How Should We Christians Handle These Words?

Below are two examples of passages in the Bible that are difficult for modern Christians to deal with. The first is from Ex. 21:7-11 and the second is from Eph. 6:5-9. I’ve provided a little more context than you would get if someone was just playing pure gotcha with the verses, but the context only helps a little.

“If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. 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. If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

And from the Apostle Paul:

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, 8because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free.

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 favoritism with him.

How about some multiple choice:
A. Not read the Bible so you don’t have to know that it contains such scriptures.
B. See this scripture as authoritative, and although it is a hard scripture to obey, recognize that it is God’s law nonetheless.
C. Find some way to make these scriptures not apply, either by rejecting the authority of the Bible altogether or rejecting certain portions of it.
D. Find some general truth that will serve as guidance, although admitting you do not follow the letter of the Biblical law.

Perhaps we can explore the pro’s and con’s of each approach.

One reply on “How Should We Christians Handle These Words?”

Well, I’m in favor of C — Reject authority of the bible, but then I don’t really fall into the “We Christians” category, so maybe my input isn’t the most salient for this discussion.

But thanks for raising these points, especially the new testament bit. It’s kind of amazing that these things are in the bible — what a different time it was intended for! And how silly it is to take it literally…

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