I recently got into an argument on one of the Patheos blogs about slavery.
One fellow asked:
Precisely what system of slavery makes it possible for slaves to amass wealth? ( Leviticus 25 :49 )
This was my response:
A) The same biblical slavery that allows someone to own another person:
“However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.” (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)
But there is an exception for Israelite slaves ….
“If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever.” (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)
B) The same biblical slavery that allows a slave owner to kill his slave and not get punished for it:
“When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.”(Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
C) The same biblical slavery that is equally promoted in the New Testament:
“Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
“Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them.” (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)
Slavery is immoral, whether slaves get to “amass wealth” or not.
Why would anyone believe in, much less worship, your un-evidenced god when it supports the immoral institution of slavery?