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Monday, October 26, 2015

Mailvox: blaming the victim

RS mistakenly blames Christianity for the West's civilizational suicide:
I've never read any of your books; just snippets of things here and there.  Its safe to say we share the same politics, which is the reason for my writing you. I am a wannabe Christian, but I am running up against that wall of egalitarianism that seems to be a big part of the faith.  Love your enemies and all that. Specifically, the Muslim invasion that is happening in Europe right now.  I am furious over that.  I have the suspicion that at the root of this civilizational suicide is Christianity's egalitarianism.  Now my concerns about this "migration" are not racial or ethnic but rather cultural and ideological.  I have a lot of sympathy for Christians who are fleeing trouble; even if they are fleeing economic trouble.  Its the muslims I fear and yes, detest.

Do you struggle with this?  How can one be a Christian and still want to fight to protect the West (since we are supposed to love even our enemies)?
Considering that Europe no longer calls itself "Christendom" and collectively flaunts its post-Christian status, I think it is absolutely bizarre to postulate that the roots of the civilizational suicide are to be found in Christian egalitarianism. After all, according to Christianity, there is neither Jew nor Gentile in Christ Jesus, but Christianity deems itself "in but not of the world" and does not even concern itself with interfering in the relationship between master and slave, let alone global wealth redistribution and population flows.

What you are reacting to is Churchianity and it has absolutely nothing to do with Christian theology, it is merely one of the wolves in sheep's clothing about which the Apostle Paul warned us. Never confuse the wolf in sheep's clothing for the sheep or the sheep-stealing thief for the shepherd.

In fact, the religion of Churchianity is the same as the religion of the multiculturalists and globalists, it is the worldly religion of Babel. The Christian perspective intrinsically takes "the nations" into account, each with their own identity and even ruling spirits. Transnational egalitarianism and globalism are not Christian; quite to the contrary, they are rabidly, viciously, feverishly opposed to Christianity. It was not Christians who made "egalite'" the motto of the French Revolution.

And don't be surprised if the rise of European nationalism is accompanied by the widespread rejection of European post-Christianity. What you are seeing is the failure of secularism, not the failure of Christianity.

Labels: ,

127 Comments:

Blogger Rabbi B October 26, 2015 1:06 PM  

"What you are seeing is the failure of secularism, not the failure of Christianity."

Secularism: the etymological root pertains to the "now" or what is "temporal". It describes the worldview that is only concerned with the here and now.

How well is such a worldview going to work out for people?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (cf. Matthew 6)

Blogger haus frau October 26, 2015 1:07 PM  

This equalism thing as a facet of Christianity has very shallow roots historically. Europe has always had a class system going back to at least feudal times and yet Europeans still considered themselves very much Christian. Even in America the original voting system recognized certain people (white land owning men over 21 yrs of age) as having more ability to govern than others (women, minorities, slaves, foreign elements, etc). The current equality craze came in with the progressive movement about 120 years ago and infected everything else from there.

Blogger luagha October 26, 2015 1:12 PM  

Loving your enemies while shooting them is an optimal combat mindset for some. Others have to hate during the fight, then love afterwards.

Blogger B-Rex October 26, 2015 1:13 PM  

I would also point out to RS that the original Muslim expansion resistance movement was this little Christian thing called the Crusades.

Blogger JaimeInTexas October 26, 2015 1:14 PM  

RS, what are you willing to do, as a Christian, to defend your property and family against invasion?

Blogger Rabbi B October 26, 2015 1:15 PM  

"After all, according to Christianity, there is neither Jew nor Gentile in Christ Jesus . . ."

Yes, and yet that dos not mean that physical distinctions, class ddistinctions are insignificant or have disappeared. The verse also includes neither male nor female. Surely, no one is so obtuse as to claim that genders have been eradicated. (except the unbeliever who rejects a Biblical worldview, heretics, etc.)

And even though it also mentions neither slave nor free, Paul sent Onesimus (who had embraced the Messiah), a slave, back to to re-submit himself to his master, not to mention the instructions given to slaves in relation to their masters, whether their masters were believing people or not.

Blogger Sir Wilshire (#320) October 26, 2015 1:18 PM  

Jesus said love your neighbor is the 2nd greatest commandment, not love your enemies.

There was a debate among the Jewish teachers at the time about which commandment took priority since some could obviously contradict. Shammai said keeping the Sabbath was #2 and Hillel said love your neighbor was #2.

Also, when the command was given, Israel was in the process of kicking out and killing the Canaanites from the land.

It has has a preference for peaceful over violent enemies built in.

Blogger Gaiseric October 26, 2015 1:18 PM  

@2 It is rooted in Christianity, though, which of course teaches that all are to be judged before the bar of God, without respect to their temporal status. It's curious that the mailer of the mailvox in question can't distinguish between the Christian concept of equality and the post-Christian caricature of it, though.

Blogger IM2L844 October 26, 2015 1:24 PM  

I can't help but think the reelection of Obama emboldened impetuous community organizers the world over to jump the shark.

Blogger Salt October 26, 2015 1:25 PM  

Western Christian civilization will eventually overturn the tables and, with what shall be necessary, drive them out.

Blogger Mastermind October 26, 2015 1:28 PM  

Love your enemy is always subservient to love your brother and love your neighbour. It was not love your enemy that is the greatest commandment and it is not dying for your enemy that is the greatest love. Moral abominations like the average liberal and the average modern Christian (not much difference between the two) need not concern themselves with love your enemy since it is implied in context that you already love your friends, which liberals do not. It's a high level moral teaching that the morally depraved cannot make any good use of.

