Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 9 December 2018


Sermon synopsis: Atheist: 'Why do people worship false gods?' asks the people who worship a book that endorses slavery, legitimizes racism, and celebrates genocide. Oh the irony!

Lita Cosner responded:
We don't worship a book, we worship the God who gave us a book that helped to end slavery, gives the only answer for racial reconciliation, and calls us to self-sacrificial love of our enemies even to the point of death for the Gospel. Without God's Word, why not enslave and kill others who aren't just like you?
I mean, if it's all survival of the fittest, why should I get all sentimental about human beings who aren't part of 'my tribe'.

Christianity gives us the only basis for caring about all humans, because we're all closely related via Adam and Eve, and Christ died to save people of every tribe, tongue, and nation.
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Does the Bible condone slavery.

When we hear about slavery, we tend to think of pictures like this, and similar behaviour that led to the Civil War in America.

Does the Bible condone slavery.

Perhaps we think too of slave galleys where slaves were chained and if a ship sank they drowned.

Andy Whitman, one-time reviewer for Paste magazine, used this argument to rebut opposition to gay marriage:

Andy Whitman, one-time reviewer for Paste magazine, used this argument to rebut opposition to gay marriage:

The Bible condones slavery.

Anyone with a heart and a brain knows slavery is immoral.

So the Bible endorses something that is immoral.

Therefore, we must reject a literal, inerrantist approach to Scripture.

Does God condone slavery Creation .com

Atheist: "Why do people worship false gods?" asks the people who worship a book that endorses slavery, legitimizes racism, and celebrates genocide. Oh the irony!

Lita Cosner responded:

We don't worship a book, we worship the God who gave us a book that helped to end slavery, gives the only answer for racial reconciliation, and calls us to self-sacrificial love of our enemies even to the point of death for the Gospel. Without God's Word, why not enslave and kill others who aren't just like you?

I mean, if it's all survival of the fittest, why should I get all sentimental about human beings who aren't part of 'my tribe'.

Does God condone slavery Creation .com

Christianity gives us the only basis for caring about all humans, because we're all closely related via Adam and Eve, and Christ died to save people of every tribe, tongue, and nation.

Israelites could only be indentured servants, not lifetime servants (unless they so preferred their situation with their master that they asked to be lifetime slaves).

They were to be freed after 7 years and compensated generously for their time.

They were also protected by several laws; they were not chattel.

If a man took a female slave for a concubine, she had certain rights and could not simply be discarded.

Does God condone slavery Creation .com

Non-Israelites could be enslaved for life.

However, they also had certain rights, including Sabbath rest in the household of their master.

They could not be wantonly mistreated.

But we also have to ask: what would the alternative be? Israelites might be enslaved because of extreme poverty or because of being convicted of a crime.

Slavery is not ideal, but it beats starving to death or being executed for a crime.

Non-Israelites would be taken as slaves in armed conflict, again, most people would choose slavery to death.

Does God condone slavery Creation .com

In the New Testament, we must remember that Christians were a small minority.

The Roman government had a way of squashing movements that openly called for slave revolts. But Christians had a way of gently subverting the order.

Paul addressed slaves as people capable of choosing godly submission in the context of their slavery, but the really subversive part is that he called slave owners to treat their slaves as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Really read the letter of Philemon and try to come to a conclusion other than that Paul wants Philemon to free Onesimus. In fact, church history indicates that Philemon did exactly that, and Onesimus became a leader in the early church.

Does God condone slavery Creation .com

If Christianity was not abolitionist at its core, why would Christians in the first centuries after the completion of the NT call for the end of slavery?

Gregory of Nyssa was perhaps the first Christian to openly condemn all forms of slavery as against God’s will, and he was quite early.

Of course slave-holders quoted the Bible to try to justify their actions, just like wife-beaters might quote the Bible to try to justify their abuse. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a valid reading of Scripture.

And yes, it is a sad reality that slavery still exists in places around the world. But historically speaking, it is much more notable that slavery isn’t accepted in the majority of the Western world.

Does the Bible condone slavery.

