MAINSTREAMING PAGANISM IN THE CHURCH
JOHN MACARTHUR’S “CHRISTIAN SLAVERY”
Source: John MacArthur’s Slave Book Trailer (1:04 minutes)
(click on link or photo to view video in new window)
“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said’...” Gen 3:1
Since John MacArthur and liberal scholars have redefined the Greek word doulos as slave, a veritable Pandora’s Box of evils has been opened for reinterpretation of the New Testament as a historical document implicating Christianity in the Roman slave trade. There is now no end of contempt for sound doctrine as a horde of blind guides invent bizarre interpretations of Scriptural texts, as if from a mysterious unidentifiable playbook.
John MacArthur plays his part well, working both sides of the religious spectrum. On one hand, speaking to his theologically conservative audience, MacArthur credits the positive influence of Christianity in abolishing the institution of slavery in the Roman Empire. On the other hand, references in his Slave book lead to theologically liberal and even rabidly anti-Christian sources which blame Christianity for the physical abuse and sexual exploitation of slaves in the Greco-Roman Empire.
The following is John MacArthur defending the positive influence of Christianity on a Grace To You program, but note well the source he quotes:
“It is significant that the New Testament nowhere attacks slavery directly. Had Jesus and the apostles done so, the result would have been chaos. Any slave insurrection would have been brutally crushed, and the slaves massacred. The gospel would have been swallowed up by the message of social reform. Further, right relations between slaves and masters made it a workable social institution, if not an ideal one.
“Christianity, however, sowed the seeds of the destruction of slavery. It would be destroyed not by social upheaval, but by changed hearts. The book of Philemon illustrates that principle. Paul does not order Philemon to free Onesimus, or teach that slavery is evil. But by ordering Philemon to treat Onesimus as a brother (Philem. 16; cf. Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1), Paul eliminated the abuses of slavery. Marvin Vincent comments, ‘The principles of the gospel not only curtailed [slavery’s] abuses, but destroyed the thing itself; for it could not exist without its abuses. To destroy its abuses was to destroy it’ (Vincent, Philemon, p. 167).” (The Apostle Paul & Slavery, July 19, 2013)
According to Marvin Vincent, quoted by MacArthur, Christians cannot be slaves of God, for God does not abuse His people. This is true, however...
Marvin R. Vincent (1834-1922) was professor of New Testament exegesis and criticism at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Union Theological Seminary was funded by John D. Rockefeller for the purpose of transitioning Christian churches from the gospel of Jesus Christ to the “social gospel” which John MacArthur preaches against. The following excerpts from James Wardner’s Unholy Alliances (1996) describes the deleterious impact of Union Theological Seminary on the Christian Church:
“No doubt some influence was placed upon the seminary by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. who helped the seminary’s 1922 endowment drive with a gift of $1,083,333... Dr. Harry Ward, a long recognized leader of the National Council of Churches... was a professor of ‘Christian Ethics’ at Union Theological Seminary in New York City for 25 years during which time he influenced thousands of seminary students... He perverted several generations of American ministry...as Professor of Christian Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York, a subsidiary of the Rockefeller Octopus... He...is credited with influencing many ministers toward the ‘Social Gospel’ and the Communist Party.” (Unholy Alliances, pp, 148, 152, 159)
The socialist agenda of the Rockefeller philanthropies was exposed in 1952 in Emmanuel Josephson’s exposé, Rockefeller Internationalist. Whereas the gospel of Jesus Christ has brought about the liberation of slaves, the “social gospel” is a pretext for enslaving mankind in a “new social order”—“a ‘Servile State’, a state of slaves”:
“The mask of religiosity, combined with the sham of pseudo-philanthropy, was invaluable in blinding the public to the true nature of the activities of the Rockefeller interests. He held close and purposeful control, both direct and indirect, over the activities of the ‘philanthropies’ and over the frankly commercial and political activities of the [Rockefeller] Empire….
“Though there were antitrust laws that barred Rockefeller from attaining his objective of monopoly in business, there was no barrier to his attaining it through ‘philanthropy’… Rockefeller and Carnegie merged their foundations, in effect, with an agreement to collaborate…to retain control for the Rockefellers of all the activities fostered and all profits, actual and potential, tangible and intangible, derived therefrom, while forcing others to assume the bulk of the costs….
