Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Notes to the Lord: On Who is Really Master of All

1 Timothy 6

1If you are a slave, you should respect and honor your owner. This will keep people from saying bad things about God and about our teaching. 2If any of you slaves have owners who are followers, you should show them respect. After all, they are also followers of Christ, and he loves them. So you should serve and help them the best you can. These are the things you must teach and tell the people to do.

Lord Jesus--Slavery is wrong. Why affirm it here? Is there something I am missing ? How do we deal with cultural institutions that are just wrong?

Paul does not tell the slave owners to free their slaves...he leaves in place even in church a system that was a part of the fabric of the Roman empire, as much as the Roman legions were. Wealthy people lived off of the work of slaves many of them captured in wars of naked aggression that the empire had won.

Instead Paul treated everyone with equality and encouraged fundamental fairness in everything related to the church. Equals treated as if there were no fundamental difference between slaves and owners. Why?... because there wasn’t any difference except one that a corrupt system had put in place. The whole situation was the result of sin. To focus on one institution when the whole structure was twisted was to over look the magnitude of the problems that faced Rome.

Lord Jesus--I live in a country that has lost it’s center, it’s core values have dissipated in the after math of wars won, much like Rome. What would Paul teach me about living in this kind of social setting? Work for change quietly whenever possible. Affirm what can be affirmed without qualifiers or equivocation. Support the movement of the Spirit of God where ever and when ever I find it. Refuse to be overwhelmed by any of it...because you own it all anyway. It really doesn't matter what the deed says.

Remind me of these thoughts, Lord, if I ever end up a slave...or for that matter a displaced person in some foreign border town. My current status does not invalidate the person for whom you died.

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