8/6/17 The Question Of Christian Slaves

“We know, as followers of Jesus, that we are all equal in the sight of God.  There is no difference in Heaven between man or woman, slave or free, Jew or Gentile.  God holds no prejudices, nor does He show favoritism.  However, we live in a society that is the exact opposite, and one that is growing more and more hostile to Christians.  It is unwise to stir up these hostilities further by insisting on changing established customs too drastically.  Therefore, at least for the time being, anyone who is a slave is to remain so unless freed by his master, and is to honor and work hard for his master as if working for God.  There are some Christians who own Christian slaves.  Many believe that this is abhorrent, but this is not the time to overturn the practice of slavery.  Christian slaves to Christian masters should take the attitude that the work they do for their masters is beneficial to their brothers and sisters, and so to God.  Remember that whatever we are doing, in whatever capacity, we are to work at it with all our hearts, as if our work is a gift for God.  In this way, we are glorifying God through our work and serving as light to those who are still in the darkness of sin.  Teach this to the brothers and sisters of the Ephesian church, and encourage them to live in this way.”

 

1 Timothy 6:1-2

 

“It was perhaps the most perplexing of all the questions Christianity had to face—this one of slavery. It entered into all grades and ranks. It was common to all peoples and nations. The very fabric of society seemed knit and bound together by this miserable institution. War and commerce were equally responsible for slavery in the Old World. To attempt to uproot it—to preach against it—to represent it in public teaching as hateful to God, shameful to man—would have been to preach and to teach rebellion and revolution in its darkest and most violent form. It was indeed the curse of the world; but the Master and His chosen servants took their own course and their own time to clear it away. Jesus Christ and His disciples, such as St. Paul and St. John, left society as they found it, uprooting no ancient landmarks, alarming no ancient prejudices, content to live in the world as it was, and to do its work as they found it—trusting, by a new and lovely example, slowly and surely to raise men to a higher level, knowing well that at last, by force of unselfishness, loving self-denial, brave patience, the old curses—such as slavery—would be driven from the world. Surely the result, so far, has not disappointed the hopes of the first teachers of Christianity.”

http://www.biblehub.com/commentaries/1_timothy/6-1.htm, Ellicott

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