Blogger Sean October 26, 2015 1:29 PM  

I do not struggle with this at all.

We are all equal before the throne of God. We need not be equal in the eyes of man or the law.

Blogger Daniel October 26, 2015 1:39 PM  

RS, read The Wrath of Angels, and you will figure out the real faith that is bothering you very quickly.

Blogger Daniel October 26, 2015 1:42 PM  

Just as the CDU is neither Christian, nor Democratic, nor a Union, one must be prepared for the King in Yellow to declare himself the monarch of heaven through lying teeth.

Blogger Cail Corishev October 26, 2015 1:43 PM  

This is what happens when you don't teach history: people get their impression of a 2000-year faith and culture from the loudest claimants to it from the last couple generations.

Blogger Jakeithus October 26, 2015 1:47 PM  

Christians have a duty to assist those in need, regardless of if they are our enemies or not. Asssting Syrian refugees does not mean having to unconditionally accept their demands to migrate to wherever they wish.

In fact, when it comes to solving the real problems behind the refugee crisis, it's counterproductive. It's equivalent to thinking the solution to solving poverty is just to give everyone more money. It sounds like the good and "christian" thing to do as long as you don't actually think about the actual consequences of the policy.

Blogger Viisaus October 26, 2015 1:50 PM  

"one of the wolves in sheep's clothing about which the Apostle Paul warned us"

That was actually Lord Jesus Christ Himself, in the Sermon of the Mount. But Apostle Paul warned us about Devil posing as an angel of light.

Blogger Rabbi B October 26, 2015 1:57 PM  

That was actually Lord Jesus Christ Himself, in the Sermon of the Mount. But Apostle Paul warned us about Devil posing as an angel of light.

Paul's warning is here:

I know that after I leave, savage wolves (presumably in sheep's clothing) will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears. (cf. Acts 20)

Blogger B-Rex October 26, 2015 2:00 PM  

@11
Exactly. This is further illustrated when Paul talks about caring for your family first before you care for widows and orphans. (1 Timothy 5) There he also says that getting this order-of-responsibilities or hierarchy-of-morals out of proper order makes you worse than an unbeliever.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 2:04 PM  

Love your enemies. And be indifferent to the death of your friends and family by their hand.

-Not the Bible

Blogger Marie October 26, 2015 2:04 PM  

Love your enemies means we are to want their good and salvation just as we want our own. That we never desire to see someone in Hell more than we desire for them to accept God and join us in Heaven.

It doesn't mean we have to let them destroy us, our property, or our civilization.

Blogger Sam Lively October 26, 2015 2:05 PM  

RS, I've got a Facebook discussion group that's just now diving in to M. Stanton Evans' The Theme is Freedom (which tackles the ideas you are raising pretty directly) if you care to join in.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 2:08 PM  

Love your enemies, with no consideration to other relevant factors, is called Stockholm Syndrome.

Blogger chris October 26, 2015 2:23 PM  

Gentlemen, you are missing the point. Many in the USA (God be praised) still beleive: if not a plurality, a large minority.

Europe, post WWII, has secularized: there is but a remnant that believe, as Chesterton did.

O God of earth and altar,
bow down and hear our cry,
our earthly rulers falter,
our people drift and die;
the walls of gold entomb us,
the swords of scorn divide,
take not thy thunder from us,
but take away our pride.

From all that terror teaches,
from lies of tongue and pen,
from all the easy speeches
that comfort cruel men,
from sale and profanation
of honor, and the sword,
from sleep and from damnation,
deliver us, good Lord!

Tie in a living tether
the prince and priest and thrall,
bind all our lives together,
smite us and save us all;
in ire and exultation
aflame with faith, and free,
lift up a living nation,
a single sword to thee.


Europe has rejected Christ. Europe is ashamed of Christendom. The church has been invaded, adn gelded. Only the crunchy catholics and calvinists remain. And now the secular faith, in progress, in equality, in transnational liberalism, in antitribalism (which they call antiracism) is failing, and failing in a very obvious way.

If God is merciful, Europe will follow Russia, which after the Soviets returned to a saving an Orthodox faith. But one cannot demand mercy. If there is no mercy and no revivial, there will indeed be blood.

Blogger praetorian October 26, 2015 2:26 PM  

Exactly so. I made this point over at Kakistocracy: Europe lost its head at exactly the same time it lost its faith.

The woden-tier pleb's keep yelping about muh kike-on-a-stick, but it's obvious to anyone with eyes.

Blogger Beefy Levinson October 26, 2015 2:27 PM  

To love someone in the Christian sense is to desire what is best for them. I want Muslims to abandon their demonically inspired false religion and be baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. Until they do, praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

Blogger Floyd Looney October 26, 2015 2:32 PM  

"Love your enemies" does not mean surrender to them and their agenda. In the context of Christianity it means to try and convert them. You can do that while defending your country and family from an invasion.

Blogger YIH October 26, 2015 2:32 PM  

Since the 1980's (in the US) there has been a 'linkage' between Christianity and the GOP/conservatism.
Primarily from GOP shills and the Talk Radio/Faux News set along with the US/modern Israel linkage that has permeated the GOP.
Truth be told, Jesus is non-partisan - there is such a thing as ''the Religious Left'', Jimmy Carter is one such example (lousy President, but I don't doubt his faith) and obviously the current Pope (though I do tend to doubt his sincerity).
To me saying ''faith = political right'' is like saying ''faith = good quarterback'' Uh-uh, nope.

