This portion in chapter 7 of the Gospel of John has been a great challenge to my understanding.
22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.
23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?
There is a commingling of the Ten Commandments and the other Rules given by Moses. Jesus tells those Jews who tried to kill Him contextually thus in the same chapter:
19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?
It appears that Jesus was trying to dissuade the Jewish people who were trying to kill Him, that they ought not to kill, as killing would be breaking of a commandment of God.
But a few verses later he brings in the conflict arising between CIRCUMCISION and SABBATH.
My understanding is that Circumcision started with Abraham and definitely doesn’t find a part in the Ten Commandments; whereas keeping the Sabbath holy is a commandment of God.
Jesus brings in the conflict, between circumcision and the Sabbath, by saying that if the eighth day after the birth of a male child were to fall on a Sabbath day, you Jews circumcise the male child even on Sabbath, as you believe that the TRADITION of yore should not be broken. But by circumcising the child on the Sabbath, you are violating one of the Ten Commandments. Thereafter, Jesus Justifies circumcision on Sabbath by stating that if for the benefit of the child circumcision is carried out on the eighth day, only through an infringement of breaking the Sabbath, then DOING GOOD, like HEALING (making a person whole) on the Sabbath would not tantamount to breaking the Sabbath!
The underlying principle which Jesus said was: God is good and if any deed is done infringing a general law, such Good deed should not be seen as a deed having violated the general law.
How he got them!
It was not the Circumcision that Jesus was questioning but the tradition of circumcising only on the eighth day, come what may, though the eighth day fell on a Sabbath, which Jesus drew as a parallel to justify good deeds, like healing and making people whole.
Another way of looking at theses passages is that a General Law need not be strictly applied to every PARTICULAR situation. A child would have only one eighth day after his birth and if it were to fall on a Sabbath, why break the tradition? After all that work of circumcising was not the choice of the parents, assuming that the day of birth of a child would be beyond the choice of a parent. Therefore, in the PARTICULAR case of male children whose eighth day fell on Sabbath, the act of circumcising would not offend the General law of the Sabbath, but would act as an EXCEPTION to the observances of the Sabbath. Likewise, if Jesus were to heal on the Sabbath, such healing would also fall within the exception and would not attract the penalties for non observance of the Sabbath.
Posts tagged ‘jesus’
Many would have read the following passage from the New Testament: Matthew chapter 17:
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Remove from here to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
21But this kind goes not out but by prayer and fasting.
The above passage was when the disciples could not drive away the evil spirit from the boy, and Jesus stepped in and cured the boy. Thereafter Jesus’ disciples ask him WHY THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO DO WHAT JESUS SUCCEEDED IN DOING?
The Godhood of Jesus is revealed in this passage, not because he succeeded where his disciples failed, but because Jesus says in unequivocal terms that it is the successful efforts of PRAYER &FASTING, which enables a human to perform such miracles. Secondly, Jesus doesn’t find fault with the father of the boy or worse still, even with the boy, but STATES THE INADEQUACIES IF HIS OWN DISCIPLES.
Cut back and let us see some passages of Paul in I Corinthians chapter 11 verse 30 says thus:
For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.
James says this at Chapter 4:3:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
The first is a passage by the self declared Apostle and the latter passage is by probably the earthly sibling of Jesus, if not the one who was one of the Boanerges.
In any case, both the pillars one of the Jerusalem and the other of the Gentiles points fingers at others instead of looking into themselves and spread fear, guilt and a sense of inadequacy in OTHERS. These “apostles” we’re constantly excavating reasons for either the sicknesses or the non-receipt of the things sought through prayers by the lay men!
THAT WAS THE DIFFERENCE. In their eagerness in building the Church, they couldn’t continue the path of self purification through prayers and fasting!
If anyone is eager to believe that Christianity is being used to purvey guilt and portray the laymen as inadequate only in the recent centuries, then they are terribly wrong. The process started immediately after Jesus’ death and resurrection!
Christ did not make the other man’s faults or INADEQUACIES as his reasons for non curing. No doubt He was/is God, but He recommended His disciples to look into themselves and not to find Pretexts.
That is/was and would be Christianity and not as what the disciples wrote with a misplaced fervour to build a Church!
