Christianity, the South, and Slavery

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Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Was he aware that slaves and freedmen alike fought integrated on the Southern side? I reckon this shows that no human can ever be held too high, lest we fall into fallacy.

Dabney was for a time a staff officer of Stonewall Jackson, so he knew the composition of the army.

By the way, is Dabney referring to black soldiers on the North or the South when he states

"If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from
the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the
righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough
to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South."?

He is not referring to Black soldiers. He is referring to laws which would lead to Blacks and Whites being able to marry and have children, which he thought would destroy the morals of the White race.

Correct. The term for it is miscegenation, and it was against the law in many states until the Civil Rights era, with laws against it being finally struck down in 1967. It's born out of a concern to defend the "white race."
 

HokieAirman

Puritan Board Freshman
Pagans may be slaves for all of their life time; the 6 year is only for fellow covenant members.

Cheers,



Lev 25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
Lev 25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
Lev 25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

A few questions (since I just do not like talking about theology in the abstract but in its application as well).

So, if the pagan converted to Christianity under the enslavement of their Christian master they'd have to be set free, since they'd no longer be pagans, correct?

Also, if slavery was still legal today, could we say, go capture some of the unreached tribes in Latin America and Brazil enslave them until they convert? Why or why not?

Lastly, is it safe to say that when there is a law that makes it a crime for Christians to follow God's law, aren't we able to disobey the man made law that contradicts God's law? For instance abortion is "legal" in this country but it goes against God's law, therefore Christians should disregard the legality of abortion and still consider it "illegal" (for lack of a better term) in God's law. Therefore Christians should not get abortions. Can this logic extend to the godly institution of slavery? (Slavery is illegal in this country, but it prohibits one of the godly institutions set up by God, therefore we should be able to disregard man's law and follow God's law) Why or why not?

Sorry if my questions seem naive, but they are honest questions.

Nikki,

I'm going to do my best to answer these based on my opinion...which very well could be wrong.

In my opinion, if a pagan is converted to Christianity, then the owner should be encouraged to complete his education (learning a trade, learning to read) before releasing him, in addition to treating him as a brother in Christ. All slaves should be treated with kindness and according to the Golden Rule.

No, we shouldn't capture unreached people in South America or Africa because that would be kidnapping. We do have some POW's in Gitmo though.....:) One of the ways to become a slave was to become a 'spoil of war'. I'm not sure if this one would fall under the situational law which applied to the Nation of Israel (like annihilating the pagan inhabitants does).

Finally, there is no requirement in God's law which requires someone to own slaves; therefore, if the government declares slavery illegal, then no one's breaking God's law.

Have I treated your questions fairly?

Vr'
 

Simply_Nikki

Puritan Board Junior
Lev 25:44 Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids.
Lev 25:45 Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession.
Lev 25:46 And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.

A few questions (since I just do not like talking about theology in the abstract but in its application as well).

So, if the pagan converted to Christianity under the enslavement of their Christian master they'd have to be set free, since they'd no longer be pagans, correct?

Also, if slavery was still legal today, could we say, go capture some of the unreached tribes in Latin America and Brazil enslave them until they convert? Why or why not?

Lastly, is it safe to say that when there is a law that makes it a crime for Christians to follow God's law, aren't we able to disobey the man made law that contradicts God's law? For instance abortion is "legal" in this country but it goes against God's law, therefore Christians should disregard the legality of abortion and still consider it "illegal" (for lack of a better term) in God's law. Therefore Christians should not get abortions. Can this logic extend to the godly institution of slavery? (Slavery is illegal in this country, but it prohibits one of the godly institutions set up by God, therefore we should be able to disregard man's law and follow God's law) Why or why not?

Sorry if my questions seem naive, but they are honest questions.

Nikki,

I'm going to do my best to answer these based on my opinion...which very well could be wrong.

In my opinion, if a pagan is converted to Christianity, then the owner should be encouraged to complete his education (learning a trade, learning to read) before releasing him, in addition to treating him as a brother in Christ. All slaves should be treated with kindness and according to the Golden Rule.

No, we shouldn't capture unreached people in South America or Africa because that would be kidnapping. We do have some POW's in Gitmo though.....:) One of the ways to become a slave was to become a 'spoil of war'. I'm not sure if this one would fall under the situational law which applied to the Nation of Israel (like annihilating the pagan inhabitants does).

Finally, there is no requirement in God's law which requires someone to own slaves; therefore, if the government declares slavery illegal, then no one's breaking God's law.

Have I treated your questions fairly?

Vr'

Yes you have, thanks :).
 

Thomas2007

Puritan Board Sophomore
Was he aware that slaves and freedmen alike fought integrated on the Southern side? I reckon this shows that no human can ever be held too high, lest we fall into fallacy.

