Racism and the wrath of God...

I join Tim in finding those who try to turn our father's writing into a defense of their indefensible racism repugnant.

But the offense of their words and claims against our father is nothing compared to the offense of their words and claims against our Father, who will one day judge their racist bile as the murderous hatred of the heart it is.

David said to God after his sin with Bathsheba, "Against Thee and Thee alone have I sinned." This is equally true today. The words and attitudes of men such as those who write in defense of "kinism" are ultimately not an attack upon men, but upon God. And they will one day answer to Him for such sin. In the meantime, the calumnies of the wicked revert back on their own heads and we leave them to their self-flagellation.

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Comments

David, I have followed the entire debate here with interest. I must say that I remain unconvinced that kinnism is such a vile sin as you suppose.
Granted some (OK one) of the spokesmen for this view is a bit rough around the edges (OK alot), however if the view is simply a prefernce for ones own (kin) than the idea that this requires hatred for others remain unproven.

I am sincere in my request for an actual definition of "the sin of racism".

I have followed the wider internet debate now for a few months & I honestly feel no closer to understanding the entire issue than when i started. So please kept the debate going I at least hope to learn something!

>I am sincere in my request for an actual definition of "the sin of racism".

How about "identifying one biologically differed part of mankind as being of greater worth or value than another or seeking to divide the body of Christ on that basis in opposition to the fact that all are created in the image of God and all who are redeemed by Christ's blood are one in Christ"?

How curious, Mr. Bayley. I find it disingenuous of you to say on the one hand that racism is wrong, and on the other hand, link to Doug Wilson's blog, who claims in his booklet, "Southern Slavery, As It Was," that slavery in the US south was not a bad thing. Wilson claims, among other things, that "Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence" (page 24) and "There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world" (page 24). Or how about this: "Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." (page 25) You claim that racism is wrong, yet, your conscience does not seem to trouble you to support someone who is so clearly racist - and a plagiarist, to boot. Fully 20% of Wilson's writing was plagiarized from an earlier work by Fogel and Engerman, "Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery."

For the record, do you agree or disagree with Doug Wilson?

>Fully 20% of Wilson's writing was plagiarized from an earlier work by Fogel and Engerman, "Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery."

Actually Wilson co-wrote the book and his co-author was the one guilty of incorrect citation. The book was withdrawn and Wilson has produced a new book on the subject. The book is entitled Black and Tan and has drawn critical praise:

"The Reverend Douglas Wilson may not be a professional historian, as his detractors say, but he has a strong grasp of the essentials of the history of slavery and its relation to Christian doctrine. Indeed, sad to say, his grasp is a great deal stronger than that of most professors of American history, whose distortions and trivializations disgrace our college classrooms. And the Reverend Mr. Wilson is a fighter, especially effective in defense of Christianity against those who try to turn Jesus' way of salvation into pseudo-moralistic drivel."

--Eugene Genovese, Ph. D. Columbia University, author of nine books including Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made, winner of the Bancroft Prize in American History, teaching positions at Rutgers, University of Rochester, Yale, Cambridge, and formerly a distinguished scholar in residence for the University Center, Georgia.

One may agree or disagree with Wilson on the subject but I'm hardpressed to see how someone who actually has read the book could honestly conclude he is a racist (although I can see how they might dishonestly conclude such a thing).

Or that we all have descended from Adam, have all fallen short of God's glory, and Christ asked us to go forth making disciples of all nations (which is exactly what they did). There's no barrier put up around one's race.

Thanks David,
I am gratefull for your definition. Do you have any scripture proof for the idea that all of mankind is created with "egual value or worth"? A surface reading of the scripture ( I am no scholar ) seems to show all sorts of differing values & worth between the various nations of men (i.e. kin).

I also wonder what the signifigance of St. John the Divine's vision of the final judgment might be. Since he is shown every tribe, language, & nation at the end of time does that not indicate that some type of "division of the body of Christ" is part of the divine plan?

It's one thing to say some people are more highly favored by God than others, it's another to say "and I know which ones".

I'd suppose the Scriptural support would be:

Gal. 3:28 There is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Rom. 10:12 there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, since the same Lord of all is rich to all who call on Him.