Blogger Geoff October 26, 2015 2:32 PM  

Love your enemies but not the devil inside them.

Blogger Robert Coble October 26, 2015 2:36 PM  

@16: "Christians have a duty to assist those in need, regardless of if they are our enemies or not."

I can't seem to find any Biblical definition of Christian duty for those providing assistance to accede to any and all of the demands of those being assisted. The choice of the form and substance of assistance resides solely with the providers of assistance. Beggars cannot be choosers. (Not Biblical, I know.)

Let them eat pork.

Blogger Anchorman October 26, 2015 2:36 PM  

YIH,
Does it matter that the two examples you gave are from nearly 40 years ago or foreign?

OpenID karsten0 October 26, 2015 2:45 PM  

The most interesting take on this important topic can be found in the book, The Germanization of Early Medieval Christianity.

Highly recommended.

Blogger Salt October 26, 2015 2:48 PM  

Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

Could be a crew manning a Howitzer. @26 "praise the Lord and pass the ammunition"

Blogger Joshua Sinistar October 26, 2015 2:49 PM  

If you really loved your enemies you would kill them before they sin any more. Every sin is counted you know. Kill them now before they have to pay forever.

Blogger Durandel Almiras October 26, 2015 2:50 PM  

You know, there has been discussion about creating alternate platforms and organizations when the SJW entrysts have overrun an organization. What do we do about Christianity?

Blogger James Dixon October 26, 2015 2:58 PM  

> What do we do about Christianity?

Name and shame. Christ will take care of the rest.

Blogger Jakeithus October 26, 2015 3:03 PM  

I dont think I implied that Christians should accede to all demands of those needing assistance. Doing that would be a good way of ruining individuals and societies and making the future provision of assistance nearly impossible.

Of course while determining the assitance that should be provided, the commandmant to love our neighbours as ourselves should be taken to consideration.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 October 26, 2015 3:09 PM  

Love thy neighbor as thyself.. who then is neighbor? He who acts as good samaritan did...

No mention of invaders, rapists, and thieves...

OpenID elijahrhodes October 26, 2015 3:17 PM  

Truth be told, Jesus is non-partisan - there is such a thing as "the Religious Left"

Leftist values go against biblical principles. How can you adhere to thou shall not covet or thou shall not steal, while simultaneously supporting a tax system that progressively takes more based on income? Or how can you adhere to thou shall not make idols while believing in the idolatry rife within progressivism itself. Isn't the worship of values such as diversity and multiculturalism a form of "having other God's before me"?

At every turn, Leftism is at odds with basic biblical teaching. Leftism, in fact, is a religion, with its own gods and commandments, atonement, and salvation. I grant you that Jesus was non-partisan, but I question whether a progressive Christian is actually a Christian, or instead, a Progressive ideologue that uses Christianity solely to reinforce their Leftism.

Blogger Stilicho #0066 October 26, 2015 3:22 PM  

YIH, problem is, you cannot be a modern leftist without rejecting some fundamental tenets of Christianity. Socialism requires theft. Abortion requires murder/sacrifice of innocent. Feminism requires rejection of truth and disobedience of God's instructions. Multiculturalism/transnationalism/open borders requires Babelism as noted above. I cannot think of any leftist "principle" that is compatible with Christianity. I too think Carter is sincere: sincerely wrong.

Blogger Dystopic October 26, 2015 3:24 PM  

VD, I understand and agree with you. Yet where did this self-destructive egalitarian streak in Christianity actually come from? It wasn't there a few centuries ago, and it's definitely here now.

I don't mean to sound like a tinfoil hat guy, but somebody is trying to destroy the West, and using Churcianity (and Socialism) as its favored weapon. The question is who?

Blogger S1AL October 26, 2015 3:25 PM  

"Christianity deems itself "in but not of the world" and does not even concern itself with interfering in the relationship between master and slave..."

The Bible very clearly interferes in this relationship generally (with regards to propriety of behavior) and specifically (Philemon).

Blogger Anchorman October 26, 2015 3:28 PM  

The question is who?

Satan.

Blogger James Dixon October 26, 2015 3:31 PM  

> ...who then is neighbor? He who acts as good samaritan did....

Yep. Those are who we're supposed to love. But we're also supposed to at as the good Samartan did. "Go thou and do likewise". But as you said, that doesn't mean welcoming invaders.

> I don't mean to sound like a tinfoil hat guy, but somebody is trying to destroy the West, and using Churcianity (and Socialism) as its favored weapon. The question is who?

Who hates Christianity the most, and why? While you may find it difficult to accept, the answer to your question is obvious when you simply think about it.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 3:34 PM  

Churchianity acts as if the Good Samaritan came to the scene while the robbers were still beating up the victim, and asked them if perchance he could help them by holding the victim still while they beat him.

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 3:37 PM  

"Never confuse the wolf in sheep's clothing for the sheep"

Christ himself is the wolf. Dominus Deus. Not a tame lion.

Churchianity is a sheep in wolves' clothing.

Blogger Feather Blade October 26, 2015 3:38 PM  

@ 7 Jesus said love your neighbor is the 2nd greatest commandment, not love your enemies.

