Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why does the Bible Support Slavery?

Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright Hebrews 12:15-16 (KJV)

Taken out of context anyone can read anything into the Bible. Haters of God do this all the time, and even those wolves that hide among the brethren in secret.(bad pastors) I'm on my break at work,  so I must respond clearly and quickly. Lets began with slavery,  how the bible uses the word slavery may have remarkably different meanings and intents.

1.   In one instant slave mean indentured servant.This is not as we perceive slavery today where people are beaten and the actual property of another person. That is a completely new European concept of slave.   But for the Jews slaves were part of a successful and functioning society. Many slaves had homes, and property of their own. And as slaves they did not remain slaves for all their life. At most they were slaves for only 7 years, and those who were fortunate remained slaves even less if they became slave near the year of Jubilee. (Ask your pastor to teach you about jubilee) The law of Moses in fact served to regulate the care of slaves by their Hebrews masters, i.e. Ex 21:20 and Ex 21:26, Lev 25:40. Consequently, Israel never captured and sold humans as did the Phoenicians and Philistines.  Children of slaves could even inherit the wealth of the slave master.  Consider Abraham's words when he had no son of his own. ( Genesis 15:2 ) This nothing like the slaves that you and I have come to  think of.

2.    Secondly, the word slave is used as a person to who is in subjection to someone or something. (I.E  He is a slave to his drug additions) We who are in Christ should be a slave to the will of Christ. But you know from your walk with Christ that whom the Son set free (from our sexual perversions, or drugs or financial circumstances) is free indeed John 8:36

o   Now addressing slavery from the position of a just God. Ask yourself this "If God wrote about Himself and His Son today through the hands of prophets do you think He would say that there were no gang rapes, child molestation, weapons of mass destruction, or black on black crime?"  Would God leave that part out when He describe the world?  

Wouldn’t leaving them out be untruthful?  Fact is all these things exist,  All these things were real. And none of these things are condoned by God. If we who are Christian believe that the Bible support slavery then we are not reading the Bible correctly. The Bible teaches that man is corrupt in all ways (Totally Deprived)  but somehow those that would convince you that God supports slavery is trying to make you think that because the Bible speaks of slavery, that God somehow condones slavery.  Your elderly grandmother watches the news and hear of rape and murder every day. she may call her friends up to tell them the latest atrocity reported on ABC News but that does not mean your grandmother is for murder or rape.

Like-wise just because slavery is in the Bible does not mean God tolerates slavery, have you not read vengeance is mine says the LORD? (Isa 63:4, Rom 12:19)   What the Bible teaches is that the fullness of God's word is of paramount concern for both the free and the slave. New Testament texts, such as Colossians 4:1, Galatians 3:28, and the Book of Philemon, make the case for the inherent spiritual worth of slaves, which effectively laid a base for deep down authentic change in social practice, over time. God's way is often to work from within, dealing primarily with the spiritual component.

3.    Lastly we must learn to read scripture not with the mind of this world but with Godly wisdom. If we truly desire to understand the word of God we must rightly seek it in prayer James 1:5 Because they read the Bible with worldly knowledge the way of God seems foolish to men 1Corinthians 1:25 Consider this Abraham, Jacob, Esau and King David, and King Solomon all had multiple wives. Now at first glance it would appear that the Bible condones many wives, but does it?  
o   Well because of two wives, Abraham had distension in his house, and the descendants of one son are to this day at war with the descendants of the other.
Genesis 16:4-6 And Please don't forget that Hagar was his wife's slave.
o   Jacob had four wives,(two of which were slaves [concubines]) and that led to the attempted murder of his favorite son,  and fighting among his wives Genesis 30:1-2, Genesis 37:18-30 And the eventual separation of a nation at odd with itself. 
o   King David had many wives, and even though  he was the apple of God’s eye, and with all the good he had in possessions, these  things could not satiate his appetite for  flesh. So he Killed Uriah and stole his wife.  God cursed him which was proof that God does not condone evil.  2 Samuel 12:9-10
o   King Solomon though he was the riches and wisest man on earth he fell to the perversion of his many wives.1 Kings 11:3
o   In Hebrews 12:15-16 we learn more about Esau then in all the Bible, We find that he was an adulterer, sexual immorality  was his problem.  The fact that he had two wives made life of his parents bitter the Bible says.Genesis 26:34-35

The reason the Bible is so clear about slavery is because slavery did exist in the Bible. But so did rape and murder, and so does evil today.  If the Bible did not address the fact that there was slavery, then the Bible would be giving us only half truths. So the Bible speaks of slavery because slavery existed, not because God condoned it, the Bible speaks of polygamy because it existed not because God condoned it. It speaks of beating and parent killing their children,because these things existed, not because God condones it.

But here is the really scary part. These things still exist and most people questioning the Bible are doing nothing to stop any of these things. I'm not fooled and neither should you be those that  question the Bible do so because the Bible brings to light their own, your own, and my own sin.

And in the end what matters is not what happened 3000 years ago, what matters is where you will spend eternity.

Your Brother in Christ
T.Charves FireSpeaks

Monday, September 16, 2013

Does God Hate Divorce?

The Truth About God and Divorce

He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. Matthews 19.8(KJV)

Does God Hate divorce?

