Kevin Rudd & slavery

The Bible also says that slavery is a natural condition. (Kevin Rudd, on Monday’s Q&A)

Let’s just put this as simply as possible: Wrong! While the Bible does contain laws to ensure slaves would not be mistreated, and encourages emancipation if possible, nowhere does it suggest that anyone is naturally a slave. It says the opposite! It says that that all people are made in the image of God. The image of God covers a lot of meaning; we share many of God’s attributes, such as creativity, having emotions, being morally responsible. But the biggest thing it means is that we are rulers. God made humanity to bring his rule to the world, representing him to the world and to each other.

Kevin Rudd was actually quoting Aristotle, who as John Green reminds us, “while he is very famous and everything is almost always wrong!”

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But as happens sometimes, Kevin Rudd was actually more right than he thought. No one is naturally the slave of another person, but we are all naturally slaves of sin, unable to do what is right, sometimes even when we want to. Greed, adultery, aggression, pride, substance addiction, laziness, jealousy, and yes even homosexuality are all natural human behaviours. And they all earn God’s wrath. So thanks for the reminder Kevin!

So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
(Romans 7:14-25, NLT)

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