Did God Condone Slavery?

Posted: August 22, 2011 by Amy Hall in God is Real

The Bible supports slavery. This is how we know the God of the Bible is not good.

Sound familiar? Here are some thoughts on this serious objection from this week’s featured article:

Since God regulated slavery in the Old Testament, does this automatically mean that He approves of slavery? Just as some today answer “yes,” the Pharisees in Matthew 19 also wrongly assume that regulation equals approval when they ask Jesus this question:

“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” And [Jesus] answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?…What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.”

Notice what happens here. The Pharisees come with a legal question about which regulations ought to govern divorce, and Jesus responds in a very unexpected way, saying there shouldn’t be any divorce. The Pharisees are immediately confused. “But how could it be that there shouldn’t be any divorce if God regulated it? Doesn’t that mean He thinks it’s hunky-dory as long as it’s done right?”

Jesus makes it clear that this is not the case.

The Pharisees had missed something very important about law…

Read the rest of the article at STR Place to hear what the Pharisees didn’t understand, how this relates to slavery, and what God used slavery to accomplish.

Comments
  1. Bert says:

    Thanks for posting this. I teach a course that uses arguments from American history. The students have to read both the abolitionist and pro-slavery arguments of the 19th century, identifying the rhetorical strategies of each. This will make an interesting addition showing how argumentative contexts continue.

  2. Razor Swift says:

    Great info like usual from STR.

  3. Ishmael says:

    Excellent!