OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 24, 2014, 05:50:41 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 »  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: slavery  (Read 7432 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
erracht
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 313


OC.net


« on: November 01, 2003, 07:31:02 AM »

In the ancient world, slavery was an accepted institution. People would be captured in war or sold to pay for debts, and they would be treated like living property of their masters. They would possibly be under that person's complete authority, even to the point of being liable to being killed by them. The mosaic laws sanctioned a form of slavery.

In his epistle to the Ephesians, and I believe again in the epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul tells slaves to obey their masters. True, tells masters to respect their slaves, maybe even to serve them in an equal way, but this doesn't cancel out the first part. I believe at some point St. Paul sends with an epistle a runaway slave back to his master, albeit with the request to forgive the slave ("treat him as a son").

Okay, what would the Church say today? Are there circumstances under which slavery, something we look at as an abomination today, can be Orthodox? And whether or not it is Orthodox, imagine someone somehow makes a slave of me. Will I go to hell if I disobey them or run away? Does it depend on the situation?
Logged

NULL
TomS
Banned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: GOA
Posts: 3,186


"Look At Me! Look At Me Now! " - Bono


« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2003, 08:40:51 AM »

He He!

You, of course, are absolutely right here. It will be interesting to see how this is explained away.

Oh wait! If PAUL said slavery was OK and it is in the BIBLE then it MUST NOT be questioned!!

But despair not, the Ortho-Police will set you straight in due time. I too almost fell into the trap of thinking that what St. Paul wrote could possibly have been influenced by the CULTURE and TIMES in which he lived; I questioned St. Pauls attitudes toward women (whether they might have been influenced by his conservative Jewish beliefs and the general culture at the time) on a previous thread in this forum. It was not well received.

 Grin
« Last Edit: November 01, 2003, 08:55:26 AM by TomS » Logged
arimethea
Getting too old for this
Section Moderator
Archon
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch
Posts: 2,968


Does anyone really care what you think?


« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2003, 02:26:32 PM »

Slavery was acceptable and part of world law at the time of Paul. If a slave where to run away from his master he would be breaking the law of the empire. So in order to remain a good citizen the laws must be upheld, and Paul's encouragement is to do it in a Christian manner.

I should point out that slavery of the Roman Empire is not the same slavery experienced in the United States until the 1800's or the slavery that exist today. While I am sure that some Romans mistreated their slaves, for the most part being a slave was not a bad life. Often times slaves had excellent living conditions, dressed well, had great responcibility in the household, and well fed in comparision to the general populance. Because they where considered property they where treated like many of us treat a car today. This may sound like a harsh comparision but think about how you treat your car. You know that if you take care of it it will last you longer. You clean your car to make it look good because it reflects back on you.

Part of the problem with the slave trade of the 17 & 1800's was that those involved with it looked at the slaves as nothing more then cattle. It was felt that the Africans where less the people and nothing more then big monkeys. In many ways the evil part of the slave trade is still with us because there are those who still believe that blacks are "big monkeys."

Slavery also still exist today but in hidden ways because it is against international law. SO... if you became a slave today it would be illegal and therefore you have a duty not to follow your master for if you do you would be breaking the law.

And yes being a slave can be Orthodox, we are slaves to Christ, since he paid for our debt with his life we are his slaves now.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2003, 02:27:15 PM by arimethea » Logged

Joseph
erracht
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 313


OC.net


« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2003, 07:00:50 AM »

Be careful, Arimathea. In Ancient Rome, people did all kinds of things to slave. City slaves may have had it better than country slaves. One Roman writer described the latter as "farm equipment with voices". Another (or the same writer) advised people to keep farm slaves chained up in a dungeon, albeit a healthy dungeon, or something like that. One day a slave murdered his master and and in spite of local protests, ALL the slaves that "belonged" to him were executed. Nero castrated one of his slaves in order to make him a "girl" (he wanted to have "sex" apparently). And I've even heard of burning a slave alive onstage to stage the death of Hercules. This is actually similar to what I know about American black slaves. Plantation workers were treated very harshly, while house slaves could be treated "well" and sometimes might even have influence within the home (like Mammy in Gone with the Wind).

