Does the Bible condone slavery? (in just one minute)
I’ve encountered many atheists who reject the Christian message because they claim it condones slavery (and hence makes Christianity morally repulsive). Here is a short response to this claim.
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd once said that according to the Bible ‘slavery is a natural condition.’
Yet this is false.
It was Aristotle, the Greek Philosopher, who said slavery was ‘natural’. The Bible’s view is different.
The Bible acknowledges the social convention of slavery and even gives instructions on how slaves should be treated, but it never asserts that someone is ‘naturally’ a slave.
The trajectory of the Christian message is freedom. Freedom is preferred to slavery. An example is the Exodus in the Old Testament where God’s people leave slavery for freedom.
The Bible also plants the seeds for the demise of the institution of slavery. It asserts that all people are equal and valuable because they’re made in the image of God. Moral opposition to slavery only arose because of this Christian claim to equality. This is what drove William Wilberforce. And this is why we reject slavery today.