God save us from false preachers of Christianity.
Rapture means the act of the Chosen few of God, being transformed at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and being conveyed into Eternity with Christ, without dying or death. This is being Peddled by most Pentecostals as a sure shot happening BOUND TO HAPPEN DURING THIS GENERATION ITSELF.
In the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 13 there is an elaborate discussion between Jesus in the flesh, and His favourite disciples John, James, Peter & Andrew, wherein Jesus says that EVEN THE SON OF MAN DOESN’T KNOW THE TIME OF SUCH HAPPENING!
Firstly, Jesus REFRAINS from marking the Time of such an event. But He goes on to say the broad happenings which would take place prior to the event, and finally rounds it off by saying THIS GENERATION SHALL NOT PASS TILL ALL THESE THINGS BE DONE! (Verse 30).
If Jesus had meant the generation which ‘ lived’ during his Life in the world, surely the EVENT IS OVER. But, to my understanding, it was not THAT GENERATION , BUT THE GENERATION WHICH READS (had read, are reading and who will read in the future) WHAT HE HAD SAID THEN!
So, essentially what Jesus said was that Rapture (unlike, erroneously interpreted in the Pauline epistles) could happen or even DEATH could overtake the Rapture, but a human being’s duty was to be PREPARED – Jesus says, “WATCH”! His emphasis was on INDIVIDUAL SALVATION and INDIVIDUAL EFFORT.
Secondly Jesus’ foretelling at verses 24 & 25 that THE SUN SHALL BE DARKENED AND THE MOON SHALL NOT GIVE HER LIGHT, are not external events, but similar to what Solomon says in ECCLESIASTES Ch 12, where he figuratively forewarns the state of disrepair, human body and mind is susceptible to fall into, with age and sickness, and thus reminds man that youth is Vanity! Solomon goes on to add that THE WHOLE DUTY OF MAN WAS TO FEAR GOD AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS!
Might be, Solomon, was a fallen man, yet his words were true. It is like those contrite statements made by the Rich man from the Hell, a lot too late. Solomon’s realization might have come at a time when he couldn’t make amends, or who knows whether God forgave him in the last minute, like Jesus promised the robber on the cross? We can’t judge.
Jesus’ statement has been interpreted by the Pauline epistles to have an immediacy on the hearers, probably based on a genuine belief held by Peter, Paul & c. that RAPTURE was IMMINENT. But by hindsight we all know that Neros, Caligulas & c., came after Jesus and did most of those things foretold by Jesus. Yet , most, nay, all Christians believe that the Rapture hasn’t happened yet .
Therefore, instead of hustling the Christian believers into a Rapture trap, without hinting at the predominant certainty of Mortality, and skimming their resources through tithe amassing, they should be enlightened of the true meaning as explained by me and tell them to be ready to have an EPIPHANY AT THE POINT OF MORTALITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL if the RAPTURE doesn’t happen during one’s lifetime.
But that would not create a hysteria and the revenue flow that follows such hustling!
CHOOSE TO BE FREE. BELIEVE RATIONALLY!
There are those who Work, those who can’t , those who won’t , those who would want to, and finally those who claim the credit for somebody’s good work.
I’d like to last category first – those who claim the credit for somebody’s good work. They, as Jesus said, ” ENTERED INTO ANOTHER MAN’S LABOURS!” (John 4:38). In fact, Jesus reminds his disciples that they have arrived at the reaping time and therefore not to gloat over the produce but humbly realise that they were merely reaping the benefits of others who had laboured before! Most of those who ENTER INTO ANOTHER MAN’S LABOURS, seldom recognise the effort or privation suffered by their predecessors who had laboured in the same fields and are either not there because of flux of time or have been ousted or even sidelined at the time of REAPING!
The last category is the most RAPACIOUS WITHOUT ANY CHARACTER, as there is neither compunction nor modesty in their claims.
The fourth category being “those who would want to ” but either because of the daunting task don’t launch themselves into the task or cleverly procrastinating so that others would complete the onerous and humdrum task and enter the field after making an assessment of the rewards of the labours of others and thereafter be hailed as Messiahs, who concluded the task. They like a reputation as FINISHERS, with a keen eye on the results.