So the law of the land is supposed to define the status of slavery in the eyes of the Church? It's supposed to be a sin to rebel against it if it's legal, but a sin to practice it if it's illegal? Just because the law said so?
Logged

NULL
Justinianus
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 255



« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2003, 08:23:37 PM »

In the study of Roman history, one finds that the institution of slavery was distinctly different than that practiced in the Southern United States up to 1865.  In fact slavery differed dramtically in different points in Roman history as well.  Slaves in the Roman Republic were viewed somewhat differently that in the Roam Empire of Augustus and his successors.  In fact, the life of the slave was much worse under the oligarchical Republic than the autocratic Republic.  The great slave revolts you read about in Roman history all occurred under the Republic.  The emperors actually legislated measures to give more rights to slaves.  By the 3rd and 4th centuries, you have emperors who were sons of slaves.

Slavery continued into the early Byzantine period and was gradually replaced by a more feudal system both in the west and east.  

To understand St. Paul's writings in the New Testament, we must understand slavery at the time.  I think the reign of the Emperor Claudius, a contemporary of Paul (41-54 AD) is a good place to examine.  So the following applies to slavery in the time of St. Paul:

- Slavery was not a racial branding.  No particular racial group or nationality was singled out.  Typically, the populace of a defeated territory were enslaved.  Also, neighboring kingdoms send slaves to Rome as tribute to the emperor.  

- Slaves could have an education and often held the positions as doctors, dentists, educators, and took dictations.  Slaves were often paid a salary by their masters and after about 20 years could purchase their freedom.  They were called a freedman and no stigma of being a prior slave was attached.  Their children born after the emancipation were considered free born.

- Agricultural slaves were also paid a small salary and could purchase a plot of land after 20 years and live on it.

- Slaves could legally marry.

- Rules regarding the torture of slaves were regulated by law.  Execution of slaves was also regulated by law.

- Freed slaves could become Roman citizens and hold clerical positions in the government.  Emperor Claudius' top two assistants were freed slaves. Narcissus and Pallas, were former Greek slaves who held considerable power at court.

- a debtor could sell himself into slavery for the period of time needed to repay a debt in the place of going to prison.  This action had a formal legal contract dictating the terms.

- government owned slaves were entiltled to a pension and emancipation in old age.

- crimes comitted by slaves were more harsh than that of freed person.

- slaves had as much freedom of movement as allowed by their masters.

- slaves were still owned by their masters and had to obey their orders.

Romans in the imperial period saw that better treatment of slaves made more economic sense and giving them freedom at certain periods encouraged others to work hard.  It is notable that there were no slave revolts in the imperial period and that children of former slaves achieved notable positions in government.

This is not to condone slavery or say it was all a trip in the park, but it helps to put slavery into its historical context at the time of St. Paul.


Logged

"If we truly think of Christ as our source of holiness, we shall refrain from anything wicked or impure in thought or act and thus show ourselves to be worthy bearers of his name.  For the quality of holiness is shown not by what we say but by what w
William
Muted
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,354


« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 12:04:16 AM »

Bump.
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
Ashman618
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 504



« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 12:39:31 AM »

We are all slaves, slaves to the traffic light..... Think about it
Logged
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,870


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 12:47:54 AM »

You also have the fact that the Russian Orthodox Church supported Serfdom--which was basically a nice way to say slavery--for quite some time, and actually had slave auctions at monasteries selling Gypsy people...Personally, I'm an ethical relativist. I don't think really think that there are any objective ethics about how society is supposed to function, rather, we are supposed to just focus on deification and behave in a Christian manner in everything that society throws at us.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
OrthoNoob
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,044



« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 02:12:57 AM »

Well, serfdom properly defined ≠ slavery at all. But Russian 'serfdom' did become very little better than chattel slavery before it was abolished. I'd be curious to know in what capacity the Church 'supported' it, though. It's often hard to pin down when the Church has spoken and when it's a hierarch or a priest or two acting on their own.
Logged

http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 02:25:06 AM »

The victory of St. Joseph of Volokolamsk and his Possessor party over St. Nilus of Sora and his Non-Possessor party supported the institution of serfdom (albeit not as entrenched as it was after 1689), as well as monasteries owning serfs.

