Mind Matters

by Rev. Robert H. Tucker

Number 306
August 3, 1998

"The Bible Tells Me So"


Wives are to submit to their husbands and homosexuals are today's designated sinners, How do we know? The Bible told us so-according to the 'Bible believers.'
For consistency, true 'Bible believers,' need to consider re-instituting slavery. Slaves populate the Old Testament. Jesus was silent on the issue of slavery. Paul exhorted Christian slaves to be obedient to their masters and advised masters to treat their slaves kindly. Nowhere, absolutely nowhere does the Bible question the institution of slavery as contrary to the will of God. Why have 'Bible-believing' Christians dropped this clear and compelling Biblical acceptance?

Four general Councils of the Church in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries approved slavery. The great Dominican Bartolome de las Casas spent much of his life defending the rights of the Indians of South America, and to protect the Indians from slavery, he suggested that African slaves be used instead. In England, eight years before our forefathers were incorporating slavery in our Constitution and at a time when the popes were still using slaves to power their galleys, former slave ship captain John Newton was penning the words to "Amazing Grace," For the first seventy years of our nation, Bible-believing preachers north and south (but especially south) quoted their Bibles to support pro-slavery sentiments.

A number of our nineteenth-century Congregational forebears read their Bibles differently. They read that Jesus welcomed the marginalized people of his day. They read of Paul opening the church to the despised non-kosher and non-circumcised Gentiles. They saw Paul's great charter-"In Christ there is no longer Jew or Greek, male or female, slave or free"-breaking down the barriers humans put up against each other. Some, even dared to accept Paul's Christian charter and ordain a woman -- in 1853.

Deprived of the abolitionists to attack, those stalwart nineteenth-century 'Bible-believing' preachers moved on to attack demon rum, playing cards, working on Sundays, and dancing. Deprived of victory in those areas, they then preached against evolution, sexual immorality and divorce, Again deprived of a victory, they decided to target abortion, working women and homosexuals.

Karl Barth, a great theologian of this century and a prolific writer, asked to sum up the Christian message in one sentence said: "Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so." The credible 'Bible-believers' speak of such love for themselves and for all others.

--Robert H. Tucker
3 August 1998


© Robert H. Tucker, 1998.
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