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marinelife's avatar

How does that work? A slave is someone who is forced to labor at one or more tasks and has no rights of personhood. I don’t see the connection at all.

seVen's avatar

no clue how you come up with such absurd question. As for me a Christian who is given a gift of free will I see a great honor to worship God who game me life and that free will as well as great gift of saving me from evil.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

Don’t take it the wrong way, but I would have to ask if you are Muslim. I have nothing against Muhammad, Allah, or the Muslim religion, but I do know some hardcore Muslims and the absolutely hate Christians and Jews. Don’t take it the wrong way as I said, this is a place for questions.

If your not Muslim, then are you a Satanist or an Atheist that just plain hates religion?

nayeight's avatar

@ xxporkxsodaxx – Just because someone isn’t christian or questions christanity does not mean they are muslim, a satanist, or an athiest. and I’m not taking it the wrong way.
Now for my answer. I understand fullclip’s question, sometimes I think about it myself. Think about it, christians worship god above everything else. They put their children, marriage, career, thoughts & feelings all aside for god. Now, I think slave is a exageration (sp?) but I think its strange to put all those things that are so important to us after god. The part that makes it seem like slavery is that god asks these things of everyone. We are supposedly his children yet if we do not accept him & his terms we are banished to eternity in hell? Seems like a pretty harsh punishment for your so called “children”. Maybe more like a punishment for slaves who refuse to worship you….

skwerl88's avatar

If only. That would make it all so much easier—being forced into obedience would make obedience so much easier.

Alas, we are but followers. We attempt to give up everything for him, but are far too fickle to do so. A true christian is someone who consistently believes enough to be changed by God in hopes of living with him as much as possible. It’s our own indiscretions that separate us.

However, I can’t speak for Jews.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

@nayeight, I meant for the remark “Don’t take it the wrong way” for Muslims just in case I might offend them in those following statements. Also, I know that they do not have to be Muslim, a Satanist, or Atheist to question Christianity or Judaism, that’s why I was asking to figure it out.

Now to give a response to your answer, the reason why people put those things aside is because they believe that God has created them and gave them everything they have and can take it away at any time he/she pleases. To give you a better understanding, it is like putting video games, and television aside for your parents. The way they look at is that God is more important than all of their worldly possessions, what I am getting from you in a sense is that you are wondering “Why do we put our parents in front of television and XBOX? It makes no sense why they should be more important than Grey’s Anatomy and Hello Kitty Island Adventure”. Of course this is all belief and only you can change what you believe in and no one is able to tell you otherwise, but that sure as hell doesn’t stop them for trying. This is where they get the eternal hell factor, if there was no penalty for not following Christianity, then who would care if they followed it or not, so they came up with the eternal hell for nonbelievers. I do agree that slave is an exaggeration that is quite over the top, slavery refers to being forced and no way out while Christianity is much of something you can leave. I left Christianity a few years ago to follow Confucius and with meditation and morals that I follow, I have changed for the better since then. As skwerl88 said, they are followers and stay by their own will, and if they didn’t like what he/she was asking for, then they could leave whenever they pleased to find a religion that asked for less.

It’s really early here and I am about to goto bed, so I am sorry if something doesn’t make since or if there are many spelling and/or grammatical errors. Also if you couldn’t tell, that TV and Video game thing was meant to be funny and not assy.

Before I go, I am skeptical with Christianity because of some of the stories the Bible tells, with people splitting seas and living for 400 years, it’s hard not to be with the only answer being “The power of God knows no bounds”.

Harp's avatar

I’m neither a Christian nor a Jew, but the “slave” paradigm certainly does have some scriptural basis. The apostles often identified themselves as “slaves of Christ” (Romans 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1, James 1:1). The inference is that one sujugates one’s own will to that of God (“Not my will, but yours be done, oh Lord!”). And can we really say that a Christian is free to leave, when the Bible pronounces the harshest possible penalty on anyone who does so?

There is even a sense in which one abandons one’s personhood. Consider Ephesians 4:22–24: ”...to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”

I don’t think that any of the early Christians would have found the “slave” paradigm the least bit objectionable, because the term wasn’t loaded with quite the negative valence it has today.