The third category of ‘those who won’t ‘, surely have the skill & the means but WOULDN’T DO. It is an attitude backed by a policy of diffidence. The reasons for such DIFFIDENCE may include phrases like WHATS THE USE? I AM NOT GOING TO BENEFIT! etc. They become rusty with their skills.
The second category of those who CAN’T, are seriously differently abler and not equal to the task- it doesn’t necessarily mean that they wouldn’t desire the benefits which accrue from the labour!
The First category are those who work as per the advice of Krishna to Arjuna: DON’T LOOK AT THE RESULTS, JUST DO YOUR DUTY TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY or who follow the Koranic advice of TRUST IN ALLAH BYT TIE YOUR CAMEL or like Jesus’ advice as at Luke 17:10
I was always at loss to understand what APOSTOLIC FAITH was all about! With innumerable denominations in Christianity, no sane Christian would ever claim that he knows the doctrinal differences which set apart one denomination from the other – unless of course one has had the inclination to study in a Theological seminary and in fact studied there.
APOSTOLIC FAITH is best described by Jesus in the following passage! Refer Gospel of Mark: Chapter 9, Verse 17 onwards
This is one of the best passages where Jesus reveals TWO CARDINAL PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIANITY. One is that when the father says that he BELIEVES but help thou my UNBELIEF – in all humility he accepts that his experience was in the way of his “belief” even though, he wanted to believe.
Secondly, that ANYONE who prays and FASTS would be able to perform what Jesus was able to perform.
Jesus is not applauding the father of the boy, like in the case of the woman with an issue for 18 years, or that of the Centurion whose servant was ill where Jesus did “tele-curing” from a place afar off; but was kind to the father who had the burden of his experience with his son, and WILLS ON HIS BEHALF. That is Christianity.
But come to the Apostles of Jesus and the Pseudo Apostle Paul, they were acutely aware of the fact that they were not ABLE TO CURE ALWAYS, but desired to CURE ( rather it was every Apostle’s ‘ASPIRATION” to cure). Jesus did not lay the blame on the DISBELIEF of others, but BELIEVED on their behalf.
I have no issues on the apostles not being able to CURE the sick and the invalids, but their prescriptions have been to lade the believers with GUILT. The following passages would bear me out:
James Chapter 5:
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
I Corinthians Ch. 11
These are the cornerstones on which APOSTOLIC FAITH is being propagated. They have forgotten the following passages which narrate what Jesus Himself said:
Luke Chapter 13
There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things?
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Another one is JOHN Chapter 9
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”
6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
So, from the above mentioned passages from the Gospels of Luke and John, it is clear that it is not because of SINS that a man suffers. But Jesus says there is a greater chance of relapse, if one falls into SIN again. So CURING of Jesus was to remove the SINS of man, for man to receive HEALTH. But, the APOSTOLIC doctrine was to PRAY for the ‘sick’ and then leave it for TIME to HEAL. In case, the person gets CURED, then take all the credit, if not , anoint him with Biblical verse that suits their inability to CURE.
My experience is that Jesus’ teachings have been HIJACKED by the not so competent Apostles by reiterating the sin of man, instead of going and PRAYING & FASTING themselves.
Even in the case of Jesus, mighty works could NOT be done always, yet HE never ever said that the lack of their CURING was because of their SINS. Pls read the following passages:
Matthew Chapter 13 says : King James Bible
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Mark Chapter 6, Verse 5 says
And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
If one sees the second verse above, Jesus Himself had come to the ‘HEALING” mode and not the “CURING” mode. That was because everyone was an OBSERVER of the MIRACLE WORKER, instead of SEEKING GOD’S BLESSINGS! But never did Jesus say, it was because of their “sins” that they could not be CURED or could not be the beneficiary of MIGHTY MIRACLES. He admitted that their UNBELIEF could be a CLOG. Jesus never laid the sins of any man for him not receiving the CURE. That is Christianity.
That was what Jesus INTENDED. Not to lade men with GUILT of the PAST SINS. But the very same Apostles couldn’t get the message, how can I expect these 21st century APOSTOLIC FAITH people to get the message? All these have hijacked JESUS’ statements under the Pauline & Jacobean THREATS, which were mainly a cover-up for their own deficiencies and a HEAVY DUTY REVENUE MODEL, to boot!
