“We hold these truths to be self-evident: All men are created equal.” – Thomas Jefferson
I do not believe anyone today would seriously argue against this fundamental premise. Except perhaps to say all are created equal so as to include women.
It’s fair to say equality of opportunity for all and giving every individual the chance to achieve their full potential, is a fundamentally accepted principle. Let us look at whether or not this enshrined principle is supported by the Holy Bible, a key text for 2.2 billion believers or a third of the planet.
“‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.” Leviticus 25:44-46
What do you think about this?
47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” Luke 12:47-48
I have quoted two passages from the Holy Bible with the last being uttered from the lips of Jesus.
Does either of these biblical extracts align with Jefferson’s truth that is held “self-evident”?
Individual views or responses will differ and be as varied as the numbers of readers.
Some may say “What do you expect?” Slavery was operational during these periods and these statements are simply a reflection of the time and accepted thinking of that day.”
Others may say Jesus is perhaps alluding to a deeper hidden meaning in this parable that’s not immediately obvious. Jesus is actually saying those who know better must do better. If a person doesn’t realise his actions are offensive his actions are simply a reflection of ignorance, not intention to harm. Jesus illustrates this through the number of “blows” received for inappropriate actions being proportionate to our level of spiritual awareness and enlightenment.
Seen in the best possible light it’s just a simple story about being ready for Christ to return; and Jesus recommends different levels of violence against the Servant (based on their level of ignorance) by the Master. The Bible does not record Jesus speaking out clearly against Slavery.
So what is the “simpler” meaning or truth about slavery we are meant to receive in this teaching?
If we take both texts at face value and compare these with other texts to better evaluate what is the main biblical position on the practice of Slavery.
“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.” Exodus 21:7-11
Does the above view alter in the below New Testament verses?
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him.
All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.
1 Timothy 6:1-2
I believe all these cited passages whole heartedly endorse an outlawed practice that is clearly not in alignment with today’s secular laws and globally accepted thinking enshrining equal rights.
21 Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you—although if you can gain your freedom, do so. 22 For the one who was a slave when called to faith in the Lord is the Lord’s freed person; similarly, the one who was free when called is Christ’s slave. 23. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men -1 Corinthians 7 21:23
What’s the wider implication of sharing this truth now? We cannot square the circle.
The lesson is simple and clear.
Even with the gift of a Holy Bible that contains profound wisdom and truth we need to approach all scripture with what our Maker has written in our hearts.
Ultimately, that’s the real true instrument of all Spiritual faith.
When the words on the text don’t resonate with the deepest truth of your heart; be guided by your heart’s truth; not what’s in text.
Your heart knows best and what’s right in that moment.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts. Proverbs 21:2
I believe the mysteries of existence itself are available to us in this physical reality in Divine union through this heart space with the consciousness of the whole. This is my Spiritual view.
This Divine guidance is not accessible through either secular or religious laws because it’s not derived from the mind. It’s available from the heart; in a place of love.
Love is the heart of Creation.
It’s from the heart we connect deeply with others.
The Bible tells us King Solomon is given a “wise & discerning heart” this is because unspoken truth or higher knowing is only accessible from this place.
“I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be.” 1 Kings 3:12
In this heart space mothers know the needs of their infants; Lovers understand each other’s needs and desires and we are all able to intuitively sense a deeper knowing of what is the appropriate response & action to any given situation where equality & rights of the individual is not upheld.
When we awake to our true enlightened spiritual nature man’s laws or text aren’t necessary for determining the best possible action to create the highest good for all.
We're here on a spiritual journey to return the Heart of Humanity to itself.
Trust your inner guidance…but ultimately value and give honour to a loving relationship with your Maker and All that is created. This is where all true Spiritual Evolution begins; in our hearts.
After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:33
We all possess a deeper knowing of what serves and respects the rights of both the individual and the whole.
Never lose sight of this; the greatest scripture is written in your heart, simply live its deepest truth.
Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. 1 Thessalonians 4:9
“Truly I understand that God shows no partiality” -Acts 10:34
We are all created by God; EQUAL in value with an infinite diversity of strengths, talents and skills to share and benefit the whole.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Written by Alison Nadine