It would be interesting to know if the Old Testament concept of freeing slaves at the jubilee was carried over into the New Testament and the practice of the Church. In Russia, there was the custom of releasing serfs on St. George's day. Later, this became more difficult. There was always the option of running away and joining the Cossacks or going east of the Urals, where there was no serfdom. There were probably many who thought facing the Tatars or the world's largest swamp to escape serfdom was a non-choice.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,870


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 02:28:09 AM »

Well, serfdom properly defined ≠ slavery at all. But Russian 'serfdom' did become very little better than chattel slavery before it was abolished. I'd be curious to know in what capacity the Church 'supported' it, though. It's often hard to pin down when the Church has spoken and when it's a hierarch or a priest or two acting on their own.

The monasteries were the driving force behind it that owned the most Serfs...In fact, once a Greek was visiting and commented on the immorality at Russian monasteries and was killed for it.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 02:32:52 AM »

Well, serfdom properly defined ≠ slavery at all. But Russian 'serfdom' did become very little better than chattel slavery before it was abolished. I'd be curious to know in what capacity the Church 'supported' it, though. It's often hard to pin down when the Church has spoken and when it's a hierarch or a priest or two acting on their own.

The monasteries were the driving force behind it that owned the most Serfs...In fact, once a Greek was visiting and commented on the immorality at Russian monasteries and was killed for it.

Reference?
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,870


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 03:38:10 AM »

Well, serfdom properly defined ≠ slavery at all. But Russian 'serfdom' did become very little better than chattel slavery before it was abolished. I'd be curious to know in what capacity the Church 'supported' it, though. It's often hard to pin down when the Church has spoken and when it's a hierarch or a priest or two acting on their own.

The monasteries were the driving force behind it that owned the most Serfs...In fact, once a Greek was visiting and commented on the immorality at Russian monasteries and was killed for it.

Reference?

It was in a book I read about the Russian Church from my Church library; I think it was called "The Russian Orthodox Church Throughout the Ages." It detailed the history of the Russian Church from the 9th century to 20th century.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,184


that is not the teaching of...


« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 05:12:11 AM »

Most of what I know of the subject of slavery in Christian history comes from 1 book that I've read, A Church That Can and Cannot Change by John Noonan, so I feel hardly qualified to answer beyond my own very-speculative opinion. All I can say is that I think slavery can coexist with but not be condoned by Orthodoxy, and that you would not suffer serious eternal penalties for being a runaway slave. Even great Church Fathers owned slaves. St. Gregory the Theologian, for example, owned slaves, and when he died he willed that they should be freed. Do we applaud him for freeing them? Do we cover his actions of slave-owning? Do such actions need covered to begin with, especially consdering the context? I don't know.
Logged
OrthoNoob
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,044



« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2013, 05:25:52 AM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.
Logged

http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'
Santagranddad
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ROCA
Posts: 1,198



« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2013, 06:49:53 AM »

Dublin was a large centre for slavery, as evidenced by the significant numbers of slave fetters found there. Slaves later were  taken by the Barbary pirates from villages along England's South Western Coast. It exists today in Africa and the Middle East.

Not convinced that historical events can be judged by today's social mores. Curiously the very, very poor chain makers of central England's Black Century (so-named because of the chronic air pollution bought by manufacturing following the industrial revolution) boycotted the cheaper cane sugar for dearer sugar home produced from sugar beet in protest at the treatment of slaves on West Indian sugar plantations. Today those same areas see significant support for extreme parties with anti-black and Asian agendas, sadly.
Logged
Cyrillic
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Posts: 9,794


Cyrillico est imperare orbi universo


« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2013, 06:54:29 AM »

What exactly are we discussing in this thread?
Logged

"Claret is the liquor for boys; port for men; but he who aspires to be a hero must drink brandy."
-Dr. Samuel Johnson
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Offline Offline

Posts: 30,184


that is not the teaching of...


« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2013, 07:01:07 AM »

I don't know about other posters, but I responded to this from the OP:

Okay, what would the Church say today? Are there circumstances under which slavery, something we look at as an abomination today, can be Orthodox? And whether or not it is Orthodox, imagine someone somehow makes a slave of me. Will I go to hell if I disobey them or run away? Does it depend on the situation?
Logged
AustralianDiaspora
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Greek Orthodox
Posts: 109



« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2013, 11:46:58 AM »

. . . No form of slavery has ever ended by slaves being obedient; violent oppression doesn't work that way. Every single right that African Americans have gained (since that example has been thrown in here) has been the result of enormous work by people in those communities, and they experienced abhorrent violence as a result. And what was said when this was taking place? The bible says slavery is okay!

This rationale is dangerous and has been used to justify the violent oppression of entire people, so it's pretty shocking to see here to be honest.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 11:50:22 AM by AustralianDiaspora » Logged

I can no longer cope with the misogynism, bigotry, homophobia and racism here and I have given up this forum. Lord have mercy.
Hinterlander
Site Supporter
High Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 516


« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2013, 12:44:18 PM »

"coercive labor" (or perhaps "unfree labor") is probably a better, more general term, than slavery.

In America people think of slavery as being strictly the chattel slavery they learn about in 8th grade.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 12:44:42 PM by Hinterlander » Logged
NicholasMyra
Avowed denominationalist
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Antiochian/Greek
Posts: 6,060


When in doubt, say: "you lack the proper φρόνημα"


« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2013, 12:52:09 PM »

You know how we say "the servant of God X?"

That word isn't servant in Greek, Hebrew or Arabic.
Logged

Quote from: Orthonorm
if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
Jetavan
Argumentum ad australopithecum
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Science to the Fourth Power
Jurisdiction: Ohayo Gozaimasu
Posts: 6,580


Barlaam and Josaphat


WWW
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2013, 01:20:03 PM »

St. Gregory of Nyssa, the first abolitionist?:

335,5. "I got me slaves and slave-girls." What do you mean? You condemn man to slavery, when his nature is free and possesses free will, and you legislate in competition with God, overturning his law for the human species. The one made on the specific terms that he should be the owner of the earth, and appointed to government by the Creator — him you bring under the yoke of slavery, as though defying and fighting against the divine decree.

335,11. You have forgotten the limits of your authority, and that your rule is confined to control over things without reason. For it says Let them rule over winged creatures andfishes and four-footed things and creeping things (Gen, 1,26). Why do you go beyond what is subject to you and raise yourself up against the very species which is free, counting your own kind on a level with four-footed things and even footless things? You have subjected all things to man, declares the word through the prophecy, and in the text it lists the things subject, cattle and oxen and sheep (Ps 8,7-8). Surely human beings have not been produced from your cattle? Surely cows have not conceived human stock? Irrational beasts are the only slaves of mankind. But to you these things are of small account. Raising Fodder for the cattle, and green plants for the slaves of men, it says (Ps104/103,14). But by dividing the human species in two with 'slavery' and 'ownership' you have caused it to be enslaved to itself, and to be the owner of itself.