Love your neighbor as yourself... which brings the question "Who is my neighbor?" which was asked and answered in the parable of the good Samaritan (Side note, you ever wonder why the use of the qualifier "good" differentiating that Samaritan from all the others?)

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Because they are still your neighbors.

Blogger Tom Terrific October 26, 2015 3:41 PM  

"Love your enemies" means stop killing them after you've won. Put limits on your blood lust.

Like the command, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth..." This means limit the retribution you take to being the equal of what was done. Not the most harm you are capable of.

If someone cuts off another's ear, the most he can get as retribution is cutting off the perpetratoe's ear. Not both ears. Not his hands, too.

It is the failure to limit the revenge impulse that leads to genocides and Centuries of slaughter.

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 3:43 PM  

"VD, I understand and agree with you. Yet where did this self-destructive egalitarian streak in Christianity actually come from? It wasn't there a few centuries ago, and it's definitely here now."

Yes it was. It's never, including now, self-destructive. Those who push it always imagine themselves and those like them to be immune from the potential dangers. They see it as a means to gain an advantage over those they perceive to be their closest competitors.

I don't mean to sound like a tinfoil hat guy, but somebody is trying to destroy the West, and using Churcianity (and Socialism) as its favored weapon. The question is who?

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 3:45 PM  

"I don't mean to sound like a tinfoil hat guy, but somebody is trying to destroy the West, and using Churcianity (and Socialism) as its favored weapon. The question is who?"

Those who mean to rule one world, undivided.

It's easy to Imagine, if you try.

Blogger VD October 26, 2015 3:45 PM  

The Bible very clearly interferes in this relationship generally (with regards to propriety of behavior) and specifically (Philemon).

It neither disrupts nor condemns the nature of the basic relationship. Don't be an ass.

Blogger haus frau October 26, 2015 3:48 PM  

If I love my children then I must discipline them and guide them away from their faully. Likewise loving my neighbor does not mean allowing him to rape and pilage the neighborhood. I do remember something about Paul instructing Christian communities on distributing charity and general organization. There was a passage to the affect that he who refuses to work should not be fed anyway.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 3:50 PM  

specifically (Philemon)

We actually don't know for certain what Paul meant. For example, the Finnish Bible translates along the lines of "even if you might see a chance to be freed from slavery, do not take it" (which is better in line with the train of thought of the passage). Many Bibles translate it as "if you do see a chance, then take it".

I have no strong position on the issue. If I had to guess, I'd say Paul meant "remain a slave".

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus October 26, 2015 3:54 PM  

"Love your enemies" refers to personal enemies, and is in the context of personal insults, etc.

It does not mean "let people kill you and your family," and frankly, nobody in Bible times would have understood it that way, martyrdoms or not.

Blogger hadley October 26, 2015 3:59 PM  

I suggest reading "A Brief History of the Idea of Progress" by Alain Benoit, available as a PDF online.

Yes, Progress and Universalism have roots in Christianity, but the idea (and its handmaidens of human perfectibility and equality) have outstripped their parent and the "eschaton" has been secularized and "imminentized" (pace Eric Voegelin).

Blogger hadley October 26, 2015 4:00 PM  

Sorry, "Alain de Benoist".

Blogger haus frau October 26, 2015 4:00 PM  

@ Thessalonians 3:10
" 10For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. 11For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.…"

The welfare bounty Germany is handing out is not based on Christian ideas of charity.

Blogger S1AL October 26, 2015 4:05 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger S1AL October 26, 2015 4:09 PM  

VD - I fell victim to pedantry, next time I won't

Markku - Wrong book. I was referring to Paul's instructions regarding Onesimus. You're thinking of a different verse which I can't locate off the top of my head.

OpenID Steve October 26, 2015 4:10 PM  

I would also point out to RS that the original Muslim expansion resistance movement was this little Christian thing called the Crusades

He doesn't know about the 2 times moslems have been kicked out of Europe before. I wonder if he is confused by the love your neighbor but not your neighbor's wife contradiction?
-BGS

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 4:15 PM  

Ah, that one.

Phm 1:17 If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.
Phm 1:18 If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
Phm 1:19 I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.

So, Paul had brought Onesimus to Christ, and now asks Philemon to receive him as a Christian brother, and offers to personally pay any debts that Onesimus might own. I'd say it's a huge stretch to call this interference. It's a plea.

Blogger GJ October 26, 2015 4:18 PM  

We actually don't know for certain what Paul meant. For example, the Finnish Bible translates along the lines of "even if you might see a chance to be freed from slavery, do not take it" (which is better in line with the train of thought of the passage). Many Bibles translate it as "if you do see a chance, then take it"
I take it that you're discussing 1 Cor 7. From what I understand of the Greek, it is unequivocally 'take the opportunity', though admittedly there is tension with 'each person...should remain in the situation they were in when God called them'

Blogger GJ October 26, 2015 4:21 PM  

Markku:

Interference and plea are hardly mutually exclusive; Paul who claims the right to "order" Philemon also seeks Philemon's "obedience", invoking a debt (you owe me your very self) to influence the relationship between master and his property, the slave.

Blogger S1AL October 26, 2015 4:21 PM  

Verses 8-9 provide clarification - that Paul is justified in the command, but prefers to request. Implicit to the command being justified is Paul's right, as an apostolic authority, to make that judgment.

Blogger Rabbi B October 26, 2015 4:24 PM  

"I'd say it's a huge stretch to call this interference. It's a plea."

