In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Can we consecrate secular things for God?

Recently I read about a practice in the Celtic Church that I found interesting. They sained the activities of their daily lives and many of the old Celtic festivals. To sain meant to bless or consecrate a secular or pagan custom into the church. It was as if they were building bridges between the Christian church and the culture around them.

I like this idea. I think we need this in our world today. Somehow I want to express my faith to my acquaintances, neighbors, friends, family, and even to myself, in everyday words and ways that are relevant in the world in which I live.

This got me to thinking about ways we already do this in the church or my personal life as well as ways we might want to reach out and do this in the future.

Examples of ways I see the Christian Church in America doing this today are: churches reaching out into their community with fall festivals and the like at Halloween time, Christians ensuring that their July 4th celebration includes a time of prayer for our nation and our national leaders, Teen fashion shows that focus on fashionable clothing options that are also modest for young women, Church participation in community clean up events with the inclusion of prayer that we would be good stewards of the world God has entrusted to us, and simple prayers and conversation at various life events.

This practice of simple prayers and conversations at various life events is a big one in our household. We try to share our lives with the people that God brings into our lives, and there's just always prayer and God conversation in our lives at any event. An example of this was when my husband John was all excited about signing the retirement papers for his contract at the beginning of his last year of teaching in public school. Right around that same time we finally finished the front part of the deck on our house; we had experienced a nightmare situation around the completion of this deck which extended over a 2yr time period during which there was not any deck on the front of our home, so all the neighbors could not help but notice. We had a big BBQ party out on our front deck and invited all the neighbors around us, as well as some family. We had an "official" signing of the retirement papers by John during the party. During that time John shared from his heart for a couple of moments about how God had indeed kept His word and, as it says in Ephesians 3:20, had blessed him beyond what he'd been able to ask or think by giving us a home here in Wrightwood to enjoy during His retirement. Another example is that we frequently have people over to meals and there is always a short, simple, prayer acknowledging God's provision and thanking Him proceeding the meal (and no, we do not include the plan of salvation in that prayer). These words and prayers and not aimed at "converting souls to Jesus"; they are merely reflections of who we are and how we live.

What about you, what are some ways you see yourself or the church building bridges between the world and the church? What are ways you think we could do this more effectively?

50 comments:

Michelle said...

The title to this post instantly grabbed my attention. I was eager to see what you had to say about Halloween and other pagan traditions that have been adopted by the church. What is most interesting to me is that you didn't mention Christmas. Christmas can be completely contributed to pagan tradition.

Also, as a Christian, we should seek to seperate from the world and not become part of the culture. As a Christian, the world should hate us. Jesus told us this is the way it would be. God tells us to have nothing to do with heathen pagan traditions.

And just a note, Modest girls need to realize fashion is materialism.

I hope you don't take this as an attack as some would. I believe Christians have a responsiblity to ensure God's truth is being spoken.

Tracy said...

Michelle, I appreciate where you're coming from and do not see it as an attack. I'm guessing that you may just have a real passion for holiness, which is truly commendable.

But I do have some concerns about what you have written here.

The Bible clearly tells me in 1 John 2:15-17:
"Do not love the world nor the things in the world If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Also, over in Ephesians 5:10-12):
"Carefully determine what pleases the Lord. Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret."

These are but 2 of many Bible passages that speak to what I'm guessing you're referring to here when you say "we should seek to separate from the world and not become part of the culture".

My concern is the way you're choosing to apply this Bible concept. I see these scriptures talking about our hearts seeking after anything other than God above all else. It also applies to participating in evil. If I get caught up in my culture instead of seeking after God, then of course I'm missing out on His will for me. But for a local church to have a fall festival, as mine did yesterday, where we have tons of folks from the community attend because it has cultural relevance, or to have Christmas programs (you're correct, Christmas is a pagan tradition adopted by the church) heralding the birth of Jesus - I can't see that as wrong. Over and over throughout the gospel we see that Jesus engaged in the world around Him, Jesus hung out with the sinners and the religious folks criticized him for this - they thought He should separate Himself from the sinful people in their world.

I'm also concerned by your blanket statement that "fashion is materialism". All teen girls who want to dress fashionably (in a culturally relevant manner) are not necessarily materialistic. It could be that some are, but I would definitely be very cautious about judging everyone. Scripture has tons to say about God wanting us to have His heart of love toward others and to be exceedingly cautious about judging (Matthew 7:1-3 is just one such verse.)

I'm also concerned that you were focused on fulfilling your responsibility to ensure "God's truth is being spoken" but that you had no comments about my main point - reaching out to the world around us. You had no comments about my examples of ways we do this or an answer to my question on how you see yourself reaching out.

Jesus challenged us to go forth and make disciples of every nation and to bring the Kingdom of God to the world. I'm always concerned when I hear Christians being very worried about if we're separate enough if I'm not hearing them thinking about strategies and ways to reach out to the world around them.

The Redhead Riter said...

Wow! My comment will be brief...

God said love thy neighbor and be a light to the world. We can love the people, but not their actions. We should teach them not only through our words, but also through our actions. ♥

GCT said...

I'm glad that someone mentioned Xmas, since that's a very obvious example. I think I can make the case, however, that modern morality is another example in many respects. Many Xians will argue that morality comes from god or the Bible, which is what provides us reasons not to do things like have slaves, for instance. Yet, during the slavery battles it was freethinkers that led the way and many Xians (using the Bible no less) defended the practice of slavery. To me, this is another example of "saining." Don't get me wrong, I think we, as a culture, are better off for it - that Xians now reject slavery, especially since this is a majority Xian nation.

Other examples could be the claims that this country was founded as a Xian nation, those that claim that Thanksgiving is a Xian holiday, etc.

Michelle said...

That was a very thoughtful response. I'm going to attempt to reply shortly since I can sometimes become long winded.

Let me start with what you said last... your main point. I believe I answered it in my post with my belief that we should not make ourselves relevant to the world. I believe Jesus' command to go and preach to the world has been fulfilled by His disciples that He commanded this to. His message was to spread the gospel to the Gentiles, all nations, not just Isreal. They did exactly what He commanded. Our job today is to continue to spread the gospel message to sinners. Which gets to my next point.

I don't find anything wrong with having fall festivals, etc. But I'm not sure how this glorifies God and the Church should be glorifying Him in all things. We open up to our community by making ourselves relevant; but, are we still telling them they are sinners in need of a Savior? Are we spreading the message that if they are not a child of God, they will spend eternity in hell? In my experience in today's churches, events such as these are making the statement "this is a great place to hang out with some good people" but not much about the message Christ brought to earth.

I'm not sure saying Jesus was "engaged in the world around Him" is the appropriate way to put it. Jesus was with sinners AND he told them they were sinners. He did not conform to their ways or adopt their practices.

Isreal was guilty of just this very thing. They felt they could still have their God and revel in pagan idolatry. This very thing we're speaking of is what made God so angry. How can we take a pagan thing and make it Christian? (Job 14:4) The Old Testament is full of references to God being angry about His children being involved in pagan practices. The SAME pagan practices that Halloween and Christmas represent.

