Why does the Bible say that you can own slaves?

Automatic Transcript Generated

Speaker 3

Michael asks, why does the Bible say you can own slaves, how much you can buy and sell them for, and what you can and can’t do to them?

Speaker 1

So that’s a really good question. And it’s related to sort of of some other questions we keep getting, like, why does God allow women to continue to be taken advantage of and mistreated? Why does God allow pain and suffering? All these questions. And this one is even harder because, yeah, God does provide laws which permit these things, it seems. But as we talked about even last time, there’s a difference between God’s perfect will, the way God really wants things to be done, versus the way God is sort of willing to let things be for the moment, because he knows he can only move the central human race so fast so far at any one time. One of my favorite verses is John 16, verse two, in which Jesus says, I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them right now. So it’s one of those things where we were talking about relationships and driving a wedge in relationships, and slavery is one of the best examples of that. God created everybody be equal. There’s one race, the human race, and we’re all brothers and sisters in God’s eyes. And this idea that one person should subjugate another is absolutely horrific.

Speaker 1

It’s the exact opposite of humbling ourselves like God really wants. So what does God really want? Like Isaiah 58, this is a fast that I have desired, that we should break the yolks, set the oppress free, these sort of things. That’s what God really wants to see. And it’s so sad that we have Christians today who think the Christian thing to do is to see stiffer penalties and harsher sentencing and more people going to prison when that’s the exact opposite, really, of God’s mindset and how God wants people to be. And if you look at Romans six, verse 17, for example, it’s comparing slavery. We’re all in slavery to sin, and we’re trapped in sin. And how does God get us out? By making the slaves to him. And he’s a wonderful master. He’s a wonderful keeper for us and his laws. His ways are where we find life, where we find enjoyment, where we find protection. So it’s a total shift. That’s where God really wants everybody be. It’s free and equal. And I’ll just say one thing to you. Go back and look at the Mosaic laws that involve slavery, and the people who would become slaves if they were Hebrews, they would only be a slave for six years.

Speaker 1

And at the end of that, they would be set free in the 7th year. And so if you made mistakes and you run out of money, you could temporarily sell yourself into slavery. You work for someone, and then after that 7th year or in that 7th year, you’re released. So it’s not this permanent thing. And during that time, you’re supposed to be taken care of. You’re not supposed to be mistreated. And there’s all these laws in there that also say the owner has to recompense his slave if he injures them and mistreats them. So God is very mindful of these things. Just because he allowed slavery doesn’t mean he liked it. It doesn’t mean he wanted it. And if you study the Bible from beginning to end, you realize God never wanted it at the beginning. And in the end, he’s going to do away with it. So, yeah, none of us should be saying, oh, because it’s in the Bible, that’s what we should do. It’s the same thing as polygamy. Just because God put up with it doesn’t mean God wants it. And anybody who followed polygamy had bad things happen, their families were a mess.

Speaker 1

I’d say same thing with slavery. It just probably is not good for people. I’m saying even for the slave Masters, we need to be of a humbling ourselves being the servant. And that’s my thought, I think. Do you guys have any other thoughts?

Speaker 2

Yeah, I think that’s so true. I think, like you’re saying God’s perfect will and God’s permissive will are two different things.

Speaker 3

God never won slavery.

Speaker 2

But he saw that it was going to happen. And so God, at least in his final said, look, since you guys are having slavery regardless, let me at least give them some rights and give them some dignity. And the word slave is not used in the Old Testament. It’s called a servant. But again, it was like you worked off your debt.

Speaker 3

It was a way to work off debt.

Speaker 2

It wasn’t like what you think about our shameful American history, what happened here, it was a very different situation. And like you’re saying, these people, they were to be treated well and with rights. And I think as far as you saying that.

Speaker 3

What God’s will is.

Speaker 2

You see a beautiful picture that in the Book of Philippines in the New Testament where basically in verse 16, because Philman is just one chapter, it basically says, now Paul is calling this man to accept this slave who would run away from him. He says, not now as a servant.

Speaker 3

But above a servant.

Speaker 2

A brother beloved especially to me, but how much more to be both in the flesh and in the Lord. So basically, you see here in this verse, like that, God was like, you know what, I know you guys have a system of slavery or servanthood here in this world, but I want you to accept them as people, as your brother in love. And so you just see that so beautifully in that story. And I think that Paul was really calling Christians to a new mindset of how we treat other people as he had been converted through Jesus Christ.

Speaker 1

Amen. Yes, excellent story. And want to add one thing, too, if we got a little bit. Just a moment, Dorani 20. 315 is really interesting. God says you shall not give back to his master. The slave who escaped from his master if he escaped to you. So it’s just shine to me like God’s not a big fan of slavery and if a slave escapes are like I want to see that person free. So definitely the abolition this in God’s eyes. We’re doing great things back in the 1800s. And to this day God wants to see everybody set free. Amen.

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