“The clear-cut statement of Rockefeller’s purpose in his ‘philanthropies’ has never been lost to sight by the Rockefellers or their agents. That purpose from the start, was, and still is, a ‘new social order,’ the establishment of a dictatorship in the United States. The objective is to convert our republic into a totalitarian state,...a ‘Servile State’, a state of slaves.” (Emanuel Josephson, Rockefeller “Internationalist,” pp. 35, 73-4, 90)
In 1893, Marvin R. Vincent was a participant in the Parliament of World Religions. This was mentioned in The Unitarian periodical along with Vincent’s contribution to “church unity,” which downgraded the doctrine of Biblical infallibility and authority.
“The church unity in which we all believe, for which we all hope, is coming in genuine Anglo-Saxon fashion practically instead of theoretically. And one is inclined to ask whether pending controversies about the Bible will not come to an end in about the same way. In proportion as ‘The Personal Factor in Biblical Inspiration,’ of which Martin R. Vincent treats, is recognized and made use of in the inspiration of present personalities,—that is, as the Bible gets into practical use and prophetic living,—we shall less and less about its infallibility and its authority.” (The Unitarian, pp. 184, 429)
Theologically, Marvin R. Vincent was a Universalist who taught the universal salvation of all mankind. His four volume Word Studies in the New Testament (1887) redefined Greek words such as aionios which is traditionally translated as eternal when describing the duration of hell:
“Another key point within the Christian Universalist theology is the understanding that mistranslations exist in many modern English translations of the Bible. One of the most significant translation errors is that of the Greek word αιών (Lit. aion). This Greek word is the origin of the modern English word ‘eon’. However, this word is often translated as ‘eternal’, in the context of eternal punishment/torment or eternal life. In his tetralogy called Word Studies in the New Testament, the 19th century theologian Marvin Vincent wrote:
“Aion, transliterated aeon, is a period of longer or shorter duration, having a beginning and an end, and complete in itself. Aristotle (peri ouravou, i. 9,15) says: ‘The period which includes the whole time of one’s life is called the aeon of each one.’ Hence it often means the life of a man, as in Homer, where one’s life (aion) is said to leave him or to consume away (Iliad v. 685; Odyssey v. 160). It is not, however, limited to human life; it signifies any period in the course of events, as the period or age before Christ; the period of the millennium; the mythological period before the beginnings of history....
“The adjective aionios in like manner carries the idea of time. Neither the noun nor the adjective, in themselves, carry the sense of endless or everlasting. They may acquire that sense by their connotation, as, on the other hand, aidios, which means everlasting, has its meaning limited to a given point of time in Jude 6. Aionios means enduring through or pertaining to a period of time. Both the noun and the adjective are applied to limited periods....
“Words which are habitually applied to things temporal or material cannot carry in themselves the sense of endlessness. Even when applied to God, we are not forced to render aionios everlasting. Of course the life of God is endless; but the question is whether, in describing God as aionios, it was intended to describe the duration of his being, or whether some different and larger idea was not contemplated.” (Universalism)
Marvin R. Vincent would be referring to the following verses in which aionios is translated “eternal” or “everlasting” in the KJV:
Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Hebrews 6:2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
Like John MacArthur, who assured his followers that, should they choose to take the Mark of the Beast, they can still be saved (Part 1), Marvin R. Vincent offered sinners, not the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, but the false security of no eternal punishment in hell.
J. ALBERT HARRILL
“Rejecting the old ‘biblical theology’ approach... I do deny that appeals to ‘what the Bible says’ can serve as a foundation for Christian moral arguments...”
The author of Historical Jesus Studies in the New Millennium, Mark Allan Powell (Ph.D Union Theological Seminary), wrote in 2004, “The flurry and the furor of historical Jesus studies that marked the 1990s is over. The Jesus Seminar has gone on to study Paul and creeds.” Fulfilling Powell’s prediction has been a torrent of books and studies on this subject written by scholars of various New Testament research societies spawned by the Jesus Seminar.
Presently there is a strange fascination among these New Testament scholars with the subject of slavery, specifically equating Christian “slaves of God” with the institution of slavery in the Roman Empire. This is precisely the theme of John MacArthur’s book, Slave, and of the multitude of heretical books quoted therein as evidence for his teaching.