Harp's avatar

Oops: “sujugates”=“subjugates”

Harp's avatar

Thinking more about this from an Old Testament angle, I’m reminded of Abraham being ordered to sacrifice Isaac as a measure of his unquestioning obedience, and of Jonah being coerced against his will to take God’s message to the Ninevites. It seems to me that the Judeo-Christian ideal has always been one of doing what God commands, no matter what one’s own will is in the matter, or pay the penalty.

captaindh00m's avatar

ah—no. free will is a wonderful thing.The Old testament tells the story of pissing God off and getting your teeth kicked in, but after God sends Jesus down to Earth, that story is pretty much over and god becomes a more hippie-ish laid back version of himself, where you choose to do his bidding in order to make him happy—in the same way that you clean your room so your mom’s not so angry.

Harp's avatar

Free will is a wonderful thing, but couldn’t it also be said that slaves had freedom of will in that they could choose to run away if they wanted too? Freedom of will simply means that one can make a choice, but not that certain choices won’t be punished.

There have been lots of historical examples of slaves who cared deeply for their masters and sought their best interests and approval. What makes a slave a slave is not that he dislikes his master and is forced to do things he’d rather not do (that could be said of lots of modern-day employees); What makes a slave a slave is that he can’t leave the service of the master without being punished.

Knotmyday's avatar

Sooo… If we’ve established that “yes” is the correct answer, do you think god sub-contracts? I have some landscaping that needs to get done.

nayeight's avatar

Haha, this was funny! I really really do love Hello Kitty though…

Harp's avatar

One last thing, then I’ll stop monopolizing this discussion. St. Paul is pretty unambiguous about this question when he says, at Romans 6:22, “But now that you have been freed from sin and have become God’s slaves, the benefit you reap is sanctification, and the result is eternal life.”

steveakimbo's avatar

No. We are God’s children. We appreciate God’s blessings and we try to demonstrating His love here on Earth.

scamp's avatar

Nope.

TheHaight's avatar

I second the Nope.

aaronou's avatar

If we’d focus a little bit on the central theme of Jesus’ ministry, loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and the second (which is said to be like the preceding), loving your neighbor as yourself, then perhaps we can better grasp just how it is we are to make use of the elements around us. To put it more simply, one is to love God WITH all that they have, not over and against everything. Thus, a Christian does not set everything else aside and become a hermit. Rather, a Christian, it seems, is called to use their money, to use their possessions, to use their time, to use everythingand worship God with them. And perhaps it can be said that Jesus was attempting to point out that the best way to do this is through relationships. In other words, I tend to think that Jesus says to “love your neighbor as yourself” immediately following his prounounement of loving God because he is attempting to shed light on the fact that loving others is the primary way in which one shows love for God.

That being said, to be a slave of God would mean to give your life fully to this life of love, or more specifically, this life of holy love. Paul does indeed use this reference in a number of paradigms throughout his writing, whether it be slaves of God, slaves of Christ, slaves of righteousness, etc. His usage of slave is meant to emphasize that a believer in Christ is not their own, that as he says, they are “bought at a price”, the price of a sacrificial love, and that they themselves are to become “living sacrifices”. Thus, slave is not used to speak of something that is forced or unforced, something that is punishable or unpunishable. Paul is merely referring to the way in which this love for God ought to entirely capture one’s life so. For instance, when Paul says that before becoming believers in Christ, they are “slaves to sin”, he is clearly meaning that one is fully encompassed by sin. Or perhaps if I said I were a slave to work, most would understand me to mean that I commit every bit of myself to work, that I am a workaholic. The same comparison is used to speak of being slaves to loving God.

kimmielittleone's avatar

To answer clearly…No. The giving of this gift ( God’s love ) is given to U/us freely. To be a slave is to lose the right of free choice.

Just my thoughts
kimmie

kimmielittleone's avatar

Do I have an obligation when I accept H/his gift.?