336,6. "I got me slaves and slave-girls." For what price, tell me? What did you find in existence worth as much as this human nature? What price did you put on rationality? How many obols did you reckon the equivalent of the likeness of God? How many staters did you get for selling the being shaped by God? God said, Let us make man in our ownimage and likeness (Gen 1,26). If he is in the likeness of God, and rules the whole earth, and has been granted authority over everything on earth from God, who is his buyer, tell me? Who is his seller? To God alone belongs this power; or rather, not even to God himself. For his gracious gifts, it says, are irrevocable (Rom 11,29). God would not therefore reduce the human race to slavery, since he himself, when we had been enslaved to sin, spontaneously recalled us to freedom. But if God does not enslave what is free, who is he that sets his own power above God's?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 01:20:45 PM by Jetavan » Logged

If you will, you can become all flame.
Extra caritatem nulla salus.
In order to become whole, take the "I" out of "holiness".
सर्वभूतहित
Ἄνω σχῶμεν τὰς καρδίας
"Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is." -- Mohandas Gandhi
Y dduw bo'r diolch.
augustin717
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: The other ROC
Posts: 5,635



« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2013, 01:25:50 PM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.

You think it still has some relevance?
Logged
OrthoNoob
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,044



« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2013, 02:10:54 PM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.

You think it still has some relevance?

As much relevance as the Russian Church's putative past support of serfdom, I'd say.
Logged

http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'
JamesR
Virginal Chicano Blood
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox (but doubtful)
Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church *of* America
Posts: 5,870


St. Augustine of Hippo pray for me!


« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2013, 04:26:10 PM »

St. John Chrysostom was, by principle, an abolitionist. In his book On Wealth and Poverty he states that slavery is the result of sin and the Fall, coming from when Ham slept with his father.
Logged

Quote
You're really on to something here. Tattoo to keep you from masturbating, chew to keep you from fornicating... it's a whole new world where you outsource your crosses. You're like a Christian entrepreneur or something.
Quote
James, you have problemz.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,677


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2013, 04:30:58 PM »

St. Paul was arguably the first Christian abolitionist.  He freed Onesimus (and even made him a bishop later) and even equated the humanity of slaves with the humanity of the free.  Quite a radical thing to do, that even the slave is not differentiated from the free.
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,677


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #26 on: February 06, 2013, 04:33:05 PM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.

You think it still has some relevance?

It never really abolished slavery, but perhaps, like war, it seemed like a necessary evil for some of the cultural norms of the time.  In which case, if you are in a position of slavery, you are to make out what is best in your service, not that you are justifying slavery, but that you are showing the transcendent character of your Christian nature.

If we are to progress as a society, we are to abolish whatever "necessary evils" there are by our examples.  St. Paul showed this by a cunning yet loving example in his letter to Philemon, turning Philemon's heart to Onesimus as a brother, and anything he did wrong, let it be on St. Paul himself, who was once in chains.  Amazing this letter in its every verse, as if he would say, "I shows myself as a slave giving birth to a spiritual son while in my own bondage, and now free, also make him free, as you receive me!"

And St. Paul in his letter admonishing masters to treat their slaves with justice, respect, and love, reminding them they are also slaves to Christ.  In an interesting twist, he tells Masters how to treat their slaves, by abolishing their traditional means of controlling their slaves, thus in essence calling for their implied freedom.  He does this without necessarily coming outright to abolish a cultural norm, but to fulfill a cultural transformation that will abolish the norm itself.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 04:42:16 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,611



« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2013, 05:30:53 PM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,677


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #28 on: February 06, 2013, 05:45:08 PM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Not different?  Cannot be differentiated?
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
orthonorm
Warned
Hoplitarches
*************
Offline Offline

Faith: Sola Gratia
Jurisdiction: Outside
Posts: 16,611



« Reply #29 on: February 06, 2013, 05:54:12 PM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Not different?  Cannot be differentiated?

A joke about dumb old computer error codes that some might be familiar with. I just love that language let's us say there is no difference between two different things and we act like this makes sense.

Pretty awesome. And why we are better than any computer now or to come.
Logged

Ignorance is not a lack, but a passion.
William
Muted
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,354


« Reply #30 on: February 06, 2013, 06:10:34 PM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.


But slavery is wrong per multiple church fathers. This canon doesn't make sense, and honestly lends some credence to the idea that Christianity changed to be used as a tool by those with power.
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,677


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #31 on: February 06, 2013, 07:10:05 PM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Not different?  Cannot be differentiated?