Dabney was for a time a staff officer of Stonewall Jackson, so he knew the composition of the army.

By the way, is Dabney referring to black soldiers on the North or the South when he states

"If indeed they can mix the blood of the heroes of Manassas with this vile stream from
the fens of Africa, then they will never again have occasion to tremble before the
righteous resistance of Virginia freemen; but will have a race supple and vile enough
to fill that position of political subjection, which they desire to fix on the South."?

He is not referring to Black soldiers. He is referring to laws which would lead to Blacks and Whites being able to marry and have children, which he thought would destroy the morals of the White race.

Correct. The term for it is miscegenation, and it was against the law in many states until the Civil Rights era, with laws against it being finally struck down in 1967. It's born out of a concern to defend the "white race."


Laws against miscegenation originate in the common law and they weren't born out of a concern to "defend the white race," rather it was the historic view that it was a sinful practice.

Loving v Virginia was the Supreme Court case in the 1870's that resulted in the Universal Marriage License Act. A license is permission to do that which is otherwise unlawful, marriage licenses were issued to those wishing to practice miscegenation and ordered a minister to perform the ceremony.

If you look up "marriage license" in a law dictionary, such as Blacks, it will say: "See miscegenation." This is one of the keys in understanding the sodomites demand for marriage licenses and why they are and will continue to win these court cases.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Thomas, I believe that was late 1967 ;) Not 1870's.

Also, it was not the "historic view". Inter-ethnic marriage, though not the majority, was not an unusual thing throughout history or even here in America until the 1800's...that is when it was made a huge issue. There were black/white couples in the North before then. There were black/white couples in the West after then (they had to move west). There were Native American/"White"/Spanish/Jewish couples all throughout. Much of Europe became mixed other than adding Africans. Also, you are leaving out the rest of the world when you simply discuss the US and Europe.
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
If you look up "marriage license" in a law dictionary, such as Blacks, it will say: "See miscegenation." This is one of the keys in understanding the sodomites demand for marriage licenses and why they are and will continue to win these court cases.

Black's Pocket Edition does not mention miscegenation under "marriage license," though I don't doubt that historically, this was part of the development of the license.

And on the contrary, I think that understanding the past irrational and incorrect view of miscegenation as sin is key to understanding why pro-homosexual groups incorrectly think that expanding marriage to them is yet another step forward. I'm not sure which "court cases" you are referring to (the Massachusetts and California cases?), but I don't think we're anywhere close to having the U.S. Supreme Court require recognition of homosexual "marriage."
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Also, it was not the "historic view". Inter-ethnic marriage, though not the majority, was not an unusual thing throughout history or even here in America until the 1800's...that is when it was made a huge issue.

That's an important point. Even in South Africa it happened, and the wife of the first administrator of the colony was part Black. It only became an issue there, as here, and parts of Europe, after Darwin. Under Biblican law, inter-ethnic marriage is allowed after both parties have lived in the land three generations, so the point was cultural rather than racial.
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
Also, it was not the "historic view". Inter-ethnic marriage, though not the majority, was not an unusual thing throughout history or even here in America until the 1800's...that is when it was made a huge issue.

That's an important point. Even in South Africa it happened, and the wife of the first administrator of the colony was part Black. It only became an issue there, as here, and parts of Europe, after Darwin. Under Biblican law, inter-ethnic marriage is allowed after both parties have lived in the land three generations, so the point was cultural rather than racial.

Where does the Biblical law deal with this point? I do not at all doubt that it does, I just don't remember this and would like to look it up! I thought there was a passage that an Israelite man could marry a woman from one of the other ethnic groups as long as she converted and became part of God's people.

Also, I wonder if the analogy now for the intermarriage prohibition is that Christians should not marry outside the church? I would have to look up the passage, but it seems like a lot of the OT law had the purpose of setting apart and preserving the distinctiveness of God's people. If that's the reason for this law, then the issue is not that the two marriage partners must have the same culture (though that practically may help) but that they both be unquestionably committed to the same God. But I am relying on a lot of old assumptions about the text, so I may be quite wrong. :lol:
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Evie, I admit it's a bit of an extrapolation, but from Deut. 23

7 Do not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. Do not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as an alien in his country. 8 The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD.

Remember Egypt is a child of Ham, and Edom is a child of Seth, so I take this as clearly an example of case law, not limited to Egyptians and Edomites. Clearly this passage at the very least is something that Dabney would be violating by his insistence upon keeping Africans living more than three generation in the US out of White Churches and marriages.

But perhaps it only talks about full civil rights and obligations, and marriage can come before this, like with Rahab, or Rahab could have been made an exception for "services rendered".
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
Evie, I admit it's a bit of an extrapolation, but from Deut. 23

7 Do not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. Do not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as an alien in his country. 8 The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD.

