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Slavery, Darwin, and the Bible

Misotheists and other unbelievers frequently try to find errors in the Bible, or to simply make God a bad guy. One of these is found in the annals of atheistic soi-disant reasoning, equivocating on the definition of slavery. For people today, the word generally has connotations of Antebellum slavery in Southern American.

We have seen that context is vitally important for properly interpreting and understanding the Bible. A cursory reading ancient texts translated into modern languages does not provide all the necessary information to do this properly.

Pharaoh clipart by Free Christian Illustrations
What we can call harsh slavery has been around for millennia. It was often a consequence of losing a war or battle, but the children of Israel were born into it (Exodus 1:8-13). Such slavery spanned years, cultures, ethnicities, and languages — which means no group can make a pretense at exclusive victimhood. Also, harsh slavery exists today, especially in Communist China and North Korea as well as some Islamic countries.

Not all forms of slavery were harsh, nor were they necessarily permanent. In ancient Rome, being a slave could mean importance and responsibility. Sometimes, freedom there could be purchased or granted. Slavery was an important part of the Roman economy.

There were slaves in the Bible. In some cases, they were taken by Israelites after winning battles. Something many people may not realize is that this was common throughout history. (Indeed, sanitized "histories" of Native Americans often neglect how tribes warred against each other and took slaves.) It may surprise some people that taking slaves of conquered people by Israelites and (later) by Romans was an alternative to slaughtering them or leaving women, children, and other non-combatants to starve. This kind of enslavement had nothing to do with skin color or "racial inferiority."

The predominant form of slavery in the Old Testament was that people were more like servants than property. Israelites often sold their family members or even themselves into servitude to pay debts. Critics are willingly ignorant and fail to mention that God regulated it very tightly, not allowing the mistreatment of servants that was characteristic of the Atlantic slave trade, and Exodus 21:16 clearly outlawed kidnapping. Also, Hebrews were required to set their slaves free after a period of time. They knew what harsh slavery was like.

I have come across some appallingly ignorant attacks that slavery was not opposed in the New Testament. In fact, some thought the Christians should slap leather with the entire Roman empire! Christians are to live peaceably (Rom. 12:18), and there is unity in the body of Christ (Gal. 3:28). Take a look at the very short epistle to Philemon.

Ironically, atheists use straw man attacks on the Bible (including equivocation) but ignore some important facts. One of these is  very simple: Since they have no objective moral standard, they inadvertently appeal to the ultimate moral standard — God — in order to attack the Bible. In addition, it was not atheists that abolished slavery, but Christians like William Wilberforce. Unfortunately, there were professing Christians in the past who supported slavery, but this was not based on a proper understanding of Scripture.

Something else that mockers willingly overlook is how Darwinism contributed to racism and race-based slavery. (Again, I must emphasize that there are no races in the Bible and I am only using the word for convenience.) Charles Darwin was a blatant racist, but he opposed slavery. His views exacerbated racism. Further, evolutionary thinking naturally upholds slavery if practiced consistently. (It is not practical to hold such views in today's "cancel culture" where people claim to be offended over computer terminology ) Some fake evolutionary science was used to create "facts" to justify racism.

Bible critics have no legitimate basis about it supporting slavery because they disingenuously switch word meanings and take the worst connotation. Not only are misotheists dishonest because the truth is readily available, but they hypocritically ignore how their own foundational beliefs support racism and slavery.
My critics claim that the Bible taught racism and slavery, referring to passages such as the curse on Ham in Genesis 6. The Bible, they say, is regarded by evangelical Christians as the inspired word of God, revealing truth from Genesis to Revelation. In contrast, Darwin was not viewed as inspired and it is recognized that he was wrong on many points. Furthermore, they claim, the Bible supported slavery but Darwin was openly opposed to slavery. In an article published in “the best American writing,” Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg listed his reasons for rejecting belief in creationism as well as in God. Among them he included the notion that “Christianity, like other world religions, lived comfortably with slavery for centuries, and slavery was endorsed in the New Testament.”

. . . 

In my article, I focused on the fact that Darwin’s racism was finally openly admitted in an article by a Princeton University professor and published in the most esteemed science journal in the world . . . Professor Agustín Fuentes, wrote that some of Darwin’s racist “assertions were dismally, and dangerously, wrong. ‘Descent’ …. [of Man, Darwin’s 1871 treatise, is a book] not to venerate” as is common among most evolutionists today.

I encourage you to read the entire article at "The Bible Does Not Condone Slavery; Darwinism Does." Also recommended: "Doesn’t the Bible Support Slavery?" and the video and/or transcript, "Does the Bible Support Slavery?"