Christmas for me is the real kicker. It is the ultimate way satan has come as an angel of light. Knowing what we do about how God felt about pagan involvement in the OT, how could we see that Jesus would find glory in using paganism to herold His birth today? When becoming relevant means changing God's standards and commandments, we shouldn't do it. Christmas is the most highly esteemed day of the year among believers and non believers, and that which is highly esteemed among men is an abomination to God. (Luke 16:15)

Now to judging, I don't feel as if I have judged, just made a point. I'm glad you used the word cautious instead of stating we shouldn't judge. We are to judge things according to and against the Word of God. Having a heart of love (agape love) is rebuking and stating truth. We don't love our neighbor if we see him making a dangerous and even a life threatening decision and not warn him. I believe the biblical definition of love has been so confused with our definition of love. God loves us, but He also disciplines us like we discipline our children in love. Also, I would be even harder on myself for being worldly and consumed with the things of the world. I see my own sin and my own need for Christ, and therefore, I am able to discuss those things that I see as sinful or contrary to God's word.

So much for brief.

I don't mind continuing this conversation if you would like. If you do not feel your blog space is appropriate, you can email me at m_franklin79@yahoo.com

I enjoy conversations such as these and feel they can lead both parties to a better understanding of God and His Word. Agape.

Coffee With Marty... said...

There is a lot of food for thought in here. I am not positive how to believe on these things, but I do know this much. Kudos to you, Tracy, for writing up a controversial issue like this. It creates an awareness and we can all learn from it. That said, I do not celebrate Halloween, but if some little kids stop at my front porch, I will give them candy served with a smile :)

Tracy said...

I agree with Marty’s sentiment of enjoying stimulating conversation - Thank you Michelle. Although I appreciate the brief, meaningful point that the Red Head Writer made, I also appreciate that some points need time/space to be made, you can take all the time you like here.

GCT has modeled for me how it can be helpful to keep everything out in the open so others can join in the dialogue if they desire.

1st off I need to confess that I was being purposely provocative in my title here. I’m often that way; I am trying to help myself and others think outside of our typical way of thinking since that’s so often when growth takes place. I didn’t mean to make light of the purity and holiness of God.

I think the concept of spirit vrs letter of the law is important in this discussion; what I mean by this is to find the concept behind a specific law; what was God really saying? I do not see that God is so much interested in very specific things that you’ll read in some of these Old Testament laws such as the ones about spots on flesh or in garments, since we do not have those issues today, but, what was the point? The point is that we have a Holy, Perfect God. The point is that we have sin in every aspect of our being. The point is our need of a Savior. I like how you put it when you said: “I see my own sin and my own need for Christ”. That is exactly the whole point of it all!


I never see Jesus calling anyone a sinner or pointing out their sin except for those in the religious community. People, when in proximity to Jesus, recognized their own sin and repented. I was just reading that famous story of Zacchaeus recently and was again hit with how Zacchaeus responded to Jesus' invitation to have dinner with him by recognizing and repenting of his sins. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus he challenged those religious souls to cast the first stone (many believe that when He drew in the sand before He issued that challenge that each their saw their own sins written, but we can not know this) and then simply told her to go her way and sin no more – he didn’t point out what sins she had committed. The point I’m trying to make here is that Jesus does indeed call me to a life where I crucify all my self-indulgent desires and passions; but each of us must do that for his or herself. I do not see my role as a follower of Jesus to convict the world of their sins, that is the Holy Spirit’s job. My role is to model through actions and words the love of God and that His love is so great that He gave us a Savior. When you think about it, if someone does not have Jesus as his Savior, whatever sin he is engaged in, is in one way, irrelevant. Once that person comes into relationship with God, then the Holy Spirit will convict him of his sin in God’s perfect timing. That is not to say that God is His grace and goodness has not blessed me with people who have spoken truth into my life or that the Holy Spirit has not led me to speak truth into someone’s life – but that’s always been in the context of relationship, not in judgment.

I see the Bible indicating that there are, for lack of a better word, phases to a person’s coming to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. There’s that whole discussion in 1 Corinthians 3:1-6 where Paul talks about how some plant and some water and some harvest. I see events like fall festivals and the like as planting phase events. Jesus participated in these type events; he went to weddings, suppers and celebrations where sinners were. You make a valid point that of course Jesus did not, and neither should we, participate in any wrong doing during these events. But have a lifestyle of meeting people, sincerely caring about them, being involved in their lives – that is the ministry of Jesus. Sometimes this leads me, or someone else in the future, to an opening to share the gospel. As human beings we are a needy group; I believe that people in relationship to loving Christians, will have a desire to share in what they have.

JD Curtis said...

Yet, during the slavery battles it was freethinkers that led the way and many Xians (using the Bible no less) defended the practice of slavery.

Who were the non-religious who led the way to abolish slavery? I'm not saying that there werent any, but how do their efforts stack up against Wilberforce, Bourn and Weld.

I realize that there were some Christians who tried to use the Bible as a basis to justify slavery. They were shown to be wrong using the exact same book they were referencing. The fact that not a single denomination condones slavery demonstrates that fact.

GCT said...

JD,
I suggest a reading of "Freethinkers" by Susan Jacoby. I suggest Chapter 3 - where you'll also get a good discussion of freethinkers advocating at the same time for women's rights and religious opponents staunchly against women's rights. There's some good quotes in there about how religious leaders called the abolitionist and women's suffrage movements atheistic.

"I realize that there were some Christians who tried to use the Bible as a basis to justify slavery. They were shown to be wrong using the exact same book they were referencing. The fact that not a single denomination condones slavery demonstrates that fact."

It doesn't demonstrate that fact at all. What it demonstrates is the religious culture has shifted with the times. I doubt very much that anyone can show that slavery is wrong using the Bible, since the Bible is what was used as a justification for slavery in the first place. There's nothing in the Bible that condemns slavery, and many places where it's ordered, legislated, etc. And, it wasn't just "some Xians" but the vast majority. This is because Xianity does not set the path of our morality but follows that set by the surrounding culture. As our culture has become more free, Xianity has lagged behind, until the change was set, and they they've come forth to claim that it was them all along that brought it about. Yet, if we look at women's rights we can plainly see that this is not the case as some Xian denominations are still mired in the idea of women's inferiority.

GCT said...

Tracy,
"When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus he challenged those religious souls to cast the first stone (many believe that when He drew in the sand before He issued that challenge that each their saw their own sins written, but we can not know this) and then simply told her to go her way and sin no more – he didn’t point out what sins she had committed."

I would suggest that you not use this particular example as it is not in the oldest manuscripts we have of the Bible. IOW, it's a late addition to the Bible that some scribe added into the story well after the fact. It's not original to the story.

"When you think about it, if someone does not have Jesus as his Savior, whatever sin he is engaged in, is in one way, irrelevant. Once that person comes into relationship with God, then the Holy Spirit will convict him of his sin in God’s perfect timing."