1 Cor. 12:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free--and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

Col. 3:11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all.

Actually, the hands-down best passage showing the invalidity of kinism is an exchange Christ had with someone, as recorded in Matthew's gospel, ch.12:

47 Someone told Him, "Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to You."

48 But He replied to the one who told Him, "Who is My mother and who are My brothers?" 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, "Here are My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother."

Taken together, it's clear from the above verses that being in Christ trumps each and every other temporal factor. A Christian's "kin" are other Christians.

Actually, Ann, you haven't invalidated the claims of kinism at all. Those passages you mentioned are salvific in nature. They refer to how fallen human beings are saved in Christ, regardless of ethnicity or gender. Women and men both are in equal need of Christ for salvation and are co-equal heirs to the promises of salvation. However, they are still different. It's the same with different ethnicites. Why in the living crap is this so hard for people to understand? I think people just don't want to understand it.

I say, if ya'll want to call White kinists unrepentant, you'd better be ready to apply the same label to Blacks with Black churches, celebrating their Black culture, and Hispanics with Spanish speaking sermons and songs, and Koreans in Korean Presbyterian churches. Ever been to a Korean Presbyterian church full of Koreans as a White person? I have, and although we're all saved the same way and the Koreans were kind to me, they related to me a whole lot differently than they related to their kin. Duh! And I'm not just talking about the language barrier. See, they're allowed to relate differently to one another. And no one screams at them with Galatians 3:28 telling them that they're bigoted against Whites because they happen to want to be not only a people set apart for the service of Christ, but an ethnicity (nation) that God has made to seek him.

I always get a kick out of it when someone dismisses verses as "salvific in nature."

Gee whiz. Just salvific, eh? Having to do with eternal life?

Oh well, then. Nothing important. Why concentrate on THAT?

What those verses are doing is showing how Christians are to view OTHER Christians. You're correct that not everyone is alike, but according to the very explicit words of Christ, our KIN are other CHRISTIANS.

Pair the Matthew quote with this one in Luke 14:

27 He turned and said to them: 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters -- yes, and even his own life -- he cannot be My disciple.

How anyone can miss the import of these passages beats me. Being in Christ is a *temporal* tie trumping all *other* temporal ties, even that of familial relationships.

This ain't rocket science, as Emeril says more often than strictly necessary.

You tell 'em, Anne.

Morasoom, your post is a perfect example of why I call this stuff "lying", and why it's so infuriating. It is a sin to bind what God has not bound. Nobody anywhere is talking about whether culture-groups should like and appreciate what's good about themselves. To characterize "kinism" as being about that is lying. To blithely fluff off who we all are in Christ is wicked, and shows that someone's head isn't spiritually screwed on straight.

To claim that this topic is only about whether ethnic distinctives exist is a lie. To say that other peoples' godless ethnocentrism justifies or validates kinism is a lie. What it does show is that we're all sinning, regardless of race. To claim that this is about whether different ethnic groups are superior or inferior to each other is a lie.

The white race must say to the kinist, "Why do you call me good? There is but one who is good."

Righteously waving the banner of anti-political-correctness around doesn't make kinism any less ignorant or sinful. And it's an insult, as if most readers are so dumb that they can't see past the obviousness of that tactic.

To teach that the Bible forbids the intermarrying of the races makes one a false teacher, and should make you subject to discipline.

Paul tells us that everything he was, ethnically and culturally and religiously and professionally, compared to the saving knowledge of Christ was skubalos -- the rough English slang equivalent being "crap." Our whiteness accrues to our damnation, because we anglos share in those distinct national and cultural sins particularly embraced by Anglo western moderns. All (believing) races are reconciled to God through Christ, in the body of His flesh through death -- Colossians 1:20-21.

So let's get it straight:

1. This isn't about liking ourselves.
2. This isn't about the reality of ethnicity.
3. This isn't about being pro or anti-PC.
4. No race is intrinsically superior to another.
5. Identity in Christ overrides everything else.

