From Divided by Faith
Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America
By Emerson and Smith
Why Christians Should Support Slavery
Key reasons advanced by southern church leaders.
Many Southern Christians felt that slavery, in one Baptist minister’s words, “stands as an institution of God.” Here’s why:
Abraham, the “father of faith,” and all the patriarchs held slaves without God’s disapproval (Gen 21:9-10).
Canaan, Ham’s son, was made a slave to his brothers (Gen 9:24-27).
The Ten Commandments mention slavery twice, showing God’s implicit acceptance of it (Ex 20:10,17).
Slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, and yet Jesus never spoke against it.
The apostle Paul specifically commanded slaves to obey their masters (Eph 6:5-8).
Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master (Philemon 12).
Charitable and evangelistic reasons
Slavery removes people from a culture that “worshipped the devil, practiced witchcraft and sorcery” and other evils.
Slavery brings heathens to a Christian land where they can hear the gospel. Christian masters provide religious instruction for their slaves.
Under slavery, people are treated with kindness, as many northern visitors can attest.
It is in ‘slaveholders’ own interest to treat their slaves well.
Just as women are called to play a subordinate role (Eph 5:22; 1Tim 2:11-15), so slaves are stationed by God in their place.
Slavery is God’s means of protecting and providing for an inferior race (suffering the “curse of Ham” in Gen 9:25 or even the punishment of Cain in Gen 4:12).
Abolition would lead to slave uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy. Consider the mob’s “rule of terror” during the French Revolution.
Christians are to obey civil authorities, and those authorities permit and protect slavery.
The church should concentrate on spiritual matters, not political ones.
Those who support abolition are, in James H. Thornwell’s words, “atheists, socialists, communist [and] red republicans.”
In many ways I hear some of the same reasons to keep women from all God has put in their hearts to do and be…
I am home now…got in late last night. My flight out of Chicago O’Hare (like tons of other American Airlines flights) was delayed about 7 hours. So much happened Wednesday to yesterday. I don’t have time to capture it all in writing but here goes some highlights:
Di Leman kicked off Wednesday night. She skillfully communicated huge concepts, women, kingdom theology…she was great
Thora Anderson taught twice…she was articulate, sharp and funny. Great stuff on leadership.
Cindy Nicholson – exceptional – what else would you get from Cindy? Cindy is a powerful leader, what a gift she is…
Grace Schmelzer’s talk was inspirational and practical. I loved her honesty and passion.
Julia Pickerill – OMGosh – what can you say about Julia – hilarious, dazzling, she knocked it out of the park…she used the “v” word…
Cheryl and Ellen told their story…their history through some tough relational waters, an unbelievable story of reconciliation…they gave women an imagination through their story to believe healing and reconciliation though a process is attainable even when it seems too broken…Cheryl and Ellen are incredible leaders
Teresa Diaz-Maldonado – what a powerhouse, the racial reconciliation that happened in the room as a result of her story could not have been planned.
Adey Wassink – brilliant, just brilliant. Adey was inspirational and more, she called out dreams and gave everyone in the room permission to go for it, no holds bar, if it’s in your heart to do, go for it.
I have not even scratched the surface on how powerfully amazing the women above through their teaching, sharing their own stories and journey and through each of their unique perspectives impacted the women at this conference.
The band and worship leaders simply rocked it…Leah Martens, Rebecca Alvarez and Sheena Hunter were incredible…gospel choir and all…
All the other women I met, Verity, Sara, Kaitlin, Esther and more…astounding young women who will make this world a better place because of their love of Jesus.
I had a great time seeing Amy again. It was so great to meet some of her team and spend some time together.
Evelyn and the gang from Texas are the best!
So much more but I will leave it here…
If you were there and have any thoughts or reflections I would love to hear them.
All in all a huge “thank you” to everyone for all their work at making the time seamless – thank you for creating such a welcoming, inspirational and warm space.