Among these heretical sources, John MacArthur quoted J. Albert Harrill’s book, Slaves in the New Testament:
“When we survey the New Testament, we quickly find that the term ‘slave of Christ’ was not reserved for low-level believers or spiritual neophytes. The apostles eagerly embraced the title for themselves and also used it to refer to others in ministry. It is not surprising, then, to find slave imagery used frequently throughout their epistles in reference to the Christian life. Slavery was a fitting metaphor, as one historian explains:
‘The experience of enslavement was [a] perfect [illustration] for an ancient audience. Like a slave, the [Christian] convert experienced the violent psychological force of personal upheaval, the social dishonor of turning away from one’s family and traditional culture, and the natal alienation of losing one’s whole past identity—getting a new name, having to learn a new language and worldview, and forming new kinship relations.’ 32 ...
“32. J. Albert Harrill, Slaves in the New Testament (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006), 32. Earlier, Harrill explained that ‘the figure of the slave provides a powerful and compelling idiom through which to articulate Christian community formation and self-definition precisely because early Christians shared with wider ‘pagan’ society the same set of cultural assumptions, literary tropes, and social stereotyping of the slave’ (31–32).” (John MacArthur, Slave, pp. 37-38)
Did the early Christians “share with wider ‘pagan’ society the same set of cultural assumptions, literary tropes, and social stereotyping of the slave?” Or were their minds renewed by the Word of God to remove the cultural divisions of slave and free? “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:28) Is conversion to Jesus Christ a “violent psychological force of personal upheaval,” “turning away from one’s family and traditional culture,” “having to learn a new language and worldview,” etc.
What a bleak picture of conversion to Christ! Instead of the miracle of deliverance from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, of passing from death to life (John 5:24; 1 John 3:14), the reader is assaulted with the image of a slave who has been violently forced from his happy home and driven to a foreign land where he will endure a lifetime of abuse and humiliation. Has the author of Slave, who views the Christian life as slavery and Jesus Christ as a slave driver, ever personally experienced the new birth? (See: John MacArthur's (non)Conversion Statement)
Prior to his professorship in the Department of History at Ohio State University, James Albert Harrill was a professor in the religious studies/theology departments of several Roman Catholic universities and the Rockefeller-founded/funded University of Chicago, where he obtained his Masters and Ph.D. degrees:
“J. Albert Harrill received the B.A. (highest honors) in religious studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1986), M.A. and Ph.D. in New Testament and early Christian literature from the University of Chicago (1989, 1993). Before coming to OSU in 2012, he taught for a decade in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he received a distinguished teaching award and directed the College of Arts and Sciences Program in Ancient Studies. Previously he had taught on the religious studies and/or theology faculties of Boston University, DePaul University, Creighton University, and the Catholic Theological Union. He has also been a visiting professor of New Testament at the University of Chicago Divinity School.” (J. Albert Harrill, Faculty Professor)
The full title of J. Albert Harrill’s book, which MacArthur quotes, is Slaves in the New Testament: Literary, Social, and Moral Dimensions. Prof. Harrill states at the outset that he rejects “the old ‘biblical theology’ approach” and interprets passages of Scripture as a literary device, comparing them to Greek and Roman theater. Harrill subscribes to the view that early Christian “writings” were part of the literary genre that sustained the institution of slavery through drama in the ancient Mediterranean world.
For example, Harrill contends that “Rhoda, the slave maid in Acts 12:13-16,” was a fictional character created by Luke as an “artificial stock figure from Roman comedy” to mock slaves; and that “both Rhoda and the dishonest manager [in Luke 16] are made up and play to ancient slave-holding tastes and sensibilities.” (Harrill, p. 4)
J. Albert Harrill would eviscerate the New Testament of its truth and spiritual power. Luke is portrayed as making up events in his Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles. Peter’s miraculous release from prison is reduced to a piece of fiction and the parable of the unjust steward a “farce” to humor and entertain the congregation.