The attributes of Divinity are essential to be understood by Humans, to ascribe Divinity. Calling another human being as God is not alien to cricket fans in India, but a true God is not one who plays a leg-side delivery well or provides a lease of life to some commercial venture of a cola company.
It is a cliché to ascribe OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPRESENCE and OMNIPOTENCE to God. The problem with any cliché is that by constant use the ingredients are forgotten and a new generation without conscious understanding of the ingredients, which make up the ATTRIBUTES, parrots the words with confidence creating an illusion of the person uttering such clichés to have fully grasped the meaning of such clichés.
OMNISCIENCE is an attribute which I as a human being cannot determine, for the reason that when I do not know how much to know, how can a mere mortal say that someone knows everything? So OMNISCIENCE has no provable (by which I mean scientifically explain under uncontrolled surroundings to any witness who is willing to see/hear/feel/smell/taste or show proof through gadgets which are extensions of human senses) ingredient.
OMNIPRESENCE is another attribute which is easier to BELIEVE as an attribute, than to scientifically prove. If I as a human, am limited by space and time, how can I prove that a mega superior power is present everywhere?
OMNIPOTENCE is no better in the hands of a human understanding, as power is the ability to design and enforce one’s WILL without limit or barrier.
So for a human to prove that GOD is OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT & OMNIPOTENT are clichéd in the mouth of a person, even though for anyone who wants to believe that GOD is OMNISCIENT, OMNIPRESENT & OMNIPOTENT without looking for proof, it is a BELIEVED TRUTH.
But humans cannot be compelled to believe in anything unless they themselves are willing to believe. Once the basic limitations of human beings are overcome through a belief system, then it is not difficult to believe any of these attributes.
In the whole of the HISTORY of mankind, is there one who had claimed OMNISCIENCE, OMNIPRESENCE & OMNIPOTENCE? I know of one and that was JESUS CHRIST. JESUS CHRIST claimed DIVINITY. It has been the propagation of many religions that JESUS never ever claimed DIVINITY, but that his followers have perverted the TRUTH.
I rely on the Gospel of John to prove my point. The hurdle which a person of impartial inquiring mind has to overcome is: WHY SHOULD I BELIEVE IN THE CONTENTS OF THE GOSPEL OF JOHN? One needn’t have to believe, one has to just read the Gospel to understand the TRUTH of the statements made by Jesus. The word would sink in and make one realize that in the non-logical spiritual world, the apparent paradoxes meld into a belief, which convinces a reader without giving enough material for the experiencer to explain scientifically, to oneself or to others, with SENSE based proofs.
As a human being, LIFE is that most important thing. Second is to have a WHOLESOME LIFE. Third is an assurance that as I grow older and pass away, what would happen to the SELF/SOUL? Besides these, all other queries are mere supplementary to the abovementioned three questions. ALL THESE THREE QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED BY JESUS in the said Gospel.
All the answers to the three cardinal questions have been CLAIMED by Jesus and I know of none who had dared to CLAIM the above mentioned three ATTRIBUTES which make up DIVINITY.
These are excerpted from Chapter 5 of Gospel of John:
So in the verses excerpted above the first and the third questions had been answered by Jesus, while he walked in the flesh, as reported by John. Verse 26 says that Jesus, as the son of the Father, “HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF”. This expression of LIFE IN HIMSELF is not based on a LEASED LIFE GRANTED BY THE FATHER, BUT THE “POWER” GRANTED TO JESUS TO “HAVE LIFE IN HIMSELF” which was granted by the Father. This self perpetuating POWER, to GIVE UP HIS LIFE & TO TAKE IT BACK AT JESUS’ OWN WILL MAKES HIM DIVINE. Jesus had claimed it, since from Verse 19 onwards Jesus says about THE SON and gets to the “I” only in the 30th verse. Till crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus’ process of having been made a man by the Father and Jesus dying for mankind had not been fulfilled and Jesus’ WILL as a human being was at play. This human WILL was constantly assaulted through trials and temptations, like any other human being. This process was not yet over, Jesus had to submit to the will of the FATHER till the end, but also realize through personal human experience, the liabilities of existence as a man, without recourse to the POWERS as one element of GOD. JESUS had to be granted the powers of JUDGEMENT of Humans only after he had qualified completely doing the WILL OF THE FATHER as a MAN.
