From Dominion to Slavery: A Micro Synoposis of Social History
American King James Version
And God said, Let us make man in our image,
after our likeness: and let them have dominion
over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the
air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth,
and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
What an awesome gift. Dominion. The Bible is the most interesting Book ever compiled. The stories of the Bible point straight to History but most people tend to ignore the connections. For example, the Bible states that at one time the earth was one solid mass floating in a one sea of water, but then something happened, some great cataclysm or something, and the earth split. The once one human family became strangers to each other. After thousands of years being separated brotherly love degenerated into survival against enemy mode.
This may not be an accurate description but it is good narrative filler as most historical narrative is. If earth was ever attacked from somewhere in the Universe we would all thank God for those descended from Japheth, as they are the most aggressive of the human family. If you think this is some sort of reverse racist rant, just pick up a history book. They are the most efficient killers on the planet. For thousands of years they honed their combative skills as they fought among themselves until the Greeks slowly reintroduced them back into the broader human family. In the time span of a few thousand years they went from naked, wild, raw meat eating Neanderthals to full fledged "masters of the universe".
"Japhet, the son of Noah, had seven sons; beginning at the mountains Taurus and Amanus, they proceeded along Asia, as far as the river Tanais (Don), and along Europe to Cadiz; they called these lands after their own names.
I am always fascinated by word study. The word "dominion" was translated into our English version of the Bible but what was it's original meaning before it became synonymous with "domination" and "abuse of power"?
The Bible talks about those of the world who like to "lord it over" others; King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them - Mark 10:42. You see, dominion or domination is a mentally fixed European right. Many Euro-Westerners like the middle eastern brothers the radical Islamists and the Zionists see the Jesus principal of "humility" as a grave moral weakness. They would rather die than be humbled. Humility is for natural slaves and women. Whoa! did that hurt? Good, it's supposed to. Truth is the ultimate instrument of humility. If Truth can't humble you then there really isn't much hope for you.
All the social ills of today can be corrected in less than 30 days by the descendants of those early Japheths who inherited this blood soaked diasporaic melting pot of haves and have-nots. But why would they do that? Why give up a world of uncontested privilege just to live an ordinary life like most people? Actually, it would be nice to live in a world where everyone could expect to live a good life but the reality is man cannot see as God does, so whether or not our Euro-brothers see the error of their ways and repent is irrelevant because in the end God will be Glorified. Not everybody can be the most aggressive people on the planet and not everyone can serve as slaves in order to set a different order in motion. Because my ancestors served for free at the hands of the most virulent soulless "masters" for nearly 400 years and continue to live at the bottom of humanity much good has transpired. So, who is stronger, the most aggressive or the "slave"? Proverbs 24:5 says - Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
A wise warrior is better than a strong one, and a man of knowledge than one of strength;and Mark 10:45 - GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
It's the same way with the Son of Man. He didn't come so that others could serve him. He came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people."
International Standard Version (©2012)
And whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave to everyone - Mark 10:44
God's order is for the slave to be first. Why? Who else is better qualified through being humbled than a slave. The former slave placed in divine ruler-ship is not likely to repeat the atrocities committed by those who by force made themselves masters over all. Unless you have been enslaved you don't really understand freedom so it is easy to take it for granted. Stop destroying the world, you have a choice, please reconsider, while you are still in charge...
Jesus and Paul on Slavery
Most pastors tend to ignore slavery in the Bible. Then there are others who say Jesus supported slavery which is a lie. There are several verses that supporters of slavery use to justify their position but there are three that stand out because they come from the New Testament and are said to be attributed to Jesus. Actually two are from Paul and the third is from Luke an associate and frequent traveler with Paul who speaks for Jesus. Church tradition holds that all words in red lettering are the words spoken by Jesus but since Luke was not of the 12 most believers just accept this as truth. It is written that Luke was in Jerusalem and at Troas with Timothy and Silas in Acts 16;10. The scriptures in questions are: 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), and ; The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT). Ephesians and 1 Timothy were both penned by Paul. But, does this pronouncement of slavery agree with Jesus?
So we have Ephesians 6:5, 1Timothy 6:1-2 and Luke 12:47-48. Cross-referencing should lead us to Jesus. Why? Because Jesus is the scarlet thread of the Bible. But, Jesus mission was not to preserve the status quo of the Roman Empire with its legions of hired priests who extorted money from the poor in the form of tithes and offering so that they could live just beneath the Roman aristocrats. No, Jesus came to usher in a better life , John 10:10 and to set the oppressed, the prisoners, and the enslaved free, Luke 4:18. According to Paul in 1 Timothy 6:1-2 those who oppress and enslave other human beings will be punished lightly because of the ignorance of what they do. Not only is this morally wrong it is totally at odds with Jesus direct teaching between the oppressed and the enslaved and those who oppress and enslave. If this is supposed to be an analogy of the relationship between servants of God and His Kingdom, it is not a very good one. Taken to its full logical conclusion it is better to be ignorant of God than to accept Him but fail to get it right.
It is written in Revelation 22:19 that a severe punishment awaits anyone who adds to or takes from the scriptures. I believe men added to the scriptures, especially those on slaves to justify the tradition of having dominion over other men. Genesis 1:26 sets the limits of dominion. Men were to have dominion over the animals and the earth but never each other but because the scriptures on slavery were added, then taken and taught out of context evil demonic men were able to redefine who was human and who was not. Since African slaves, the descendants of Ham were regarded as "cursed", another Biblical add-on it was easy to dehumanize Africans. But, even this so-called curse on Ham, father of the Blacks, is muddled. The curse was never pronounced on Ham but Canaan, a grandson of Ham. So, how were the Africans come to be cursed? Expediency; Africans were needed as slaves so justifying them as slaves became the right thing to do. Saying that this was ordained by God made it right. This just goes to show how easy it was to convince greedy evil men that owning men was actually blessed by God. And that all this inhumanity was sanctioned by Christianity and the Church.
Inequality has always been a problem. In God and Empire: Jesus Against Rome, Then and Now, John Dominic Crossan exposes the inequalities in the early Church love feasts where the Christian elite would invite artisans (working crafts people) and slaves then separate themselves based on seating arrangements and types of foods served. Crossan called these "feasts" rituals of "discrimination and overt humiliation". They justified these discriminatory arrangements by saying they were giving the poor what they liked and expected. Pliny the Younger, an author and magistrate of ancient Rome was appalled by these set ups and called them "morally repugnant".
Jesus came to offer a better alternative than the traditional one the world had endured up to His arrival. Even the Jews "chosen people" model was not immune to injustices against the "least of these", that segment of society that Jesus had so much compassion for. The alternative Jesus offered was the Kingdom of God and He promised that if we would listen He would remove all the world's grief and suffering. Two thousand years after Jesus and we are still struggling to overcome the world the way God intended.
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