“Chapter 3 (‘The Comedy of Slavery in Story and Parable’) examines Rhoda (Acts 12:13–16) and the dishonest manager (Luke 16:1–8). Harrill concludes that neither of these pericopes crafted by Luke reports a real-life Mediterranean story. Each presents a literary characterization drawn from Roman slave comedy. Rhoda is a running slave (serva currens) who provides comic relief for the next scene, in which friends will meet Peter marvelously rescued from jail. In the dishonest manager story, Luke combines the parasite (parasitus) with the clever slave (servus callidus) to produce a farce. With this parable Luke exhorts his audience to play the burlesque of the dishonest manager in daily life. It was his way of presenting the social implications of rich patrons entering the congregation.” (John Pilch, Society of Biblical Literature Review, p. 2)
Harrill also posits that the “slave of sin” in Romans 7 was not Paul himself but “a fictive ‘I,’ a technique of speech-in-character (prosopopoiia) familiar in Greco-Roman rhetoric and literature...a character whose speech represents not that of the author but that of another person or an invented persona.” (Harrill, p. 18)
“Chapter 1 (‘The Slave Self: Paul and the Discursive ‘I’ ’) focuses on Rom 7, in which Paul draws upon the persona of a captured war slave suffering an identity crisis because of alienation from its rightful owner. This character serves as a rhetorical device for Paul to think about community, social categorization, hierarchy, and one’s relation to the divine.” (Pilch, p. 2)
According to Harrill, Paul also slanders his rivals (teachers of the law) as “slave traders” and calls slaves of Christians “domestic enemies.”
“Chapter 5 examines 1 Tim 1:9–10 (‘The Vice of the Slave Trader’) from the perspective of another stock literary figure, the slave trader. The author of 1 Timothy attacked rival teachers by calling them ‘slave traders,’ a metaphorical term of abuse. With this strategy, the sacred author sought to influence opinion in the congregation toward accepting his teachings and rejecting those of his rivals. Chapter 6 (‘The Domestic Enemy: Household Slaves in Early Christian Apologies and Accounts of Martyrdom’) examines two notions: the ancient maxim ‘you have as many enemies as you have slaves’ and its implications; and the stories concerning slaves in martyrdom accounts. The worst deed of a slave as domestic enemy was reporting his Christian owner to the authorities.” (Pilch, p. 2)
Paul did not call the Judaizers slave traders but was explaining that God gave the Mosaic Law to punish the lawless and disobedient, which includes “menstealers”:
“Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm. But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine...” (1 Tim 1:7-10)
Prof. Harrill appears to be defending the Judaizers, which is a common thread in the books of skeptics and atheists. Most of the early heresies and non-canonical writings were, in fact, produced in the Jewish school of Alexandria in Egypt. (See: The Alexandrian Gnostics)
JENNIFER A. GLANCY
“Where’s the good news?”
By means of his deceptive translation of doulos in the context of New Testament doctrine, John MacArthur seriously misrepresents the gospel of Jesus Christ, as a “slave/master relationship.” Moreover, he exhorts Christians to present the gospel using those terms, knowing full well that the prospect of becoming a slave will repel rather than draw people to the Savior:
“The truth of God’s Word is always countercultural, and the notion of becoming a slave is certainly no exception. In fact, it is difficult to imagine a concept more distasteful to modern sensibilities than that of slavery. Western society, in particular, places a high premium on personal liberty and freedom of choice. So, to present the good news in terms of a slave/master relationship runs contrary to everything our culture holds dear. Such an approach is controversial, confrontational, and politically incorrect. Yet that is precisely the way the Bible speaks about what it means to follow Christ.” (Slave, p. 41)
As support for his gospel of slavery, MacArthur references Jennifer Glancy in four different places in his book, Slave. In the following citation, Glancy’s name is not found in the text but in the endnote 13 pages later. The subheading for this excerpt from Chapter 3 is “Slavery in the Teaching of Jesus”:
“In presenting the gospel through the lens of slavery, we are following the example of Jesus Himself. Our Lord neither advocated nor denounced the institution of slavery as it existed in His day. But he found it an apt analogy to illustrate certain truths about the gospel and the kingdom of God. As one scholar explains:
‘Jesus routinely evoked the figure of the slave in his teachings.... For modern commentators, slaves and slavery have often been, first and foremost, metaphorical. For Jesus, slaves and slavery were part of the fabric of everyday life. Jesus relied on the figure of the slave in his discourse not because the trope of slavery was part of his philosophical and rhetorical inheritance, but because slaves were ubiquitous in the world in which he lived: cooking food, harvesting grain, and absorbing blows.’1 (Slave, p. 41)
“1. Jennifer A. Glancy, Slavery in Early Christianity (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006), 129. In the Gospels, for example, both a Gentile centurion (Luke 7:2-10) and the Jewish high priest (Matt. 26:51; Mark 14:47; Luke 22:50; John 18:10, 17-18, 26) are noted as being slave owners.” (Slave, p. 54)
Jennifer A. Glancy is Professor of Religious Studies at Le Moyne College, which was founded by the Jesuit Order in 1946. “Glancy has served as the Catholic Biblical Association Visiting Professor at L’École Biblique in Jerusalem in 2004 and as chair of the Bible and Cultural Studies section of the Society of Biblical Literature. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literature, Biblical Interpretation, and Religion Compass.” (Jennifer A. Glancy) Glancy was also “Instructor of Biblical Greek, Union Theological Seminary, NYC, Summer 1988.” (See: Rockefeller funding)