At the risk of sounding as though I don't loathe everything on that kinist blog, I have to say that I see a point in Light Morton's question "Do you have any scripture proof for the idea that all of mankind is created with 'equal value or worth'?" I know there's a huge gap between Tim & David's Reformed theology and that of the kinist crowd, but a pillar of Calvinism seems to be that, to the contrary, some men are created to be of inestimable value to God and others to be of no value at all.

I see nothing in scripture that indicates that (under the New Covenant) that distinction has anything to do with ancestry, but I'm not sure that it's such a stretch to say that God could express that distinction by means of ethnic affiliation, given the postulate of predestination.

Anne, thanks for the citations.

BTW how do you deal with the pro-gay type of people who use some of the same verses to justify their views?

I have debated this in person several times & find it a real difficulty to maintain the view of ethnicity your view requires & still hold that the sexes are still distinct "in Christ"

Kevin, I fear I'm missing where the homosexual debate is germane. Homosexual behavior is a sin clearly defined and condemned in Scripture. The verses provided did not say "Thieves and honest people, those given over to lust and those chaste in heart, murderers and lifegivers, all are one in Christ Jesus," after all.

The pairings are always of unchangeable birth identities (Jew, Greek, Scythian, male, female) or temporal positions (slave, free), not behavior.

Joel,

If we could attribute the declaration, "Jacob I loved but Esau I hated" (Romans9:13) to John Calvin, you'd have a point. But as you must know, it is God Who said it, and God also made clear that His choice was not due to anything Jacob or Esau had (or had not done), since He made that choice while they were still in the womb (Romans 9:10-12). So then, you and I share the problem, don't we?

Scripture is clear: God chooses some and passes over others. And the Scriptures are so obvious on this point that it takes something like pure obstinacy to deny it. But of course, we are all capable of pure obstinacy at least thirty times a day--in trivial matters, let alone something as weighty as recognizing and coming to love God's absolute sovereignty over our existence. Unable to submit to Scripture's doctrine of God's choice, many of us carry around a truncated Bible and speak of God doing everything He can to save us except that one thing that He cannot do, make us believe. As the illogic goes, only we can take that final step because "God cares about freedom more than anything else," as a book I just received puts it. (Would you be surprised the book is written by an Christian libertarian?)

But then, was it not God Himself who reported to us that He makes some vessels for a "profane use" (Romans 9:21); was it not the Holy Spirit Himself who reported to us about God, "So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires" (Romans 9:18); is it not the Holy Spirit Who, in the books of Acts, declares, "When the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord; and as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed" (Acts 13:48)? Really, what kind of sleight-of-hand with the text of God's Word does it take to assign to Calvinists the duty of maintaining the dignity and equality of man in the face of God's choice?

Dear brother, you have the same problem we reformed Protestants have; namely, how to reconcile God's demand that we repent, believe, and choose Life with His multitudinous declarations that those who repent, believe, and choose Life do so only because He first chose them?

There are two ways of handling this problem.

There are those who are submissive and acknowledge, "God said it and that settles it." Generally, they are the ones who are willing to shut their mouths at the point where Scripture goes silent on a whole host of matters--not just God's choice. But there are also those who open their mouths precisely at the point where God went silent in His Word, and these errant souls begin to apply their fallible because finite wisdom to rescuing God and His Word from this and many other terrible dilemmas.

But buck up, you don't need to give up Rome to finally submit to and love the sovereignty of God. Check out St. Augustine.

With real affection...

PS: Yes, of course I know that Augustine was not Roman Catholic.

Joel said: "At the risk of sounding as though I don't loathe everything on that kinist blog, I have to say that I see a point in Light Morton's question "Do you have any scripture proof for the idea that all of mankind is created with 'equal value or worth'?""

I did not ask that question, Kevin did. But since it's come up again, I will weigh in here. Mankind was made in God's image. That, for me, is enough proof that each individual is infinitely precious, as we each bear our Maker's image.

My question (which still has to be answered by Mr. Bayly) is how can he condemn racism out of one side of his mouth while supporting Doug Wilson, a racist, out of the other side of his mouth. I asked Mr. Bayly if he agrees with Wilson regarding the following claims: "Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence" (page 24) and "There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world" (page 24). Or how about this: "Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care." (page 25)

Eager to hear Mr. Bayly's reply.

