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Friday, April 06, 2007

True Christianity deals with racism and homosexuality

I will use words that I find offensive in this posting, and I do apologize to all readers who are offended by those words. I feel that, in context, they are necessary and I therefore write them even as I am discomfited by them.

May I now please express my personal beliefs concerning racism and homosexuality, and also, my opinion of the Christian stance on both of these issues?

Racism: Story One:

Define racism as you will; You can parse it small so that even seeing a difference of any kind between races is a sin, or large, so that only acts of hatred apply. For me, racism is this: To look down upon someone of a different race or allow such a mindset to rule your actions. You may call me a racist because I believe that the average person of Black African descent is genetically predisposed to have more vocal chords involved in the production of sounds when singing, or have more quick-twitch muscles in the legs than most other races. Call me a racist if I believe Caucasians are genetically predisposed to more easily sunburn or have red hair. Call me a racist if I assert that Asians are more likely to have more slender skeletal structures and be a bit shorter than the average of all races. But, in those remarks, I believe I am stating observations and not in any way making value judgements. There are so many differences between us in the gene pools, some of color, some of size, of strength, of almost any attribute you can name. I believe that those differences are blessings, in that variety is the spice of life and if we all looked alike and had the same attributes it would be a dull world, indeed.

I know that stereotypes exist, for instance, Asians are smarter, "White Men Can't Jump", Black guys run faster, etc. There are some stereotypes that are deadly to the soul to believe, for instance, that Asians cannot be trusted and Blacks are stupid/inferior and so on. There are many who believe stereotypes and inflict these lies upon their children and their children's children. Such opinions sicken me.

But let me tell two stories and then make a point. Herein I will write words I personally detest and I leave it to you, the reader, to decide if I was right in doing so.

I am considered a White Guy. In truth, we all have very mixed heritages. I can trace my ancestry from Anglo-Saxon and Norman sources, but also Native American Indian and the tribes that lived in Scotland before there were Scots and even the Asian invaders that swept across much of Europe long centuries past. I was born in a community in southern Indiana that consisted primarily of White people and they were all I knew until the age of about six years.

The first time I became aware of Black people was at a ballgame. Yes, I saw them around my small hometown sometimes, but no one said much about them and I was too wrapped up in the world of family and friends to give them a thought. Now, my entire family was crazy about the Cincinnati Reds and when the adults gathered they would speak of Frank Robinson and Gus Bell with such reverence that I believed that the Reds were almost gods on earth. Imagine my joy at being able to go, with my cousin, to a Reds game with my grandparents one evening!

Old Crosley Field was, even almost 50 years ago, a structure past its prime. But the lush green field and the chattering crowd impressed me immensely. Baseball was heaven on earth! Then the players came out onto the field to warm up and so on. I don't remember much about batting practice or anything else, I just remember my Grandma pointing out Frank Robinson, the best of the Reds, to me. He was a Black guy!

Revelation! My hero was a Black guy! I was so young I had not even begun to collect baseball cards, so I had no idea that Black people could play baseball. In my town, they kept to themselves and I never saw them save at a distance. But here, in Cincinnati, they put on uniforms and were known around the country as athletes.

Frank Robinson will probably always be my favorite player. As a young person, I saw how great a hitter he was and how determined a fielder and baserunner. He had the attitude that he would run through a wall to win and I thought that was so great. As I grew older, I learned more about him and decided he was even more admirable than I first realized. But back to the story...

Now, my hometown was in an area where we could go up into the hills and find arrowheads and multitudes of fossils and lots of cool rocks like geodes. Geodes were bumpy, round rocks, heavy, that had a treasure inside. They were quite hard, but when you broke them open they would be somewhat hollowed out and within that brown rock were beautiful crystals. I loved finding them, but they became a cause of contention between myself and most of my male relatives. Because, you see, in that part of the country, geodes were known as Niggerheads!
I may have been small, but I understood that Nigger was a derisive term for Negro, and that is what Black people were called. Therefore, while other kids and my own family called such rocks by that term, I referred to them as Negroheads and would not let laughter or mocking dissuade me. God bless my Dad, who also began to call them that, although it would have been better had he taught me the word, geode, and be done with it. I suppose his amusement at his son's crusading spirit gave him the greater pleasure and he left the academic world to someday teach me a better word. In retrospect, I can see that terming such a rock a Negrohead was scarcely better than the alternative, but I thought I was doing the right thing at the time.

Story two:

I had a date with a pretty young girl I didn't know well, so this was to be our first official date. I was twenty-something, had just gotten my Honorable Discharge from the Army, and was back "home" in the town I had called home back in my High School years, South Bend. She was a hostess at a nice restaurant in town and I was to meet her at her place of work, take her home to get freshen up, and then we would go out.

I waited at the bar for her to be finished, and I had brought with me a yellow legal pad upon which to write. I often wrote poems or made observations to be incorporated in never-written novels back in those days and had a number of such pads that had been partly used. I must confess that I had accumulated them during my days as a military journalist, so I suppose the Army did send me with a few parting gifts, although they were given out to me willingly as part of my job and so I never considered them to have been stolen. I used them for work and I used them for my leisure and, now, there was for a time only leisure. I began scribbling something upon the pad.