The third point is the future of Human existence, which is answered in Verse 28 & 29, wherein Jesus says: the dead shall hear the Son’s VOICE and be resurrected and thereafter JUDGED. So whether in the Soul or in RESURRECTED FLESH, is a question of doctrine, and not a question which could be settled on FACTS.
Jesus calls Himself “Son of Man”, which means Jesus’ work in the flesh had not been CONSUMMATED and thereafter HE was to ascend to the place from where he had DESCENDED and would become the SON OF GOD.
As regards wholesome LIFE, the answer is at John’s Gospel Chapter 10 verse 10, where Jesus says: …. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. That “wholesome Life” is grantable THROUGH Jesus, where Jesus claimed that he was “the way”!
In sum, Jesus claimed DIVINITY and anyone, anyone (even Gabriel, reportedly) who downgrades him to a Prophet or a Preacher or a Teacher or a Guru or anything less than the Divine is/was/and shall be a BLASPHEMER!
Leveticus 24:16 says: 16 Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall stone him. The sojourner as well as the native, when he blasphemes the Name, shall be put to death.
Therefore whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall be a blasphemer and the BIBLE nowhere uses BLASPHEMY for talking ill of or cursing a Prophet. JESUS was no prophet and that right to DIVINITY claimed and attained by JESUS puts him beyond mortal Prophets. Yet as a Christian, I owe NO DUTY to God or mankind or even to myself to defend Jesus’ name except by attempting to follow what He had taught!
Deuteronomy Ch.23, verses 15 & 16
Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:
He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.
This is the commandment given by God the father through Moses. Moses had been overruled by Jesus on many such laws and in proof thereof please read Matt: 25 and 26, wherein Jesus says, “…. but I say unto you…” and amended the Mosaic law with DIVINE authority. However, Jesus does not make any statement about SLAVES overruling the Mosaic law relating to escapee slaves .
Paul has an opinion on anything and everything. Having an opinion is not as bad as having scripted his opinion and such scripted having been found worthy by the compilers of the New Testament to be included in the New Testament. Further, Paul’s opinions were addressed to members, of the fledgling faith of Christianity, who were not rooted in the Judaic tradition. So when he wrote to the new members in Ephesus, he wrote for the edification of those members who were surrounded by a different spiritual ethos. Even when King Solomon, after having surrounded himself with Sidonian, Egyptian, Hittite women, succumbed to their gods and goddesses like Ashtoreth, Milcom, Baal etc. So Ephesians were in a different milieu and when Paul says at Ehesians 6:5- Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ, he is not recommending SLAVERY, he is merely telling the slaves not to worry about their present plight but “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” of Christian salvation and hope! Is such attitude tenable in Christianity? I am certain that Christianity never did nor would have ever recommended SLAVERY.
Let me first re-quote the Mosaic law:
Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which is escaped from his master unto thee:
He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him.
1600 years (at least) before Paul had ordained himself an Apostle, Moses had written the above law as having been ordained by God the Father. So, Judaism is very clear on THREE things:
IT IS NOT THE DUTY OF THE PERSON TO WHOM THE SLAVE HAS TAKEN REFUGE, TO DELIVER THE FORMER SLAVE TO HIS ERSTWHILE MASTER.
IN FACT, THE LAW RESTRAINS AND PROHIBITS THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE ESCAPEE SLAVE HAS TAKEN REFUGE FROM CAPTURING AND SURRENDERING HIM TO HIS ERSTWHILE MASTER.
FURTHER, THE MOSAIC LAW SAYS THAT THE PERSON WITH WHOM THE ESCAPEE HAD TAKEN REFUGE SHALL PROVIDE HIM A PLACE OF THE ESCAPEE’S CHOICE AND THE PEOPLE OF THAT AREA SHALL NOT OPPRESS HIM.
THAT WAS THE LAW! AND THIS LAW HAD NOT BEEN AMENDED BY JESUS, THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF CHRISTIAN FAITH.