Anti-Harm Laws –“God did not allow physical abuse of servants. If an employer’s disciplining his servant resulted in immediate death, that employer (“master”) was to be put to death for murder (Exodus 21:20) — unlike other ANE codes. The Mosaic Law… held masters to legal account for their treatment of their own servants.”

Anti-Kidnapping Laws — “Another unique feature of the Mosaic Law is its condemnation of kidnapping a person to sell as a slave — an act punishable by death (Exodus 21:16; cp. Deuteronomy 24:7)”

Anti-Return Laws — “Israel was to offer safe harbor to foreign runaway slaves (Deuteronomy 23:15,16).”

Does the Bible condone slavery.

Deuteronomy 23:15-16.

If a slave has taken refuge with you, do not hand them over to their master. Let them live among you wherever they like and in whatever town they choose. Do not oppress them.

Deuteronomy 24:7.

If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.

Does the Bible condone slavery.

1 Timothy 1:8-11.

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

Slavery and abolitionists.

One reason you seem to discredit Christianity is because of the existence of slavery in the Bible.

Slavery has existed throughout virtually the entire span of human history. Cultural mores have not remained stagnant over the centuries, and attitudes toward slavery have changed along with them. Abolitionist movements were rare prior to the 18th century.

We find the most notable and first recorded exception in the Old Testament book of Exodus. The Old Testament laws helped to ascertain the humane treatment of slaves. However, in Egypt the Israelites served primarily as brick builders and were subject to harsh conditions.

Moses led approximately 600,000 Israelite men and their families out of bondage in Egypt. .

Slavery and abolitionists.

In the British Empire slaves became emancipated in 1834 due to the tireless efforts of men like William Wilberforce and John Newton. As an atheist, Newton had no moral grounding upon which to base any opposition to slavery. He became a servant on a slave ship and received no better than the slaves he served.

He then became captain of his own slave ship.

Following a tempestuous storm, John Newton experienced the grace of Christian faith, leading him to repudiate his involvement in the slave trade.

Slavery and abolitionists.

William Wilberforce worked tirelessly to secure the abolition of slavery in Britain from 1787 until his death in 1833. Several months prior to his death he witnessed the passage of the Slavery Abolition Act by the British Parliament. The British slave trade finally ended due in large part to the efforts of Wilberforce and Newton. Wilberforce also lived an ardent evangelical, protestant Christian life, which began just two years prior to devoting his life to the abolition of slavery.

Slavery and abolitionists.

Slavery in colonial America and Britain in the 18th century was fraught with racism and abuse, but in Old Testament Israel, entrance into slavery simply became a necessity for some.

No one forced anyone else into slavery.

The slave signed a contract agreeing to serve the master’s family for a period of 7 years.

At the end of this time, the Law required the cancellation of the contract.

During the indenture period, the slave was entitled to all the rights of any other family member, except the right of inheritance..

Slavery and abolitionists.

From his early days of hardship and his life as a sailor and slave trader, in a series of fourteen letters John Newton relates God's love and mercy in delivering him and using him as an effective weapon against the Evil One he once served.

Amazing Grace” is probably the most beloved hymn of the last two centuries. The soaring spiritual describing profound religious elation is estimated to be performed 10 million times annually and has appeared on over 11,000 albums. Ironically, this stirring song, closely associated with the African-American community, was written by a former slave trader, John Newton.

Does the Bible condone slavery/

The New Testament further gives us a paradigm to interpret Old Testament practices. In one of their notorious fault-finding missions, the Pharisees test Jesus on the subject of divorce (Matthew 19:1-9; Mark 10:2-9).

He initially appears to play into their hands, asking what Mosaic Law has to say on the subject.

When they gleefully quote the permission of Moses to divorce one’s wife, Jesus lays down a method of interpretation that has to be taken very seriously.

He makes it clear that certain Old Testament commandments were to be understood as concessions to the hardness of the human heart rather than as expressions of God’s holy character. He goes on to reference how this was not the state of affairs in the beginning, that is, before the fall.

Divorce and God’s will.