Remember Egypt is a child of Ham, and Edom is a child of Seth, so I take this as clearly an example of case law, not limited to Egyptians and Edomites. Clearly this passage at the very least is something that Dabney would be violating by his insistence upon keeping Africans living more than three generation in the US out of White Churches and marriages.

But perhaps it only talks about full civil rights and obligations, and marriage can come before this, like with Rahab, or Rahab could have been made an exception for "services rendered".

It seems like that is at least part of it -- I mean, surely we would no longer exclude those covered by Deut. 23:1 from the church? [But I am not sure exactly what it means in Deut. 23 to be excluded from "the assembly."] The passage I was thinking of, Deut. 21:10-14, is possibly not has inclusive as I thought, since it refers specifically to female captives. Though I do feel (and may be wrong) that this is one area where the no-longer ethnic definition of the church has rendered the Mosaic law obsolete, even from a theonomic perspective. The three generation distinction makes sense for ethnic Israel, but today, those who are called into God's people and profess faith would not be considered lesser church members in any other context because their parents were not church members.

Though certainly it must be the case that, if restrictions are permissible, three generations is the limit.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Though certainly it must be the case that, if restrictions are permissible, three generations is the limit.

That's also what I take out of it, at least as a minimum. Personal observations have show that it's a really good idea to think twice about marrying someone from the same "race" but different culture, but I certainly don't think a Session could forbid it, though it would be a wise part of premarital counseling.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
It seems stretching to say the least to say someone should have to be in a particular country 3 generations to marry and/or become part of the church. The church isn't limited to a country as Israel/Judaism was at the time.
 

Gloria

Puritan Board Sophomore
But while we believe that “God made of one blood all nations of men to dwell under the whole heavens,” we know that the African has become, according to a well-known law of natural history, by the manifold influences of the ages, a different, fixed species of the race, separated from the white man by traits bodily, mental and moral, almost as rigid and permanent as those of genus. Hence the offspring of an amalgamation must be a hybrid race. . .incapable of the career of civilization and glory as an independent race

Amazing. Truly. Ridiculous.
 

Gloria

Puritan Board Sophomore
Also, it was not the "historic view". Inter-ethnic marriage, though not the majority, was not an unusual thing throughout history or even here in America until the 1800's...that is when it was made a huge issue.

That's an important point. Even in South Africa it happened, and the wife of the first administrator of the colony was part Black. It only became an issue there, as here, and parts of Europe, after Darwin. Under Biblican law, inter-ethnic marriage is allowed after both parties have lived in the land three generations, so the point was cultural rather than racial.

Thank you.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Thank you.

You're very welcome, and if we can get more people to see that Merideth Kline is trying to suck people back into a Christian view that allows for evolution, perhaps we won't have to keep making the same theological mistakes.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Thomas, I believe that was late 1967 Not 1870's.
Yep, it was in the '60's. The Loving case. Mrs. Loving just died recently, I believe, while Mr. Loving died back in the 70's or so. She never remarried. They were by all appearances a sweet and loving couple. They were from Caroline County VA, which has either a majority black population or close to even percentages between white and black. I used to live near there and knew quite a few folks from that area, and they were surprisingly well-integrated for a rural Virginian county. Seems the races had lived with each other in a relatively isolated part of the state for so long that the old barriers fell down long before other parts of the country. Its really a nice place, but a little poverty stricken. I used to deliver Pepsi products in the area, and enjoyed it very much. Very friendly people.
 

HokieAirman

Puritan Board Freshman
Evie, I admit it's a bit of an extrapolation, but from Deut. 23

7 Do not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. Do not abhor an Egyptian, because you lived as an alien in his country. 8 The third generation of children born to them may enter the assembly of the LORD.

Remember Egypt is a child of Ham, and Edom is a child of Seth, so I take this as clearly an example of case law, not limited to Egyptians and Edomites. Clearly this passage at the very least is something that Dabney would be violating by his insistence upon keeping Africans living more than three generation in the US out of White Churches and marriages.

But perhaps it only talks about full civil rights and obligations, and marriage can come before this, like with Rahab, or Rahab could have been made an exception for "services rendered".

If my memory serves me correctly, there were some pagan cultures with whom the Israelites were never allowed to intermarry, and some with whom they were allowed to marry after three generations, like the Edomites, but aren't there other verses, nearby in scripture that say what ex nihilo was talking about...that they need only convert. I thought that that rule applied on the basis of the culture and how reprobate the culture was.
 

asc

Puritan Board Sophomore
"I, for one, make no professions of special love for those who are, even now, attempting against me and mine the most loathsome outrages . . . . to teach and rule over white people, and make (a black man) a co-equal member with myself in West Hanover Presbytery, to sit in judgment on the affairs of white churches . . . I oppose........(blacks are) a subservient race . . . made to follow and not to lead..." Robert Lewis Dabney: A Southern Presbyterian Life (American Reformed Biographies) by Sean Michael Lucas (pgs. 145-46).