Yes. It is mine to service, freely.

kimmie

Knotmyday's avatar

Kimmie: What? Are you proselytizing?

kimmielittleone's avatar

I am not “proselytizing”. I made a statement of fact, AS I see it.

The question begs not for “proselytizing” but O/our feeling.

Just my thoughts
kimmie

Knotmyday's avatar

Gift with “obligation” sounds more like “loan, to be repaid.” Not really a gift, per se.

kimmielittleone's avatar

Y/you have a right to see it that way.

I chose not to. ~softsmile~

Just my thoughts
kimmie

kimmielittleone's avatar

Freedom it’self.. an obligation.? It isn’t free. ~smile~

Just my thoughts
kimmie

Knotmyday's avatar

Freedom= human right.

kimmielittleone's avatar

Freedom = free will.

Do I see the trap that Y/you are trying to ensnare me with.? Yes.
Will I be ensnared. No

~exercising my free will.~
Just my thoughts
kimmie

Knotmyday's avatar

Debate= trap?

kimmielittleone's avatar

Trap = The means used to ensnare.

TheHaight's avatar

why do you write just my thoughts, Kimmie EVERYTIME?

kimmielittleone's avatar

@Knot…

I chose to see Fluther as a place to help and get help with those things I wonder at.
Debate is great. To me, “debate” and “discuss” hold two entirely different meanings.

Fluther was not advertised to me as a podium of debate.

The Q was asked, “Do Christians or Jews see themselves as God’s slaves? ”.
The Q doesn’t beg U/us to defend or explain.
Simply, It ask’d our thought/feeling toward the Q.
As a Christian, I answered, No.

So, I did not proselytize my answer.
I saw no reason to defend or explain.

Y/your trap is to have me proselytize.
With all do respect, I see no need.

Again, just my thoughts
kimmie

kimmielittleone's avatar

@The…..

Because when it all comes down to it…It is… just my thoughts. ~smile~

I seek to change no one.

Just my thoughts
kimmie
nity nite

TheHaight's avatar

just to let you know, we/I know it is “just your thoughts” because your name is states clearly in your username, and it should just be YOUR thoughts (that is, youre not really… You) and that’s good that you seek to change no one, but it seems like just what i’ve witnesseed in this thread is that youre trying to hard.

Just my thoughts,
Hannah.

TheHaight's avatar

Your name is stated*

kimmielittleone's avatar

Noted… thank Y/you.

gooch's avatar

Not a slave but forever in debt to my God by choice!

Knotmyday's avatar

Sounds like a credit nightmare.

steelmarket's avatar

The apostle Paul says that Christians are bondslaves to Christ. A bondslave was a slave who was freed by his master but decided to stay working for that master because they loved the master and their work. To show their new status (they were proud of it), they had one of their ears pierced.

Now, back in Roman times, a great many slaves were technical workers, business managers, etc. Quite a few high government officials were slaves. The situation was, for the most part, nothing like the black slave situation here 150 years ago.

Christians by and large believe that Jesus freed them from slavery to sin. That means they still can be tempted and commit sins, but He will forgive them when they do. And, they were also exempted from having to follow all the thousand laws in the Old Testament. Stuff like “do not steal your neighbor’s cow” is now covered under “Treat other people as you like to be treated”.

scamp's avatar

@steelmarket Great answer!

Knotmyday's avatar

“That means they still can be tempted and commit sins, but He will forgive them when they do.”
What a great deal! Do what you want, say you’re sorry, go to heaven!
Almost makes you wonder why the Inquisition ever took place.