Light,

As far as I am concerned you can continue to wait, hold your breath until you are blue in the face and jump up and down and scream. If you are too obstinate to acknowledge the intractability of your position in the face of the CLEAR and OVERWHELMING teaching of Scripture, what would make anyone think that Mr. Bayly answering you at all wouldn't just make you say, "Well yeah, but." If you even got to the well yeah part.

Having watched with a sad heart this entire discourse over the past several days I am absolutely floored at the unwillingness of those defending any part of the kinist position to acknowledge ANY Scripture that has been cited OR to cite ANY of their own that might possibly defend the position. It even makes me want to vomit knowing that there are those out there that just read that, yet who began to think of Scriptures that they might cite to do just that. Are your hearts so hard as to set yourself up above God and His word, or will you submit yourself - including thoughts, prejudice, and action - to His word? If not, then away with you. You have no authority to teach or hold forth in any sort of public forum.

However, if you are willing to humbly exchange and seek to be instructed in faith by men who have more knowledge of Scripture and experience in shepherding souls than you or I, come and ask your questions honestly and without deception. This, however, should not be a forum for baiting and name calling; deception and lies. It brings no glory to God to have many of the things that I have read here over the past days preserved for posterity unless there is a desire by all to seek what the Scriptures say and for ALL of us to submit ourselves to them. I have seen no willingness to do so on the part of the "kinists." Not because they do not agree with me, but because there is no indication of any authority that God's word has over their lives in this issue.

Angrily but still humbly yours,
Doug Ummel

Anne, you aught to get out more. The argument is often made on the basis of Gal. that "in Christ" all has canged, including sex roles.

My problem is not that God chooses who he will (amen), or that the saved of all races are "one in Christ (amen), or that all may be saved reguardless of race or family (amen). The issue that it seems must be adressed is how does the idea of covenental succession & blessing to a thousand generations as well as the contrary cursing & visiting of sins of fathers on sons inform our view of kinship/race?

how do I honour my fathers (spiritual & natural) by ignoring who & what they were?

Those who endorse the segregation of races or ethnic groups for the sake of those races or ethnic groups ought to remember that the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18-20) tells us to share the Gospel not only in Jerusalem, but also in Samaria and through the world. How exactly, then, can one reach Samaria and the world while forming a "Jerusalem only" or "whites only" church?

It's also worth noting that God provided a persecution in Jerusalem when the story of Acts indicates that people were staying there instead of getting out to Samaria and the world. As a gentile myself, I'm pretty glad that He did this.

Lot of good posts here, but Jack Brooks' is especially good. Arguing something so obvious is as tiresome as arguing women's ordination.

It should also be noted that Wilson emphatically denounces the idea that he claimed slavery was benign in that booklet--and he provides citations from that booklet in his weblog to prove it. See the link I provide.

kevin, Anne didn't say the homosexual debate wasn't occurring, she said it wasn't germane. They are wrong in one way, you in another. Their wrongness doesn't make your position right, as though it was the only other alternative.

Doug Ummel, what in my post gives you the idea that I am a kinist? I repudiate that position completely and wholeheartedly. It is an utterly corrupt position. I don't know where you are getting the idea that I support kinism.

>Doug Ummel, what in my post gives you the idea that I am a kinist?

Well you loathe Doug Wilson, just like the kinists

Doug Wilson is a racist. That is loathesome.

Doug Wilson states: "Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence."

One race enslaves another race based solely on skin color. And Wilson has the brass to claim it's not because of racial animosity? A "relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence"? Oh, please.

I don't understand how you can say such lies are not racist.

So once again, for the record - such racism is loathesome, as is kinism. I repudiate both.

>Doug Wilson is a racist. That is loathesome.

Actually you are different than the kinists in at least one regard. They loathe Wilson for what he is, you loathe him for something he is not.

Try reading the quote above. Whether or not you believe it to be true, even setting aside the context from which you plucked it, what in it suggests that one race is superior to another or is of greater value than another (i.e. what in it is racist)? Nothing.

What is genuinely loathesome is to toss about smear words like "racist" when it isn't applicable.