I think it's simply smoothing the way for Onesimus' return. Facilitation not interference.

Paul is appealing to Philemon as a fellow-believer to graciously receive Onesimus, and that Onesimus is now even more useful to him (Philemon) since becoming Onesimus is now a believer as well.

Blogger GJ October 26, 2015 4:34 PM  

One important point to note is that abolitionism is not Paul's main concern at all, either in the general or in the specific, otherwise he could have simply written 'your runaway slave is with me, you owe me so just give him up/I'll pay you the monetary value you lost'. Paul's central concern is reconciliation in Jesus Christ, not that Onesimus be set free, but that Philemon receives his runaway slave as a brother.

This, of course, tends to cut clean through the common approach of reading the letter through a modern abolitionist lens.

Blogger hadley October 26, 2015 4:37 PM  

CORRECTION: "Alain de Benoist"

Blogger YIH October 26, 2015 4:44 PM  

@31 Anchorman:
Those were the first that came to mind. There are others.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 4:58 PM  

From what I understand of the Greek, it is unequivocally 'take the opportunity'

The alternative reading is along the lines of "Were you a slave when called? Never mind. Indeed, if you could gain your freedom, rather make good use [of your slavery]."

Blogger YIH October 26, 2015 4:58 PM  

@44 James Dixon:
Who hates Christianity the most, and why? While you may find it difficult to accept, the answer to your question is obvious when you simply think about it.
One hint. And here's another (look close at the movie credits).

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 5:03 PM  

Can someone read Latin? I would be interested in which approach the Vulgate takes. That's prior to any abolitionist sensibilities that may have directed modern translations towards the more palatable translation.

Blogger Danby October 26, 2015 5:20 PM  

Here is the Douai-Rheims translation, which is a direct translation of the vulgate, done at the same time as the King James translation.
[13] Whom I would have retained with me, that in thy stead he might have ministered to me in the bands of the gospel: [14] But without thy counsel I would do nothing: that thy good deed might not be as it were of necessity, but voluntary. [15] For perhaps he therefore departed for a season from thee, that thou mightest receive him again for ever:

[16] Not now as a servant, but instead of a servant, a most dear brother, especially to me: but how much more to thee both in the flesh and in the Lord? [17] If therefore thou count me a partner, receive him as myself. [18] And if he hath wronged thee in any thing, or is in thy debt, put that to my account. [19] I Paul have written it with my own hand: I will repay it: not to say to thee, that thou owest me thy own self also.

It has always seemed to me that if Paul's intention was to disallow slavery, he would have kept Onesimus with him, and merely sent to Philemon the legally established price of a slave. Instead he sent Onesimus back with the admonition to receive him as a brother.
For some reason, modern commenters see a conflict between receiving Onesimus as a brother in Christ and as a slave. Perhaps it's from having both no knowledge of history and no experience of slavery. Certainly from the text, if one removes this peculiarity of modern thought from the section, one does not see any condemnation of slavery per se.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 5:22 PM  

Danby, I meant 1Co 7:21

Does Vulgate tell the slave to make use of the slavery, or make use of the opportunity to freedom?

Blogger Brad Andrews October 26, 2015 5:23 PM  

I think your interpretation to remain a slave is a stretch. It would be much more consistent with the entirety of Paul's writings to take the "be free if you can, but don't sweat it" view of what is written. Paul sought to preach the Gospel and carry out God's will wherever he was. I can find no instance where he refused freedom however.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 5:25 PM  

It's not an interpretation, it's the way that the Finnish Bible translates it. It does not leave open the option that Paul might be telling the slave to use the freedom instead. It is explicit in going the other way.

So, this tradition has to have come from somewhere. The translators were no loose cannons. So, I'm wondering if it might be Vulgate.

Blogger Rudy Hobbes October 26, 2015 5:41 PM  

Very no true scotsman response. Where are all these un-pozzed theologians that should be leading the fight? You didn't even name a single one. It doesn't matter whether or not Christianity is responsible for starting this mess, the fact is that religious authorities have repeatedly folded like wet napkins to prog opposition.

Blogger Kirk Parker October 26, 2015 5:55 PM  

@38:

Here's an interesting thought experiment about The Samaritan.

Suppose Jesus puts the scenario somewhat differently. Instead of the passers-by coming while the victim is lying broken in the ditch, they arrive when the robbers are just beginning to commit their violence against the victim. What does Jesus say his followers should do then?

Somehow, I cannot convince myself that the answer would be, "Go ahead and let the brigands have their way with him, and then show compassion to the victim afterward" is what Jesus' answer would be.

Blogger Kirk Parker October 26, 2015 6:13 PM  

Markku @ 53,

I think we clearly do know what Paul meant; it's just that it was couched in subtle terms when Paul said it. Look at verses 8, 14, and 19, for example.

Meanwhile the verse you allude to is elsewhere in Paul's letters (I Cor 7.21.)

And I think your Finnish translators are simply wrong here.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 6:19 PM  

Kirk, I said:

Danby, I meant 1Co 7:21

In not knowing what Paul meant, I have been talking about 1Co all the time.

Blogger S1AL October 26, 2015 6:22 PM  

In all fairness to Markku, that is not an uncommon translation according to the commentaries I've read. But this is Greek we're talking about, so...

Blogger Kirk Parker October 26, 2015 6:49 PM  

Markku @ 79,

Gotcha! There's been a lot of talk at cross-references here.