My date, I will call her Diane, appeared just as I was about to head to the men's room. I asked if she wanted me to order her a drink (she did, and I complied) and then I left the pad there on the bar while I went to relieve myself. Upon my return, I found she had looked through the pad and, near the end, found a page with this one thing scribbled, "fuck you, nigger!".

You cannot imagine my shame upon seeing those words. For one thing, Diane's father was a Black Man and her mother was at least partly Black herself. Diane was lighter-skinned than either of them but she was obviously not a Caucasian. I always printed my words in all caps rather than write them out, for my handwriting is so terrible, and so it was obvious that I had written those words.

How could I explain? When stationed in Washington, DC, I had become good friends with a Black guy who I will call "Dooley", who in size and appearance remarkably resembled Muhammed Ali. When I hung out with him, I also usually hung out with his Black friends and therefore many of them became buddies of mine, too. Soon they became comfortable with me and it amazed how often they called each other the word, "nigger!" They would do it as a friendly term or they would do it to deride each other, but they would do it all the time. They just usually didn't do it around White guys, so I was taken aback at first. But then again, all these guys thought it was fun to call me "honky", like when something would happen and they would think my reaction was typically white and one of them would say, "You're just a White honky!" and everyone would laugh. And so it was that one day I was trying to write something and Dooley was razzing me and, rather than say anything, I just turned the pad around, opened it up deep inside, wrote those words and showed them to him. Dooley just rolled his eyes but as I recall it didn't stop him from bugging me until I quit writing and talked to him about what was going on.

I remember another evening when we had both shared a very potent joint and were sitting on a park bench, overlooking the Potomac, and drinking in the scene. Dooley confessed to me his greatest frustration, in that he was so good looking that he never knew if women wanted him for his good looks or for who he was on the inside. He wondered how he could ever be loved for just being him. I told him how much I would have loved to have his particular problem, but then I saw that here was this big strong guy with tears in his eyes and that he was actually deeply troubled. After months of being buddies and one very strong joint he was baring his soul. These were my pre-Christian days and I really had no answers for him. But I did say that I loved him as a friend just because I thought he was cool....and he always had good dope! That made him laugh, and that was the best I could do.