Light,

I am glad to hear you repudiate kinism publicly. I did think that you were casting your lot there. I am sorry to have misinterpreted you. I'm afraid that you got caught in the crossfire of my absolute frustration with the shooting from the shadows that has been charateristic of their interaction here.

I still do stick to my guns, however, about you baiting Tim Bayly. I just re-read your post and nothing in it indicates a humility of spirit or a desire to learn or be taught. It is entirely argumentative and aggressive. The only thing that you were trying to do is elicit some sort of response so that you could attack it.

That's what it looks like from here anyway. I could be wrong, I suppose, but I'm inclined to think not.

Kevin says,

"The argument is often made on the basis of Gal. that 'in Christ' all has changed, including sex roles."

Sure, people make that argument. The same people say that David and Jonathan had a homosexual love affair. This is just evidence that they are grasping for straws, because both "arguments" are nonsense. Anyone who is set on interpreting that one verse according to his own druthers, rather than taking into account all the things that same apostle wrote elsewhere about homosexuality and sex roles (e.g. Romans 1, 1 Timothy 3), i.e. allowing Paul to explain himself, i.e. practicing _honest_ exegesis, just isn't worth serious attention.

"PS: Yes, of course I know that Augustine was not Roman Catholic."

That would no doubt come as a big surprise to him. He was a Christian in communion with Rome, which seems like the obvious definition. Although I suppose if anybody could be considered Ambrosian Rite rather than Roman, it would be Ambrose's protege. :)

Tim, I didn't mean my remarks to be a criticism of Calvinism, although on rereading it looks like they came out that way. I'm really sorry for that. And in a soteriological argument with you, I'd be like a chihuahua squaring off with a Rottweiler. :) (Catholics do believe in a form of predestination, as both Augustine and Aquinas have outlined. I suppose I lean more toward the latter, for all that Augustine is my patron saint. But then, I'm not all that theologically savvy.)

But I digress. My point was that the fundamental equality of every man isn't necessarily axiomatic in scripture, a fact that's highlighted by the Calvinist interpretation of predestination. If you believe that God prefers one man over another for reasons created into them, it doesn't seem like that big a leap to think that God might lump together the ones He prefers in the same culture or location. If I understand right, that was part of the Dutch Reformed justification of apartheid.

Which is emphatically not to say that Calvinism is racist. To the contrary, there's no reason at all to think that God WOULD make ancestry a factor in His determination of saved vs. damned, and the scriptures that have been cited argue powerfully against it. I guess I'm just playing devil's advocate here to point out the string of logic that could distill "kinism" from Christianity.

In an earlier post about Doug Wilson's racism, I quoted the following from his booklet, "Southern Slavery, As It Was."

"Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. Because of its dominantly patriarchal character, it was a relationship based upon mutual affection and confidence" (page 24)

David Gray asks in a subsequent post:
"What in it suggests that one race is superior to another or is of greater value than another (i.e. what in it is racist)? Nothing."

Let me walk you through this, David. "Slavery was not an adversarial relationship," claims Wilson. Reality check: white slave traders captured black Africans, tearing them away from their families and culture, chained them in the cargo holds of ships in inhumane conditions, and sold them to the highest bidder. If they tried to escape, they were murdered. That sounds adversarial to me.

Wilson claims that the relationship did not exhibit "pervasive racial animosity." Reality check: It was the black race that was targeted. White human beings owned black human beings, denying them the most basic of human rights. This wasn't done to whites, Asians, or anyone else. Just blacks. Sounds racial to me.

"it was a relationship based on mutual affection and confidence."
Reality check: white slave owners apparently had so much "confidence" in their slaves they chained them up so they couldn't escape, and made it illegal to teach them to read.

Affection? So it is affectionate to rip free individuals from their culture, transport them in horrendous conditions, and enslave them? It is affectionate to continue to treat individuals as property to be disposed of and sold at your whim, continuing to break up families? It is affectionate to treat black women as sexual objects for one's own sexual gratification?

One race owned individuals of another race based solely on the color of the latter's skin. Blacks were counted as 2/3 of a person.

