Doesn’t the Bible Condone Slavery?

Jul 23, 2023 • Eric Burnley • Series: Confronting Christianity

There are many questions that people use to discredit The Bible and God Himself, often looking to the horrors historically present in our world. One such question is how The Bible, and ultimately God, responds to the notion of slavery. Does God forbid slavery in the Bible, or does He condone it? Why should we believe in a God whose people were complicit in using the Bible to support slavery and oppress so many people? While people tend to look for black or white responses to these questions, there is perhaps a deeper premise at work in the gospel. In the deceptively short book of Philemon, we see a practical application of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the context of slavery that effectively blows apart these questions and brings about change through the Kingdom of Heaven, showing how in the gospel, believers are freed from enslavement to sin, welcomed into a new family where all are equal in Christ, and made fruitful for God's purposes of reconciliation and the dissemination of gospel freedom far and wide.

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