How could I tell Diane that "fuck you, nigger!" was code between friends and in no way racist? I did try and I think she tried to absorb it, but it was awkward and we just never got over it. That first date with Diane would also be my last date with Diane.

~~~~~~~

I tell these stories because I want you, the reader, to understand how vile racism is to me. I detest it in any form, whether it be Ku Klux Klan or Black Muslim. In our country we make Black vs White the headliner for racism, but certainly those of every race face racism in our country.

If you go to see the movie, "Amazing Grace", you will be reminded of the slave trade and the horrors of it, and the Christians that fought hard to see it ended. Like Wilberforce, I truly believe that all men of all colors are made by God and have the same inalienable rights as all other men.

Jesus believe this. Thus, he went to Samaria (to most of the Jews, the Samaritans were a cursed people who were inferior in all ways) to preach to Samaritans and most especially, to the Samaritan woman at the well. Consider that she was living in sin, was a so-called inferior race, and a so-called inferior sex, yet Jesus wanted to give her the same gift He sought to give to the Jews, the gift of eternal life in relationship with an eternal God! This is why so-called "Christians" who try to twist the Bible to teach that there are cursed or inferior races make me angry.

Because I believe this, I will also oppose racial quotas that are supposed to in some way "make up" for racism in general or the iniquities of the past. NO! Two wrongs do not make a right. This will pit me against those who claim to be against racism at times, but let them revile me for that. But I tell you that being a Christian is to attempt to be like Christ and Christ died for all just as He created all. In the eyes of God, all colors are beautiful and all languages are delightful and He would have everyone of every nation be aligned with Him. How could I believe differently? I knew it in my heart before I even knew God in my heart, it is Truth and all those who oppose that Truth are wrong.

Homosexuality

My post "Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007"
brought forth many comments and one of them stated in part that "the only reason you and other fundies are writing about this is because it affords homosexuals some protections, and fundies generally hate any sort of legislation dealing with homosexuals."

Let us deal with that. First, I believe homosexuality is wrong, it is aberrant behavior. You would have no trouble, should you research, in discovering that homosexual relationships involve more domestic violence, more incidences of disease, more changing of partners, etc, than relationships that are heterosexual in nature. So experience teaches us that homosexuality is not all that good for society as a whole. Indeed, pedophilia is more prevalent among homosexuals than it is heterosexuals as well.

But wrong in practice and experience pales beside my primary reason, which is that God says that homosexuality is wrong. Do you need chapter and verse? I am sure you are all aware of the Biblical teaching. Permit me to share Leviticus 18:22-24

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.

Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.

Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you:

These are among the verses used to teach us that homosexuality (and bestiality) are sins against God. These are commandments God gave to His people, for all people, and they continue to stand, just as the admonitions to not bear false witness or murder also stand. I therefore assert that homosexuality is wrong and should be considered a sin, not accepted as normal and good.

The Bible says quite a bit in that particular chapter of Leviticus, for instance, Leviticus 22:20

Moreover thou shalt not lie carnally with thy neighbour's wife, to defile thyself with her.

If you read that chapter, you understand that God says it is sin to have sex with your mother, father, aunt, uncle, etc. It also says that adultery is a sin! Now I challenge each and every one of you to search the Bible and show me how adultery or having sex with your mother is any lesser or greater of a sin than having sex with someone of the same sex?

In The Scarlet Letter, Hester Prynne was compelled to walk around with an "A" upon her forehead to denote being exposed as an adulterous woman. I think some of my Christian brethren believe homosexuals should have to wear an "H" on their person, much like the Jews in the days of Hitler were forced to wear a yellow star inscribed, "Jude" until such time they were herded into camps and slaughtered like beasts. But they are so wrong!

Yes, I have had homosexual friends and no, I didn't think they were terribly wicked and depraved above all men. Before my coversion to Christianity I had been, at times, a druggie and a drunk and an adulterer and certainly a fornicator and violator of many laws of both God and man. There is no difference in the eyes of God, "for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God!" I am condemned for my sins unless, by the Blood of Christ and the mercies of God, I am forgiven. This is also true of those who practice homosexuality.

Wrong-headed legislation!

In my opinion, it was wise to have laws on the books prohibiting homosexual behavior since it is deleterious to the common good. However, the United States is not a Theocracy, it is a democracy based upon Godly principles. I understand, even as I disagree, the motivations of those who press pro-homosexual causes. Unfortunately, to decriminalize homosexuality has also meant that the homosexual agenda just moves the line forward. Homosexuals are trying to not just legalize their sins, but legitimatize them as well. How? By trying to change what marriage is, for one thing. Also, by trying to penalize those who speak against homosexuality by passing vague laws who, if applied in certain ways, could cause those of us who oppose the homosexual agenda to face jail for presenting our views! Freedom of speech is in peril, as is freedom of religion, by these pro-homosexual crusaders who are intent upon receiving a legal stamp of approval upon their sin and to criminalize those who disagree.

As I hearken back to the movie, "Amazing Grace", I recall what happens in the end. (This is a spoiler, skip the rest of this paragraph if you have not seen the movie and don't want to know in advance)! The abolitionists found a way to pass a law concerning the flying of flags of neutrality. No one realized how, once the law was passed and carried out, it would stop most of the shipping of slaves in that almost all ships doing the slaving were flying American flags and, once having flown that flag, could never have the protection of flying a British or French flag again in the eyes of British law, thus making them fair game for plunder by privateers on the high seas. The abolitionists found a backhanded way to put an end to slavery by making it a losing proposition and shortly thereafter were able to present and have passed a straightforward law to put an end to the slave trade altogether.