And you, David, claim that there's nothing in Wilson's comment to suggest that one race was superior to another?

Doug Wilson has been around for a while. In the past I've found some of his books interesting although leaning a bit over the edge of reasonableness in many instances.

Now I'm concerned. This is a man who is representing Christ and God's Word to many people and the world. With the things I've been reading around the net about him lately, I have to say that the best thing to do is to disassociate with him and his work. He's making choices that are hurting the ministry of Christ.

>And you, David, claim that there's nothing in Wilson's comment to suggest that one race was superior to another?

Yes. All you were arguing is that he is in error. If you can't tell the difference between error and racism you should drop out of these sorts of discussions.

L. Martin, think about what you're saying here. Are you truly saying that the scorn of a few dozen people ought to compel us to disassociate?

If so, we ought to disassociate from the church, which has the scorn of not dozens, but millions, and that throughout history. The Romans accused us of treason, atheism, and cannibalism--let's apostasize, right?

No, let's be fair here. As David Gray establishes well in his exchange with "Light Morton," at least some of Wilson's detractors are breaking basic rules of logic and ignoring inconvenient facts. We need to give the man a fair shake.

And I say this, for what it's worth, as a "lumpy Anabaptist" who disagrees with Wilson on a number of theological issues.

Light's not the one who can't tell what racism is.

Let's stop calling it "racism." Let's call it what it is: hatred of your fellow man. And the historic American crime associated with it is called "man-stealing", which is condemned by the apostle Paul as something condemned by God's law and contrary to the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 1:9-10). Moses prescribed the death-penalty for slavers (Exodus 21:16), a category of crime which was evidently distinguished from the military capturing of enemy citizens under condition of war, or forcing a debtor to work off a legal debt. And in both of those latter instances, the servitude was temporary, said temporariness to be enforced at the point of a sword. The refusal of Israel to obey God in the matter of economic sabbaths and the jubilee resulted in Him slaughtering thousands of Jews by the hand of the Assyrians and Babylonians, thus sending them into slavery!

Anyone who justifies Southern man-stealing, and human trafficking, might as well justify premeditated murder (Exodus 21:12-15) or cursing one's parents (21:17). It puts them into the classification of those who have swerved away from love out of a pure heart, a good conscience, and genuine faith, making them vain janglers, ignorant of what they say and of that which they so arrogantly affirm.

newcovenantliving at blogspot

Well, Robert, to be fair let's note that there is a difference between accusing groups of people of things that are not true, and observing the statements of one person. Wilson said these things and other similar things. Are you aware that there is a webpage on the net somewhere that has quite a bit of material about some of the problems with Wilson's church ministry. Not sure if I can find it now, but I saw it and read almost all of it.

In reading everything I've come across it just seems wise to me to stay clear of being associated with him.

And what are the "inconvenient facts" that you are referencing people are ignoring. Frankly, I've been reading so much negative information (quotes, transcriptions, scanned public letters, etc.) that I'd love to see some positives.

>Let's stop calling it "racism."

An improvement.

>Let's call it what it is: hatred of your fellow man.

Okay, now that is genuinely silly. You seriously want to argue that Wilson hates his fellow man? If so produce an actual argument. If not obey the ten commandments and cease such stuff.

Jack Brooks says, "Southern man-stealing, and human trafficking."

Slavery was introduced into America by the Dutch; then carried on by the British and Yankees, but not by Southerners.

The man-stealing at the point of origin was done by one African tribe against another. There was no need for the Portugese, Spanish, English, Dutch, or French tribes to get poison ivy and jungle rot looking for their own slaves. Barrels of rum were adequate trading material.

The English abolished the slave trade just about the same time that the U.S. forbade further importations-- what a coincidence!

It was the southerners at the convention that wanted to abolish the slave trade sooner. The yankee shipmen wanted more profits first.

Yankee slave trafficking around "the triangle" continued long after; I have heard even continuing after the war of Northern Aggression!

As a slave-economy became unprofitable, the yankees sold their slaves south for gold. When their grandsons got up in arms over the egregious immorality of slavery, they didn't offer to give the gold back.

