My Personal Christian Blog

Thanks for sliding into my blog site. This blog bog is a spin-off from my website at Call me a Night Owl, as my full-time mission and hobby are jabbering from midnight until 8 a.m.ish with chatter bugs across the world. Hoot, hoot! Being a retired newspaper guy and a Curious George, I've written and assembled a whack of stuff that I hope you'll find interesting and thought-provoking. Check out the Stories bar on the right side, below, for all my articles - from my web site and this blog.

March 30, 2016

Why Does God Approve of Slavery in the Bible?

By Rich Deem

Rich Deem is the founder of Evidence for God from Science which is a Christian apologetics website whose mission is to demonstrate the harmony between science and the Bible.

Skeptics claim that the God of the Bible approves of and encourages slavery.

What they might not be aware of is that,
according to the Old Testament, selling a person into slavery was/is grounds for the death penalty.

The claim is made that the Bible approves of slavery, implicating God as its supporter, since rules governing slavery can be found in the both the Old and New Testament.

Since virtually everyone agrees that forced, involuntary servitude is morally wrong, how can Christians justify the Bible's apparent support of slavery?

First, we must recognize that the Bible does not say God supports slavery.

Slavery described in the Old Testament was quite different from the kind of slavery we think of today - in which people are captured and sold as slaves.  

According to Old Testament law, anyone caught selling another person into slavery was to be executed:

Exodus 21:16 says, "He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death."

So, obviously, slavery during Old Testament times was not what we commonly recognize as slavery, such as that practiced in the 17th century Americas, when Africans were captured and forcibly brought to work on plantations.

Unlike our modern government welfare programs, there was no safety-net for ancient Middle Easterners who could not provide a living for themselves.

In ancient Israel, people who could not provide for themselves or their families sold them into slavery so they would not die of starvation or exposure. In this way, a person would receive food and housing in exchange for labor.

 So, although there are rules about slavery in the Bible, those rules exist to protect the slave. Injuring or killing slaves was punishable - up to death of the offending party.

The Hebrew people were commanded not to make their slave(s) work on the Sabbath, slander a slave, have sex with another man's slave, or return an escaped slave.

A Hebrew was not to enslave his fellow countryman, even if he owed him money, but was to have him work as a hired worker, and he was to be released in 7 years or in the year of jubilee (which occurred every 50 years), whichever came first.

In fact, the slave owner was encouraged to "pamper his slave."

What the New Testament says about slavery

Since many of the early Christians were slaves to Romans, they were encouraged to become free if possible, but not worry about it if not possible.

The Roman Empire practiced involuntary slavery, so rules were established for Christians who were subject to this slavery or held slaves prior to becoming Christians.

The rules established for slaves were similar to those established for other Christians with regard to being subject to governing authorities

Slaves were told to be obedient to their master and serve them sincerely, as if serving the Lord Himself. Paul instructed slaves to serve with honor, so that Christianity would not be looked down upon.

Ephesians 6:5 says, “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear, trembling, and sincerity, as when you obey the Messiah.”

As with slaves, instructions were given to their masters as to how they were to treat their slaves. For example, they were not to be threatened, but treated with justice and fairness.

The text goes on to explain that this was to be done because God is the Master of all people, and does not show partiality on the basis of social status or position.

There is an interesting letter in the New Testament (Philemon) that gives some insight into the problems encountered in the early Christian church regarding the issue of slavery.

Paul, the author of the letter, is writing from a Roman prison awaiting trial. He is writing to Philemon, who runs a local Christian church out of his house (since Christianity was highly persecuted at this point in time).

Philemon, we find out, is the master of the slave Onesimus, who has escaped but has been converted to Christianity by Paul. In the letter, Paul indicates that he is sending Onesimus back to Philemon.

However, Paul says that he has confidence that Philemon will "do what is proper" although Paul wants him to do it by his "own free will." Even so, Paul indicates that Onesimus would be a great aid in helping him spread the gospel.

Paul ends the letter by saying that he has "confidence in your obedience" and indicates that he knows Philemon "will do even more than what I say."Although Paul did not directly order Philemon to release Onesimus from slavery, it would have been difficult to come away with any other conclusion from his letter.

God does not distinguish between slaves and freemen 

Contrary to the claims of many skeptics, the New Testament proclaims that all people are equal in the eyes of God - even slaves. Galatians 3:28 says, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”


The idea that God or Christianity encourages or approves of slavery is shown to be false. In fact, anybody who was caught selling another person into slavery was to be executed.

However, since voluntary slavery was widely practiced during biblical times, the Bible proscribes laws to protect the lives and health of slaves.

Paul, the author of many of the New Testament writings, virtually ordered the Christian Philemon to release his Christian slave from his service to "do what is proper."