If this is OT, please disregard, but I don't get this part. god seems to be more concerned with our belief of factual matters (whether he exists or not) than he does with our moral behavior. If I jaywalk or tell a lie to protect someone's feelings or whatever and I don't believe in god, does that make me deserving of hell while someone who could murder others and believe in god would go to heaven? There's no moral standard to who goes to heaven or not, it's actually based on whether you correctly interpret facts of the natural world and come to the conclusion that god exists. It's no different than receiving a math test upon your expiration and having to pass it or go to hell. I fail to see how god acts morally in this regard or how the system is equitable in any way.

JD Curtis said...

GCT, one of the more breathtakingly stupid things I have seen people do when discussing slavery and the Bible is the failure to define the word "slavery". I would like to comment on some of your remarks, however, before we discuss the matter, simply answer one question before we proceed. Is "slavery" as it is referred to in the Bible the same as the institution of slavery as it existed in the antebellum south?

Awaiting replies.....

GCT said...

JD,
Yes, it is. Slavery is owning of another person, whether that owning is brutal or benign. I think I know where you are going with this, as I've heard it before. You're probably about to make the argument that Biblical slavery was not brutal and was quite benign, as compared to slavery as practiced in the South (and elsewhere). Yet, I don't see this claim as holding up (if I can jump ahead).

It's true that the Bible does put some protections in place for Jewish slaves, but not for others. Those who are taken captive from other tribes are not protected. The Bible also claims that you can't kill your slaves...unless they die a few days after the beating you give them. So, if you beat them to death, it's all right so long as they die after a few days.

Finally, I would object to the idea that owning someone in the Bible is better than owning someone in the South. How to treat that person is a different moral matter, but the fundamental treatment of owning the person is morally wrong and should have been condemned by god.

Apologies if I've jumped the gun and that's not where you were going.

JD Curtis said...

GCT, I asked "Is "slavery" as it is referred to in the Bible the same as the institution of slavery as it existed in the antebellum south?"

And you replied "Yes, it is. Slavery is owning of another person, whether that owning is brutal or benign.'

If that answer accurately reflects your opinion on the matter than we can proceed from there. I just want to make sure that I understand you correctly.

Tracy said...

GCT

I always appreciate your comments. My own thought about the later manuscript thing is that I've read scholars who are on both sides of thought on if this; that's why this account is still in the Judeo-Christian Bible we use today. You & I both know I could have picked one of many other examples where Jesus interacted with people; consistently you see Jesus being hard on the religious people and loving toward the "sinners". My guess is because He knew our human hearts love to create a bunch of rules and things we have to do to get to God when He wants us to just come to Him and be in relationship with Him and let the Holy Spirit work in our hearts to change us.

I know from prior discussions, that what Christians refer to as the "good news" - that by believing Jesus is God in the flesh + accepting that we, all mankind, are sinners (do wrong) and there is a price for sin (eternal separation from God)+ Jesus paid the price for anyone who chooses to accept His payment via His death on the cross + giving our life to following after Jesus - is something that offends you. From what you've wrote in the past it seems totally unreasonable and unfair to you. It is! I deserve to go to be eternally separated from God, but because of His great love for me (and everyone else) he extended this free gift.

However, real belief in all this does result in corresponding actions. I think the example I used with you before was that, if I really believed a room was on fire there would be the corresponding action of leaving the room. The corresponding actions from real belief and following after Jesus is a lifestyle such as Jesus taught.

However, that's where this is not so cut and dried; because everyone is unique and it's a process, we don't become perfect all at once on this earth. That process of having our character changed to be like Jesus (sanctification) takes time.

The reason I said that when someone is without Jesus, his or her specific sin is not particularly relevant, is because of 2 things: 1)When my life here on earth is over and I stand before God the only reason I will spend eternity in His presence is because the blood of Jesus makes me acceptable in His sight. Any wrong or right doings on my part are irrelevant to this because the best I can do is as nothing before a holy, perfect God. 2)When someone receives the previously mentioned "good news", God's Holy Spirit comes and lives inside us and one of His jobs in our lives is to convict us concerning sin. The Bible also indicates that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts non believers of their sin and need for Him as well. So my point was why would I go around trying to convict people of their sin when that's the Holy Spirit's job?

GCT said...

JD,
Yes.

Tracy,
"My own thought about the later manuscript thing is that I've read scholars who are on both sides of thought on if this; that's why this account is still in the Judeo-Christian Bible we use today."

It's well accepted that the story is late - IOW, it's not something that's still debated. I'm not sure I want to get into the larger debate, because I can also point out areas where Jesus didn't act very well at all, but that wasn't the intent. One of my pet peeves is the use of that story you cited, so I mentioned it.

The rest of it...I was worried that I was straying OT, and it seems that I was right. My point was simply that it's more important to have the proper beliefs than to act morally. Whether one decides afterwards to act morally or whatever isn't so important to the process. The important thing is to correctly choose the multiple choice answer to a factual issue, that being the question 'does god exist?' This is not a moral question. And, I reject the idea that all actions are equally bad in front of a perfect god, because a perfect god should see the moral difference between jaywalking and rape...and disbelief (which is not a moral action) for that matter. This has strayed OT, however, so we can save it for another time if you'd like.

Tracy said...

GCT

Apologies for my lack of clarity; yes the manuscript for John 8:3-11 was found later, but not everyone agrees that this means it is not a valid account.

I can see the logic why you think it's about beliefs vrs morality. But I see the bigger issue is that it's about relationship - if we have a relationship with God available through Jesus.

I can also understand why it seems so contrary to human wisdom that one sin is just the same as another (even if the 2 sins are as in your example, jaywalking and rape). But the issue is that God is perfect and holy and we are not.

GCT said...

Tracy,
"Apologies for my lack of clarity; yes the manuscript for John 8:3-11 was found later, but not everyone agrees that this means it is not a valid account."

The reason for that is that people are emotionally tied to the story being there. It's not original to the author and the origin is in question - IOW, we have no idea who wrote it or why. We simply know that it appears well after the manuscripts were first written. It also does not flow with the rest of the gospel. In short, it's a really bad idea to continue to include that story and to use it.

"I can see the logic why you think it's about beliefs vrs morality. But I see the bigger issue is that it's about relationship - if we have a relationship with God available through Jesus."

You can't have a relationship without first passing the math test.

"I can also understand why it seems so contrary to human wisdom that one sin is just the same as another (even if the 2 sins are as in your example, jaywalking and rape). But the issue is that God is perfect and holy and we are not."

But, shouldn't a perfect being understand the moral difference between jaywalking and rape? Why would I consider god to be a moral exemplar or arbiter of morality if he can't see the difference there?

JD Curtis said...

it's a really bad idea to continue to include that story and to use it.

of course you are entitled to your opinion GTC however numerous scholars continue to include this reference.

I took this example to a professor of New Testament and he informed me of the following. "This passage, Mk. 16:9-19, and I Jon. 5:7, 8 are the worst examples of textual problems in the NT, and a lot of scholarship has gone into providing answers to these problems. The other texts are very minor by comparison."

He went on to provide a detailed analysis found in Thomas Constable's notes which provide the following quotations.....

