Around our Easter dinner table a discussion erupted about slavery and the bible. There’s so much of it in there. I am deeply grateful to those who fought in history, and continue to fight in present times, for the freedom and dignity of all humans. No one should be subject to another without proper compensation, trust and freedom of choice.
It is an established fact that all manner of cruelty has been justified by scriptures. Those sorts of humans don’t seek God as a companion, and don’t see from His perspective. They view the bible as a rule book. They miss the little stories tucked between the rules that talk about people who discover that the rules actually lead to death, and who then seek out that which is greater than the rules, relationship with the Rule Breaker.
Ephesians 6: 5-9
5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with respect for authority, and with a sincere heart [seeking to please them], as [service] to Christ— 6 not in the way of eye-service [working only when someone is watching you and only] to please men, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart; 7 rendering service with goodwill, as to the Lord, and not [only] to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, he will receive this back from the Lord, whether [he is] slave or free. 9 You masters, do the same [showing goodwill] toward them, and give up threatening and abusive words, knowing that [He who is] both their true Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with Him [regardless of one’s earthly status].
a renewal in which there is no [distinction between] Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, [nor between nations whether] barbarian or Scythian, [nor in status whether] slave or free, but Christ is all, and in all [so believers are equal in Christ, without distinction].
Do you not know that when you continually offer yourselves to someone to do his will, you are the slaves of the one whom you obey, either [slaves] of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness (right standing with God)?
I am speaking in [familiar] human terms because of your natural limitations [your spiritual immaturity]. For just as you presented your bodily members as slaves to impurity and to [moral] lawlessness, leading to further lawlessness, so now offer your members [your abilities, your talents] as slaves to righteousness, leading to sanctification [that is, being set apart for God’s purpose].
When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness [you had no desire to conform to God’s will].
But now since you have been set free from sin and have become [willing] slaves to God, you have your benefit, resulting in sanctification [being made holy and set apart for God’s purpose], and the outcome [of this] is eternal life.
2 Peter 2:19
They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity—for by whatever anyone is defeated and overcome, to that [person, thing, philosophy, or concept] he is continually enslaved.
Humans, in other words, are hard wired for slavery. It’s no wonder they do it to each other, or that God made rules to govern the tendency. We of the most compassionate society must constantly guard that not a whiff of it taints our communion.
The concept exists in scripture to point us higher, to how our souls engage. With God, we get to choose who our master is. We have that much freedom. That’s one way God breaks the rules. Also resurrection, grace and abundance.
In the Myxolidian society, there are 2 levels of slavery. Leoshine begins in Arthur’s custody in the first level, and by invoking the Mercy Plea she descends to the worst form, the Rachnorgat. Arthur accepts his authority over his people. At the same time he considers himself a slave to the higher authority that initiated the mission.