I oppose all efforts by front door, side door, or back door, to put an end to freedoms of speech or religion in the United States of America. I oppose all efforts to legally force Americans to recognize homosexuality as some kind of protected specialized behavior.

On the other hand, let's be clear on this point. I don't believe homosexuals should be discriminated against because they practice homosexuality any more than should be adulterers or people who exceed the speed limit. The true Christian sees all men and women as children of God who are sinners and need the mercy of God in their lives. Homosexuals are not a special set of people to be treated differently, as lepers were once treated in Biblical times. I say that Jesus healed the lepers, he didn't revile them. Christians should not revile homosexuals, just see them as sinners whose sin is no greater than the next-door neighbor who has an affair with his secretary.

Therefore, when I opposed the LEHCPA of 2007 or any related legislation, I am not doing it from prejudice or hatred. I am doing it on principle and with reasoning. To quote a commenter, "Worse yet, there are some key phrases that open doors wide that many people don't want opened. For example, Pike said, the bill is to "prevent and respond to alleged violations," meaning "the government does not even have to wait until a hate crime has been committed but may act pre-emptively to 'prevent' crime."

Pike is sort of right here, but trying to start a needless fire. Prevention. The bill authorizes the grants. These will be education grants to inform and educate about diversity. PRE EMPTIVE ACTION DOES NOT mean sweep people off the street and throw them into Guantanamo with no due process...oh, sorry, getting into a whole nother topic there..."

Nice try, but that is exactly the problem. This section opens the door for free speech to be prosecuted and for federal monies to be thrown at a problem from the wrong direction. I don't hate homosexuals, but I hate the idea of my right to oppose them being taken from me and my freedoms threatened because they have succeeded in crafting wrongheaded and dangerous legislation.

13 comments:

Lava said...

Radar, which version of the Bible do you quote?

radar said...

Oh, King James, New King James and New International Version are my favorites...why?

loboinok said...

Very good testimony radar! I agree with every single bit of it. (except for the one paragraph; I haven't watched it yet);O)

It also brought back some old forgottens from the late 50's to late 60's.

Lava said...

I was wondering because I want to be able to quote the Bible back in response. I'd like to use a Bible that use.


I know this is somewhat off topic(well, maybe, maybe not off topic), but can you explain this passage of the bible. I'll comment on the hate crime law later.

Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Should we kill all homosexuals or am I reading this wrong?

cranky old fart said...

Lava,

It just means they gonna die because of what they've done. Doesn't say to kill 'em.

The killing stuff is reserved for the wayward spouses, upstart children and the like.

Do I have this right radar?

cranky old fart said...

"Unfortunately, to decriminalize homosexuality..."

It should be a crime?

"In my opinion, it was wise to have laws on the books prohibiting homosexual behavior since it is deleterious to the common good."

Oh yeah, I guess it should.

Since you seem worried about losing your right to call someone a fag, I'm surprised you wouldn't be concerned about the government snooping in bedrooms. Oh that's right, it's not YOUR bedroom. (Wanna bet?)

While we are on the topic, adultery should be criminalized also, no?

How about death for sassing your parents, working on the sabbath, etc?

And what is it with all the Leviticus stuff anyway? The truly crazy stuff is always avoided by saying that "Jesus changed all that" and yet it's still quoted all the time to say, "God says so".

And while I appreciate your statement on racism, the Bible/God clearly had no problem with slavery. Did your black friends think that was OK?

You've opened a rich area for further discussion. I'm looking forward to the many rich rationalizations to come.

loboinok said...

While we are on the topic, adultery should be criminalized also, no?

How about death for sassing your parents, working on the sabbath, etc?



At the beginning of this country's history of common and civil law, those(as well as others) were crimes punishable by death.

If you are not capable of recognizing that the laws then, were few but effective because they imposed harsh, immediate and public penalties - as a result, they had a polite society and far more freedoms... then you will have far more difficulty comprehending laws that are millenniums past, rather than centuries past.

And while I appreciate your statement on racism, the Bible/God clearly had no problem with slavery.

"When God gave the law to Moses, slavery was a part of the world, and so the law of God recognized slavery. But this does not mean that slavery was God's original intention. The law of Moses was given to fallen man. Some of the ordinances deal with things not intended for the original creation order, such as slavery and divorce. These will be eliminated completely only when sin is eliminated from the earth. God's laws concerning slavery provided parameters for treatment of slaves, which were for the benefit of all involved. God desires all men and nations to be liberated. This begins internally and will be manifested externally to the extent internal change occurs. The Biblical slave laws reflect God's redemptive desire, for men and nations."

Types of Slavery Permitted by the Bible
The Mosaic law permitted some types of slavery. These include:

1. Voluntary servitude by the sons of Israel (indentured servants)
Those who needed assistance, could not pay their debts, or needed protection from another were allowed under Biblical law to become indentured servants (see Ex. 21:2-6; Deut. 15:12-18). They were dependent on their master instead of the state. This was a way to aid the poor and give them an opportunity to get back on their feet. It was not to be a permanent subsidy. Many early settlers to America came as indentured servants. These servants were well treated and when released, given generous pay.
2. Voluntary permanent slaves