"The textual authenticity of this pericope is highly questionable. Most ancient Greek manuscripts dating before the sixth century do not contain it. However, over 900 ancient manuscripts do contain it including the important early so-called Western text (uncial D).'

"The event described here probably occurred (cf. 21:25). Perhaps it was a piece of oral tradition that later scribes inserted here to illustrate the sinfulness of the Jewish leaders (cf. 7:24; 8:15, 46). Was it inspired by the Holy Spirit? I would say yes. The test of inspiration is the judgment of the church throughout history that this is a revealed portion of Scripture that is authoritative for the whole church. This has been the judgment of most branches of the church even though the origin of this story is obscure."

And last but not least..."It may be accepted as historical truth; but based on the information we now have, it was probably not a part of the original text."

So there you have it GTC. Straight from the horse's mouth. Not in all ancient copies but some. Probably stayed around as an oral tradition a bit longer than other histories.

JD Curtis said...

GCT, I asked "Is "slavery" as it is referred to in the Bible the same as the institution of slavery as it existed in the antebellum south?"

And you replied "Yes, it is. Slavery is owning of another person, whether that owning is brutal or benign.'


In order to substantiate your claim that so-called "slavery" as it is mentioned in the Bible was the same as the institution of slavery in the antebellum south, please explain the following.

A. Did slaves in the antebellum south have a realistic expectation to be set free by age 30 or earlier?

B. Can you cite examples of slaves that were brought to the US as a result of war?

C. Can it be said of slaves in the US, and I quote "slaves served not only as cooks, cleaners and personal attendants, but also as tutors to persons of all ages, physicians, nurses, close companions and managers of the household. In the business world, slaves were not only janitors and delivery boys; they were managers of estates, shops and ships as well as salesmen and contracting agents. In the civil service, slaves were not only used for street paving and sewer cleaning gangs but also as administrators of funds and personnel and as executives with decision making powers."

I'll cut it down for you, just cite the examples of slaves in the US that were physicians, civil service employees, contracting agents and ship captains.

C. What percentage of slaves in the US were victims of what the Bible refers to as "man stealing"?

D. What percentage of slaves in the US willing left Africa of their own free will to approach Americans to sell their personal services with the very real expectation of eventually becoming free citizens/members of (American) society?

Let's just start with those 4.

JD Curtis said...

Pardon me. That's 5 questions total. My error.

GCT said...

JD, I'm suddenly reminded of Monty Python and the Holy Grail!

As for the text in question, if it was certainly a late edition, as the person you cite admits, then that should be reason enough not to include it. The Bible is not supposed to be anecdotal or later denouncings of people. It's supposed to be the word of god through Jesus (at least the gospels are supposed to be). I trust that you see the issue with putting words in Jesus's mouth (it's dishonest for one) and with adding propaganda at a later date.

As for your questions:
"A. Did slaves in the antebellum south have a realistic expectation to be set free by age 30 or earlier?"

Did non-Jewish slaves and/or Jewish slaves that married other slaves, etc? I believe you are referring to the rules about setting slaves free every so often, but those only pertained to the Jewish slaves that were free of entanglements. I concede that the Bible allows for two separate class of slaves (or maybe more) but I don't see how it's helping your case.

"B. Can you cite examples of slaves that were brought to the US as a result of war?"

Yes...all of them in a sense. Raiding parties would simply kidnap people and take them to be slaves. What's your point?

"I'll cut it down for you, just cite the examples of slaves in the US that were physicians, civil service employees, contracting agents and ship captains."

I don't see what you are getting at. Yes, slaves in the south had different roles in society. So what? Either way, they were owned!

"C. What percentage of slaves in the US were victims of what the Bible refers to as "man stealing"?"

A high percentage. Why?

"D. What percentage of slaves in the US willing left Africa of their own free will to approach Americans to sell their personal services with the very real expectation of eventually becoming free citizens/members of (American) society?"

There were some "indentured servants."

I'd like for you to come to your point now, because this seems like a big waste. At best, you seem to want to defend slavery and the Bible by claiming that it wasn't as bad as the South, so it's not a big deal. Is that really your intention, to defend slavery? In both cases, human beings were owned. Owners could beat their slaves if they saw fit. In the Bible it simply says that the owner should not beat his slave to death...so long as the slave doesn't die right away. If the owner beats his slave to the point where the slave lingers on in life for a few days and then dies, well that's not against Biblical law.

Why would god set up a system for owning people, treating them, etc. instead of simply saying that it is wrong? And, please don't say that it was simply the culture, because many people claim that murder was the culture of the time, and god says outright not to murder. If god is omni-max, then why would he allow an evil such as slavery instead of putting an end to it? By setting up rules, he's allowing it!

JD Curtis said...

As for the text in question, if it was certainly a late edition, as the person you cite admits

The person I cited stated nothing of the sort. They stated it was not in most early translations. Not "all".

The Bible is not supposed to be anecdotal or later denouncings of people.

Just out of curiosity, how did you arrive at this conclusion?

A. Did slaves in the antebellum south have a realistic expectation to be set free by age 30 or earlier?"

Did non-Jewish slaves and/or Jewish slaves that married other slaves, etc? I believe you are referring to the rules about setting slaves free every so often, but those only pertained to the Jewish slaves that were free of entanglements. I concede that the Bible allows for two separate class of slaves (or maybe more) but I don't see how it's helping your case.


Youre tap dancing around the question. I asked, " Did slaves in the antebellum south have a realistic expectation to be set free by age 30 or earlier?". A simple yes or no coupled with supporting information would suffice. A plain "I don't know" is acceptable also.

"B. Can you cite examples of slaves that were brought to the US as a result of war?"

Yes...all of them in a sense. Raiding parties would simply kidnap people and take them to be slaves. What's your point?


Please list here all nations (or even tribes) that the US declared war on or in which a state of war existed and in which the US conquered and exported it's people back to the US for enslavement.

"I'll cut it down for you, just cite the examples of slaves in the US that were physicians, civil service employees, contracting agents and ship captains."

I don't see what you are getting at. Yes, slaves in the south had different roles in society. So what? Either way, they were owned!


I asked if you could cite some examples for us. In the absence of any examples put forth by you, I will assume that "No" you cannot cite any examples as I requested unless you can provide some.

GCT said...

JD, get to the point about slavery. No, southern slaves would not be set free by 30, nor would the majority of those enslaved under the Bible. If some slaves were set free under the Biblical system (some were set free in the south as well) does that mean it was OK?

Going into another country and raiding them is an act of war, whether it was officially declared or not. Please don't try to stand on semantics here.

Why is it necessary to cite examples of people by name that held different jobs within the slavery caste? Again, get to the point.

With respect, I don't feel as though I'm dancing around anything, but I'm seeing a significant amount of it from you, since you abjectly refuse to make your point. I'm convinced that if you ever get around to it, that you'll simply make the arguments that I already predicted in my second reply to you. Do you really think it in your best interest to try to downplay the immorality of Biblical slavery by making such rhetorical flourishes to it not being as bad as other types of slavery? Unless you can make the positive argument that the Biblical system of slavery was a good thing for all involved (and you'll have to try hard to show how being owned by another person is good) you're going to fail and you're going to end up looking callous and immoral yourself in the attempt.

