DOES THE BIBLE CONDONE SLAVERY?

I hear much about slavery. Most of the time it is a person of color that is doing the talking and they seem to make it a black (Good) and white (Bad) institution.

 

I believe this attitude is detrimental to relations between the two races. When I hear such an attitude I think to myself, “They have never been a slave and I have never been a slave master” and I for one do not appreciate the inference that, because I am white I am any more evil than anyone else. What happened to either my great grandfather or theirs has no more relevant with either of our situations today than what the weather was 100 years ago.

 

This attitude also completely discounts the white people that helped the slaves escape, those masters that were not cruel to their slaves, and all of the Union soldiers that died to liberate the slaves.

 

Then because I question everything I wondered just what the Bible said about slavery. I was surprised that it does not condemn it! Even more so when I realized that if one applies the second Royal Law to slavery it does not pass the test.

 

The second Royal Law is “Do to others as you would have them do to you” If I were a slave owner and I applied the second Royal Law to my position I would have to free my slave.

 

The shortest book in the Bible (Philemon) is an account of Paul sending Onesimus a slave back to his owner. It is an example of our salvation and that I believe is why it is included. It is an allegory where we are the slave and are sent back to our Master (God) by our savior (Jesus) who paid the price for our freedom: just as Onesimus is sent back to his master by Paul, who offers payment for him.

 

I think I understand the dichotomy of why the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery and yet it is wrong.

 

God owns everyone, just as you would own a robot if you designed it and made it from your own materials. So God cannot declare slavery wrong without declaring Himself a sinner. God is love therefore He is the perfect Master and no one would be slighted by being the slave of God. But men are not so full of love and men should not own men.

 

What prompted me to write about slavery is that I was passing the home of John P. Parker the other day and since it was on a weekend it was open. Mr. Parker was a slave that managed to buy his own freedom and I have wondered how that was possible. So I stopped and asked. The lady suggested that I buy Mr. Parkers Autobiography “HIS PROMISED LAND” and I did.

 

Now, I usually only read the Bible, but I really wanted the answer and when I started to read it I couldn’t put it down. It has more action in it than “The Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

I believe it is just waiting for someone in the entertainment business to discover.

 

I also believe that the story of Mr. Parker, if handled right, could do as much to restore relations between people of color and white people as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” did to push us apart. I don’t mean to malign Tom’s Cabin” as it was necessary to unite people against slavery.

 

Mr. Parker was both white and black. His father was white and mother black. Also he was both slave and free man. He hated slavery, but he did not hate white men. Most of those who risked losing everything and serving time in jail to be conductors in the Underground Railroad were white men.

 

There was only one sentence in the whole book that turned me off. I almost put it down when I read it, but I didn’t have my answer yet so I continued to read it and I am glad I did. I can’t say enough about the book, or about Mr. Parker.

 

“O”, if you also wonder how Mr. Parker bought himself, then buy the book! I had to!

 

15 Responses to DOES THE BIBLE CONDONE SLAVERY?

  1. pantheophany says:

    But men are not so full of love and men should not own men.

    While this is an interesting position, can you find any Biblical backing for it? The Bible speaks at length on the proper ways for men to own other men. For instance, Exodus 21 talks of how the Hebrews are to deal with other Hebrews that they buy (these are just protections for other Hebrews; they don’t protect non-Hebrew slaves). Men are to be released after 6 years (so like indentured servants), but their children are to belong to the master for life (so like slaves). There are detailed rules here for the treatment of daughters that you sell into slavery. Abraham and Solomon owned slaves with no comment from God. It goes on and on.

    It’s important to understand that most of the laws on slavery in the Bible are quite progressive for their time. Even those that seem cruel or arbitrary are actually ways of making sure that slaves are protected. Don’t like the Hebrew girl you bought? God says you have to offer to sell her back to her family. You can’t go sell her to foreigners who might mistreat her. But this doesn’t change the fact that, while progressive in context, these are still laws that accept slavery as a natural part of life, not something to be condemned. That makes the morality of the eternal laws of God inferior to even the moral understandings of a modern child in America.

    Most Biblical slavery was likely not the chattel slavery of America’s history. Chattel slavery is based on the premise that men should not own other men, so slaves must be less than human. The Bible says that the slaves are human and even have rights, but it is acceptable and natural for men to own other men. They may not (at least in most cases I’ve found), kidnap other freemen, but there are still many ways for people to be owned for life, including being sold by their parents. We certainly wouldn’t consider that moral today.