A joke about dumb old computer error codes that some might be familiar with. I just love that language let's us say there is no difference between two different things and we act like this makes sense.

Pretty awesome. And why we are better than any computer now or to come.
Oh...I see

Well...that's the point, isn't it?  St Paul created the syntax error so that when realized, abolishes anything called "slavery" later.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 07:10:37 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
OrthoNoob
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,044



« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2013, 09:22:02 PM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.


But slavery is wrong per multiple church fathers. This canon doesn't make sense, and honestly lends some credence to the idea that Christianity changed to be used as a tool by those with power.

It's not that different from 1 Tim 6:1-3, which was certainly written before Christianity had a chance to be 'changed to be used as a tool by those with power'.
Logged

http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'
OrthoNoob
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,044



« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2013, 09:22:53 PM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Not different?  Cannot be differentiated?

A joke about dumb old computer error codes that some might be familiar with. I just love that language let's us say there is no difference between two different things and we act like this makes sense.

Pretty awesome. And why we are better than any computer now or to come.
Oh...I see

Well...that's the point, isn't it?  St Paul created the syntax error so that when realized, abolishes anything called "slavery" later.

So how come slaveowning was never condemned by the Church? (Or was it? I don't know of any such case) She certainly wasn't shy about condemning other popular sins, even in the person of the emperor.
Logged

http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,677


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2013, 10:40:09 PM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Not different?  Cannot be differentiated?

A joke about dumb old computer error codes that some might be familiar with. I just love that language let's us say there is no difference between two different things and we act like this makes sense.

Pretty awesome. And why we are better than any computer now or to come.
Oh...I see

Well...that's the point, isn't it?  St Paul created the syntax error so that when realized, abolishes anything called "slavery" later.

So how come slaveowning was never condemned by the Church? (Or was it? I don't know of any such case) She certainly wasn't shy about condemning other popular sins, even in the person of the emperor.
St. Gregory of Nyssa is a good example who outright condemns it, as quoted earlier.  He sees in it a grave injustice.

Can you imagine that a lot of converted Christians were slaves, poor, the outcast of society.  And only the Church at that time were the ones who called them "human" and by grace free in Christ, and no different than the Master in terms of humanity.  That is very liberating to hear, and the implications are both dangerous to society and joyous hope to the ears of the oppressed.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 10:43:37 PM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
psalm110
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Christianity
Jurisdiction: Orthodox
Posts: 369


Orthodox Christian


« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2013, 10:45:16 PM »

I'd like to know also whether te church condemned it ?
Logged
William
Muted
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,354


« Reply #36 on: February 06, 2013, 11:23:04 PM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.


But slavery is wrong per multiple church fathers. This canon doesn't make sense, and honestly lends some credence to the idea that Christianity changed to be used as a tool by those with power.

It's not that different from 1 Tim 6:1-3, which was certainly written before Christianity had a chance to be 'changed to be used as a tool by those with power'.

Fair enough. I guess I have a bit of a problem with that passage unless the person had sold themselves into slavery. Why would escaping from one who held you against your will be sinful? It seems like the Fathers condemned slavery but tolerated its existence out of economy or something. But if something is intrinsically evil why is it tolerated? Casual sacrifices to pagan gods were also a cultural norm but death was considered preferable to that by the early church.
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2013, 11:25:52 PM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.


But slavery is wrong per multiple church fathers. This canon doesn't make sense, and honestly lends some credence to the idea that Christianity changed to be used as a tool by those with power.

I don't think it really says that. It's an error to project modern understandings on the past.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #38 on: February 06, 2013, 11:27:33 PM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Not different?  Cannot be differentiated?

A joke about dumb old computer error codes that some might be familiar with. I just love that language let's us say there is no difference between two different things and we act like this makes sense.

Pretty awesome. And why we are better than any computer now or to come.
Oh...I see

Well...that's the point, isn't it?  St Paul created the syntax error so that when realized, abolishes anything called "slavery" later.

