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September 19, 2013

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Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

RonH, I'll take a stab here, but I think these verses are to be taken in light of the fact that slavery was already established and nearly ubiquitous in the ancient world. I don't read this as God instituting the slavery so much as taking the human institution and saying something along the lines of, "if (or even since)you are going to have slaves, do not take them from your fellow Israelites!" Israel was a set-apart people for God. That doesn't mean He was necessarily saying "but these other people don't matter," but He wanted to be very sure to set Israel apart as His special people.

I may be incorrect in my interpretation. There are a couple more legitimate takes on this, but I am making an assumption (dangerous I know) that the point of your post was to demonstrate that the abolishionist story is moot, because God was commanding people to have slaves, so either Gregory was wrong and God thinks slavery is a-ok, or there is a contradiction within the Christian worldview. If I mistook it, I am sorry. If that was the point of your post, the above explanation shows there is at least one legitimate explanation for this verse without saying that God instituted slavery.

I think the point of the article here is that there are Christian principles against slavery, such that even if it was not explicitly condemned in the Bible. Here was have someone in the ancient world speaking out against slavery ON CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES. That's because people have value - we were created in the image of God.

Peace

Love's void found in that loveless domination of one human being over another human being is but hell on Earth according to God, Who is Love. Genesis 3:16 is no fantasy: Love defines in that verse such abuse as the Outside, as Evil, as Death. and the evil therein is concrete, actual.


Corporeal.


There is far more in scripture's [A to Z] in this entire arena.


Love's coherency remained intact, yet, those who cherry pick verses will not see the Whole.

Steve,

Why take it to say something it doesn't?

RonH

scblhrm,

Are you saying I cherry picked?
Why would you say that?

What are the verses I omitted?
The ones that reverse the meaning of these?

RonH

RonH,

You seem to think scripture will turn on itself and produce Love and Life and Sanity out of the vacuum which Love Himself has vouched will only yield lovelessness, death, and insanity. Hell on Earth spoken of in Genesis 3:16 by our Great Abolitionist is but the dark outside, the fruits of Love's Execution, which is both our death and our hope, both our hell and our salvation. John 3:16 tells of our Great Abolitionist's Passion, the reversal you speak of, which Love first speaks of in Genesis 3:15, thus defining Genesis 3:16, John 3:16, and the hell in between.


Good luck making sense out of the hell there in between Love's two executions.

You'll fail. Because you don't take Love at His Word.

A quote regarding our own execution of, destruction of, love’s necessarily triune landscape there in Genesis, which is our enslavement, and, on Love’s Execution out there inside of what Love defines as the Love-Less, as the Cold Outside, as hell on earth, which is both our Great Abolitionist’s weapon and our salvation: "On the one hand death is the triumph of Satan, the [fruit] of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more. On the other hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptized into the death of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. Death is, in fact, what some modern people call "ambivalent". It is Satan's great weapon and also God's great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope; the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered." (C.S. Lewis)

Quoting from Torah in order to denigrate Christianity is not always the best strategy. Torah is a law that was set forth for a specific time, place, and culture, and was never meant for all humanity throughout time. On top of it, we see that throughout the Bible, God reveals the truth of ethics over time, but tolerates certain sins in those moments. For instance, look at the concept of divorce. In Torah, God permits divorce, albeit with certain conditions. In the Old Testament book of Micah, however, we find that God actually hates divorce. Jesus tells us that God permitted divorce because people's hearts were hard. Now, through Christianity, however, we carry a virtue ethic propelled by the Holy Spirit, not a law book. Thus God permitted the practice of slavery because the Israelites hearts were hard. But through Jesus, the truth is revealed that slavery is ethically wrong/sinful, due to the reality is that we are created in God's image, and are servants/slaves of Jesus, not another human being.

It seems likely that Gregory of Nyssa's abolitionist views were related to his views on God being the father of, and therefore having an inextinguishable love for, every human being.

Here's a small sample of the evidence that Gregory believed that Hell (i.e. the Lake of Fire) was painful, purifying and temporary, and that God one day will be All in all (I Cor. 15:22,28) ...

1. "The power of evil shall be taken away, and they who, on account of their disobedience, were called God's enemies, shall by subjection be made God's friends. When, then, all who once were God's enemies, shall have been made His footstool, because they shall receive in themselves the divine imprint, when death shall have been destroyed ... in the subjection of all, which is not servile humility, but immortality and blessedness, Christ is said, by Paul, to be made subject to God."

