Going to post this again tonight. It just needs to be reinterated: "So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another." Rom. 14:19
Tommy:Are you suggesting that God endorsed (or endorses) slavery? Social or legal acceptance has nothing to do with it. This is man's verse. "Look slaves (who can't read), even your God said you should honor us. Now back to work or I'll beat you with an olive branch. Oh, and that's ok too because your God said we could hit you as long as we don't kill you." Controlling the masses by disguising a King's law with God's.
Leslie: i don't think God endorses (or even created) slavery. i think slavery is evil (and man-created) and i think God thinks it is evil too. BUT i also think man is evil by nature, God allows man to chose between evil and good, and thus, He allows slavery (and any other evil in the world).
in this verse, He is saying Christian slaves, even though man is evil and has instituted this evil system, you still have to chose good. and in the OT God doesn't condone physical force against slaves. He requires more of Jews - He holds Jewish slave owners responsible for killing their slaves (which no other culture did). in the NT, Ephesians 6 tells both slave and master to chose good because it is God they are trying to please not evil men. God is explicit that He will not favor the master over the slave when they stand before Him in heaven.
"5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free....
9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him."
Tommy: Again, this is the worst possible place to have this discussion but....
That doesn't make sense. First of all, man was created in God's imaged. So, for man to be evil just by being man doesn't work. (Also, God created evil. He had to. He created the heavens and everything in it. But, I digress). Also, if slavery is wrong, why would God ... instruct slaves to be good at it? He could just say, "Follow my law, but get away from this evil". The whole notion that God had rules for slave owners is fallible because slavery is evil. That's like God saying, "Don't steal. But if you do, here's a few rules you should keep in mind". My point is that a lot of "rules" in the Bible serve man not God. So, more to the point, man his put is little amendments in the scripture.
Seriously, let's start a blog!!!! (Note: this is the result of this request : )
Leslie: I'm all for the blog! Tell me where.
For thought: If God created evil, and man is created in God's image then why couldn't man be evil by being man?
Man isn't evil by just being man. He is evil b/c he sinned in the garden. God can't create evil - He is good. Good can't be evil.
God never said "Don't own slaves" so your comparison to stealing is ... not parallel.
So you think man wrote Scripture to benefit himself? This doesn't make any sense if God is who He says He is. God says that when people trust in Him, He changes them - from evil to holy, from selfish to selfless, from man-centered to God-centered. So, man could not have written Scripture for his own benefit, if for no other reason, than because it would have been against God's character/Spirit, which was supposed to live in them as believers.
Tommy: The Bible was composed several hundred years after the fact by people that never even met Jesus. That should be enough for you to have a some concern about all of the contents. You said it yourself: Man is evil. So, given what you know about man, wouldn't it seem a little likely that people added, or subtracted, part(s) of the book? You have to answer "yes". Anything else is giving too much Faith. Not to God, but to man. God didn't say "Don't own slaves" in the bible because it was probably deleted. Again, man is evil, right?
God had to have created evil. He created everything. If God didn't create it then who did? If your answer is anything other than "God" then God is
not all powerful.
Enough of this. I have to get back to work.
Leslie: The Bible was written by men who had personally spoken with God - I know for the NT, and I believe the same is true for the OT. In fact, other than a few of the OT authors and John, all of these same men were willing to be martyred because of their faith - so it must have been real if they were willing to die for it!
I don't have to answer "yes" to your question because although men are born sinful, Jesus paid the penalty for our sin on the cross (the wages of sin is death), so He justified us, making us right with God. BUT not only did He die, He also rose so that we could experience righteousness here on earth as well. All the men who wrote the Bible either lived in that knowledge or by faith in what was to come. The later, God accredited their faith as righteousness. All the men who wrote the Bible shared this faith and thus this new righteousness (they lived by the Spirit of Christ, as believers say).
Even with/despite this righteousness of the believers, the Bible is completely true because God gave the words to the original authors (I'm NOT talking about all the scribes who copied it - but there was a VERY detailed process with this as well.) So God is the true Author; the godly men who penned it were just His tool to get the Word out.