Interesting quote.

The problem with slavery in America was that it was much more about racism (which is completely unBiblical) than slavery. If it wasn't about racism, then you could have had black masters with white slaves...i would have liked to have seen that happen in the South. :think:
 

HokieAirman

Puritan Board Freshman
Although I cannot testify whether or not there were white slaves, I can, though not quote a source, that there were indeed black masters. It was not only blacks in servitude either. American Indians and other minorities were also slaves. There is a previous post that has stated that even Eastern Europeans were enslaved in America.

I must say, though, the slavery we all currently serve under (that of the US Government) is much better than racial slavery...at least we are all equal! :barfy:
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Although I cannot testify whether or not there were white slaves, I can, though not quote a source, that there were indeed black masters.

There were White, Black and American Indian slaves. It makes no difference to the subject matter.

The best account of slavery that I ever read was an interview by a Black female slave to Indians. But it makes no difference to the subject matter. Two wrongs don't make a right. One can talk about details that would technically allow nonChristians to be held longer than 6 years, but the main point is the same. People that had publically claimed Christ as Savior were held longer than 6 years, and that is kidnapping, and gets the death penalty in Scripture, no matter how you sugar coat it.

The only way of justifying racial slavery is to stick your finger into the eye of theonomy.
 

asc

Puritan Board Sophomore
Although I cannot testify whether or not there were white slaves, I can, though not quote a source, that there were indeed black masters. It was not only blacks in servitude either. American Indians and other minorities were also slaves. There is a previous post that has stated that even Eastern Europeans were enslaved in America.

I must say, though, the slavery we all currently serve under (that of the US Government) is much better than racial slavery...at least we are all equal! :barfy:

I only mentioned blacks as they were the most significant minority. I'm not surprised that men in their sin were eager to enslave anyone they could.

Slavery in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Looking up info in wikipedia, I was surprised to learn that there were some black slaveowners, but i doubt you'll ever find any evidence of them owning white slaves. Wiki only mentions Europeans as indentured servants, which were only contracted to work up 3-7 years and then were freed. I'd be interested to see any evidence that whites were enslaved life-long with their children also considered slaves in American history.
 

LadyFlynt

Puritan Board Doctor
Not US American, because that would have been considered too confusing for the populace...so they covered their rears by instead selling the Irish to Jamaica and the Caribbean (one of my close friends descended from an Irish slave and an African slave in Jamaica). Have no doubt that some of those Irish came from the US. They also treated the Irish WORSE than slaves. You do you think built the walls that kept New Orleans from being flooded for a century? The Irish. Why? Because the black slaves were considered too valuable to place at such a risky job.
 

HokieAirman

Puritan Board Freshman
The only way of justifying racial slavery is to stick your finger into the eye of theonomy.

No one here is justifying racial slavery. I believe the the thread is discussion on whether or not ANY slavery is sinful. I think we've established well thought out Biblical guidelines. Kidnapping is wrong, therefore, had people obeyed that law, America would have had very few slaves, and the slaves they had would have been captured in wars.

Alls I'm saying is that to generalize the entire American institution of slavery and to lump all slave owners in as racists is an incorrect position. There were many, many people who places men & women of all color and background on the same spiritual footing. In many cases, once slaves were able to survive on their own, and were converted, they were allowed to purchase their freedom.

Slavery as an institution, within certain guidelines is permitted in scripture. There is nothing in the Bible that prohibits the owning of slaves, just against treating them badly.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
instead selling the Irish to Jamaica and the Caribbean (one of my close friends descended from an Irish slave and an African slave in Jamaica).

Right again, as students of Cromwell's campaigns in Ireland know.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
but aren't there other verses, nearby in scripture that say what ex nihilo was talking about...that they need only convert.

Same chapter. Hint, hint ;-)
 

mshingler

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm coming into this thread kind of late, but I just had one thought to share from the New Testament concerning slavery. Col. 4:1 commands masters to treat their slaves with justice and fairness. I agree that the Bible doesn't explicity prohibit slavery, in either Testament. However, the principle of fairness here, in my opinion, if followed to it's logical conclusion, would eventually lead to the disappearance of slavery, or at least life-long slavery. To treat one's slave with fairness, on the basis of that fact that he is a fellow human-being, created and ultimately owned by God (inferred in last part of the verse) would mean he gets some fair and honest remuneration for his work. Hence, in some sense, slavery becomes employment. This would be true even if a person were sold into slavery to pay off debt.
 
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