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July 17, 2015


In Scripture Paul comes and tells the owner of a slave to count this slave of his, from now on, as a Brother in Christ, and to treat him as he would Christ. Big words which would cost Paul his life. Paul tells husbands to honor women, to lay down their life for her the way Christ does for us; he tells slave owners to do the unthinkable and place their slave above their very Self. He tells us to value our children and not abuse them. And Paul is assassinated, like Christ was, for his offensive views of the innate value of Every-Man vis-à-vis reality's hard-stop: God. Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. arrives on scene and he mirrors Christ, insisting that all men factually house intrinsic worth. And he is, like Christ, like Paul, assassinated for it. That God factually loves the world houses a costly instantiation.

"The problem wasn’t that the Church failed to condemn slavery; it was that few heard and most of them did not listen...."

Well, this is a problem where Stark is trying to take a gray issue and make it black and white. He makes it appear that Christians were only on the abolitionist side. The majority of Christians in the Confederate states were in favor of slavery. The formation of the Southern Baptists was a result of a schism in the Baptist church over slavery.

We see the same revisionism with the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. There were Christian churches and individuals who spoke out about equal rights and marched with Dr. King, but there were also many who saw the Civil Rights movement as problematic and something that was dividing the church.

We have to take in both sides and accept that there were Christians on both sides of history.

Merely a counterbalance to the misinformation of a handful of Atheistic critics who make it "seem like" every Christian was for slavery, which of course is not merely comical but historically ignorant.

We'll let Stark's other 5 or 10 books, and the bit about Christians burning witches, speak for his even handed treatment of many sins.

Fortunately Christ, Scripture, Paul, Pastor MLK Jr., and the Christians who ended slavery in the UK/US are all in defitional agreement. We can't speak for Atheists but Bertrand Russell attributes Gandhi's success, in large part, to the Christianized conscience of his audience.

Of course, being an Atheist, he calculated human equality vis-a-vis the mathematics of the useful fictions of a herd mentality, hence, in his view, both Gandhi and his audience were factually mistaken.

Hmmm…… Typo on definitional. How about this instead:

“……Christ, Scripture, Paul, Pastor MLK Jr., and the Christians who ended slavery in the UK/US are all in definitional agreement…….”

Ragtime writes: "Well, this is a problem where Stark is trying to take a gray issue and make it black and white. He makes it appear that Christians were only on the abolitionist side. The majority of Christians in the Confederate states were in favor of slavery. The formation of the Southern Baptists was a result of a schism in the Baptist church over slavery."

That is unfortunate. One of the problems Christians always face is the temptation to assimilate the dominant, trendy views of their secular contemporaries. This is what happened in America among some Christians--like the southern Baptists--who fell for the whole racialist science, Enlightenment view of human beings.

Notice that Stark shows that the rise of slavery--after its virtual elimination in the West--corresponds with the rise of the Enlightenment. That fact some Christians got caught up in the "scientific progress" should not surprise you. After all, some Christians today--e.g., Tony Campolo, David Neff, David Gushee--have done the same thing with the newest prize of the Enlightenment, same-sex "marriage." Like their southern Baptist predecessors, they felt the pressure to conform to the Zeitgeist. Every generation of Christians faces this. We need to pray for them.

I grew up in Northwest Alabama, Winston county, also known derogatorily as "Free State of Winston" for the people who didn't want to secede from the Union during the civil war. The majority of the people in this area were against the CSA, and many of the men joined the Union military instead of being conscripted into the Confederate army. There is a book (Tories of The Hills) giving info about the people of the time. Christopher Sheets was a young school teacher who was the elected leader of the local population. He suffered for voting against secession and was imprisoned for treason. He was appointed as a federal judge and diplomat to Denmark after the war. This is only one area of several within the South that were pro Union. Even though there was a substantial amount of the people that were Southern Unionist, the men who promoted the white washed version of "the lost cause" really need to be shown for their revisionist history which they advocated for. Many of Southern Unionist understood the war was over the issue of slavery from the beginning of the conflict, well before Lincoln's emancipation proclamation.  Even many of the "state rights", the leaders of the CSA said were being trampled, was an attempt to protect the "peculiar institution". In other words, their "right" to own the inferior people of color. After the Civil War the USA military basically tried to exterminate many of the American Indian tribes in an effort of fulfilling "manifest destiny". So the same government that claimed emancipation for the black man soon returned to conquering the native red man. Don't think I am trying to bash my nation, I'm not. I just hope Christians will see they ultimately belong to the much greater kingdom of God. This nation is only temporal, but one thing is for certain, our life's are certainly only temporary on this earth and we will live for an eternity.

The reason I start with this is because there many who want to equate Antebellum slavery with the slavery discussed within the bible. I don't see God endorsing slavery but as tolerating the sinful men who participated in slavery, and He wanted these sinners to come to repentance. So, He patiently waited for these sinners to repent, even as He does for us today. The bible clearly put restrictions on slavery, and demonstrates the way to emancipation for slaves in many verses. The Antebellum slavery developed from and into some sort racial superiority, trying to equate people of different skin color as inferior. The bible teaches that we are all of one blood, and it teaches we all descended from Adam then from Noah's three sons (I know, I'm one those ignorant biblical literalist,lol). This is why the concept of Antebellum slavery was so evil; it determined people of color (black Africans) as a lesser human. People of color being considered inferior wasn't restricted to the to the South. If you read some history of the abolitionist movement in England, you can see that they deemed the black slaves as "brothers", but they were also viewed as lesser "brothers". Slavery in the bible, or even in ancient civilization, was based on something more similar to indentured servitude. Even in time of war, when conquered people who became slaves it was based according to tribe vs tribe and not based on skin color. Race slavery is more of a modern development, around the mid 17th century in colonial Virginia a black indentured servant was sentenced to lifetime of slavery for trying to escape his servitude. It was more of a gradual transition into slavery based on skin color. By the way the bible doesn't even subscribe to "race" according to skin color. It discusses the different tribes, tongues, and nations of people; but not the modern secular ideology of race by skin color. All people are of one blood created in the image of God.

The Church (believers in Christ) needs to remember these words to show the path to freedom to all the slaves of our day. Joh 8:34  Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. Joh 8:35  The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. Joh 8:36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
God is sovereign, the heavens are His throne and the earth is His footstool. Christ is sitting waiting until all His enemies are under His feet.
I pray, I believe, Lord help my unbelief.

True. Very true. Moses regulates acts which God hates. Like divorce. Therefore the mere fact that God in Moses/Law regulates X while simultaneously hating X tells us plainly that "stopping there" yields the stuff of invalid definitions. Then, the definitions in the wider canopy of Scripture's meta-narrative carry us to all valid stopping points as the immutable love of the Necessary Being instantiates within the created order. That God factually love's the world is then found carrying a costly price tag.

That's all old news, but the Critic is fairly unmotivated to keep up.

And, obviously, Critics don't like to read "whole" books.

That's too hard.

Then throwing in historicity too, well, that's unthinkable.

So they cherry pick a few verses and run with said straw man.

-Cause it's far, far easier.

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