As for the stoning verse:
Sorry, I did misread the original about him stating that it's not in the original manuscripts. I will refer you to Bart Ehrman at this point, however, who notes that the oldest and best manuscripts do not have these verses and that it's well accepted that they are a late addition. (From his book "Misquoting Jesus.") I'm also wondering why he would say it is part of the story and then turn around and say, which seems contradictory and leans towards my original reading.

"It may be accepted as historical truth; but based on the information we now have, it was probably not a part of the original text."

As for your other question:
"Just out of curiosity, how did you arrive at this conclusion?"

Um, I thought that was pretty much straight from the whole idea of the Bible being the inspired word of god and the gospels supposedly recording Jesus's words. The gospels purportedly are supposed to be what Jesus said. If they are really what people later said (which is really closer to the truth I'm sure) then why would we assume that anything in there is truly part of god's teaching...and a whole lot of other issues/questions that we probably don't need to go into.

GCT said...

JD,
Perhaps you could answer a question for me. If someone were to advocate re-instituting slavery following the model of the Bible, would you also advocate for it? Would you yourself become a slave or wish that for your offspring or anyone you know? Or, would you find it to be an intolerable imposition on your freedom or the freedom of your loved ones to be owned by another person?

JD Curtis said...

What percentage of slaves in the US willing left Africa of their own free will to approach Americans to sell their personal services with the very real expectation of eventually becoming free citizens/members of (American) society?"

There were some "indentured servants."


I thought we were discussing "slavery", not indentured servitude. So will you answer the question? What percentage of slaves in the US willingly entered into agreements with Americans?

If someone were to advocate re-instituting slavery following the model of the Bible, would you also advocate for it?

Where in the world do you get this "reinstituting" idea? There are more slaves now than ever in the history of the world. Link

JD Curtis said...

"It may be accepted as historical truth; but based on the information we now have, it was probably not a part of the original text."

This is from the idea that it stayed around as an oral tradition a bit longer than other accounts in the gospels and thus does not appear in most of the ancient manuscripts.

At least the guy was honest to state that in that this passage along with "Mk. 16:9-19, and I Jon. 5:7, 8 are the worst examples of textual problems in the NT, and a lot of scholarship has gone into providing answers to these problems."

If you don't want to believe it, fine. I'll go along with the prof. of NT.

GCT said...

JD,
"I thought we were discussing "slavery", not indentured servitude. So will you answer the question? What percentage of slaves in the US willingly entered into agreements with Americans?"

What you've described is what indentured servitude was. Someone would agree to be a slave for a period of time only to be freed at the end of that time and become a citizen. I have no idea what percentage of slaves were indentured servants, and I'm still wondering if you are ever going to get to your point.

"Where in the world do you get this "reinstituting" idea? There are more slaves now than ever in the history of the world."

Now, it is plainly you avoiding questions. Say it's here in the US, and someone claims that Biblical slavery wasn't at all bad and that we should reinstitute it into our laws. Would you go along with it? Will you actually answer this question, or is it only required of me to answer questions from you (and it seems I must answer them the exact way you want or else I'm accused of dodging the questions which hardly seems fair)?

GCT said...

JD,
"This is from the idea that it stayed around as an oral tradition a bit longer than other accounts in the gospels and thus does not appear in most of the ancient manuscripts."

Because that makes sense? Why would I record all this stuff about Jesus and then decide to leave one story out as an oral tradition? Maybe it's because all the stories were oral traditions? Do you really want to pursue this line of thought where your argument leads to the whole Bible becoming suspect and subject to Chinese Whisper?

"At least the guy was honest to state that in that this passage along with "Mk. 16:9-19, and I Jon. 5:7, 8 are the worst examples of textual problems in the NT, and a lot of scholarship has gone into providing answers to these problems.""

And, he doesn't mention that modern scholarship goes against his view.

"If you don't want to believe it, fine. I'll go along with the prof. of NT."

And, there are many other profs. that disagree with him, as the majority do. In fact, some Xian websites have already grudgingly decided that the story is fabricated and a late addition. Sorry, but pulling one scholar out and calling the case closed isn't how it works, when I've also pulled a scholar out to counter yours. What really matters is the arguments used. The arguments you've seen fit to use are that it probably was part of it, just as an oral story that was left out and then added in later? But only in some manuscripts?

Here are the arguments against:

We don't see it in the best and earliest manuscripts.

It doesn't fit with the rest of the passage, both in content and language.

It breaks up the story in an awkward way.

There are probably other arguments as well that I can't think of off the top of my head. So, you can cling to your prof who offers not much more than what sounds like wishful thinking, but then I'm pretty free to think that some Xians don't really want to deal with hard issues.

In fact, let's look at his arguments, shall we? (Oh, and a note, Uncials go by number designation, not letters, unless he was referring to the sign? But, there's no "D" as a sign. There's "D" with other symbols after it, and there's at least 4 of those.)

"Was it inspired by the Holy Spirit? I would say yes."

How did he come to that determination, and is it an argument that we can really use?

"The test of inspiration is the judgment of the church throughout history that this is a revealed portion of Scripture that is authoritative for the whole church."

What is the test of inspiration and how does one use it? How do we know if anything in the Bible was actually inspired? (Hint: we don't.)

"This has been the judgment of most branches of the church even though the origin of this story is obscure."

Argument from popularity and/or argument from tradition. Neither holds up. So, based on the arguments given by your scholar and the arguments given by the majority of scholars, it's pretty well weighted against this passage being authentic and the passage should not be used unless better evidence comes along to indicate that it should.

GCT said...

JD,
It also occurs to me that you've been speaking about the wrong verses! I was lazy and didn't check to make sure you referenced the right ones, but upon further checking, you're talking about the ending of Mark (also problematic) and a different verse in John, not the one in question. This all started because of the use of John 8, which I objected to. You turned around and started to argue for different verses. I should have caught it before now, but still, why would you argue about verses that I didn't even bring up and not argue about the one that I did bring up?

GCT said...

Further information:

Of the 900 manuscripts, many of them have asterisks or brackets around the verses indicating that they were unsure of the authenticity of the verses! It hardly seems right to include those in your manuscript count when they openly questioned whether the passage should be used.

The Codex Bezae is probably what was meant by "Uncial D" which is a 5th century manuscript. Older manuscripts do not contain this passage.

JD Curtis said...

GCT, the subject was the Bible and slavery. You brought up indentured servitude. So, indentured servitude and slavery are 2 different things then....right? Or wrong?

One would be a temporary process that someone enters of their own free will and slavery (at least here in the US) was a miserable institution that one had almost no hope of ever being free from. Agreed?

JD Curtis said...

And, there are many other profs. that disagree with him, as the majority do.

Could you please substantiate this claim? I was unaware that the majority of Christian scholars don't accept the account as true and inspired.

GCT said...

So, JD, may I assume that you are not going to answer my question and that you are not going to get to your point?