If indentured servants so chose, they could remain a slave (Ex. 21:2-6; Deut.. 15:16-17). Their ear was pierced to indicate this permanent subjection. The law recognized that some people want the security of enslavement. Today, there are some people who would rather be dependent upon government to provide their needs (and with that provision accepting their commands) than do what is necessary to live free from its provision and direction. Some even act in a manner that puts them in jail, desiring the care and provision they get more than personal freedom.
3. Thief or criminal making restitution
A thief who could not, or did not, make restitution was sold as a slave: “If a man steals . . . he shall surely make restitution; if he owns nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft” (Ex. 22:1,3). The servitude ceased when enough work was done to pay for the amount due in restitution.
4. Pagans could be permanent slaves
Leviticus 25:44-46 states: As for your male and female slaves whom you may have ‹ you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen [brother], the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.

In the Sabbath year all Hebrew debtors/slaves were released from their debts.. This was not so for foreigners (Deut. 15:3). Theologian R.J. Rushdoony writes, “since unbelievers are by nature slaves, they could be held as life-long slaves” 1 without piercing the ear to indicate their voluntary servitude (Lev. 25:44-46). This passage in Leviticus says that pagans could be permanent slaves and could be bequeathed to the children of the Hebrews. However, there are Biblical laws concerning slaves that are given for their protection and eventual redemption. Slaves could become part of the covenant and part of the family, even receiving an inheritance. Under the new covenant, a way was made to set slaves free internally, which should then be following by external preparation enabling those who were slaves to live at liberty, being self-governed under God.

Involuntary Servitude is Not Biblical
Exodus 21:16 says: “He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” Deuteronomy 24:7 states: “If a man is caught kidnapping any of his countrymen of the sons of Israel, and he deals with him violently, or sells him, then that thief shall die; so you shall purge the evil from among you.”

Kidnapping and enforced slavery are forbidden and punishable by death. This was true for any man (Ex. 21:16), as well as for the Israelites (Deut. 24:7). This was stealing a man's freedom. While aspects of slavery are Biblical (for punishment and restitution for theft, or for those who prefer the security of becoming a permanent bondservant), the Bible strictly forbids involuntary servitude.

Any slave that ran away from his master (thus expressing his desire for freedom) was to be welcomed by the Israelites, not mistreated, and not returned. Deuteronomy 23:15-16 states:

You shall not hand over to his master a slave who has escaped from his master to you. He shall live with you in your midst, in the place which he shall choose in one of your towns where it pleases him; you shall not mistreat him.

This implied slaves must be treated justly, plus they had a degree of liberty. Other slave laws confirm this. In addition, such action was a fulfillment of the law of love in both the Old and New Testaments. The law of God declares: “. . . you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:17-18). Leviticus 19:33-34 clearly reveals that this applies to strangers and aliens as well: “The stranger, . . . you shall not do him wrong.. . . . you shall love him as yourself.”

It was forbidden to take the life or liberty of any other man. Rushdoony writes:

Thus, the only kind of slavery permitted is voluntary slavery, as Deuteronomy 23:15,16 makes very clear. Biblical law permits voluntary slavery because it recognizes that some people are not able to maintain a position of independence. To attach themselves voluntarily to a capable man and to serve him, protected by law, is thus a legitimate way of life, although a lesser one. The master then assumes the role of the benefactor, the bestower of welfare, rather that the state, and the slave is protected by the law of the state. A runaway slave thus cannot be restored to his master: he is free to go. The exception is the thief or criminal who is working out his restitution. The Code of Hammurabi decreed death for men who harbored a runaway slave; the Biblical law provided for the freedom of the slave. 2

Rushdoony also says that the selling of slaves was forbidden. Since Israelites were voluntary slaves, and since not even a foreign slave could be compelled to return to his master (Deut. 23:15, 16), slavery was on a different basis under the law than in non-Biblical cultures. The slave was a member of the household, with rights therein. A slave-market could not exist in Israel. The slave who was working out a restitution for theft had no incentive to escape, for to do so would make him an incorrigible criminal and liable to death. 3

When slaves (indentured servants) were acquired under the law, it was their labor that was purchased, not their person, and the price took into account the year of freedom (Lev. 25:44-55; Ex. 21:2; Deut. 15:12-13).

Laws related to slaves
There are a number of laws in the Bible related to slavery. They include:

1. Hebrew slaves (indentured servants) were freed after 6 years.
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment (Ex. 21:2).
If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. And when you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed (Deut. 15:12-13). Hebrew slaves were to be set free after six years. If the man was married when he came, his wife was to go with him (Ex. 21:3).
This law did not apply to non-Hebrew slaves (see point 4 under “Types of slavery permitted by the Bible” above), though, as mentioned, any slave showing a desire for freedom was to be safely harbored if they ran away. In violation of this law, many Christian slaves in America were not given the option of freedom after six years (and many escaped slaves were forcefully returned). To comply with the spirit and law of the Old and New Testament, non-Christian slaves should have been introduced by their master to Christianity, equipped to live in liberty, and then given the opportunity to choose to live free. Christianity would have prepared them to live in freedom.
2. Freed slaves were released with liberal pay.
When these slaves were set free they were not to be sent away empty handed. They were to be furnished liberally from the flocks, threshing floor, and wine vat (Deut. 15:12-15).
3. Slaves were to be responsible.
We have mentioned that some people prefer the security of enslavement to the uncertainty of living free. People who live free have certain responsibilities they must maintain. They cannot have the fruit of freedom without the responsibilities of freedom. It is within this context that the following law can be understood:
“If he [a Hebrew slave] comes alone, he shall go out alone; if he is the husband of a wife, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife, and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall belong to her master, and he shall go out alone.” (Ex. 21:3-4)
Rushdoony comments:
“The bondservant, however, could not have the best of both worlds, the world of freedom and the world of servitude. A wife meant responsibility: to marry, a man had to have a dowry as evidence of his ability to head a household. A man could not gain the benefit of freedom, a wife, and at the same time gain the benefit of security under a master.” 4
Marrying as a slave required no responsibility of provision or need of a dowry. He gained the benefits of marriage without the responsibilities associated with it. Rushdoony continues:
“If he married while a bondservant, or a slave, he knew that in so doing he was abandoning either freedom or his family. He either remained permanently a slave with his family and had his ear pierced as a sign of subordination (like a woman), or he left his family. If he walked out and left his family, he could, if he earned enough, redeem his family from bondage. The law here is humane and also unsentimental. It recognizes that some people are by nature slaves and will always be so. It both requires that they be dealt with in a godly manner and also that the slave recognize his position and accept it with grace. Socialism, on the contrary, tries to give the slave all the advantages of his security together with the benefits of freedom, and, in the process, destroys both the free and the enslaved.” 5
4. Runaway slaves were to go free.
As mentioned earlier, Deuteronomy 23:15-16 says that a runaway slave was to go free. He was to be welcomed to live in any of the towns of Israel he chose. The Israelites were not to mistreat him. Rushdoony says that, “Since the slave was, except where debt and theft were concerned, a slave by nature and by choice, a fugitive slave went free, and the return of such fugitives was forbidden (Deut. 23:15,16).” This aspect of Biblical law was violated by American slavery and the United States Constitution (see Art. IV, Sec. 2, Par. 3). “Christians cannot become slaves voluntarily; they are not to become the slaves of men (1 Cor. 7:23), nor 'entangled again with the yoke of bondage' (Gal. 5:1).” 6 Those who became Christians while slaves were to become free if they could (1 Cor. 7:21). If they could not, they were to exemplify the character of Christ (Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:1-2). Eventually, Christianity would overthrow slavery, not so much by denouncing it, but by promoting the equality of man under God, and teaching the principles of liberty and the brotherhood of mankind under Christ. It would be the responsibility of Christians, especially those who found themselves in a place of owning slaves (for example, many Christian Americans in the past inherited slaves) to teach such ideas, and then act accordingly. Many Christians in early America did just this. Phyllis Wheatley was introduced to Christianity by her masters, educated, and given her freedom. Many American Christians, in both North and South, at the time of the Civil War did much to educate slaves Biblically. Stonewall Jackson, who never owned slaves himself and was against slavery, conducted many classes in his church to educate slaves.
5. Excessive punishment of slaves was forbidden.
A slave could be punished by striking with a rod (Ex. 21:20-21), but if the punishment was excessive, the slave was to be given his freedom (Ex. 21:26-27; Lev. 24:17). This included knocking out the tooth or damaging the eye. This applied to indentured servants as well as other slaves. Since the owner would lose his investment in such a situation, there was a financial incentive for just treatment.
Just treatment of slaves was required of the masters. Paul writes: “Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven.” (Col. 4:1)
6. Slaves could be brought into the covenant.
Slaves could be circumcised (brought into the covenant) and then eat of the Passover meal (Ex. 12:43-44; Gen. 17:12-13). Slaves could also eat of holy things (Lev. 22:10-11).
7. Slaves had some rights and position in the home and could share in the inheritance.
(See Gen. 24:2 and Prov. 17:2.)
8. Slaves were to rest on the Sabbath like everyone else.
The Fourth Commandment applied to all (Ex. 20:8-11).
9. Female slave laws were for their protection.
Exodus 21:4-11 gives some laws about female slaves, which served for their protection. These Hebrew female slaves were without family to assist them in their need or to help to provide security for them. These slaves laws were a way to protect them from abuse not faced by males and to keep them from being turned out into the street, where much harm could come to them.

Examination of the Biblical view of slavery enables us to more effectively address the assertion that slavery was America's original sin. In light of the Scriptures we cannot say that slavery, in a broad and general sense, is sin. But this brief look at the Biblical slave laws does reveal how fallen man's example of slavery has violated God's laws, and America's form of slavery in particular violated various aspects of the law, as well as the general spirit of liberty instituted by Christ.

The Christian foundation and environment of America caused most people to seek to view life from a Biblical perspective. Concerning slavery, they would ask “Is it Biblical?” While most of the Founders saw it was God's desire to eliminate the institution, others attempted to justify it. At the time of the Civil War some people justified Southern slavery by appealing to the Bible. However, through this brief review of the Old Testament slave laws we have seen that American slavery violated some of these laws, not to mention the spirit of liberty instituted by the coming of Christ.

Slavery and the New Testament
When Paul wrote how slaves and masters were to act (Eph. 6:5-9; Col. 4:1; 1 Tim. 6:1-2; Col. 3:22-25; Titus 2:9-10), he was not endorsing involuntary slavery or the Roman slave system. He was addressing the attitudes, actions, and matters of the heart of those Christians who found themselves in slavery or as slave owners. This encompassed many people, for half the population of Rome and a large proportion of the Roman Empire were slaves. Many people were converted to Christianity while slaves or slave owners, and many Christians were enslaved.

It is in this context that we can better understand the example of Paul, Onesimus, and Philemon. Onesimus, a slave of Philemon who apparently stole some money from his master and ran away, encountered Paul in Rome and became a Christian. Paul sent him back to his master carrying the letter to Philemon. Author of the famous Bible Handbook, Henry Halley writes:

The Bible gives no hint as to how the master received his returning slave. But there is a tradition that says his master did receive him, and took Paul's veiled hint and gave the slave his liberty. That is the way the Gospel works. Christ in the heart of the slave made the slave recognize the social usages of his day, and go back to his master determined to be a good slave and live out his natural life as a slave. Christ in the heart of the master made the master recognize the slave as a Christian brother and give him his liberty. There is a tradition that Onesimus afterward became a bishop of Berea. 7

The Mosaic slave laws and the writings of Paul benefited and protected the slaves as best as possible in their situation. God's desire for any who are enslaved is freedom (Luke 4:18; Gal. 5:1). Those who are set free in Christ then need to be prepared to walk in liberty. Pagan nations had a much different outlook toward slaves, believing slaves had no rights or privileges. Because of the restrictions and humane aspect of the Mosaic laws on slavery, it never existed on a large scale in Israel, and did not exhibit the cruelties seen in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Assyria and other nations.

Sinful man will always live in some form of bondage and slavery, as a slave to the state, to a lord or noble, or to other men. As a step in man's freedom, God's laws of slavery provided the best situation for those who find themselves in bondage. God's ultimate desire is that all walk in the liberty of the gospel both internally and externally.

As the gospel principles of liberty have spread throughout history in all the nations, man has put aside the institution of overt slavery. However, since sinful man tends to live in bondage, different forms of slavery have replaced the more obvious system of past centuries. The state has assumed the role of master for many, providing aid and assistance, and with it more and more control, to those unable to provide for themselves. The only solution to slavery is the liberty of the gospel.

Lava said...

First off, Lobo- unless your name is Stephen McDowell cite your sources.

At the beginning of this country's history of common and civil law, those(as well as others) were crimes punishable by death.

If you are not capable of recognizing that the laws then, were few but effective because they imposed harsh, immediate and public penalties - as a result, they had a polite society and far more freedoms... then you will have far more difficulty comprehending laws that are millenniums past, rather than centuries past.


Are you implying that if we today had the same set of laws enforced in the same way we would have a polite society with far more freedoms????

I agree that many crimes were punishable by death. But punished by death? Rarely. Not because the "crimes" didn't happen, but because the laws just weren't enforced as written.

To imply, harsh punishments are better then what we have today is to misunderstand the purpose of the criminal justice system. We have gradations of punishment for a reason. Why? We have different punishments for robbery and murder, because what would keep a criminal from killing every man he robbed if he knew he was going to get death for the robbery(killing all the witnesses means you probobly won't get caught)?

loboinok said...

First off, Lobo- unless your name is Stephen McDowell cite your sources.

If I were Stephen McDowell, I wouldn't have put it in quotes. I should have given the link but thought I had posted it here previously but now realize that it was probably on Tim's old site.

The Bible, Slavery, and America's Founders


Are you implying that if we today had the same set of laws enforced in the same way we would have a polite society with far more freedoms????

Stands to reason, doesn't it?
Can you provide any evidence that reducing the penalty for crimes have contributed to a general decrease in crime over the course of several decades?

Do you really believe that enacting more laws lead to more freedoms?

We have different punishments for robbery and murder, because what would keep a criminal from killing every man he robbed if he knew he was going to get death for the robbery(killing all the witnesses means you probobly won't get caught)?

Well... at one time, people held to a higher standard and respect for human life. As a result, they would be ore inclined to rob but not kill.

It's my opinion that criminals are not too concerned with the death penalty because they know, as we do, that it actually being carried out, is extremely low(unless you live in Virginia, Texas or Oklahoma). And even then, your life expectancy is on average, 20-25 years.

200+ years ago; the chance of getting caught was not very good. But if you were, the punishment was severe and quick.

Today, the chances of getting caught is extremely likely but the punishment is slight and if severe, not quick to be carried out.

Aside from that, I posted to rebut cranky's contention that, "...the Bible/God clearly had no problem with slavery."

Lava said...

Lobo-

how much of that last comment of your's is based purely on guessing and speculation?

If it were up to you, would you just hang everyone convicted on petty offenses?

loboinok said...

how much of that last comment of your's is based purely on guessing and speculation?

Very little. Granted, some of it is based on life experience, so I couldn't give you a link to it, but I imagine if I had to, I could find something to support it.

The long past is obviously information I picked up through the years and things learned in school.
Back then, they actually taught real subjects that prepared us for college and becoming productive citizens, and tended to shy away from diversity and progressive social issues.

If I remember correctly, our big issue was hiding under the desk to survive an atomic attack.

And in my younger, pre-Christian days, I had extensive experience with the judicial system.


If it were up to you, would you just hang everyone convicted on petty offenses?

Robbery and murder are not petty offenses, but if you mean; would I condone the stoning to death of someone violating Old Testament Law... no.

Now let me ask you a question.

Do you think our justice system is better today, than it was 60 years ago?

If so, which is more just... not arresting someone for spray painting on the Capitol steps or arresting someone for writing the word "okay" on a school desk?yklhx

Lava said...

Very little. Granted, some of it is based on life experience, so I couldn't give you a link to it, but I imagine if I had to, I could find something to support it.

Really?

200+ years ago; the chance of getting caught was not very good. But if you were, the punishment was severe and quick.

Pure speculation.

Well... at one time, people held to a higher standard and respect for human life. As a result, they would be ore inclined to rob but not kill.