2. "At some time the nature of evil shall pass to extinction, being fully and completely removed from existence; and divine unmixed goodness shall embrace in itself every rational nature nothing that has been made by God falling away from the Kingdom of God: when, all the evil that is blended with existence being consumed by the melting action of the cleansing fire, everything that has had its being from God. shall become such as it was at first, when as yet untainted by evil." --Orat. in 1 Cor. xv. 28, vol. i. p. 844

For more on Gregory and about 50 other fathers who also believed in Hell's finite duration and Christ's total victory, please see ... http://www.tentmaker.org/books/ChristTriumphant.htm

The problem with Man in Privation, void of Love’s community that just is E Pluribus Unum, is just that: Man is in a vacuum necessarily not amalgamated within, Uncreated Love. All that is left him is God’s Power, on necessary contingency in the thing we call existence. Power void of Love has only a few options at this point, there in what must on necessity follow Genesis 3:16.


1) Power can utterly forsake Man in his Privation there inside his chosen world that just is love-less-ness. Now, the technical term for that condition would be “hell”. Such would be the end, perhaps, of Man, or, perhaps not of Man, but, most certainly, of Man’s hope for immutable goodness.

2) Power can approach in utter proximity into that love-less-ness and, all physicality, should such occur, will simply be annihilated for In-Sufficiency wrapped up inside of All-Sufficiency cannot go on existing, for, it cannot be said of God, of All-Sufficiency, “Look, there in God, there is that in-sufficiency”, and that on necessity.

3) Power can do what He did and, in proximity, void of intimacy, necessarily aggravate and hasten, by proximity, death, though, by void of intimacy, spare Man his end. Here we see all the business of Jesus reference to Marriage’s Intimacy as it was prior to Genesis 3:16 and Power’s necessary restraint prior to John 3:16. Scripture calls the Law of Moses the Ministry of Death for a reason. Such is death restrained, not life fashioned.

None of those motions redeems, or, changes, or saves Man from his isolation. Only one of those motions prepares Man for such.

The only option for Power which can undo, redeem, Genesis 3:16 is John 3:16. Nothing else re-creates, births, begets, amalgamates Man-In-God, God-In-Man. Man must be able to motion inward and find, not his own In-Sufficiency, but, Uncreated Love’s All-Sufficiency, and in every direction. Juxtaposition can only bring death (and it did just that) whereas, Amalgamation is the only hope for Man in Privation.

Man assassinated Love there in Genesis, though, Love did not forsake Man. Man assassinated Love there in John, though, Love did not forsake Man. God did not forsake Man to his chosen Privation there in either of love’s two executions at Man’s hands. Nor did God draw near in utter proximity in raw, unadulterated Power void of Love and therein necessarily annihilate all physicality.



Power did something else. Something far, far better than utterly forsake, and, something far, far more merciful than kill across the board. Instead, Love draws near and incognito redeems the world to Himself, and though Power’s proximity to the world hidden inside of a People can only mean, not less-death, but must mean by proximity of Power to Man’s Vacuum merely more death to any Man found in Privation, which means on necessity to all Men everywhere, we find in this act of Mercy that which means, in the end, far less death to all of Mankind and that which means Man’s hope ultimately for we know that juxtaposition must necessarily give way to amalgamation if death is to ever give way to life. And though Love is on necessity found behind a veil, hidden atop His Mercy Seat, out of reach, such is through the repulsiveness of endless sacrifices Power’s restraint of death for death, eye for eye, life for life, until in Time’s fullness Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self says of all of the above, “I have no delight in any of this. Prepare for Me a Body”, as He echoes His distaste for the dark outside found in Genesis 3:16, and annihilates not only Man’s slavery within that hell on earth but also by His Endless Life forever fills all vacuums, forever unveils the Mystery of what Man-In-God, God-In-Man just is there within that amalgamation that just is love’s E Pluribus Unum.

He told us He would thus Actualize back there in Genesis 3:15, as the hell on earth about to ensue by our own hand in Genesis 3:16 is necessarily actualized, and that is why His Actualization there in John 3:16, chosen by Love in Timelessness, is found in all its physicality here within Time. We find in our Slavery yet another example of the coherence of [Un-Willed Actualization] contained within [All-Possibilities] which is but some small part within that far wider actuality that just is [God]. Love Himself, our Great Abolitionist, pours Himself out that such vacuums need not, necessarily speaking, ever exist for any of us. If we are Slaves, it seems we are so by our own hands, though we need not be necessarily, and, if we are Free, it seems we are so only by His Hand and that necessarily.

Scblhrm, your answer is much more complete and provides the context for understanding the verse RonH brought up. Praise God for His Love and the Freedom He has provided! Thank you.

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