    The New Testament does not create a new understanding of slavery. Mostly it is silent on the matter, with only a few comments one way or another, despite its being a common practice at the time. But again, this makes sense in context. The New Testament does not call for changes in the world. It says the world will soon end, so do not worry about worldly things. Perhaps this is still true, but it is still difficult to square the Bible as eternal truth and perfect morality if it never even bothers to condemn slavery. This is a book that takes a strong stance on mixing wool and linen (it is forbidden). Slavery was too minor a subject?

  2. Clark Bunch says:

    The Apostle Paul said that while he was once a slave to sin, he became a slave to God. That’s an interesting analogy.

    Let’s also remember that the slavery we read about in the Bible, the slavery that existed in Africa, those were nothing like the slavery of the American south. White Europeans of the 18th and 19th centuries devalued and demoralized slaves in a way that had never been seen before. For this very reason, slavery has been outlawed in most of the world, and by all civilized nations.

  3. pantheophany says:

    Let’s also remember that the slavery we read about in the Bible, the slavery that existed in Africa, those were nothing like the slavery of the American south

    Totally agreed. Do you believe it would be moral for the US to institute Biblical slavery laws? I should be allowed, for instance, to sell my daughter to another man, and a country based on a Biblical foundation should help manage and enforce that transaction in the same way that it regulates and recognizes marriage.

    The Apostle Paul said that while he was once a slave to sin, he became a slave to God. That’s an interesting analogy.

    This is a key point I believe. Christianity does not include the concept of freedom. You must be a slave to one thing or a slave to another. God buys you, he does not emancipate you. God established marriage as the Earthly shadow of the our Heavenly relationship to Christ. Should we embrace Biblical slavery as the Earthly shadow of our Heavenly relation to the Father?

  4. astudent says:

    pantheophany,

    Well, I believe the second Royal Law is Biblical backing for my statement. It comes straight from the Bible and if we all obeyed it there would be no wrongs against anyone.
    If you do not want to be a slave to any man then do not make any man your slave.

    I agree that slavery was allowed in Old Testament times, but one can not condemn God nor say His laws are unjust, for if God made everything and therefore owns everything He has the right to allow slavery if He chooses.

    Slavery is not all black and white (Chuckle). If you are starving along with your family and you could sell your daughter to someone that would not do her harm then I think you ought to be allowed to do so. That way none of you would starve to death. Well, not for a while.

    You see we make laws that are very specific in nature. Slavery is not permitted in most countries today so in that situation everyone would starve; except the man who would buy someone. There is no need for any law to guide any man but the second Royal Law and we only confuse ourselves with all of the laws we write.

    As I understand it we are slaves to either the world or God. You are correct about that, though it is not that we must be slaves, but that we are slaves. The only choice that we have is who or what we are slave to. That is to say that only on this earth are we slaves. When we accept Jesus as our Lord we become sons of God and a brother to Jesus; no one in Heaven is a slave. Families were to help each other, so there would be no brother slave to his own brother.

    Thanks for pointing out the Old Testament concept of slavery. I have much to think about.

    Clark Bunch,

    You may be right about the treatment of slaves of the American south, but let me quote John P Parker who is much more an expert on the subject than either of us.
    “It was not the physical part of slavery that made it cruel and degrading, it was the taking away from a human being the initiative, of thinking, of doing his own ways.” (Chapter one – His Promised Land)

  5. pantheophany says:

    If you do not want to be a slave to any man then do not make any man your slave.

    As I understand it, I have no choice in whether to be a slave or not, as Paul explains to us, so seems unrelated to whether Biblical slavery is moral. As you point out, there are perhaps good points to Biblical slavery, and if God designed its implementation, one must imagine that it also passes the Second Royal Law. So my question is simple: should we not as a God-fearing country institute the laws that God provided in Exodus and legalize Biblical slavery? If we should not, how do we come to that position without invalidating Exodus?

