[Vision2020] Jesus speaks

Rob Keenan benjamin_barker@hotmail.com
Wed, 19 Nov 2003 06:52:43 -0800

Jackie said:
> Secondly, while Pastor Wilson (rightfully) states he is against slavery,
> he also states the theory, which Christ Himself stated, "While in Rome
> do as Romans."  The Christian had/has no right to impose its views on
> slavery and overthrow the government to prove its point.

Almost, but not quite. What Jesus said, in Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17 and
Luke 20:25, was "render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God
the things that are God's." (In all three versions, I find it interesting
that the people were so amazed by this relatively simple exhortation, but no

Perhaps I read a different Bible than Wilson. In my Bible, Jesus mentions
the word "slave" four times, none of which serve as an invitation to own

Matthew 20:27 and Mark 10:44 are the same reference -- "whoever wishes to be
first among you shall be your slave."

And now from John 8:34-35: "Jesus answered them, 'Amen, amen, I say to you
everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. A slave does not remain in a
household forever, but a son always remains.'"

And then again in John 16:12-17 (quoting the entire passage): "This is my
commandment: Love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than
this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do
what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not
know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have
told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose
me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will
remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This
I command you: Love one another."

It would appear, at least to me, that Jesus never supports slavery in the
typical context. The implication I get from Jesus' words are to serve as you
would be served; to treat others as you would be treated. (Which again
recalls the Golden Rule, as spelled out in Matthew 7:12: "Do unto others
what you would have them do unto you.") Given the broad context of Jesus'
message as spelled out all through the Gospels, I find it suspect Jesus
would support or condone slaveowning. Is that how we wish to be treated?

I'd apply this "do unto others" and "love one another" to other issues --
our society's execrable treatment of racial and ethnic minorities, the
opposition to equal rights for all people, and the like -- but I'll leave
that as an exercise for the student.