Blogger rcocean October 26, 2015 6:49 PM  

Leftists telling us we have to surrender because of 'Love your enemies' goes as far back as Lenin. People need to stop being their own Popes, reading a few bible verses - IN ENGLISH - and then making policy. How did we ever get the Crusades if Christianity was all about 'loving your enemy"? How did we ever get the Reconquista? Or the Inquisition?

Blogger rcocean October 26, 2015 6:51 PM  

There used to be something called "Muscular Christianity" but seems as dead as a doornail.

BTW, Sweden is the most cucked nation in Europe and the Least Christian. Their churches are empty. The same with the Krauts. Meanwhile, the Poles are standing up to the invasion

Blogger Dragon fang October 26, 2015 7:01 PM  

While, inherently, secularism isn't all that different from 'theocracy', Christianity is so vague (the ten commandments need not be followed nor is there an alternative) it might as well be secularism.

Blogger haus frau October 26, 2015 7:03 PM  

@ 84 Which commandment do you not need to follow and what rationale are you using to justify this?

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 7:14 PM  

There IS no Christian theocracy. It's not that kind of a religion. Judaism is, Christianity isn't.

There are only, possibly, leaders who have been convinced that Christianity is true, and so are informed by it when they make laws.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 7:18 PM  

But the Bible contains no instruction as to how to manage a Christian country, other than "reward those who do good, punish those who do evil".

But even THAT concept seems so difficult to graps for our governments, that it's plenty.

Blogger ncartist October 26, 2015 7:22 PM  

Who hates Christianity the most, and why?
The synagogue of Satan hated Christ and His followers from the beginning; what gets me is that few Christians today do not comprehend that this seed of the Serpent are still active and in control: too many Xians think it to be wonderful to go have the Seder meal with them.

Blogger Durandel Almiras October 26, 2015 7:22 PM  

@ Markku - http://vulgate.org/nt/epistle/1corinthians_7.htm

21 servus vocatus es non sit tibi curae sed et si potes liber fieri magis utere

Wast thou called, being a bondman? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

RSV-CAtholic Edition rendering:

21 Were you a slave when called? Never mind. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.[c]

Catholic NAB rendering:

21 Were you a slave when you were called? Do not be concerned but, even if you can gain your freedom, make the most of it.

Blogger ncartist October 26, 2015 7:25 PM  

People need to stop being their own Popes, reading a few bible verses - IN ENGLISH - and then making policy.

Yeah, go read it in Latin

Blogger ncartist October 26, 2015 7:29 PM  

There IS no Christian theocracy. It's not that kind of a religion. Judaism is, Christianity isn't.

Is this the foolish state of mind of Churchians or simply a non-believer babbling?

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 7:31 PM  

I'm not telling you. I want to see where you go with it.

Blogger Lovekraft October 26, 2015 7:40 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Nate October 26, 2015 7:43 PM  

Why is this so hard? Christianity says love thy enemy. It does not say that you have no enemies.

It doesn't even say not to kill your enemy. It just says love them.

Blogger Diogenes October 26, 2015 7:43 PM  

“Understanding is good but obedience is better.” - Theodore Beale

“To do nothing but obey is no gift; obedience without understanding is a blindness, too” – Anne Sullivan (teacher of Helen Keller)

Blogger Cail Corishev October 26, 2015 7:45 PM  

Does Vulgate tell the slave to make use of the slavery, or make use of the opportunity to freedom?

I'm no scholar, but I gave it a shot. It ran over the 4K limit, so I put it on my own blog. Short answer: I can see how the literal words of that verse could be read the second way, but I think the first one fits better both with the words and with the context.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 7:50 PM  

You wrote:

He just said not to change your state in life — even the state of your foreskin — why would he now say the opposite, in the very next breath?

So, I'll play the devil's advocate. To, in essence, say: "...but don't be an aspie, dude. If your owner actually comes ask you if you want to be freed, then don't say no just for this principle. I'm just telling you to be CONTENT with what you have."

Blogger Lana J October 26, 2015 7:50 PM  

If you have any interest or value Douglas Wilson's perspective on slavery, he wrote this small pamphlet on the subject with a brief discussion on slavery in bible and how it related to the South during the time when slavery was legal in the US.

Blogger Cail Corishev October 26, 2015 8:08 PM  

There used to be something called "Muscular Christianity" but seems as dead as a doornail.

It's just resting.

@97 Markku,

Agreed, I don't think he's saying to refuse freedom either. I think he's just saying not to put effort into gaining worldly freedom. If your owner surprises you with freedom, fine. But if the pursuit of freedom requires effort that could be spent doing the Lord's work right where you are, not so fine. And most of all, don't think you have to be free to be Christian -- God might have put you in the position of a slave because He has work for you there.

Paul himself was imprisoned at times, of course, and bailed out or released (except the last time). He didn't refuse release, but he didn't wait for it either; he got on with his writing and preaching while imprisoned.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 8:10 PM  

Yes, but that's the alternative interpretation, that is the most popular one in modern translations. "Be content as a slave; but should freedom just fall in your lap, take it"

Blogger Ocean October 26, 2015 8:21 PM  

The Bible can be interpreted 50,000 ways.

Blogger James Dixon October 26, 2015 8:22 PM  

> Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Because they are still your neighbors.

Not according to Christ's explicit statement.

36. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?"

37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him....