Professor Glancy’s field of study is “Christian slavery” which is also the subject of her other books: Slavery as Moral Problem: In the Early Church and Today (Oxford University Press, 2011) and Corporal Knowledge: Early Christian Bodies (Oxford University Press, 2010). Glancy’s Slavery in Early Christianity was selected for Oxford Scholarship Online. Her research into the “feminist sexual ethics” of Christian slavery has been funded by Ford Foundation:
“She pursued further research on the gendered implications of early Christian slavery for the Ford Foundation-funded Feminist Sexual Ethics Project at Brandeis University.” (Jennifer A. Glancy)
For over a century, Oxford University has been a planning and training center for world government and universal religion. Ford Foundation grants are given to Oxford University for globalist and feminist projects, for example, $40,000 for an international symposium on Chinese women and feminist thought. Ford Foundation also funds the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
The Council on Foreign Relations is the U.S. counterpart of the British Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA). Both are outgrowths of the Round Table conceived by Cecil Rhodes for the establishment of a world government dominated by Israel. Like John MacArthur’s organization and publications, the CFR is a front for the Zionist New World Order comprised of prominent conservative leaders who are in bed with liberals. The following statements in Wardner’s Unholy Alliances and Michael Howard’s Occult Conspiracy reveal the modus operandi and common agenda of the strange bedfellows in the CFR:
“The Council plays a special part in helping to bridge the gap between the two parties, affording unofficially a measure of continuity when the guard changes in Washington. In theory at least, the Council comes close to being an organ of what C. Wright Mills has called the Power Elite—a group of men, similar in interest and outlook, shaping events from invulnerable positions behind the scenes... It has been called a government in exile.” (Wardner, Unholy Alliances, 1996, p. 131)
“The CFR’s apparent contradictory political ideals are said to be typical of modern Illuminati front groups which allegedly use both right and left ideologies to further their cause which transcends conventional politics. ...the CFR is currently dedicated to destroying the sovereignty of the United States, reversing the democratic process which instigated the 1776 American Revolution, promoting internationalism and the foundation of a world super state embracing both capitalism and communism in a new political order.” (Howard, Occult Conspiracy, p. 166)
John MacArthur has more than a few connections with Power Elites, including the Council on Foreign Relations. Albert Mohler, who is a keynote speaker at MacArthur’s annual Shepherds’ Conference, is President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of “Focus on the Family,” which is an NGO of the UN. Mohler is also a Founding Fellow of the Research Institute of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention (ERLC), another NGO of the UN. (ECOSOC) The former President of the ERLC, Richard Land, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. (CFR Membership)
John MacArthur’s The Master’s College has recently entered into a long-term partnership with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) which dictates policy to the United States government. The newly-founded Masters Institute on Public Issues was formed in order to educate pastors in free market economics. The AEI leadership (i.e. Trustees, Scholars, and Fellows) is comprised of Bilderbergers, numerous CFR members, the former Governor of the Federal Reserve System, the former President of the World Bank, Trilateral Commission members, as well as representatives to the United Nations. (See: TMC-AEI Partnership)
NOTE: As of 11/20/13, The Master’s College has removed every trace of this new Master’s Institute on Public Issues from its website and it now appears as a mere one-time forum instead of a long-term partnership with AEI. However, Jack Cox’s disclosure of the long-term partnership is recorded on this video in the closing remarks:
“Christianity, Values & American Public Policy Forum hosted by The Master's College”
Returning to Jennifer Glancy, she was a presenter at a 2006 conference of the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project at Brandeis University on the subject Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Sexual Legacy. In her speech, Glancy blamed Jesus Christ, the apostle Paul and the early Christian Church for the exploitation of slaves in the Roman Empire and the Church for sexual exploitation today:
“Slavery and the sexual availability of slaves in the Roman Empire helped form Christian sexual ethics. Jesus of Nazareth enjoined his followers to act as slaves, not to liberate their slaves. Early Christian theologians were indifferent to the moral dilemmas of slaves who were not in a position to say ‘no’. This early Christian complicity in the sexual exploitation of slaves disturbs me. Even more disturbing is the realization of the many ways that American culture today prejudges the morality of human bodies based on their gender and social status: rich, poor, Black, White, Native American, Latino/a, male, female. For example, rapists of Black women receive fewer convictions and lighter prison sentences than rapists of White women. This insult is consistent with an ancient tradition that treats low-status women as lacking the right to protect the privacy and integrity of their own bodies. Indifference to the moral harm of sexual coercion—an indifference that characterized early Christian sexual ethics—persists today in Christian discourse. Christians today who are horrified to learn of the sexual exploitation of slavery are too often silent about the exploitation of other persons who are not in a position to say ‘no’ to sexual advances—prisoners, for example, and children in homes, churches, and other settings. The Church requires healing. Our Scriptures and rituals offer resources for creative reform of our traditions, and, ultimately, for healing.”