In addition, numerous verses from the New Testament show that God values slaves as much as any free person and is not partial to anyone's standing before other people.

March 29, 2016



I have been told that if we reject Christ long enough, God will withdraw His offer of salvation and we cannot be saved. Esau is given as an example Hebews 12:16-17.  Is this really true?

ANSWER: It is true that repeated rejections of Christ will harden the heart and make it more difficult for us to believe, but the thought that God will withdraw the offer is foreign to Scripture.

But those who die without accepting Christ will be rejected by God forever.

According to 2 Corinthians 6:2, we are living in the "day of salvation," This is the time when God says in Revelation 22:17, "Whosoever will, may come." He is not going to take vengeance on mankind in this His day of grace.                                              

A verse often wrongly cited is Genesis 6:3. It says, "My spirit shall not always strive with man..." The meaning of this verse has nothing to do with salvation. It refers to the human spirit given to man in Genesis 2:7, and not the Holy Spirit which is given when we get saved.

There will soon be a day when God’s door of mercy closes and His door of wrath opens.  But now, God is ready to forgive, and the offer of salvation is to all.

Accept the Savior and be saved today.  Tomorrow could be too late.

March 28, 2016

If the Bible is true, Show Me!

By Paul Tatham

I was having a discussion with a non-Christian once over what the Bible has to say about a certain topic. As I recall, it had something to do with capital punishment.

After pointing him to several Old Testament and New Testament verses, he turned to me and said, “Well, it seems that you’ve made a pretty good case. But the problem is that I really have doubts about the Bible. In fact, isn’t it just a lot of fanciful myths?"                                                 

His reply ratcheted the discussion up a notch to a whole new level.

For many people, verse-pointing carries no clout whatsoever because they don’t believe the verses are authoritative in the first place. In other words, they don’t believe the Bible is divine. When you find yourself in such situations, it’s good to have a ready response.             

I suggest you keep the following four points in mind, and although they may not necessarily convince the non-believer, they will at least give him something to mull over.                                                     

The Bible is a unique book that must have a divine origin because of                                                         
Its amazing unity

The Bible is an amalgam of 66 separate books written by 40-plus authors, many of whom had never met. They were not even necessarily familiar with each other’s works. They were separated by time, geography, and language. 

Yet, despite its apparent disjointedness, everything in the Bible meshes beautifully. It has a central character, Jesus Christ, with a central theme, redemption.                                                                  

A simple analogy might be two people who decide to co-author a mystery novel. One writes all the even-numbered chapters while the other writes all the odd-numbered chapters. 

One lives in Tampa while the other lives in Munich, Germany. Before launching into the project, they don’t even huddle to agree on the basic plot and, once started, they never correspond with each other.                            

Yet, miraculously, when the finished book is published it all makes perfect sense — the names of the characters, their likes and dislikes, their daily habits, what they did and why they did it,etc.

The odds of such harmony happening by chance are laughably minute.

Its scientific accuracy

Long before man stumbled onto many scientific truths that we accept without question today, the Bible had beaten them to the punch. Usually by centuries.                                                                            

The book of Job points out that the earth floats in space, rotating on its axis, and that the moon gives off no light of its own. Isaiah added that the earth is round. Psalms revealed the oceans have currents, while Ecclesiastes at least alludes to the water cycle.                             

Its fulfilled prophecies

Daniel accurately predicted four coming world empires. Isaiah named the Persian King Cyrus a full 200 years before Cyrus was even born. That would be like us predicting the exact name of a U.S. President centuries before she took the oath of office.                                          

Isaiah had foretold the Babylonian captivity 100 years earlier, while Ezekiel prophesied the destruction of the city of Tyre 250 years before its final destruction by Alexander the Great.                          

Hundreds of details concerning the coming Messiah are scattered throughout the Old Testament, and in that one area alone the law of probability rules out all lucky guessing.                                               

Its archeological veracity

Hundreds of excavations have been undertaken in the Middle East that point to the fact that biblical events actually transpired. A charcoal layer found in the ruins of Old Testament Jericho corroborates the fact that Joshua did indeed burn the city (Joshua 6:24).

King Hezekiah dug a water tunnel to ensure that Jerusalem could survive an impending siege, a tunnel that still exists today, complete with pick marks and even a plaque outlining the details of this awesome engineering feat.

For centuries, skeptics mocked the existence of an oft-cited biblical people known as the Hittites, until traces of their towns began to surface in present-day Turkey. Although not everything in the Bible has been confirmed, there is nothing that has been found that abrogates it.

There is yet to be one turn of the spade that refutes the Bible’s truthfulness.

Believing the Bible does not require blind faith. As the evangelical apologist Josh McDowell put it, “I cannot accept with my heart what my head rejects.”

Thankfully, we don’t have to park our brain at the door when we enter God’s house.