Matthew 19:3-9. Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason? Haven’t you read, he replied, that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Why then, they asked, did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away? Jesus replied, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

Does the Bible condone slavery/

The regulation of slavery should therefore be seen as a practical step to deal with the realities of the day resulting from human fall.

The aberrations that lead to alienation among individuals, races, and nations are the result of a fundamental broken relationship between humankind and God.

Within this tragic scenario, Scripture comes as a breath of fresh air as it seeks to redeem the situation.

While the Bible does not reject slavery outright, the conclusion that it actually favours slavery is wrong.

In fact, the Bible teaches that the feeling of superiority in general is sin (Philippians 2:1-8)!

Does the Bible condone slavery/

The abolition of slavery is thus not only permissible by biblical standards, but demanded by biblical principles.

The pre-fall statement that should guide and ultimately abolish such (and any) practices of superiority is the declaration that all humans, men and women, are made in the image of God.

Of course, lamentably, it must be admitted that the Church has taken many centuries to live out what Scripture taught long ago, and no doubt we continue to drag our feet.

Does the Bible condone slavery/

A. The time delay between the Word of Scripture and its implementation in society is often due to the “holy huddle” mentality prevailing among Christians who are largely unconcerned about issues outside of their immediate periphery.

B. Another reason many Christians continue to remain silent in the face of injustice is the platonic view of the cosmos we have adopted, implying that life in the hereafter is the only issue to be addressed, while we watch the world go by in its destructive way.

Both mentalities are sadly misguided.

Does the Bible condone polygamy?

Polygamy was a commonly accepted practice in ancient Israel.

However, Jesus spoke very clearly in favor of monogamy.

Matthew 19:4-6.

Haven’t you read that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female, and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? So they are no longer two, but one.

Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.

How a Christian is to behave when enslaved.

1 Peter 2:16-21. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.

But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

How a Christian is to behave when enslaved.

1 Corinthians 7:21-23.

Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you, although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave.You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

Galatians 3:26-28.

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

We hate slavery, yet man offers himself as a slave.


Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey, whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?

But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Slavery to sin.

Romans 6:16-22.

I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations.

Just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness leading to holiness.

When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?

Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.

Slavery to sin.

Man cries out against the injustice of slavery and yet himself is a slave and wants to prevent other slaves from being set free.

There are proposals to criminalize the act of counselling people to leave a life of homosexuality.

Focus on the Family.

Can homosexuals change? Is trying to change sexual orientation harmful? Should counselors work with clients with unwanted same-sex attractions, helping them live out their sexuality in a biblical way? There’s been a lot of debate in recent years in the mental health professions, the media and various state legislatures about these questions.

Slavery to sin.

In the past, such help and change was widely considered both desirable and possible. More recently, however, an increasing number of mental health practitioners now believe that a homosexual orientation is an intrinsic part of a person's identity that cannot – and should not – be changed. The mental health professions haven’t really discovered anything new about human sexuality or homosexuality; they are just more ideologically and politically driven.

So it’s in this context – in contrast to a more objective scientific or even scriptural context – that some clinicians hold that any and all therapy practices that have as their goal sexual orientation change are harmful and should be declared professionally unethical.

Slavery to sin.

2 Peter 2:17-19.

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity, for people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.

Titus 3:3.

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.

Slavery to sin is slavery to Satan.

2 Timothy 2:24-26. And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

1 John 5:18-19. We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

Slavery to sin.


Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm. 119:133.

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.

Proverbs 5:22.

The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.

The slavery of the law.

Galatians 5:1.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

John 8:31-36.

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. They answered him, We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free? Jesus replied, Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Slavery to debt.

Proverbs 22:7.

The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.

Debt bondage, also known as debt slavery or bonded labour, is the pledge of a person's services as security for the repayment for a debt or other obligation, where the terms of the repayment are not clearly or reasonably stated, and the person who is holding the debt and thus has some control over the laborer, does not intend to ever admit that the debt has been repaid. The services required to repay the debt may be undefined, and the services' duration may be undefined, thus allowing the person supposedly owed the debt to demand services indefinitely. Debt bondage can be passed on from generation to generation. Wikipedia

Slavery to debt.