So how come slaveowning was never condemned by the Church? (Or was it? I don't know of any such case) She certainly wasn't shy about condemning other popular sins, even in the person of the emperor.

Slaves being freemen in Christ and free people being slaves certainly turns the secular thinking on its head unless you're a cynical Marxist.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
Shanghaiski
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Antiochian
Posts: 7,973


Holy Trinity Church of Gergeti, Georgia


« Reply #39 on: February 06, 2013, 11:32:55 PM »

I'd like to know also whether te church condemned it ?

In the Old Testament, the Israelites were forbidden from having Israelite slaves. In the New Testament, if a Christian has slaves, he is forbidden from mistreating them, and the Lord also warned that the first would be last and those in authority must be the slave of all. Now, if slavery had been forbidden explicitly rather than implicitly, those Christians owning slaves would have had to free them and may have been tempted to turn them out of the house. Where would they go? The ancient economy was much different than that of today. But the Church freed slaves in the home. It is similar to people who convert who are polygamous. The man chooses one woman from his wives to be his wife, but the others he supports as his sisters, so that they are not abandoned unprovided for.
Logged

Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
OrthoNoob
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,044



« Reply #40 on: February 07, 2013, 12:01:12 AM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.


But slavery is wrong per multiple church fathers. This canon doesn't make sense, and honestly lends some credence to the idea that Christianity changed to be used as a tool by those with power.

It's not that different from 1 Tim 6:1-3, which was certainly written before Christianity had a chance to be 'changed to be used as a tool by those with power'.

Fair enough. I guess I have a bit of a problem with that passage unless the person had sold themselves into slavery. Why would escaping from one who held you against your will be sinful? It seems like the Fathers condemned slavery but tolerated its existence out of economy or something. But if something is intrinsically evil why is it tolerated? Casual sacrifices to pagan gods were also a cultural norm but death was considered preferable to that by the early church.

I have a huge problem with that passage. But it's there. And I don't have the authority to overrule it. I would love to interpret the apparent endorsement of slavery (or at the very least, the apparent condemnation of active resistance to slavery) away, but I must admit I'm having a heck of a time pulling it off.

If the Church as a whole was strongly opposed to slavery, why didn't She excommunicate slave owners or mandate manumission or prevail upon the Emperor to emancipate the slaves in the 1073 years Hers was the official religion of the Roman Empire? No doubt she did a lot to improve the lives of slaves, but although there were Church Fathers (St. Gregory of Nyssa, as quoted above, and I seem to recall St. Patrick of Ireland as well) who were opposed to the institution, I'm not aware that it ever carried a canonical punishment.
Logged

http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,677


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2013, 12:08:50 AM »

the slave is not differentiated from the free.

?SYNTAX ERROR
Not different?  Cannot be differentiated?

A joke about dumb old computer error codes that some might be familiar with. I just love that language let's us say there is no difference between two different things and we act like this makes sense.

Pretty awesome. And why we are better than any computer now or to come.
Oh...I see

Well...that's the point, isn't it?  St Paul created the syntax error so that when realized, abolishes anything called "slavery" later.

So how come slaveowning was never condemned by the Church? (Or was it? I don't know of any such case) She certainly wasn't shy about condemning other popular sins, even in the person of the emperor.

Slaves being freemen in Christ and free people being slaves certainly turns the secular thinking on its head unless you're a cynical Marxist.

Regard as free not those whose status makes them outwardly free, but those who are free in their character and conduct.  For we should not call men in authority truly free when they are wicked or dissolute, since they are slaves to worldly passions.  Freedom and happiness of soul consist in genuine purity and detachment from transitory things.

St. Antony the Great
Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
minasoliman
Mr., Sir, Dude, Guy, Male, tr. Minas in Greek, Menes in white people Egyptologists :-P
Section Moderator
Toumarches
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
Posts: 12,677


Strengthen O Lord the work of Your hands(Is 19:25)


« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2013, 12:10:31 AM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.


But slavery is wrong per multiple church fathers. This canon doesn't make sense, and honestly lends some credence to the idea that Christianity changed to be used as a tool by those with power.