If you don't want to talk about indentured servitude, then don't. Get to your point instead. You asked a question, I answered it. If you don't like the answer, then deal with it and move on. It's not my fault if what you asked about led to the introduction of a term/concept that you were not prepared to deal with. (Are you working from an apologetic site, and they didn't deal with the concept leaving you scrambling perhaps? My bet is that it's "Christian Think Tank" or a similar site.)

"One would be a temporary process that someone enters of their own free will and slavery (at least here in the US) was a miserable institution that one had almost no hope of ever being free from. Agreed?"

Yes and no. Some slaves were freed although smart slaves would not have counted on that happening. Either way, indentured servitude was a temporary slavery that was miserable for the people involved.

Either way, get to your point already.

"Could you please substantiate this claim? I was unaware that the majority of Christian scholars don't accept the account as true and inspired."

Ah, but that's not what I've claimed. I've claimed that Biblical scholars disagree.

Wiki

Or, from Christianity Today:
"Douglas Moo, professor at Wheaton College, said that Christians should be cautious about using "Go, and sin no more" or "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone."

Wallace said pastors have a responsibility to communicate the truth of this text to their congregations. "We need to be as thoroughly biblical as we can be … [There] is a huge amount of ignorance that we're catering to in the Christian public.

"A person hearing these words should recognize that they have no authority as authentic words of Jesus," he said. Christians who are reading the story, he said, should give it the same authority as any other unsubstantiated early Christian teaching about Jesus."

Never-the-less, many Xians do accept the story as true, because they have an a priori want to accept the story as true, since it was in the Bible that they came to believe in. What matters is what we can adduce from the actual evidence, which doesn't include the idea that this story was inspired (no evidence for that), that it's probably what Jesus said/did (no evidence for that), or other ad hoc reasons given for salvaging a passage that Xians want to keep. The evidence (which you don't seem to want to deal with now) was what I laid out, that it's not in our best and oldest manuscripts, that the 900 cites are not really 900 since many of them question the authenticity, that the language and structure don't fit the rest of the story, and that it breaks up the story in an awkward way which doesn't make sense. Add to that the different placements of the story in different books of the Bible (one scribe evidently felt it would be better placed in a different gospel?) and it simply doesn't add up. A prudent seeker of truth would want to hold off on using such a dubious section until better evidence came to light.

JD Curtis said...

So, JD, may I assume that you are not going to answer my question and that you are not going to get to your point?

This from the guy who refused to answer 4 of my original questions because if you did honestly answer them than you would have no choice but to admit that the institution of slavery in the antebellum south was different than that mentioned in the Bible?

I never cite "Wiki" but that's just me. I'll accept as fact that you cannot back up your earlier assertion that most Bible scholars do not think the account is true/inspired until you cite something to examine.

There's nothing in the Bible that condemns slavery

I forgot to address this demonstrably false statement earlier.

"Paul says to slaves, "If you can gain your freedom, avail yourselves of the opportunity" (1 Corinthians 7:21). And he tells Philemon that that he should welcome his slave Onesimus back "no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a beloved brother" (Philemon 16) and that he should "receive him as you would receive me" (v.17). Paul tells Philemon that if Onesimus owes him anything, Paul would pay it himself (v.18-19). Finally he says, "Confident of your obedience, I write to you knowing that you will do even more than I say" (v.21) This is a strong and not so subtle hint that Philemon should grant freedom to Onesimus. Paul's condemnation of "enslavers" in 1 Timothy 1:10 also showed the moral wrong of forcibly putting anyone into slavery."

Grudem, Wayne; Evangelical Feminism and Biblical Truth, Chapter 9, www.efbt100.com

GCT said...

JD,
"This from the guy who refused to answer 4 of my original questions because if you did honestly answer them than you would have no choice but to admit that the institution of slavery in the antebellum south was different than that mentioned in the Bible?"

That's just not true. I didn't answer them the way you wanted, but I did provide answers...as opposed to what you did, which is simply ignore what I asked you.

Also, I've already said that the fundamental aspect of ownership of a person is the same whether the treatment differs. If white slave owners in the South were meaner to their slaves than Jewish slave owners in Biblical times (something that you don't really have any support for) it doesn't change the fundamental fact that slaves from both eras were considered to be property, which is a mistreatment in itself. This is why you won't answer my question posed to you, because you'd have to admit that you would not want to be a slave in either system!

"I never cite "Wiki" but that's just me. I'll accept as fact that you cannot back up your earlier assertion that most Bible scholars do not think the account is true/inspired until you cite something to examine."

You ignored the cite from Xianity Today, but whatever. There's nothing inherently wrong with wikipedia, which allows you to simply ignore it and act as if it means that my statement can not be backed up. And, you need to back up your assertion that Bible scholars do accept this passage as authentic. Why is it that your position should be accepted without question unless and until it can be disproven? Why do you not extend the same courtesy to other positions, like the beliefs of other religions?

Or, how about this: I duly note that once again you are reluctant to deal with the arguments put forth, and instead would like to rely on your appeal to authority (an anonymous authority, no less)...which I have countered with a different authority (I used Bart Ehrman, but I can also cite Bruce Metzger which puts me up 2-1) which you've also ignored, because somehow as soon as you hear one "authority" that you like, it doesn't matter how many others there are? This is why I keep wanting to talk about the arguments made for the positions instead of trying to simply one-up each other with authority names.

""Paul says to slaves, "If you can gain your freedom, avail yourselves of the opportunity" (1 Corinthians 7:21)."

Not a condemnation of slavery...it's an observation that people should not be slaves if they don't have to be. This actually hurts the argument that I predict you are making (since you won't actually put forth any argument...), because if slavery was so pleasant in Biblical times, why would Paul recommend against it? Please try again.

"And he tells Philemon that that he should welcome his slave Onesimus back "no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a beloved brother" (Philemon 16) and that he should "receive him as you would receive me" (v.17)."

Not a condemnation of slavery...it's a plea for a specific person to be set free, not a condemnation of the practice of slavery...please try again.

"Paul's condemnation of "enslavers" in 1 Timothy 1:10 also showed the moral wrong of forcibly putting anyone into slavery.""

This is the famous "menstealers" passage, which is a condemnation of kidnapping, not slavery.

And, I'm sure you are well aware of the verses in the Bible that are A) highly supportive of slavery (a short list):

Exodus 21:2-7
Lev 19:20
Lev. 25:44-46

B) commanded:
Exodus 22:3
Deut 20:10-14 (which also goes against that manstealing thing and implies that rape is also OK)

C) and how slaves can be treated:
Ex. 21:20-21
Lev. 19:20

Etc...

JD Curtis said...
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JD Curtis said...
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JD Curtis said...

This is the famous "menstealers" passage, which is a condemnation of kidnapping, not slavery.

Demonstrably false. From the "apologists" at thefreedictionary.com, "manstealing: The act or business of stealing or kidnaping human beings, especially with a view to enslave them."

That's just not true. I didn't answer them the way you wanted, but I did provide answers...as opposed to what you did, which is simply ignore what I asked you.

Again, totally and utterly false. Please tell me which of your answers above stated whom the US was once at war with and enslaved their peoples.