In a single word YES! Because divorce is a sin, but so is murder, and adultery, and covetousness, and homosexuality. Yet, God has not weighed one sin greater than another, no matter how we humanly perceive them the wages of all sin is death. But the word of God deals with our heart more than it does our hands. Let me explain if I may.
Divorce has always been a way of life, The bible records divorce as far back as the exodus from Egypt. and the reason for divorce is imperfect people make imperfect decisions. Yet we must understand that from the very beginning when God put Adam under a deep sleep (Genesis 2:21-24) to right now, God has always hated divorce.  So I think it both foolish and an insult to everyone’s intelligence for me to try to justify divorce. I also think it is a denial of the inerrancy of scripture and disrespect of the faith to say that the Bible which is the word of God revealed to man by the power of Holy Spirit is flawed (1 Thessalonians 1:5). I believe 100% in Tota Scriptura, all of scripture is perfect even if I don’t necessarily agree with it. Therefore where scripture and I come in conflict it is always me that is incorrect and must make the change and never scripture.

My point is that many of the brethren (non-gender specific)  have gone to their graves struggling to live their lives for Christ, trying to, by their works, become worthy of the promise and salvation all because  because of an errant interpretation of scripture, or because of  legalist leaders who by the law keep them in bondage.

Consider the following passage of which many that have been divorced have become enslaved to because  their past decisions to divorce.
“… Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.  For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth Malachi 2:14-16(KJV)
In the New Testament not only does Jesus speak against divorce, for the married couple He speaks against the sin of marring a known women that is divorced. 

"But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery; amd wjpspever shall marry her that is divorced commiteth adultery" Matthews 5:32 (KJV)
 “And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.” Matthews 19:9 (KJV)
From these three passages we would find ourselves regulated to either a marriage that we hate, or a life stuck in divorced never to find the comfort of a loving spouse. But is this really what scripture is saying to us?

It is my goal in this wordy excerpt to not give an answer to the question does God hate divorce,  but rather to give clarity to the intent of the heart of whom Jesus spoke of in both Matthews 5, 19. To do this I direct my attention to Matthew Henry's commentary on the book of Malachi chapter 2, he writes;
Corrupt practices are the fruit of corrupt principles; and he who is false to God will not be true to his fellow mortal.  In contempt of the marriage covenant, which God instituted, the Jews (Men) put away the wives they had of their own nation, probably to make room for strange wives They made their[lives bitter to them; yet, in the sight of others, they pretend to be tender of them. Consider she is thy wife; thy own; the nearest relation thou hast in the world. The wife is to be looked on, not as a servant, but as a companion to the husband. There is an oath of God between them, which is not to be trifled with. Man and wife should continue to their lives' end, in holy love and peace. Did not God make one, one Eve for one Adam? Yet God could have made another Eve. Wherefore did he make but one woman for one man? It was that the children might be made a seed to serve him. Husbands and wives must live in the fear of God, that their seed may be a godly seed. The God of Israel saith that he hateth putting away. Those who would be kept from sin, must take heed to their spirits, for there all sin begins. Men will find that their wrong conduct in their families springs from selfishness, which disregards the welfare and happiness of others, when opposed to their own passions and fancies. It is wearisome to God to hear people justify themselves in wicked practices. Those who think God can be a friend to sin, affront him, and deceive themselves. The scoffers said, Where is the God of judgement? but the day of the Lord will come. ( Matthew Henry's commentary on Malachi 2)
After reading this commentary by Matthew Henry let’s look at Malachi 2:14-16 once again.
“… Because the Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: In context we can see that the husbands were secretly treating their wives badly, But God says He knows how badly you have been treating your wife, even though the rest of the world thinks you are a good husband God knows the truth.
…yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.  God says she (Your wife) is not your slave, she is your wife, your equal, your companion and you must treat as such. I think it’s important to know that in that time, in fact since Moses wrote Exodus divorce was pretty common. However only men could get a divorce by writing a letter of divorcement and leaving their wives to fin for themselves (Matthew 5:31) What this meant for many older women, especially if they did not have children or could not go back to their parents, is that she would become homeless. Or regulated to a life of prostitution.  So divorce for the most part was a horrible death sentence for the wife. In fact for the attractive women that refused to rely on prostitution for their means,  and were unable not go back to their parents, or had no male to support them, being raped, sodomized and left on the street to die from injuries or hunger was just what they got. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. This is the bottom line, for the scripture says that in the lust of a man’s heart, by the covetousness of his flesh he has divorced his wife. And because he know what could happen to her if she had no place to go, his actions are evil in every way. Now we can see that Our Lord and Savior is pointing back to Malachi 2 when he speaks of divorce and the wickedness of the heart of men.
And Jesus answered and said unto them, “For the hardness of your heart he [Moses gave a precept concerning divorce] wrote you this precept. Mark 10:5 KJV
I cannot say with any measure of surety that God allows divorce except in the three ways outlined in my post " Is Remarriage Continual Adultery? " because the Bible is pretty clear on this subject God hates all sin and divorce is a sin. However in most passages in the Bible God is speaking of the divorce of men that comes from the lust and covetousness for what they cannot have. I am not saying that God only hate this divorce, and that its OK if you have another reason.  I'm  saying that divorce is a single sin as is remarriage, and I believe that on thises deeper issues we all must seek God with prayer and meditation and fasting for His wisdom and understanding. 

Your Brother in Christ 
Soli Deo Gloria