    “Do onto others” is a very slippery law. The common retort is “if I am a masochist, should I beat others?” But a less extreme example, I like to talk to other about technology almost incessantly. Yet, I know that in love, I should not do this to others, and rather consider why they would like to talk about. Thus I must continually elevate this law to higher levels until it reaches the level that appears right. If I do not take “Do onto others” at its literal, simplistic face value, what standard do I use to determine at what level I should properly interpret it? Why not use that standard to judge your behavior in the first place and skip this law all together? Alone, “Do onto others” provides limited, and often fallacious, moral guidance.

    Christians certainly do not wish to be converted to other religions, yet it is required that Christians attempt to convert others. If to avoid this issue, we raise “as you would have done” to some higher level, then Muslim use of conversion by the sword is equally moral following the same law. They also, at a higher level, would wish someone to convert them by the sword rather than be condemned to Hell. As a solitary law, it does not lead to moral action, and when other laws and guidance and truths are added to remedy this, we find that the second law is generally redundant.

  6. astudent says:

    pantheophany,

    You say that God implemented slavery among men, but there is no verse that supports this. It is true that we are either slaves to God or slaves to Satan, but that is a spiritual slavery not the same as a man slave to another man. It seems as if there is a slightly different shade of meaning between believers and nonbelievers of the word slave. When I say I am a slave of God it only means that I know that God owns me. It doesn’t mean that He abuses me in any way. Because of the sins of men slavery to most people congers up imagines of beatings and all kinds of abuse.

    Because God made us and therefore owns us God’s slavery is only natural in the course of things. That in no way means God designed slavery between man and man. God gets blamed for the sins of man all of the time, probably because God does not stop man from sinning. There is no doubt in my mind that slavery, where a man is the master, is wrong. It does not pass the test of the second Royal Law and therefore it is wrong.

    All of the laws in Exodus that pertain to slavery are for the protection of the slave, as you said in your first comment, but not to, in any way, legalize slavery among men. All of the protection applies to foreign slaves, because there were not suppose to be any Hebrew slaves. As I said, God does not stop sin, but He does make laws to minimize the damage. He does not stop the sin that causes problems even if those laws are not obeyed. He said that Israelites should not be enslaved by their own brothers and when they were He allowed it; though He did not bless them for it. He also did not stop divorce though it is wrong.

    Now I have to laugh!!! If everyone practiced the second Royal Law how could the masochist practice his disorder? Who would beat him? It would not be me, because I don’t want to be beaten so I would not beat anyone and it wouldn’t be a sadist, because though he likes to inflict pain he doesn’t want any for himself!!!! I suppose the masochist could find another masochist and make a deal where he would abuse the other half of the time and be abused the other half, but deals between deranged people seldom work out. Anyway it is a funny response to the second Royal Law and worthy of a laugh.

    The second Royal Law is simple and if followed as it is written there is no need to complicate the law. All of the law is based on the second Royal Law. If one looks for why murder is wrong it is apparent that the second Royal Law was not followed at the very start of the problem that led up to the murder. I used murder, but any offense can be traced back to disobeying the second Royal Law.

    Your own example is a good one. You do not want someone to talk incessantly about some subject that you have little interest in, so applying the second Royal Law you do not do it to them. It does not require any elevation to a higher level at all; if it is applied to the beginning of the problem. There is no problem that escalates when you apply the second Royal Law to what you know bothers others.

    As a Christian I am not required to convert anyone. That must come from within the nonbeliever. I am only responsible for warning those who do not believe. Because some do not want to hear what we say they become angry and accuse believers of powers they do not possess. If I had the power to forcibly convert someone I would not, because it is not God’s plan. Though everyone is a slave it is up to the person what, or who he is slave to. Those who do not want to believe seem to think that it is right for them to express their own views about religion, but wrong for those who believe to do the same!!! That also does not pass the test of the second Royal Law.

    One can not be converted by the sword. Anyone who does not believe in any god will only claim that they do to keep their head where God put it. Lopping off someone’s head if they do not validate anything does not pass the test of the second Royal Law.