No, southern slaves would not be set free by 30, nor would the majority of those enslaved under the Bible. If some slaves were set free under the Biblical system (some were set free in the south as well) does that mean it was OK?

I asked if the slave (US) had a reasonable expectation of being set free. This one you did kinda answer. Now, if somemone willingly entered into an agreement, then are they considered a "slave"? Maybe the 2nd time will be the charm.

Say it's here in the US, and someone claims that Biblical slavery wasn't at all bad and that we should reinstitute it into our laws. Would you go along with it? Will you actually answer this question, or is it only required of me to answer questions from you

Please do not tell me that you are making the 2nd biggest atheistic blunder on this subject by judging the practice of slavery as it existed in the Bible (not the antebellum south which we can set aside for a moment) with all of the 21st century hindsight of someone who knows nothing other than modern labor laws, the rule of law, civil rights, the Dept of Labor-wage and hour division, union shop stewards, the 8 hour work day, time and a half over 40 hours, must provide safe work environment etc. etc. etc..

Now, let's put this in it's proper perspective. Let's say you and I were both alive and well in the 1st century AD. Would I like to have been a slave back then? Yes. And so, I would argue, would you.

"Persons in slavery under Roman Law in the 1st century AD could generally count on being set free by the age of 30. Pertinent inscriptions, however, indicate that large numbers, approaching 50 percent, were set free before their 30th birthdays.....Slaves in this sense had a higher social status and better economic situation than free day laborers who had to search for employment each day (see Matthew 20:1-7, where the master of the house goes into the marketplace to hire day laborers at different times during the day). By contrast, those who were bondservants (or "slaves") had greater economic security with a continuing job and steady income."

GCT said...

JD,
"Demonstrably false. From the "apologists" at thefreedictionary.com, "manstealing: The act or business of stealing or kidnaping human beings, especially with a view to enslave them.""

And dictionary.com calls it, "the act of kidnapping." Either way, it's not a condemnation of slavery (i.e. not demonstrably false,) because slavery can still happen and occur without kidnapping. And, it also runs counter to OT instructions, as I pointed out in my last comment.

"Again, totally and utterly false. Please tell me which of your answers above stated whom the US was once at war with and enslaved their peoples."

Perhaps you missed the part where I specifically said, "Yes...all of them in a sense. Raiding parties would simply kidnap people and take them to be slaves." Raiding other countries is an act of war. What part of that did you not understand, and which part of that doesn't constitute an answer? Really, do I have to agree with you or say exactly what you want me to say before it's an answer?

"I asked if the slave (US) had a reasonable expectation of being set free. This one you did kinda answer."

"Kinda answer[ed]?" We're sure not reading the same blog as I unequivocally answered. I'm sorry but you are being rather obstinate here.

"Now, if somemone willingly entered into an agreement, then are they considered a "slave"? Maybe the 2nd time will be the charm."

2nd time? When did you ask this the first time? Regardless, yes. If someone is "owned" by another, they are a slave. Or does this clarification mean that I haven't answered the question?

"Please do not tell me that you are making the 2nd biggest atheistic blunder on this subject by judging the practice of slavery as it existed in the Bible (not the antebellum south which we can set aside for a moment) with all of the 21st century hindsight of someone who knows nothing other than modern labor laws, the rule of law, civil rights, the Dept of Labor-wage and hour division, union shop stewards, the 8 hour work day, time and a half over 40 hours, must provide safe work environment etc. etc. etc.."

At least I'm not in a land war in Asia. But, seriously, nice dodge to a simple question. I asked if you would submit to Biblical style slavery. Are you going to argue that it was acceptable then, but isn't now? If that is the case, then I'll accuse you of being a moral relativist and you'll have to come up with twisted reasoning why you aren't. So, please answer the questions put forth as I've been answering your questions.

"Now, let's put this in it's proper perspective. Let's say you and I were both alive and well in the 1st century AD. Would I like to have been a slave back then? Yes. And so, I would argue, would you."

Oh really? You would like to be owned by another? You would like to be beaten at the whim of the owner? You would like to be owned for life, unless you just so happened to be a Jewish slave that sold yourself into slavery to another Jew and didn't become romantically attached to another slave? I find this hard to believe. And, I'm wondering what makes you think you can shift the goalposts by talking about Roman law instead of Biblical law all of a sudden.

If the Romans improved the conditions of slaves, then doesn't that indicate that the Bible-approved (i.e. god approved) version of slavery sucked worse than what the Romans came up with? You may want to stop pointing the barrel of that gun at your own foot and pulling the trigger.

Of course, feel free to disregard all my answers and continue to complain that I'm not answering you, while ignoring the vast majority of what I say and the questions I pose.

GCT said...

JD,
I suggest you remember the original point of this exercise. This has drifted quite a bit, but you were trying to defend the notion that Xianity led to anti-slavery sentiment, while I was contending that Xiantiy was dragged into it and now is trying to claim that they started the whole abolitionist movement and were behind it all along.

In defense of this, you've resorted to defending Biblical slavery as being not as bad, but not showing how Xianity abolishes all slavery. What you are doing is (once again) defeating your own argument unless you can show how the Bible supporting slavery in one context somehow means that Xians opposed slavery in a context that the Bible does not talk about. (Unless you are going to hinge your argument on the menstealing clause and claim that Xians opposed slavery because the slaves were kidnapped? But, that would be ludicrous considering that the Xians were the ones doing the kidnapping!)

JD Curtis said...

Good, let's Keep It Simple Stupid and concentrate on the questions of mine that you....*ahem* answered...one at a time. That way we can't get bogged down in other issues and we'll keep the distractions to a minimum. Let's start with this little "pearl of wisdom"

I asked...Can you cite examples of slaves that were brought to the US as a result of war?" You stated...

Yes...all of them in a sense. Raiding parties would simply kidnap people and take them to be slaves.

I asked you to clarify...

Please list here all nations (or even tribes) that the US declared war on or in which a state of war existed and in which the US conquered and exported it's people back to the US for enslavement.

I don't believe that you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the definition of the word "war" so please explain the "in a sense" part of your answer.

Let me help you out in case you don't entirely understand the concept. Was the war declared by Congress? Which branches of the American Armed Services were involved? Marines? US Army Infantry? What countries or even tribes did the US declare war on and enslave? Awaiting replies.

GCT said...

JD,
I'm convinced that you don't actually want to put forth an argument, but are only interested in legalese and semantic arguments. You are also only interested in making innuendo towards my intelligence.

Raiding parties going into a sovereign country and stealing citizens to enslave them is an act of war. Did Congress declare war? No. Does that mean that acts of war were not carried out? No.

Did the Jews officially declare war on others, or did they simply march over and lay seige to the enemy? Does it even matter?

Do you remember the questions posed to you that you are continually avoiding? If nothing else, your continual avoidance of simply questions, and your refusal to accept anything that doesn't conform to what you want to hear indicates that you aren't interested in discussion, but rather in interrogation. I'm not here to be interrogated. I tried to foster discussion with you by giving details that we could talk about, by asking you to present an actual argument, by posing counter questions, and trying to stay on topic.

