?  As defined by God I would say yes. As defines by us I would say absolutely not. What do you think?

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