    God allows sin so that man has a choice. That choice is obviously to sin or not to sin. If He stopped sin there would be no choice. Though God is always right, He wants sons that agree with Him, just as any father does. And though all men sin He has instituted a plan where anyone who wants can be saved. The problem seems to be some do not want to really think about it because they (we) enjoy sinning and we would have to stop. Then there are those who make up their own god that allows their favorite sin and then lop off anyone’s head that disagrees with them. hummmmm

  7. bee says:

    I totally disagree with this phrase “What happened to either my great grandfather or theirs has no more relevant with either of our situations today than what the weather was 100 years ago” as a white person you may not be affected by what your white ancestors who were slave owners did but a Black person is still affected by slavery and its aftermath.Slavery is the reason why they are in the US.Slavery accounts for why they are referred to as minorities.Slavery accounts for why they are looked down on sometimes. While African Americans people should not dwell on slavery,they however cannot forget, it is the essence of who they are… thus, still very relevant to them…You have not walked in the shoes of a black person in this country,you are a white guy so i can see why you’ll make such an ignorant statement

  8. astudent says:

    bee,

    What is wrong with being in the USA? It would seem a better country than some. What is wrong with being a minority? It only means not the majority.

    It is not because of slavery that some white people look down on black people; it is because they are black. You, like others that experience prejudices do not realize that the problem is in those that are prejudiced and not in those who are the target. It is a character flaw of the one who thinks he or she is better than someone else because they are different from them.

    Well, you are right about me. I am white, but you assume that I have not faced any prejudice and you are very wrong about that. You see, I am short. I am only 5 foot 3 and many people “look down on me” (your phrase also, but more accurate when applied to me).

    When I was younger and had not thought it out I used to think there was truly something wrong with me, but now I understand that it is not me that has the problem, but it is those who would make fun of me that really have the problem. The basic problem is their insecurity and vanity. They did not make themselves tall and yet they are proud of being so! Just like the white man that didn’t make himself white and yet claims he is better than you, because he is white.

    There is nothing wrong with being short or being black and we can not make the problem go away by complaining about it. It is what it is. Why make yourself miserable because of someone else’s problem?

    My parents were short and the world made fun of them also and because they were short they did not receive the same treatment as those around them that were tall, so they did not become rich and famous. Why would I go about life lamenting their treatment and claiming I am poor because my parents were treated like me? Would that change my plight or just make me miserable?

    We have to get a life and I mean live our own life. You fall into the trap of the vain when you accept what they say about you. Stop looking for what is wrong with being black and start looking for what is right. God made you black, just as He made me short and God makes no mistakes. Do not be either proud or ashamed of who or what you are.

    By the way, if you don’t think that I am faced with the same, though different problem as you, then remember the song ‘Short People’ that was popular sometime ago. When has the world felt comfortable singing the same things about black people that were sung about short people? And everybody laughed!

    Actually I also laughed, because I know there is nothing wrong with being short and a joke can not make me or break me. Could you laugh if they sang the same things about black people? You can if you put your head on straight.

    Ignorant means lacking knowledge and I certainly am not ignorant when it comes to prejudices. But then I don’t claim to know everything either.

    By the way, by the way, my ancestors never had enough money to buy a slave and your statement was quite prejudice. You might want to examine your own prejudices, before you accuse others. You would cite white people as classing all blacks the same and call them prejudice for it and yet you class all whites as slave owners. Hummmmmm

  9. Jade says:

    This topic has been on my mind a lot lately. Not the slavery of the world, but the slavery of sin vs the slavery of God.

    I came to the conclusion that we are either one or the other, either a slave to Sin or a slave to God. There’s no in-between. We can attempt to say that we are a slave to ourselves, but in reality when we say that we’re just stating that we’re a slave to Sin.

    Very few people really want to be in bondage to someone else. And if our (even human) nature is so against it, it is easy to see how many would reject God simply for that reason (that we become his slaves) & would choose to continue in their sin (perhaps thinking that they are choosing to be free to serve “themselves” (not realizing they are really slaves to Sin)).

    A few verses came to my mind when thinking about this.

    1. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth & the Life” – John 14:6

    2. John 8:31-36 (below)

    Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.”
    They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
    Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

    3. Specifically, “You will know the Truth & the Truth shall make you free” – John 8:31

    4. Specifically, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” – John 8:36

    A thought that’s been running through my mind a lot lately is that God does NOT set us free TO sin. He sets us free FROM sin.

    I think:
    1. God does not want us to have ANY MASTER BUT HIMSELF.
    2. He would never demand something he does not RIGHTFULLY deserve.

    I have a few more thoughts about this topic, but I’ll save them for later as I need to consider them a bit more before I attempt to write about them.

  10. astudent says:

    Jade,

    I almost agree one hundred percent.