The ignoramus above that said slaves were valued as 2/3 of a person-- they counted by the Constitution (Article 1, section 2) as 3/5 for congressional allocation. Slave-holders would, of course, have preferred 1/1. It was non-slaveholders that wanted the fraction as low as possible.

Of any given specific Southern slave holder, it is quite possible that he was completely innocent of any biblical crime, since the Bible, neither OT nor NT identifies slave-holding per se as sinful.

"How can that be if man-stealing is a sin?"

The same way it can be that you, if you are a modern American property-holder, might be completely innocent in your holding of that property, even though it could be, for all that you know, that a sin was committed in connection with wresting that property from someone else, sometime in the misty and undocumented past.

Or, for that matter, in the clear and documented past.

Think about it, before you cast stones at the defenseless dead!

"the war of Northern Aggression"

Ha ha, I haven't heard that one in a while. I live in South Carolina, I've been to Fort Sumter. We shot first. It's impossible to say what would have happened if we hadn't shot, but the first shots of the Civil War were to force the surrender of a fort before it received food provisions.

Anyway, if you want the real test as to whether or not slavery is a sin, ask yourself what you would have thought if you were taken from your homeland, separated from your wife and kids, and forced to work grueling unpaid labor for the rest of your life. Eh?

Tim Harris,

I don't dispute your facts. Your point re: the 3/5 compromise is especially good, and I was tempted yesterday to make it myself. However, the moral evaluation you are deriving from some of those facts doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

Yes, the original man-stealing was in most cases done by the Africans, not the Europeans. But the Europeans were clearly conspirators in the act, since they gladly received the stolen "goods." In fact, once the trade was established, the Europeans were doing more than simply signing on to the evil: they were the market driving it. Trying to clear them of guilt would be like trying to argue that the assassin is guilty of murder, but the man who hired him to commit that murder is innocent.

Also, it is wrong-headed and morally obtuse to equate the holding of a fourth-generation slave with the holding of a property inherited from a great grandfather who acquired it dishonestly. Land can be owned. People cannot rightly be.

Thank you, voice of sanity.

Moses prescribed death for anyone who sells a stolen man, or in whose hands a stolen man is found (Exodus 21:16). Looks like Moses prophetically foresaw Confederate slavery-apologists and addressed them.

Once again: The Old Covenant permitted Israel to practice slavery under two conditions. (1) People captured in the course of a war, and (2) to pay off a debt. Everything else was regarded as "man-stealing", and was considered so evil that death was the penalty. And in either case, a slave was required to be freed at the end of a prescribed number of years, unless the slave voluntarily chose to remain with his/her master.

In 1st Corinthians, Paul instructed the Christians:

(1) To never voluntarily submit themselves to slavery (so, for instance, indenture was forbidden; and this rule would have motivated sensible Christians to avoid financial indebtedness).

(2) They are ordered to get out of slavery if they ever have the opportunity to do so; so Christians didn't even have the "awl through the earlobe" option granted under Moses' Law.

(3) man-stealing is condemned in 1st Timothy 1 as equivalent to murder, manslaughter, fornication, and sodomy.

Oh, and here's lie #7: "This is all about respecting my ancestors."

Keith writes:

"Anyway, if you want the real test as to whether or not slavery is a sin, ask yourself what you would have thought if you were taken from your homeland, separated from your wife and kids, and forced to work grueling unpaid labor for the rest of your life. Eh?"

It is Scripture that tells us what is sin. Perhaps you can show me where the Bible teaches that slave-holding is a sin. I know of no place where Scripture condemns slave-holding. To the contrary, Paul gives instruction in the area of slave-holding in the letter to Philemon. He even instructs a runaway slave to return to his master, and this in a system that was much more abusive than the slavery that we had in this country.

Russell,

Correct, slavery per se is never identified as a sin in the Bible. However, slavery disappeared completely in the Christian world after late antiquity. How exactly was it going to come back again? How could Christian society justify any of the ways in which it could make a comeback? Answer is, it couldn't.

Roman slavery (which had come into being through the unjust actions of pagan nations) was transformed by Christian principles, and eventually went away. Modern slavery could be born only through a repudiation of those very same Christian principles.

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