It's not that different from 1 Tim 6:1-3, which was certainly written before Christianity had a chance to be 'changed to be used as a tool by those with power'.

Fair enough. I guess I have a bit of a problem with that passage unless the person had sold themselves into slavery. Why would escaping from one who held you against your will be sinful? It seems like the Fathers condemned slavery but tolerated its existence out of economy or something. But if something is intrinsically evil why is it tolerated? Casual sacrifices to pagan gods were also a cultural norm but death was considered preferable to that by the early church.

I have a huge problem with that passage. But it's there. And I don't have the authority to overrule it. I would love to interpret the apparent endorsement of slavery (or at the very least, the apparent condemnation of active resistance to slavery) away, but I must admit I'm having a heck of a time pulling it off.

If the Church as a whole was strongly opposed to slavery, why didn't She excommunicate slave owners or mandate manumission or prevail upon the Emperor to emancipate the slaves in the 1073 years Hers was the official religion of the Roman Empire? No doubt she did a lot to improve the lives of slaves, but although there were Church Fathers (St. Gregory of Nyssa, as quoted above, and I seem to recall St. Patrick of Ireland as well) who were opposed to the institution, I'm not aware that it ever carried a canonical punishment.
Chalk it up with imperial stubbornness and ignorance.  Sometimes, we have to learn that things that happened in the past with "imperial Christianity" is not consonant with true (dare I say liberated) Christianity, free from the political enslavement at the time.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 12:11:40 AM by minasoliman » Logged

Vain existence can never exist, for "unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain." (Psalm 127)

If the faith is unchanged and rock solid, then the gates of Hades never prevailed in the end.
OrthoNoob
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 1,044



« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2013, 12:23:36 AM »

That might work for a Miaphysite, but for those of us who belong to the Imperial Church, it's a bit harder to swallow.
Logged

http://avengingredhand.wordpress.com -- My blog

'These words I, Leo, have set down for love and as a safeguard of the Orthodox Faith'
William
Muted
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 4,354


« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2013, 12:29:32 AM »

Synod of Gangra, Canon III:

If any one shall teach a slave, under pretext of piety, to despise his master and to run away from his service, and not to serve his own master with good-will and all honour, let him be anathema.


But slavery is wrong per multiple church fathers. This canon doesn't make sense, and honestly lends some credence to the idea that Christianity changed to be used as a tool by those with power.

It's not that different from 1 Tim 6:1-3, which was certainly written before Christianity had a chance to be 'changed to be used as a tool by those with power'.

Fair enough. I guess I have a bit of a problem with that passage unless the person had sold themselves into slavery. Why would escaping from one who held you against your will be sinful? It seems like the Fathers condemned slavery but tolerated its existence out of economy or something. But if something is intrinsically evil why is it tolerated? Casual sacrifices to pagan gods were also a cultural norm but death was considered preferable to that by the early church.

I have a huge problem with that passage. But it's there. And I don't have the authority to overrule it. I would love to interpret the apparent endorsement of slavery (or at the very least, the apparent condemnation of active resistance to slavery) away, but I must admit I'm having a heck of a time pulling it off.

If the Church as a whole was strongly opposed to slavery, why didn't She excommunicate slave owners or mandate manumission or prevail upon the Emperor to emancipate the slaves in the 1073 years Hers was the official religion of the Roman Empire? No doubt she did a lot to improve the lives of slaves, but although there were Church Fathers (St. Gregory of Nyssa, as quoted above, and I seem to recall St. Patrick of Ireland as well) who were opposed to the institution, I'm not aware that it ever carried a canonical punishment.

And other Orthodox countries had slavery after most of secular and Catholic nations had been emancipated.

Though Russia at the very least had the USA beat by four years.
Logged

Apart from moral conduct, all that man thinks himself able to do in order to become acceptable to God is mere superstition and religious folly. - Immanuel Kant
Tags: slavery 
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 »  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.159 seconds with 72 queries.