But Paul was given to much PRESCRIPTIVE CHRISTIANITY, a malaise from which he suffered when he was a Pharisee and later when he altered into a Pharisaical Christian. In any case, none of Paul’s letters show him to be a meek man (Moses was the meekest man Number 12:3), given to boasting but claiming that he wasn’t and in fact that he shouldn’t be! Another instance where SLAVERY finds a reference in Paul’s letter is at Colossians at 3:22, however, the KJV states as “servants” and hence I am disinclined to accept the other versions, where instead of the word servant ‘slave’ has been used. Paul was more than kind to Onesimus in recommending him to Philemon, however, true to his sophistry and chicanery tells Philemon that Paul would pay Onesimus’ debts with a superb piece of verbal calisthenics thus :I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. (Philemon v. 19). Why will Paul pay, if Philemon owes his very self to Paul?
So why did Jesus use Paul? The answer is in Mark 9:39.
John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.”39 But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me. 40 “For he who is not against us is for us.…
Paul did what none did or could have done immediately after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. His was to spread the Gospel, he was the greatest CHRISTIAN EVANGELIST, who used letters and speech to turn people into Christians, rather than turn others into Christians by being a model through his own life!
Therefore his office was over and in legal parlance, his evangelism is FUNCTUS OFFICIO and to follow his prescriptive Christianity only helps the Pentecostals to build a brand of Christianity which emphasizes on tithes (revenue model for Pentecostal churches), preparatory Eucharist (denying administration of Eucharist if the priest feels that the communicant is unworthy, and thereby exercise authority!) and Exclusivity!
I hope Christians would abandon Paulian Christianity and return to Jesus and read the Gospels of John and Matthew, without allowing themselves to be tainted by such PRESCRIPTIVE CHRISTIANITY!
To come back to the topic, Christianity is the REPEALED version of the Mosaic law, where no amendments were made, or Moses’ provisions were not abrogated, the old is to be blended with Jesus’ statements. In the light of such an assertion, Christianity always gave LIBERTY to flee from SLAVERY and cast a duty on others to accommodate a runaway and provide opportunity for pursuit of happiness through FREEDOM.
So this leads to the next question as to whether, the slave owner has any RIGHT to own a slave and does that IMPOSE any DUTY on others, excluding the slave so owned? Yes, there was a RIGHT in-personam between the owner and the slave, it was not the slave owner’s right in-rem, where the whole society was to respect the ownership of the master!
Further, there are different categories of slaves mentioned in the Bible viz. those who have been abducted/kidnapped and sold as slaves; those Jews who had fallen into debts and have sold themselves as slaves being unable to repay their debts; Jewish slaves who have renounced their freedom and bound themselves with their masters, and non-Jews taken captive and freely traded.
If one were to go by Paul’s recommendation of attitude of the slaves in EPHESIANS, we freeze history to the Roman institution of slavery. But the instructions in the BIBLE, being an eternal book, cannot be limited to a set milieu or political order or even time. Joseph was sold by his brothers before Moses gave the commandment in Deuteronomy, therefore, merely because there was no law can we say that slavery was RIGHT? No, it was permitted by default, because the evil nature of man wanted to subjugate fellow humans and extract labour or other compliance from those fellowmen and women!
When THE BIBLE gives the LIBERTY to a slave to run away and the slave owner denied any protection through other persons, how can one assume that slavery was a matter of RIGHT? A RIGHT is NO RIGHT, if it does not cast a DUTY on others. In fact the Mosaic law casts a duty on the person, to whom the erstwhile slave takes refuge, to provide him space and liberty.
It gained the status of a RIGHT only under the ROMAN law, and since Paul was a Roman (which he invoked whenever it suited him!), he had preposterously made the Roman law the benchmark for advising salves to obey their masters as if they were obeying Christ! This verse in THE BIBLE cannot be taken to support SLAVERY in THE BIBLE. Even Kevin Rudd, fell a victim to such Paulian prescription which has unfortunately been embedded in the BIBLE.
Christianity is the religion of LIBERTY and FREEDOM, let us not choose passages to support our evil inclination, but be humble and read the Gospels of John and Matthew (simply because, a first hand recounting of Jesus’ life and teachings ought to be more reliable than hear say narration!) and LIBERATE ourselves from such self-demeaning practices.