Racism Every individual on earth has his completing causes; consequently an individual with perfect causes becomes perfect, and another with imperfect causes remains imperfect, as the negro who is able to receive nothing more than the human shape and speech in its least developed form. It has ever been reported that most of the Negroes of the first [climatic] zone dwell in caves and thickets, eat herbs, live in savage isolation and do not congregate, and eat each other. The same applies to the Slavs.
Biblical Underpinning for Slavery For many centuries slavery was perfectly acceptable to Christians. Christians had no doubt that it was divinely sanctioned, and they used a number of Old and New Testament quotations to prove their case.
Looking at the relevant passages it is clear that the Bible does indeed endorse slavery. In the Old Testament God approved the practice and laid down rules for buyers and sellers Exodus Men are at liberty to sell their own daughters Exodus Slaves can be inherited Leviticus And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: Time and time again the Old Testament confirms that slaves are property and their lives are of little consequence. The New Testament also regards slavery as acceptable.
It instructs slaves to accept their position with humility Ephesians 6: They are commanded to serve Christian slave owners better than other masters 1 Timothy 6: Even oppressive masters are to be obeyed according to 1 Peter 2: Jesus himself mentioned slavery more than once according to the New Testament, but never with the slightest hint of criticism of it.
He even glorified the master-slave relationship as a model of the relationship between God and humankind Matthew Christians naturally interpreted this as not merely acceptance, but approval.
If Jesus had opposed slavery he would, they claimed, surely have said so. In pagan times slaves who escaped and sought sanctuary at a holy temple would not be returned to their masters if they had a justifiable complaint.
When the Empire became Christian, escaped slaves could seek refuge in a church, but they would always be returned to their masters, whether they had a justifiable complaint or not.
When Christian slaves in the early Asian Church suggested that community funds might be used to purchase their freedom, they were soon disabused of their hopes, a line supported by one of the greatest Church Fathers Ignatius of Antioch.
He declared that their ambition should be to become better slaves, and they should not expect the Church to gain their liberty for them 2.
His orthodox approach followed the words of St Paul: Were you a slave when you were called? When the Roman Empire became Christian under the Emperor Constantine, the institution of slavery remained unaltered, except for superficial changes.
For example, ceremonies of manumission were transferred from temples to Christian Churches, and places of sanctuary were restricted to Christian sites. Augustine called on the free to give thanks because Christ and his Church did not make slaves free, but rather made bad slaves into good slaves.
Augustine teaching that the institution of slavery derives from God and is beneficial to both slaves and masters would be cited by many later Popes as evidence, indeed proof, of the acceptability of slavery.
It was an integral part of the Christian " Tradition " one of the main sources of authority in the Church.
In AD a Church Council at Gangra in Asia Minor excommunicated anyone encouraging a slave to despise his master or to withdraw from his service. This would in time be incorporated into Church Law, where it would remain from the 13th to the 20th century.
Soon the Church would become the largest slave owner in the Roman Empire. Bishops themselves owned slaves and accepted the usual conventions.
So did other churchmen. Slave collars dating from around AD have been found in Sardinia, stamped with the sign of the cross. One mentions the name "Felix the Archdeacon" 4. Some 40 collars or slave pendants survive from antiquity, almost all of them from the fourth century, from Rome, Africa and Sardinia.
Many of the collars feature Christian symbols such the chi-rho christogram or a Christian cross, showing that the slave owners were Christians. We know of other slave owning Christians in various ways, for example one, Ausonius ,recorded having tattooed his recaptured runaway slave on the forehead 5 the significance seems to have been guilt about tattooing, because tattooing was banned by the bible Pagan slaves who wanted to become Christians required permission from their masters.
For many centuries, indeed right up to recent times, servile birth was a bar to Christian ordination, and the Church confirmed the acceptability of slavery in many other ways.The following material addresses issues of historical importance for Paul’s letter to the Romans.
This letter is arguably the most important document of the Christian faith; it stands behind virtually all great movements of God in the last years. I. Introduction A. The Author Although there is no dispute about Pauline authorship, it may be helpful .
James Baldwin, in an essay, from , that would come to make up the bulk of his book “The Fire Next Time,” describes being driven into and out of the church, the rise of the Nation of Islam.
The Church was established in , during an era of great racial division in the United States. At the time, many people of African descent lived in slavery, and racial distinctions and prejudice were not just common but customary among white Americans.
Using the Bible to justify slavery. Slavery in the Bible and early Christianity. Sponsored link. How the Bible was used to justify slavery. The Christian church's main justification of the concept of slavery is based on Genesis One would be hard pressed to deny that slavery as an institution was widely accepted in the ancient world.
Both the Old and New Testaments, participating in the cultural consciousness of their day, also appear to accept slavery as an institution (cf. Exodus ; Lev ; 1 Cor ff; Philemon; 1 Pet ). (By the way, I am very . Thomas Clarkson, An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species .