Please get to your point.

JD Curtis said...

Keep It Simple Stupid, also known by the abbreviation K.I.S.S. is commonly used by the US military as the best course of action. It wasnt meant as an insult.

Who were these "raiding parties" GCT? Marines? US Army Infantry? Yes, I am getting at something.

GCT said...

JD,
"Keep It Simple Stupid, also known by the abbreviation K.I.S.S. is commonly used by the US military as the best course of action. It wasnt meant as an insult."

I'm very familiar with it and it isn't a problem. It's the condescension and interrogative nature that lends me to believe that you are treating this as an exercise in bullying me into your way of thinking.

"Who were these "raiding parties" GCT? Marines? US Army Infantry? Yes, I am getting at something."

Then state your case.

JD Curtis said...

It's quite odd that someone so sure about slavery cannot answer a question about it after 5 tries. Maybe the 6th will be the charm?

I don't mind at all examining the Bible's history re:slavery/bondservice. When we get around to it, we'll examine the history of atheistic regimes who enslaved entire peoples and countries and compare the two.

GCT said...

JD,
"It's quite odd that someone so sure about slavery cannot answer a question about it after 5 tries. Maybe the 6th will be the charm?"

There you go again making stuff up. I didn't specifically answer your follow-up question, which you've just asked for the first time, because I'm tired of your interrogations. If you have a point, make it. If not, then simply admit that you can't defend the indefensible.

"I don't mind at all examining the Bible's history re:slavery/bondservice. When we get around to it, we'll examine the history of atheistic regimes who enslaved entire peoples and countries and compare the two."

You're moving the goal posts now. I've never defended slavery no matter who is doing it. If an atheist does it, I do not defend it any more than I will when a theist does it. I know of no atheistic regimes that have done what you say, but it doesn't matter even if there were, as I would consider it wrong.

And, when we get around to it? We would get around to it if you would state your case. That you continually fail to do so, instead relying on iterrogation tactics and condescension doesn't speak well for your case. Those who can't present their argument successfully generally try such tactics to outlast their opponent and "win by default." You've already tried to move the goal posts and talk about Roman slavery instead of Biblical slavery, so I don't have high hopes for your argument.

JD Curtis said...

Sure I have a point GCT, it's that you have no idea whatsoever what you are talking about re:slavery and the Bible.

You play snipe-and-dodge without clearly defining the terms used in the discussion and then cry when called out for being evasive.

That's why I tried to have you define these alleged slaves that were taken as a result of war. If ou arent going to admit that you are flat-out wrong and dance around the definitions then you are more hopelessly intellectually dishonest then I ever could have imagined.

So, AGAIN, US Army Infantry? US Marines? Both? Or no US military forces whatsoever and there were no slaves in the US due to conquests of war? Awaiting replies.

GCT said...

JD,
"Sure I have a point GCT, it's that you have no idea whatsoever what you are talking about re:slavery and the Bible."

I have just as much idea as you have, since we have the same access to the Bible where the rules are laid out. It's simple, would you want to be owned by another person even following the rules laid out in the Bible? Those rules stipulate that your owner can beat you as long as you don't die immediately from the beating for just one example of the barbarity and cruelty. Do you think that everything was peachy back then between slave and master?

No, the problem isn't about my lack of knowledge, it's about you having to defend the indefensible and not being happy about it, so you are taking it out on me.

"You play snipe-and-dodge without clearly defining the terms used in the discussion and then cry when called out for being evasive."

I've answered every question put to me save the last one, which is far more than I can say for the zero answers you've given. Who is being evasive here? You ask, I answer, above and beyond what I've needed to. I ask, you don't answer.

"That's why I tried to have you define these alleged slaves that were taken as a result of war. If ou arent going to admit that you are flat-out wrong and dance around the definitions then you are more hopelessly intellectually dishonest then I ever could have imagined."

A) I'm not wrong. B) What does it matter? You still won't answer that. What, is it more or less moral to go to war against another tribe/group/nation and take slaves? Are you seriously going to argue that the Israelis were more moral because they officially warred with their neighbors to get their slaves? Don't you realize how absurd that is?

"So, AGAIN, US Army Infantry? US Marines? Both? Or no US military forces whatsoever and there were no slaves in the US due to conquests of war? Awaiting replies."

There was no standing army at the time. Yet, you can't deny that we would call it an act of war if raiding parties came across our borders and were stealing our people, which is what was happening, with the express consent of our government. Although we didn't declare war through congress, our actions were actions of war. I don't understand why you don't understand that. I further don't understand why it means so much to you. As I said above, this line of questioning seems absurd in the least and irrelevant in essence.

Now, will you kindly get to your defense of Biblical slavery or will you continue to dance and evade? Will you answer the counter questions I posed to you, or is this a one way interrogation?

JD Curtis said...

There was no standing army at the time.

This is so patently, hopelessly and completely ridiculous that it boggles the mind. You can't be serious. Is it really your belief that the United States did not have armed forces from the late 18th century up until the Civil War? What planet do you reside on GCT and what color is the sky there?

Those rules stipulate that your owner can beat you as long as you don't die immediately from the beating for just one example of the barbarity and cruelty. Do you think that everything was peachy back then between slave and master?

Scenario #1

GCT, imagine if you will, that you own a large tract of land in the ANE and you are living during OT times. You have several bondservants who have voluntarily entered into service with you and you're on the very cusp of the all important harvest. On the night before you are set to begin harvesting many months of hard labor, one of these servants of yours is caught red-handed in the act of destroying all of the implements that you need to harvest your crops. His motivation is unimportant, let's just say it was something akin to petty jealousy. You face the very real possibility of becoming destitute along with your entire household. The implements are beyond repair and at best, you will lose several critical days of harvesting your grains at their peak, optimal timeframe. You rely on bartering your grains for the other items your household needs to get by during the course of the year. What are you going to do with this servant of yours GCT? Realistically.

Scenario #2...

Just before your harvest time one of the bondservants of your household has begun to openly defy you and start demanding much more for his services than what was previously agreed upon. To make matters worse, his defiance, it seems, is beginning to spread among the other servants. It is critical to begin the harvest tomorrow. What are you going to do?

After stating what you would do, how do you think a typical male, head of household in the ANE would respond to the above scenarios? Realistically.

GCT said...

JD,
"This is so patently, hopelessly and completely ridiculous that it boggles the mind. You can't be serious. Is it really your belief that the United States did not have armed forces from the late 18th century up until the Civil War? What planet do you reside on GCT and what color is the sky there?"

The US had West Point and other places where officers were trained, but no standing army as it were. The soldiers in the Civil War, for instance, were volunteers that were rounded up for service. We didn't form an actual standing army until around WWII, IIRC.

As for your scenarios, if you are asking what GCT would do if transported back in time, I suspect I would not own slaves, because I know it is wrong.

If you are asking what GCT would do if GCT were raised at that time with the cultural indoctrination that everyone else would have had, then GCT would probably do what any other slave owner would probably do, which is beat the slave to within an inch of his life, then hope he doesn't die so that he can work off the damage that he did.

What's the relevancy here?

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