The Jewish Virtual Library states, “Brandeis University, according to its website, is sponsored by prominent Jews and renowned for its Jewish studies.” Scholars who were presenters at the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project Conference on Slavery were recipients of MacArthur Foundation Fellowships:
“Brandeis University is the only secular institution of higher learning in the Diaspora that is both Jewish-sponsored and non-sectarian...
“Brandeis University is especially renowned for its programs in the physical and natural sciences, in history, and in Jewish studies. Its founding president, Abram L. Sachar, was a scholar of Jewish history; in 1968 he retired after two decades, and became chancellor and then chancellor emeritus... Sachar’s successor was an attorney, Morris B. Abram, who had served as president of the American Jewish Committee...
“MacArthur Foundation Fellowships (or ‘genius’ grants) were bestowed on three faculty members: Bernadette Brooten of the Lown School of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, a specialist in the social history of early Christianity; historian Jacqueline Jones, whose expertise combines the history of American women, labor, and African-Americans...” (Jewish Virtual Library)
Jennifer Glancy’s book, Slavery in Early Christianity, seems to give the benefit of the doubt to every other religious and secular group within the Roman Empire, but holds Christianity fully responsible for enabling the Roman institution of slavery.
“Sometime in the fourth or fifth century, a Christian man ordered a bronze collar to encircle the neck of one of his slaves. The inscription on the collar reads: ‘I am the slave of the archdeacon Felix. Hold me so that I do not flee.’ 1. Although the collar purports to speak in the first person for a nameless slave, the voice we hear is not that of the slave but that of the slaveholder. Felix, enraged by a slave’s previous attempts to escape, ordered the collar both to humiliate and to restrain another human being, whom the law classified as his property. The chance survival of this artifact of the early church recalls the overwhelming element of compulsion that operated within the system of slavery, with its use of brute paraphernalia for corporal control. Contemporary sensibilities recoil from such tangible evidence for the inherent violence of ancient slavery. We are likely to consider Christian slaveholders to be hypocrites and to find the notion of Christian slavery oxymoronic. Felix exhibited no awareness of such contradiction: the slave collar he ordered even bears an incised cross. Centuries after Paul wrote to another Christian slaveholder, Philemon, counseling him to act in love toward the runaway slave Onesimus, the otherwise unknown archdeacon, Felix, apparently saw no incongruity in proclaiming simultaneously his status as a leader in the church and his identity as a slaveholder...
“The archdeacon Felix was hardly alone among Christian slaveholders in forcing slaves to wear such paraphernalia. Many slave collars bear Christian iconography, such as the alpha and the omega or the chi-rho figure. So discomforting are these objects that nineteenth-century scholars described them as dog collars rather than acknowledge that ancient Christians regularly bound other persons in such a crude manner. David Thurmond has suggested that most known slave collars are probably from Christian owners.” (Slavery in Early Christianity, pp. 9, 88)
Jennifer Glancy’s documentation of this story appears to be a scholarly publication, the name and author of which are unclear, perhaps deliberately. At least a photo of the slave collar would have been helpful.
