"If God Allowed Slavery Then I Cannot Follow Him..."!

Flawed Reasoning From an Emailer Yet Again

I have recently been harangued by yet another of those people who insist that God should agree with them!

I am frequently amazed by the flawed and inconsistent reasoning which some people use when coming up with their objections against God. In this most recent case it was slavery which was my correspondent's big issue.

He asked me about slavery; I told him that, in an ideal society, there would have been no slavery but there are lots of other things which would never occur in an ideal society: lust, prostitution, envy, theft, and so on. God allowed these things since the first couple took of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and they needed to see what sort of society results from this, and it needs to be indelibly imprinted on the record of Mankind where this wrong decision inevitably led. My emailer, however, taking a typical modern liberal attitude towards slavery, said, "Oh no, that is not good enough; if God allowed slavery then I cannot follow Him." Oddly enough murder, blackmail, theft, the telling of hideous lies were not a concern, just slavery. I asked him if he really believed that he had better wisdom and long-term spiritual sight than God (who can see thousands of years into the future). So there he was - a man made in flesh and blood like all of us - presuming to judge the Eternal God. How arrogant we can all be sometimes! He seemed to believe that, in this matter, he was more righteous than God.

Initially, God forbade Israel from having an involvement in slavery - Exodus 21:16, but since any carnal society in a 'dog eat dog' world could never be entirely isolated from it, He later allowed slaves to be taken but only from the idol-worshipping Canaanites who were defeated in battle, but strict laws surrounded it to bar unreasonable cruelty. Israelites meanwhile could not be taken as slaves. Eventually, in the 19th century, the move to totally outlaw slavery came from the Christian community - not from secularists or atheists.

I told my emailer contact that there are things that we cannot understand entirely at present but we will in the future. I said, "Hang in there for the present and refrain from judging God." My correspondent was not satisfied with any of this, he happily stood as the judge of God, placing the dreaded black cap on his head to pronounce God as guilty as charged (by him!). Very sad, but what can one do?

Robin A. Brace, December 2nd, 2017.
UK Apologetics

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