You're commanded to show mercy to them (Go, and do thou likewise), but that's not the same thing. Now, if you want to tackle the sermon on the mount, that's another matter. But even that doesn't cover letting invaders into your country.

> How did we ever get the Crusades if Christianity was all about 'loving your enemy"? How did we ever get the Reconquista? Or the Inquisition?

Loving your enemy doesn't mean you can't oppose the evil he does.

Blogger James Dixon October 26, 2015 8:26 PM  

> One hint. And here's another (look close at the movie credits).

Mere servants, YIH. Not the true enemy.

Blogger S1AL October 26, 2015 8:31 PM  

Gotta love it when you get a fundamental demonstration of why you can't simply emphasize one part of the Bible and diminish the rest.

Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.

But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

It's A and BB, not one or the other.

Blogger James Dixon October 26, 2015 8:39 PM  

> Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.

As I said, if you want to argue the sermon on the mount, that's another matter. And not one I have time for tonight.

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 8:41 PM  

Rudy,

"Where are all these un-pozzed theologians that should be leading the fight?"

You have a thread full of them here at your disposal. None is so blind as he who will not see.

"It doesn't matter whether or not Christianity is responsible for starting this mess, the fact is that religious authorities have repeatedly folded like wet napkins to prog opposition."

Those authorities (sic) are the prog opposition. They have not folded, they have lead the charge. There have always been false prophets, and they have always come to ruin. So shall these.

Blogger Cail Corishev October 26, 2015 8:47 PM  

@100 Markku,

Right. It all hinges on how you translate magis, as "even more so" or "rather/instead." I don't know Greek, so I can't go there. It looks to me like everyone since St. Jerome translated it the second way as "rather use it" -- "it" being one's state as a slave, which is the only noun in the sentence, for what it's worth -- up through the Douay and KJV, until about 1970 when many modern translations started reading it the other way. That's a pretty easy call as far as whom I'd trust.

Another Vatican-approved translation I have on hand is the 1990 NRSV-CE (the ancestry goes something like this: KJV -> ASV -> RSV -> RSV-CE -> NRSV-CE). Surprisingly to me (because I generally find it too modern), it translates magis as "more than ever": "Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever." So there he's not saying don't accept your freedom; just don't let that interfere with using your present state to do God's work.

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 8:48 PM  

"There used to be something called "Muscular Christianity" but seems as dead as a doornail.

It's just resting."

As there is no rest for the wicked, there can be none for the righteous who contend with them.

In a very real sense in times like these they descend into Hell, following the example of Christ, to contend with the forces of darkness directly, before rising again on the appointed day in sit at the right hand of the Father in glory.

We have done so before, and will again.

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 8:54 PM  

Nate,

"Why is this so hard? Christianity says love thy enemy. It does not say that you have no enemies."

Preach, brother.

It is a hard teaching for one who has led a life so sheltered from harm that they have the luxury of considering the concept of "enemy" obsolete. Such a life has always bred unmanliness, and if widespread acts as an auto-immune disorder in the body.

Blogger Dystopic October 26, 2015 9:12 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 9:21 PM  

KJV

No, it seems to me that KJV agrees with the modern reading. Here's Matthew Henry's (18 October 1662 – 22 June 1714) commentary on that verse:

Be not over-solicitous about it. It is not inconsistent with thy duty, profession, or hopes, as a Christian. Yet, if thou mayest be made free, use it rather,' v. 21. There are many conveniences in a state of freedom above that of servitude: a man has more power over himself, and more command of his time, and is not under the control of another lord; and therefore liberty is the more eligible state.

Now, this was written even before William Wilberforce, so there would have been no serious abolitionist movement yet, to bias him. Yet, he seems to comment on it as if this were the obvious reading of the KJV text, and not a controversial statement that he then has to defend.

Hence, I think that the interpretation had already shifted by the time KJV was written.

OpenID pancakeloach October 26, 2015 9:42 PM  

It seems to me that I Corinthians 7:32-35 is relevant to the discussion. If it is better for men and women who are not strongly tempted by lust to remain unmarried so that they may devote more of their time and energy towards serving the Lord rather than serving their families, then it is consistent with this principle to interpret verse 21 as advising slaves to go ahead and obtain freedom if the legal opportunity arises.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 9:45 PM  

Yes, there is some point to that. First, mention the primary principle, and then provide some allowance to it as circumstances warrant.

Blogger Cail Corishev October 26, 2015 10:01 PM  

Or the comparison with that verse could be: he's telling unmarried people not to change their state unless absolutely necessary to avoid sin, so the consistent thing is that he's telling slaves not to change their state either.

I really don't have a problem with either interpretation, since it all hinges on one word with multiple related meanings, and I've exhausted my exegetical abilities, so I'm just kinda playing devil's advocate for the other way. Either way, it seems to me the overriding message is clear, and consistent with all of Paul's preaching: stop worrying so much about this life and worry about the next one.

I just studied Paul's epistles last year, for really the first time in my life. One thing that struck me was that Paul spent a lot of his time fleeing from Jews trying to stone him, redoing work that had been undone by Judaizers, or talking down new Christians from wacky or extreme ideas they came up with in their convert's enthusiasm. He didn't write and tell people to do things just out of the blue. All of his admonitions were written to address specific problems that had been reported to him. So now when I read something like this, I try to think: what were the people there doing that he was trying to correct here? Do we know? Can we infer it from the context?

