You apparently feel compelled to show me every possible verse in the Bible that refers to slavery, and throw it out as “evidence” that the Bible endorses the type of chattel slavery legally recognized in America until 1865, triumphantly claiming such “evidence” shows the moral failings of the Bible. This is a desperate and unsuccessful attempt to undermine the core values of Christian faith, and leaves me marvelling at the depths to which you and other dogmatic true believers of atheism will go to make themselves feel intellectually and morally superior to those of us who profess our Christian faith.
One passage from the Old Testament causes you to exult:
Exodus, Chapter 20, Verses 20-21 reads as follows:
“When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.”
“See, see !” you cry. “Your God endorses slavery, because he clearly recognizes that the slave is the property of the master.”
Such an approach to the Bible is simply a fishing expedition to find that evidence of holy immorality, and use it to justify the atheist’s world view, or perhaps lack of world view.
You are just one of many atheists who suffer from what I call “the Logic of the Lonely Mind.” For you, the Bible is simply a set of logical rules, to be understood in the black and white letter of the law spelled out in the English words of the translation of the Bible currently in posession of its owner. Not a thought is given to the original meaning of the original language in which the passage was written, nor to the true meaning of the terms used, nor to the context of the passage. Hence, the lonely mind of the atheist cannot see, does not wish to see, all the factual evidence that does not support his or her religion of “non-belief”, a religion that ultimately is rooted in the atheist’s narcissitic elevation of his own moral and intellectual superiority over that of all believers.
Applying any of these basic tools of analysis to the passage in question yields a completely different conclusion for the rational person who is a seeker of truth.
Consider first the preceeding passages of the same chapter.
Exodus 21, Verses 2-3 states:
“If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing.”
This verse leads us to the next obvious difference in Old Testament and American slavery of the 17th through 19th centuries. American slavery was permanent and racially based. Old Testament slavery, though it could in certain circumstances be permanent, was often not, and was most definitely not racially based.
But perhaps the simplest and most powerful response to you as you look for Biblical endorsement of slavery is this—the new covenant between Man and God made with Christ’s sacrifice is described in the words of the New Testament, not the old. Christians look at the Old Testament as a collection of stories that set the stage for the coming of Christ, not as an irrefutable guideline for life. That the Old Testament acknowledged slavery is true. That it endorsed slavery in a few passages is an argument that can be made, but not with a great deal of strength. But even if such an endorsement were to be conceded, it would be irrelevant. Any thinking Christian, reading the life of Christ, and following the Golden Rule, knew that the Bible and the teaching of Jesus were completely opposed to slaver
In your post, you state:
“Mr. Leahy, your post on Exodus 21:20 left me very disturbed. I am left with the impression that
you are little bothered by the idea that human beings can be property.”
This of course is a ludicrous claim on your part, one which is completely unsupported by any facts, and consistent with your need to create the silly “straw man” of Christian faith.
Continuing in your “straw man” need to attribute statements to me which are exclusively in the nether parts of your own mind, you state:
“So you believe that God inspired a passage that endorses the notion that a person can be the
property of another? Think about that!! Why would a good God endorse such a vile notion?”
Like Spence before you, you seem to set forward yet another repetitive unfounded allegation. This has been asked and answered dozens of times previously. There is something in the lonely minded logic of your own particular atheism that somehow cannot process all the previous facts I have presented on this topic.
Continuing along the line of your need to invent a world in which your own brand of atheism sets you apart as morally and intellectually superior to all the rest of us foolish believers, you once more declare your own belief in yourself.
” I cannot fathom how anyone could believe that Ex 21:20 is sacred. IT IS NOT. IT IS MORALLY REPUGNANT.”
Continuing along your self annointed path to atheistic sainthood, you say:
” To my mind, the most disgusting thing about slavery is the very idea that one human being can own another human being. PEOPLE ARE NOT PROPERTY. BUT GOD EXPLICITLY ALLOWS PEOPLE TO BECOME PROPERTY. THE BIBLE GIVES US A GOD WHO EXPLICITLY ENDORSES THE IDEA THAT A PERSON CAN BE THE PROPERTY OF ANOTHER.
That is morally disgusting.”
Once again, you falsely assert God’s endorsement of slavery, then declare it morally repugnant. In your lonely logic, therefore, you congratulate yourself on “proving” that God is morally repugnant. The notion is simply in your mind alone, and supported by no facts.
Continuing to display your ignorance of the historical conditions of slavery, you state:
“And thus the distinction you make between different types of slavery, while of historical
importance, really have no moral significance. It appears to be nothing more than an attempt to obfuscate the issue on your part.”
Like many atheists, your argument is simply this: When the facts are not consistent with my argument, I simply ignore the facts, and declare a great moral principle is more important than the facts.
If and when true logic and reasoning capability comes to you, you will see that such arguments are completely and totally circular.
Get over your deep seated needed to “prove” God is wrong, and simply look at the facts honestly. Once the prism of acolytic atheism is removed from your mind, you might find that you come to quite different conclusions about what Christian faith and the Bible actually say.