In our modern day, many countries, particularly in Africa, owe huge amounts to the IMF, the World Bank and other countries, and with that debt comes obligations and conditions and control.

In recent years we have seen the bailout of certain European countries by the EU, most notably Greece, and with those bailouts have come conditions.

The combined total of Greece's bailouts is bigger than Hong Kong's economy. Since 2010, Greece has undergone three bailouts worth a staggering total of nearly €310 billion ($360 billion). Jun 21, 2018

Slavery to debt.

Last year, with more than $1 billion in debt to China, Sri Lanka handed over a port to companies owned by the Chinese government. Now Djibouti, home to the US military’s main base in Africa, looks about to cede control of another key port to a Beijing-linked company, and the US is not happy about it.

Beijing encourages dependency using opaque contracts, predatory loan practices, and corrupt deals that mire nations in debt and undercut their sovereignty, denying them their long-term, self-sustaining growth, said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on March 6. Chinese investment does have the potential to address Africa’s infrastructure gap, but its approach has led to mounting debt and few, if any, jobs in most countries, he added.

Slavery to debt.

In South Africa, China’s biggest trade partner in Africa, Xi unveiled a $14.7-billion investment in its broke national energy utility Eskom and its rail, port and pipeline company. Beijing’s cumulative loans to Africa since 2000 amounted to $124-billion by 2016, according to figures compiled by the China-Africa Research Initiative (CARI) at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in the United States.

Half of those loans were given in the past four years, Janet Eom, an associate researcher at CARI, told DW. So Africa’s debt to China is becoming more of a concern moving forward.

Slavery to money.

Luke 16:11-15.

So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?

And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.

The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.

The slavery of religion.

Colossians2:8. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

The slavery of religious tradition.

John 9;13-

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He put mud on my eyes, the man replied, and I washed, and now I see. Some of the Pharisees said, This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath. But others asked, How can a sinner perform such signs? So they were divided. Then they turned again to the blind man, What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened. The man replied, He is a prophet.

The slavery of religious tradition.

John 9;13-

They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. Is this your son? they asked. Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see? We know he is our son, the parents answered, and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself. His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, He is of age; ask him.

Tradition was more important to them than acknowledging Jesus and the miracle he had performed for their son.

The slavery of habits/ addictions.

The word liberated means something totally opposite to the world.

Liberate: (Collins dictionary) Free from rigid social conventions especially in sexual behaviour.

So the person the world says is liberated, God says is in bondage.

Titus 3:3. At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures, We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us..

Setting the captives free.

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit. Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak...'I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage. On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright. I stopped the lad and asked, 'What you got there, son?' 'Just some old birds,' came the reply.

'What are you gonna do with them?' I asked.

'Take 'em home and have fun with 'em,' he answered 'I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time' 'But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do?'

'Oh, I got some cats,' said the little boy. 'They like birds. I'll take 'em to them.'

Setting the captives free.

The pastor was silent for a moment. 'How much do you want for those birds, son?' 'Huh?? !!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing. They ain't even pretty!'

'How much?' the pastor asked again.

The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, '$10?' The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone.

The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free.

Setting the captives free.

Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story.

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. 'Yes, sir, I just caught the world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!'

'What are you going to do with them?' Jesus asked.

Satan replied, 'Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I'm gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!'

Setting the captives free.

'And what will you do when you get done with them?' Jesus asked. 'Oh, I'll kill 'em,' Satan glared proudly. 'How much do you want for them?' Jesus asked

'Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don't want those people!!'

'How much?' He asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, 'All your blood, tears and your life.’

Jesus said, 'DONE!'

Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage he opened the door and he walked from the pulpit.


This is what Jesus taught.

Galatians 5:14

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbour as yourself.

Jesus came to this earth as a man and suffered the brutality of the Roman oppressors and the Pharisaical hypocrites, but His mission was far greater than to free the Jews from the Roman masters, He came to free mankind from the enslavement of sin and death and Satan.

Hebrews 2:14-15.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.


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