A Slave to a Hermeneutic

Did Paul in any of his writings ever condemn slavery?
(Emphasis on the word, “condemn.” Condemning vehemently because it was an inhumane practice.)

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I can agree with this. The opposite extreme is that the disciples of Christ should beware of a quietist gospel based solely on the salvation of the individual and the hereafter. That helped lead the mainline churches to remain silent in the face of Hitler and Nazism in Germany, it has led to evangelical churches giving two hoots about the environment and climate change with the idea that God is going to burn the planet up and we’re just passing through, it led many American churches to ignore the crushing racial injustices that needed to be righted not only in society but in the midst of ecclesiastical segregation as practiced within much of America, etc. By many who claim to be born again and have experienced individual salvation through faith in Christ.

There is a balance. The message of the gospel is not just other worldly. The kingdom not being of this world means that it does not operate by the principles of this age. But it is very much concerned with bringing its own life and principles into practice in this present age, while pointing, and as a way of pointing to what is yet to come. Not just to exit people out of the world into a home over yonder.

Jesus didn’t get crucified because he just preached an individual change of heart and salvation to heaven. He also spoke in the Jewish tradition as an internal critic of their religious and social institutions and practices. They were more than a religious body; Israel was a nation, a society albeit a foreign occupied one. He stood in the tradition of the prophets. The conservative church, including Adventism, in many ways has lost that voice.



I wonder if those Christians (which includes many SDAs) that currently support the vicious criminal defendant Donald Trump may, in the back of their brains, do it because this way the “end of the world” may happen sooner than otherwise. DT may be those people’s “faster way to Heaven.” What other explanation could there be for their support to an individual that will destroy Democracy and their freedom as soon as he can? (Though the prospect of cheating justice successfully appears very deem this time. It may be difficult to install Fascism in the US from a federal prison… :wink: )…)


The most significant point of this article is that SDAs claim the Bible as their sole and ultimate authority, and they claim that a literal or plain commonsense method of interpretation is the proper method of reading the Bible. This argument is refuted by the fact that this results in a proslavery position. EGW and the early SDAs were anti-slavery. This contradicts the proslavery literal interpretation. Therefore, a literal interpretation of these NT texts must be rejected. This sets a precedent for using a nonliteral interpretation regarding other teachings, including a literal creation only 6,000 years ago and the male headship or all male clergy dogma.



So people have tried to do it before.

But as has been explained in this forum, and from a myriad of other readily available sources, proof texting still doesn’t prove anything and your apparent inability to grasp this concept only demonstrates either a lack of mental acumen or a disingenuous desire for argumentation.

IOW, I’m not saying you’re lying, only that I don’t believe you don’t or can’t get the fact that a hundred memory verses can be refuted by one. Thus, it seems to me you are a slave to your preferred hermeneutic and will remain emprisoned by it until you see that your incarceration is self imposed.



One of the main reasons I don’t get along with the SDA church is that it’s quite hard to respect leaders, starting with pastors and on up the chain, who openly embrace science denialism. They might as well be telling us the world is flat - as depicted in the first creation story - or that it is the center of the universe - which is also taught in the bible (somewhere, I’m not sure where). It’s just hard to relate to people who are either so ignorant they don’t know better or who do know better and so therefore are disingenuous at best.


There is no falsifiable, empirical evidence that god spoke one word of the Bible, or any other purportedly “holy” book, to anyone

So all such claims can be refuted as easily as saying, “I don’t believe you.”

The assertion that humanity is “broken” is dismissed with a similar facility.



Easily dismissed? Yes, I don’t buy what I feel is a misreading of Paul in Romans 1 and 3 that ends up concluding that every human being is an ax murderer in waiting. But to look at human history and our present world and to think that something isn’t distorted and even broken? What is your alternate explanation that so easily dismisses this?


I can do elementary math and rudimentary statistics.

A person is much more likely to die of natural causes than at the hands of an axe murderer.

Much more like to drive home from work without incident than get shot by a random sniper.

Much more likely to live at least peaceably with one’s neighbors than to sue each other, or engage in fisticuffs.

IOW, humans are much more likely to be either neutral, or even kind to each other, rather than to be aggressive or cruel.

Even during periods of what are called “world wars” most people survive and lots even go on as if nothing has changed.

The other, bad, sensational stuff makes the news partly because it is the exception but also due to our tendency, for evolutionary and survival purposes, to exaggerate the negative.

So-called “prophets” like the authors of the Bible-as well as many writers and journalists, in general-understand this and learn to thrive on fear mongering and prophetic doom and gloom.

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So here’s some basic statistics:

Eight people in the world hold more wealth combined than 3.5 billion of its inhabitants combined. Countries such as Mozambique have people that live on less than a dollar per day. Human greed is behind such inequities. It’s been this way for most of recorded history.

You write about normal life from a place of privilege. So do I. Normal life for many in the world doesn’t reflect this. The prophets spoke to those over and over…the greed and heartlessness of the wealthy causing them to take advantage of the powerless, poor, and weak. For many, this is their reality. For generation after generation.

Something is broken…


I’ve never been to Mozambique but my year in West Africa helped me see that there is no demonstrable connection between happiness and wealth, nor any necessary correlation of a long life with a good life.


Happiness with childhood mortality, and little access to health care, famine and untreated diseases…when they could be avoided and remedied if human greed and corruption wasn’t such a huge player in the world in which we live? This present world isn’t just or fair for huge numbers of people.

If it’s not broken, then there is nothing to be put right, now or in the future. Is that a clear take on reality?


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[quote=“frank_merendino, post:34, topic:25226”]
Is that a clear take on reality?

I’m like a lily in a field, Frank and my reality is so different and bland compared to yours that I see no good reason to discuss it.

No one ever said life was fair.

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Life just isn’t fair…

So with this we can blithely write off things such as the institutional brutalities of history and our present, such as chattel slavery, sex trafficking, and bigotry against women, Jim Crow, apartheid, and the generational problems they have helped perpetuate?

The point is that these are evidence that the world in its present state isn’t well put together…or broken. The gospel not only calls us to seek for justice and restoration now, it holds out the hope that there will be an intervention of God to put it back together in justice and fairness. It’s part of what the Bible calls judgement.

Of course we are free to not believe such. In which case, life just isn’t fair and there’s nothing wrong with any of this at all.



Another proof texter, eh Frank?

Because a lily of the field attitude is also gospel.

And if I’m a monster because I accept certain things that haven’t changed throughout the course of human history, than the god of your prophets, who has allowed this reality to have gone on for so long, is the most evil entity in the universe.

BTW, I find it interesting that a person who believes in countless supposedly supernatural events, entities and messages from beyond the universe for which there is absolutely no tangible evidence would be anxious to question anyone’s grasp of reality.


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