That doesn't necessarily answer the question, but it makes it seem more real to me -- a real man writing about real events to real Christians who were often confused and annoying but beloved to him.

Blogger Markku October 26, 2015 10:15 PM  

Yes, the dogma itself is not important to me as such. But if it turned out that there indeed was a switch in the interpretation around the time of KJV where everything older went one way and everything never went the other way, that would be historically interesting. Then the question would arise, what OTHER similar verses might there be?

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 10:53 PM  

Markku,

"Hence, I think that the interpretation had already shifted by the time KJV was written."

Keep in mind that Henry was a leading Non-Conformist preacher. The favorite doctrine of the Established Church to which he was non-conforming was the obligation of Christians to submit to temporal authority with no exceptions (more of less the divine right of kings), so his bias would have run the opposite direction of the authors of the KJV and toward slaves throwing off their chains.

Blogger Desiderius October 26, 2015 10:55 PM  

Cail,

"That doesn't necessarily answer the question, but it makes it seem more real to me -- a real man writing about real events to real Christians who were often confused and annoying but beloved to him."

Aye, there are two books the good preacher knows by heart: the Holy Scripture and the lives, cares, and hopes of his congregants.

That's an old saying I got from the best I've known.

Blogger GJ October 27, 2015 1:26 AM  

I find it interesting that there's so little discussion of verse 23:

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

Blogger rho October 27, 2015 3:22 AM  

@115 Yes, the dogma itself is not important to me as such. But if it turned out that there indeed was a switch in the interpretation around the time of KJV where everything older went one way and everything never went the other way, that would be historically interesting. Then the question would arise, what OTHER similar verses might there be?

All translations are imprecise. I prefer the KJV, but I'm not going to set a New International reader on fire because they are simpletons.

Blogger Markku October 27, 2015 6:06 AM  

I find it interesting that there's so little discussion of verse 23:

You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.


Because that is an obvious one. Under no circumstances transition from free to slave, if you can help it. Because duh.

Blogger FrankNorman October 27, 2015 6:18 AM  

We get unbelievers complaining about Christian morality (or what they think it is) from all angles, don't we?
One moment it's about how "intolerant" and militaristic Christians are. Then the next guy comes and complains that we're not intolerant and militaristic enough for him.

Back when the Roman Empire fell to the Huns, there were people who tried to pin the blame for that on Christianity. Then we have all the Leftoids who blame Christianity for Europe not falling to the Muslims.

Blogger Cail Corishev October 27, 2015 7:15 AM  

Verse 22 makes it obvious that verse 23 isn't talking about ordinary human slavery. "You were bought" by whom? Jesus Christ. "At [what] price"? The Crucifixion. From what? From slavery to sin. Jesus didn't die to save us from bodily slavery to man and other physical and material ills, but from spiritual slavery to sin and the devil.

Paul or another Apostle would come into a town and preach the gospel, and it would catch fire. After he moved on, it would continue to spread. Then he'd get a messenger saying something like, "Hey, a bunch of people in Podunk are saying if Jesus made us free, that means we're supposed to start a revolution to kick out our Roman overlords." Paul would sigh and say, "Okay, could you take a letter back with you?"

Blogger S1AL October 27, 2015 10:35 AM  

"Because that is an obvious one. Under no circumstances transition from free to slave, if you can help it. Because duh."

Which raises the point that the implication of free-->slave being a negative is that slave-->free is a positive, lending additional credibility to the interpretation that freedom should be attained if (lawfully) possible.

Blogger Danby October 27, 2015 1:53 PM  

@73 Markku
[21] Wast thou called, being a bondman? care not for it; but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. [22] For he that is called in the Lord, being a bondman, is the freeman of the Lord. Likewise he that is called, being free, is the bondman of Christ. [23] You are bought with a price; be not made the bondslaves of men. [24] Brethren, let every man, wherein he was called, therein abide with God.

So essentially,
21) pay no attention to your state in life, it's unimportant.
22)Slave are made spiritually free in Christ, and freemen are made to slaves of Christ.
23) you were already purchased, like a slave at an infinite price
24) Whatever your state, abide with God.

I think what Paul is saying is essentially that whether you are a freeman or a bondsman is unimportant. Whatever your state of life, you must abide with God and free yourself from sin. Without Christ all men are slaves to sin, and with Christ all men are free, whatever chains may bind them

Blogger GJ October 27, 2015 2:36 PM  

Which raises the point that the implication of free-->slave being a negative is that slave-->free is a positive, lending additional credibility to the interpretation that freedom should be attained if (lawfully) possible.
Precisely. And this is in contrast to the example discussed immediately prior: circumcision and uncircumcision matters not, for "circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing".

Blogger GJ October 27, 2015 2:41 PM  

Verse 22 makes it obvious that verse 23 isn't talking about ordinary human slavery.
False dichotomy:

Were you a slave when you were called…You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings.

Paul brings the two together: because Christ has set you free from spiritual slavery, if possible you should not be physical slaves as well (presumably so that with the physical freedom you can do more for the gospel).

Blogger GJ October 27, 2015 2:44 PM  

I think what Paul is saying is essentially that whether you are a freeman or a bondsman is unimportant. Whatever your state of life, you must abide with God and free yourself from sin. Without Christ all men are slaves to sin, and with Christ all men are free, whatever chains may bind them
Again, the very plain words of verse 23 are ignored: “do not become slaves”.

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