    The only thing that I see from a different angle is, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become sons of God; not slaves. However, if I had to be a slave, I certainly want to be a slave to our Father.

    To use your verse John 8:35 (NIV) Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.

  11. Jade says:

    Thanks for replying. I’m going to break up my reply into 4 parts but I just want to first say that I believe we are both slaves & sons/daughters of God.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this. Trying to wrap my mind around how God can say that we are slaves to him & yet he can also say that we are his sons and that we are free. I suppose that is one of the “apparent paradoxes” of the bible. (by apparent, I mean that on the surface it appears that the Bible has 2 opposing views (a contradiction) on the same topic, but when you search deeper you begin to understand that they are not contradictions).

    The first few verses that came to my mind immediately after reading your reply were Matthew 6:24 (no one can serve 2 masters) and 1 Corinthians 7:23 (you were bought with a price, do not become slaves of men).

    When I hear Matthew 6:24 I don’t just hear the word ‘money’ (although that’s certainly very true), I hear “You cannot serve God and __(anything else)__”. We can have only one master. Whether it’s God, a specific sin, another person, or money. One Master. We are all slaves to something (no matter how much we live in denial of it). If we say that we are not a slave of sin any longer, then by default we are a slave to God. If we say that we are not a slave of God, then whose slave are we (the answer would vary from person to person but I think it would always boil down to “sin”)? And if we say we have no master, how honest are we really being (Romans 6:16)?

    1 Corinthians 7:23 states that we are bought with a price (and it’s not the only verse that states that). What you buy, you own, right? If we’ve been bought by the blood of Christ, how can we ever say that we are free? What RIGHT do we have to say that God is NOT our Master, when he rightfully bought us? God is our only rightful Master and if we follow any other Master after we are saved, we are stealing from God what is rightfully his (our life/thoughts/desires/minds/hearts).

  12. Jade says:

    If we were not slaves of God, why is it mentioned so many times in the Bible? If “slave” is not the word that God meant, why did he use it? And not just once, but multiple times? If God meant “son” every time that slave was used, why did he not use “son”?

    “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” – Romans 6:16

    “But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God” – Romans 6:22

    “For the slave who has been called in the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; and similarly the free man who has been called is Christ’s slave” – 1 Corinthians 7:22

    “Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” – 1 Peter 2:16

    “Knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. For you serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:24

    “As slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart.” – Ephesians 6:5-6

    “And you, masters, do the same things to them, giving up threatening, knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” – Ephesians 6:9

  13. Jade says:

    The reason I spent so much time on trying to explain how we are slaves of God is only because it’s so important to me personally.

    There are many different ways in which one can view God: savior, comforter, friend, helper, confidant, creator, etc., and how one person is viewing God at a particular time may not be the same way someone else is viewing him at that time.

    That being said, I know that we are the adopted sons of God. When reading your reply I agreed with you, but I felt like there was a something missing. If I truly believe that we are slaves of God, how do we go from slaves to sons? I think the answer is found in Galatians.

    Would you agree that a Master has the right to free their slave?
    Would you agree that someone who is a Master has the right to adopt someone as their son?
    Would you agree that that same Master who freed their slave could choose to adopt that same slave as their son, thereby moving him from slave to son status?
    God is our Master, but he is also our adoptive father. He has chosen to free us as slaves & now calls us sons/daughters.

    But now we come to an important question. At what point do we become no longer a slave but a son? The minute we are saved? 5 years later? When we die? Years after we die? Can we be both slaves & sons/daughters at the same time? I believe the answer is found in Galatians 4.

    “Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” – Galatians 4:1-7

    Now, the growth of a Christian throughout his life has been compared to a human’s growth many times, right? Some of us are babies in our Christian life, some are young children, some are teenagers, some are full grown & mature.

    At what point is a son differentiated from a slave? I would venture to say that it is when he receives his inheritance. Until then, we do not differ.

    When will we receive this inheritance? Now, later, some now & some later? I believe that our inheritance from God will come to us later (i.e. after we die).

    How is God going to recognize those who are his sons? The Holy Spirit.

    One of the questions I had originally was how God can say we are slaves & yet can also say we are free. I think that he can say we are free because we no longer need to attempt to fulfill all the requirements of the Mosaic Law. The minute Jesus died on the cross, was the minute that requirement ceased.