This statement you just pulled from youknowwhere. I did a study for a class of three Georgia counties(they had very accurate crime data dating back). The per capita rates of murder, violent, and sexual crime has remained nearly constant for almost 200 years.

Do you think our justice system is better today, than it was 60 years ago?

Loaded question, but I'll answer it. It is worse but that is because of the way we deal with non-violent drug offenders and the political pressures for the expansion of prisons and to be tough on crime.

Frankly, society has changed so much and you cannot blame the change in society on the change in the criminal justice system. Too many other factors.

Republican Presidential Candidate Jack Shepard said...

Redeployment Plan for Iraq! Presidential Candidate Jack Shepard's Redeployment Plan for Iraq is the Best and Only Option.

http://www.jackshepardforpresident.com/PlanforIraq.html

“Your Plan for deploying our forces into four staging areas is an interesting one. Once again, thanks for writing and for your support. P.S. -You have an interesting website!" Please know that Secretary Gates greatly values your support and thoughtfulness"

Harold Heilsnis-AFIS-HQ/OPC
Director of Public Communications-
May 10, 2007

read email visit: http://www.jackshepardforpresident.com/images/letter1.jpg

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JACK SHEPARD’S PLAN FOR IRAQ AFTER THE PRESENT SURGE OF AMERICAN SOLDIER IS COMPLETED IS FOR A MAJOR AMERICAN TROOP REDEPLOYMENT INTO 4 SAFE STAGING AREAS IN IRAQ.

After the present surge of American soldiers is completed; I think there is a good chance to have a significant number of troops returning home when I am President.

Then the remaining American Troops should be redeployed to more secure bases to be used as a rapid strike force in support of the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police when the Iraqi Government will call for our help in limited joint actions. I have been on record as advising against a 100% return home of all of our soldiers in the after this present surge is completed it would unthinkable if you think about it in detail.

I know as a soldier that for several years we must have a small limited number of American troop remain in Iraq to be concentrated in bases that we already have; and be working only as quick reaction troops that could be called in by the Iraqi Government to aid in specific actions of our choice.

If we lose Iraq to the insurgents the reality of it like it or not, this is not Vietnam, the Vietnamese were never a threat to America or our allies. Iraq controlled by terrorists would be lethal for our allies in the Middle East.

The truth must be understood if these insurgents gain control of the Iraq Government, they will use Iraq as a staging area to attack and maybe gain control of our allies in the Middle East; Israel, Jordan, Egypt and
Afghanistan

Like it or not we have a long term commitment to stay in Iraq. Even if we are seldom called upon to fight the Iraqi insurgents. We must remain in the background as a massive and lethal threat to guarantee 100%
against the formation of a terrorist state out of Iraq if the insurgence wins. This is nothing about a civil war, it is at this point simple about keep the control of Iraq out of the hands of terrorists.

The redeployment of our troops to relatively safe areas is so very important, even if we are very seldom use to fight in support of the Iraqi troops.

Our continued presence in remote staging areas is necessary to guarantee that the insurgence will never win control of Iraq creating a safe haven for terrorism in the heart of the Middle East with the income from billions of dollars of oil to finance their war of terrorism against America.

My planned major redeployment of American troops would get the major part of our troop off the streets. That I think would not only be safer but very much smarter because the less the Iraqi people see of our troops the more the Iraqi government can work to cool tensions between the Sunni’s and the Shiites.

After a careful study of Iraq I am proposing when the present surge of American troops is completed that
remaining America troops must be move and centred in 4 staging areas to be used as rapid responders in
immediate support of the Iraqi Police Force and Iraqi Military who will almost immediately take over all
contact and ground work with the Iraqi population.

No longer will our American troops be the target of Foreign Arab fighters, snipers and suicide bombers who presently are rushing to Iraq to kill an American.

No longer will our American troops be routinely walking the streets of Baghdad or any other city as easy
targets for any sniper driving by or any suicide bomber driving around.

When we are called and decide to be deployed to support the Iraqi troop it will be for a quick hit and run attack with a lightening speed; where the insurgents will no even know what hit them. We will shift to an
overwhelming use of force concentration in a specific small concentrated area to gain the maximum effect.
Never again will our troops be walking around like sitting ducks.

These four major staging areas in Iraq are:

Staging Area #1- Baghdad’s International Airport

Staging Area #2- Tallil AB- near Al-Nasiriyah in the South

Staging Area #3- H-1 an airstrip in the western desert

Staging Area #4- Bashur Airfield is located in Central Iraq approximately 356 kilometers North of Baghdad, & 50 kilometers Northeast of Erbil. Even though it appears as a small civilian airport we have reinforced it’s 6,700 foot long single runway.

I am advising that American troops will be not walking the street in any regular pattern. I repeat; First this
will place our troops into a much safer situation, and Second because of my redeployment plan it will create a situation where our American troops will suffer very much fewer causality but they will be available at a
moments notice to support the Iraqi troops.

We are still in Iraq, we prevent a mass civil war in the Middle East Region and we have much less causalities.This is a major shift in present policy, but I am advising that presently this is the only way to proceed in Iraq after the present surge of American Soldiers have completed their mission immediately.

If elected the next President of the United States in 2008 if my planned redeployment of our American troops fighting Iraq has not been implemented I promise to immediately implement it.

My plan will greatly reducing the causalities of our brave American troops still fighting in Iraq but still protect us and our allies in the Middle East from a most lethal Iraq controlled by terrorists.

Dr. Jack Shepard, a Candidate for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
Official Web site: http://www.jackshepardforpresident.com

Contact Jack@jackshepardforpresident.com









http://president-jack-shepard-iraqi-plan.blogspot.com/