September 25th, 2009
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Upon reading the entirety of 2 Thessalonians 2, this seems to be referring to the followers of the anti-Christ. It seems that some had been saying that the day of the Lord had already come, perhaps being led by the anti-Christ, or Satan.
It is then suggested by this verse that God specifically gives these people powerful delusions, makes them believe the lies that they have been told, and then condemns them for believing. It does seem as if it is suggested that they are already unrighteous beforehand and that God implants in them a firm belief in these lies, setting them in stone by forcing delusion upon them. Even if they sought the truth, they would not find it, as they are imprisoned by their delusion. Any way you slice it, a god that forces people to believe lies and then condemns them for doing so is immoral.
September 23rd, 2009
20 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die under his hand; he shall be surely punished.
21 Notwithstanding, if he continue a day or two, he shall not be punished: for he is his money.
In Exodus 21, the words for he is his money are often read as for he is is property in other translations. Some have suggested the the term smite implies that they were struck only once in the wrong place, while the term beat implies that they were struck several times.
They suggest that the law is to protect the slaves from masters who would strike them and accidentally kill them and is supposed to discourage people from beating their slaves. When you read through the various translations of the verse, you find that the term beat is used most often, followed by strike and smite. What you’re doing however, is arguing semantics over something that has been translated from a completely different language. What we are looking for is not the specific language used but the meaning of the language used.
It appears obvious that the author of the passage intended it to mean beat, as is evidenced by the various translations coming to the same conclusion. Whether hit once or several times, this passage still protects masters who would beat their slaves as long as they got up before two days. Additionally, it is possible to cause damage to certain blood vessels that will cause a person to appear fine until put under sufficient strain to cause the vessel to rupture and kill him or her. This means that this law could protect a master who beat his slave, caused such damage, yet had the slave die three days later while trying to lift something heavy. That being said, it is clear that the author of the Book of Exodus is suggesting that it is perfectly acceptable to not only own slaves but also beat them within an inch of their life, as long as they can get up and walk within one or two days.
Modern morality understands that such actions are assault and are immoral, no matter what the circumstances are. Not only did Biblical law allow the owning of slaves, but it also put laws in place to protect evil and abusive masters. Anyone with a heart can tell that this is simply unacceptable.