Harp's avatar

@steelmarket
Re: “The apostle Paul says that Christians are bondslaves to Christ. A bondslave was a slave who was freed by his master but decided to stay working for that master…”

The word Paul actually uses here is not a noun, but the verb δουλωθέντες, which Strong’s Greek dictionary defines simply as “to enslave”, without specifying the exact terms of that enslavement. The same verb is used at Acts 7:6, “God spoke to him in this way: ‘Your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.” The word itself doesn’t carry the meaning you ascribe of a “freed” slave; that’s a matter of interpretation.

teacher_mom2's avatar

No, we are not slaves to God. Slaves are forced to obey. We (Christians) CHOOSE to obey.

bulldog_55037's avatar

@harp

The word enslaved and mistreated in Acts 7:6 refers to being in slave to evil(sin) hence generational curses until you have given your life to Christ, as a christian I do not feel enslave to Christ. I follow Christ because I love Christ and everything I have belongs to him and he has intrusted me with them even my kids they are gifts of god given to me to care for as he cares for me. He has given me the tools to teach them as they grow to follow him as I do

Harp's avatar

@bulldog
I totally appreciate what you’re saying, and I’m not trying to tell Christians what they should feel. I just find it curious that in the first century you have Christians constantly and proudly calling themselves “slaves of Christ”, but no one here on Fluther sems willing to make the same claim. Since modern Christians often refer to those early Christians as examples, I wonder why that is.

grayreason's avatar

I dont see how they cant…its either live by the rules of the bible or be damned to hell. Seems like forced servitude to me.

dblgeek's avatar

As a Jew, I feel no such thing. I don’t even believe in G-d, but I still consider myself a Jew. Therefore, I do not consider myself a slave to G-d.

TheKNYHT's avatar

As previously mentioned, apostles such as Paul and John referred to themselves as bond slaves of Jesus Christ. They borrow the term from the Old Testament exercise whereby an indentured servant that leases out their services to pay off a debt, finds life with their master far better and pleasant than life before hand. Perhaps he is better fed, clothed, and sheltered through the benevolence of their master than they were trying to make it on their own. Any indentured servant would have to be released at the year of Jubilee, regardless if the debt was paid off or not. Once released however, he may decide to stay with his master for life. This is the bond slave, or in the Greek, a “doulos”. That is a willing slave for life. To commemorate this event, they would take the slave to the door post of the house, drive an aul (finely pointed instrument) through his ear, and slip a gold earring into it.
We Christians recognize that Christ paid a debt for us that we never could, and as a result of this, we love our Master, and desire to be His for a life time (and beyond), thus we are not coerced, but are willing slaves/servants. Yet Christ is not content to leave us there, He promotes us to His friends, as stated in John’s Gospel, and from there, brings us to brotherhood (as mentioned in the same gospel).
In conclusion, to dedicate oneself to Christ, its an ‘aul’ or nothing deal! ; )

VoteAudrey's avatar

It took quite a few answers, but I’m glad to see some actually answering the question asked. In both the OT and NT (so for Jews & Christians alike), you will see mention of servanthood. Most critical in differentiation between the two religions is the relationship with Christ, and differences within Christian denominations exist based on what is been referenced above, the Greek word, “doulos.” Dr. John MacArthur, a Christian theologian, answers this questions succinctly here: http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/A276

erniefernandez's avatar

Christians: Usually say the rules in the Bible are meant for their liberation as by having clear rules, they’re free from the burden of always wondering what they should or shouldn’t do, but are confronted with all kinds of internal turmoil as they realize that there’s a lot of rules in the Bible and they’re really hard to follow.

They default to (A) anything that Jesus said and (B) Old Testament laws cherry-picked to meet their, or their pastor’s, sensibilities, like bans on premarital sex or homosexual activity, but not on shellfish/pork and work on Saturday.

Jews: Jews are divided into more or less three large groups: Hassidic Jews, Orthodox Jews, and Reform/Liberal Jews.

Hassidic Jews follow an Eastern European tradition of wearing wide-brimmed hats and taking the whole Old Testament literally. They’re not “Orthodox”, since only Eastern European Jews and their descendants act this way.

Orthodox Jews are a little more philosophical and interpret the Old Testament with relative uniformity across the world. They follow all the rules, except the really dated ones (ex: slavery), and aren’t literalists.

Liberal/Reform Jews follow only some of the rules, accepting most of them as dated. Kosher food is optional, for example, as it is no longer practical and now more of a personal sacrafice.

In all three instances of Jew-dom, Jews do not see the rules as meant to control them, but give them freedom to operate without concern, but especially the literalist Hassidics. Imagine how liberating it must be to have simple choices made for you.

