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(Guest @ Feb. 15 2003,8:33)[/td][/tr][tr][td id=\"QUOTE\"][!--QuoteEBegin--]This is an article I wrote with regards to my racist upbringing in the Church of Christ. http://www.talulah.twistedpair.net/racism.htm
Talulah, greetings from the Land of Beer and Cheese. Thanks for contributing to this thread and the link to your struggle with racism and its dreadful results in your life. I see the pain and anguish in each line of your lament.
Let me make a few observations, if I may. 1) Part of the problem I see in your experience is hermeneutical.
By that I mean a perspective that took a slavishly literal -- perhaps crassly literal -- approach to Scripture. An approach that failed to take into account either historical context or literary context much less questions of literary genres.
2) Part of the problem I see is theological.
By that I mean Paul did not overtly condemn slavery but he did absolutely redefine what slavery meant.
Further he showed how folks from widely different backgrounds became a single new humanity
in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2.11-22). In fact I encourage you to read through the entire letter to the Ephesians searching for the phrase \"one\"; \"one new man\" etc. Paul's whole argument in Ephesians is that both Gentile and Jew are saved by grace so that neither had superiority over the other. Ephesians is not about doctrinal
unity rather it is about racial
unity in Christ. You can find similiar themes in Colossians but not as thematically integral to the letter as in Ephesians.
3) The third problem I see is historical.
One of the common mistakes that proslavery advocates made in defending such (as in James Smiley who was the Apostle of Slavery prior to the Civil War) is the rather naive and completly unhistorical assumption that slavery in the Roman Empire was anything akin to American Slavery. American slavery was based solely upon race and was founded upon the doctrine of racial inferiority.
Race nothing to do with slavery in the Ancient world -- it was purely economic. Slaves had opportunities to redeem themselves in ways that never occured in the US.
To read US slavery back into the NT or even the Hebrew Bible is thus hermeneutically, theologically and historically wrong.
There was plenty of racism in the Ancient world but it was not \"white vs. black\" it was Greek vs. everyone; it was Jew vs. everyone (and they are basically the same color). However in the Ancient world there was no stigma attached to be African. That is a modern sin.