Slavery and Submission in the Bible: A Case for an Update, Part 2–Guest Post, Libertarian Christian Institute

From the below article:

If Christians should approach these difficult areas of the Bible with a combination of Godly discernment and a modern historical context, why can we not also apply this approach to “submission to the governing authorities”? Too many Christians believe that everything the government does is in some way justified or authorized by God. This is the result of a selective interpretation of Biblical passages such as Romans 13 which at first glance seem to demand submission to all governing authorities for all time.

Christians must update their understanding of Biblical submission to reflect the political world we live in. Granted, at the time Paul wrote this passage in Romans the early Christians were being persecuted by Nero.

SEE website below for the article.


“We no longer condone or approve slavery even though the New Testament often speaks of the duty of slaves to be obedient and subservient.1 Paul and other writers were writing at a point in history when slavery as an institution was ubiquitous. Nearly all major civilizations and people groups had either owned slaves or were enslaved themselves at one point, such as the Hebrews by the Egyptians in the Old Testament. We see then that slavery was, unfortunately, normal to authors of the Bible, and therefore their thoughts on the subject were a reflection of historical context. That being said, it would not follow that “the Bible is inerrant” so we must continue to support slavery and demand obedience from slaves. I would posit that even though we no longer condone slavery, there is application in the premise of obedience to authorities. Although it would be disingenuous to pretend Paul was writing to a twenty-first century audience living in a capitalist economy, we nonetheless see a relevance to the idea of obeying authorities in our lives whom we do not always get along with. We can honor God by being obedient to authorities, so long as the authorities are not demanding we oppose God’s law. To return, just because the Bible mentions slavery and commands slaves to be obedient, we surely would not take this to be a sweeping defense of slavery for the rest of time. This seems obvious, but has a radical implication: our understanding of certain Biblical commandments can be updated to reflect our historical context. We look at American slaveholders’ use of the Bible to defend racial slavery as abhorrent, and yet so often we refuse to reconsider our ingrained understanding of other Biblical issues.”


Slavery and Submission in the Bible: A Case for an Update, Part 1–Guest Post, Libertarian Christian Institute


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