You have time to worry about more important stuff!

jbradc's avatar

Not as slave but as servant.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45

So if we as Christians are to follow the example of Jesus then we are to serve Jesus and others.

qsychoblivious's avatar

Can you guys really say you ”chose” to obey when the consequence of disobedience is the highest possible punishment, to burn forever in a torturous hell? I completely agree with Harp.

Nullo's avatar

What @jbradc said.

@qsychoblivious You misunderstand the nature of grace. The consequences of disobedience are a lousier relationship with God, not eternal hellfire and damnation. Provided, of course, that you’re already saved.

GrumpyGram's avatar

Slaves? We are supposed to obey the law. Are we slaves to the local police dept? And the schools: we are told to obey school rules. Are we slaves to the schools?

manofgod's avatar

Yes in the way that we are suppose to do all the things he wants.Like to keep his commanments I would rather be homeless in heaven than a king in hell

manofgod's avatar

Better to have your last supper with christ. Than your first breakfast in hell

Thammuz's avatar

@manofgod hell has the most interesting company though. Only boring people end up in heaven. Mick Jagger, Ronnie James Dio, hell pretty much anyone famous is gonna end up in hell for making himself an idol and i’d rather have breakfast with them that with a bunch of pansies whose high point in life was when they ended up first in the fastest prayer competition at their local church’s christmas party.

nicobanks's avatar

Perhaps you are confusing slavery with subjection.

Trissinger's avatar

No, as God’s children. But to also seek to obey and honour the Trinity as thoroughly as slaves often would. (For Orthodox Jews and Christians, that is. But for many Jewish people, they may not even believe in the existence of a god. They may be athiests or adherents to some other religion, yet still ‘culturally’ Jewish.)

For Christians, they (we—- I include myself here) generally sense and acknowledge and experience the direct love of God the Father in our lives, and the love of our brother and King, Jesus (Yeshua)—- we don’t feel or think of ourselves as “slaves”—- its a choice we’ve made to bend our wills to God’s and we are convinced that God has our best interests at heart, as any good and wholesome earthly father would also; whereas slaves don’t have much of a choice, not do they feel or sense that they are cared about much by their masters.

Thammuz's avatar

@Trissinger whereas slaves don’t have much of a choice, not do they feel or sense that they are cared about much by their masters.

Seeing how god supposedly has authority on everyone, and not only on those who choose to submit themselves to it, plus the abysmal living conditions of a good ⅔ of the world’s population, with a sizable portion of those ⅔ being, ostensibly, christian in some form or another, I’d say you fall into your definition of slaves if you take in account Battered Person Syndrome.

Trissinger's avatar

@Thammuz Seeing how god supposedly has authority on everyone…

Care to clarify?

Thammuz's avatar

@Trissinger what’s there to clarify? The bible states quite clearly that a) he is the “one true god” (quite the bold statement considering there’s as much evidence supporting him that there is supporting Thor) and b) that all those who don’t believe in him will be judged and damned to hell.

Nowhere does it say “but if you don’t want to be judged by me, that’s ok, just take a left when you enter the afterlife and you’ll be allowed to pick from any other deity.”

He, supposedly, has authority on every human being, whether he/she likes it or not.

Scream1's avatar

God has authority on everything and one. it says in the bible that we’re God’s children. If we were slaves, wouldn’t He be working our butts off? Believing Him is an easy thing for anyone, and if you don’t then, hey, it is what it is. I’m a Christian, but don’t worry, I’m not one of those annoying hate-other-religions ones. :)

xxxporkxsodexxx, you’re offended me. ‘I hate Christians and Jews’? That’s a lot of people to hate, including myself. Rude. Pretty jacked-up because I’m sure there are a lot of Christians who uses Fluther.

Thammuz's avatar

@Scream1 Believing Him is an easy thing for anyone

I beg to differ. To me it is hard to believe ludicrous unsupported stories written and rewritten across the centuries.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I feel more like a greatly loved son than I ever do like a slave.

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