    We are no longer slaves in that we need to try to follow the letter of the law, we are slaves more in that Christ purchased us. Our servitude should never be one of obligation, but one of humility. Does that make sense?

    When I realize what an amazing God we have in that he has chosen to give us an eternal inheritance that is the same inheritance that Jesus will be receiving, how can my response be anything but offering the only thing that I can (my life)? What did we do to deserve a God like this?

    I want to be humble. I need to be humble. But my human heart is so flawed, so prideful, so selfish, so ungrateful, so bitter.

    My heart is so unwilling to be a slave, even to the one who saved me.

    My heart wants to be free. And, by the amazing grace of God, it is.
    He has freed me from the constraints of the Law.

    I am free to know & follow hard after God. Free to become like Christ, instead of being a slave of Sin.

    I am free to view myself as & be a slave/servant of God. Not with a resentful heart, but one filled with awestruck wonder of what God has done. To serve him, not out of obligation, but with a willing heart.

    Like the lyrics to the song:
    Give me one pure and holy passion
    Give me one magnificent obsession
    Give me one glorious ambition for my life
    To know and follow hard after You

    To grow as your disciple in your truth
    This world is empty, pale, and poor
    Compared to knowing you, my Lord
    Lead me on and I will run after you

  14. Jade says:

    I suppose that one could try to say that because God has adopted us as his children we no longer need to view ourselves as slaves of God. But I believe that removing the ‘slave of God’ from our relationship with him hinders it rather then helps (the majority of the time, anyway).

    I mentioned above that I need & want humility.

    If I were to stop viewing myself as a servant/slave of God, it would be very easy to become very prideful…thinking “I deserve this or that because I am God’s daughter”. After a time, I would fail to appreciate the gifts he has given. Failing to appreciate how he choose to free me & call me daughter.

    I think if I keep both parts in mind I will be a lot less likely to fall into the trap of either feeling bitterness/resentment at being a servant, or the one of being prideful of being a daughter.

    If anyone’s read all this, I thank you.

    There’s one final thing I want to say. Because of my background, whenever I hear God referred to as “father” I literally cringe inside. I have refused to call him that, even though I know full well that he is. Why? Because attempting to do so would drive me further from him, not closer to him. Growing up, God was always “my best/only friend”. And certainly viewing God as my friend was not wrong. Viewing God as my Master is not wrong either (unless I start to try to follow the Law instead of Jesus). But if I can have such a hard time viewing God as a father I can certainly understand if anyone has a hard time viewing God as their Master. I tried to be objective & move past my past while studying this, but I will admit that it was hard. And I will admit that if I had not found the many verses above that mention us being a slave of God, I probably would not have continued thinking about this topic.

    Before today I was feeling a bit resentful when I thought of myself as a slave to God. And God in his mercy choose to reveal himself to me a bit more through this topic. I feel like he was saying to me “it’s fine if you want to view me in this way, but I don’t want you to feel any resentment towards me”.

    I still believe that I am not required to call him something I am not comfortable with, but I also believe that I probably need to understand being God’s daughter more than anyone needs to understand being God’s slave.

  15. astudent says:

    Jade,

    That was very well thought out and just as well written. Anything that I thought that I disagreed with, as I read farther, you made clear.

    Most words have more than one meaning. I just checked the dictionary on my computer and it lists 22 definitions for the word “father”.

    Sometimes we pick one definition and assign only one meaning to it. If I were reading between the lines (correctly?), it would seem to me that your earthly father was not like God at all.

    I know that you did not really ask for my help, but men usually are fixers. If there is a problem, we just seem to want to fix it and then move on to – well another problem: I guess. My earthly father was not a Christian; however, he was a fair man, so I cannot really comprehend your hatred of the word.

    If I were faced with the same problem, that it seems to me you are, I would call Father by another name: such as Dad, Pa, Daddy, etc. Perhaps it would not stir up the same emotions.

    If I am a slave, then I am a bondservant, because I want to serve God. He does not make anyone do anything that they do not want to do. If He did then all mankind would be saved, because that is His desire.

    Have you ever thought about how much God has served us? Isn’t it only fair that we should now serve Him? Actually somewhat less than fair, because everything that we could use to do anything for God, has been freely given to us; by, from, and through Him.

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