“1. Sotgiu, Arch. Class. 25/26 (1973-1974/1979) 688-97. Sotgiu argues that the use of a slave collar represents a merciful alternative to branding on the face. Cited in Reynolds, ‘Roman Inscriptions 1971-5,’ p. 196. Gustafson’s discussion of late antique Christian attitudes toward tattooing should be taken into account in assessing this meliorist hypothesis (‘Inscripte in Fronte’).”
The so-called “Christian” symbols adorning the slave collars are in fact pagan symbols of Greek origin centuries before Christianity.
“The Chi-Rho symbol was also used by pagan Greek scribes to mark, in the margin, a particularly valuable or relevant passage; the combined letters Chi and Rho standing for chrēston, meaning ‘good.’ Some coins of Ptolemy III Euergetes (r. 246–222 BC) were marked with a Chi-Rho.” (Wikipedia)
“The alpha and omega as symbols of eternity pre-existed Christianity, the letters are commonly found in similar context in the pagan mysteries. The omega itself is an ancient symbol of the goddess Ishtar, and originally represented her head-dress (and later that of the goddess Hathor), while the alpha is derived from the ox-horn headdress ascribed to a series of male deities and divine kings.” (Symbol Dictionary)
If Glancy understood the Scriptures, she would discern that Archdeacon Felix, regardless of “his status as a leader in the church,” did not have the testimony of a Christian. Jesus warned, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits...” Matt. 7:15-16
By the fourth or fifth century, Roman Catholicism had been established and, if the account is true, Felix would have been an archdeacon of this apostate Church which integrated Christianity with the pagan culture. Roman Catholicism produces church members, but not Christians, for the Catholic Church teaches a false doctrine of salvation based on human merit rather than the Biblical gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3;10) (See: God’s Way of Salvation)
To prove her case against Christianity, Glancy relies largely on non-canonical, apocryphal and pseudepigraphal books to correct Scripture. For example, the Acts of Thomas is introduced as a “a Christian work” although it is Gnostic work which contradicts the Word of God. The Anchor Bible Dictionary describes the Acts of Thomas as a “Pseudepigraphic text which relates the adventures of the apostle Judas Thomas as he preaches an ascetical or encratite form of Christianity on the way to and from India. Like other apocryphal acts combining popular legend and religious propaganda, the work attempts to entertain and instruct.” (v. 6, p. 531) According to the Acts of Thomas, the doubting apostle was a slave:
“The Acts of Thomas, a Christian work,…
“A less-familiar scene from the apocryphal Acts of Thomas illustrates this vulnerability of slave bodies equally well. The apostle Thomas has been enslaved, and his owner takes him to a foreign land. Thomas is seated at table with others, listening to a young woman as she plays the flute. He directs his eyes to the ground. A member of the group, a cup bearer, reaches over and slaps Thomas. Although Thomas turns his gaze to the man, no one else in the group evinces any interest in this casual act of violence against a slave.21
“In the Acts of Thomas, the ghastly death of the cup bearer (who is consumed by dogs) implies that God has acted to avenge the enslaved apostle. Such literary partisanship on behalf of a slave who suffers casual violence is rare.” (Slavery in Early Christianity, p. 15)
Another story from the Acts of Thomas confirms the source of John MacArthur’s false teaching to be Neo-Platonist Gnosticism. In the book, Jesus is portrayed as the “Lord/Master” who threatens his apostle “Judas Thomas” with enslavement if he does not obey his command to go to India as a missionary. Thomas disobeys and Jesus arranges for him to be enslaved and forced to go to India. Glancy’s assertion that this type of “enslavement to Christ” is “a central Christian metaphor” relies on the false premise that doulos always means slave:
“The Acts of Thomas, likely composed in the early third century, opens with a scene that spins a central Christian metaphor – enslavement to Christ into a narrative. All the apostles are together in Jerusalem. They are dividing the known world into missionary territories. To Judas Thomas comes the call to India, which he refuses. Jesus appears to him and implores him to embrace the challenge, but Judas Thomas is disobedient: ‘Send me where you will – but somewhere else!’ Jesus, identified as the Lord/Master, spies in the marketplace an Indian merchant named Abban. Jesus asks Abban, who has come to Jerusalem to buy an enslaved carpenter, whether he wants to purchase a slave. Jesus declares, ‘I have a slave who is a carpenter, and wish to sell him.’ When Abban agrees, Jesus writes out a bill of sale: ‘I Jesus the son of Joseph the carpenter confirm that I have sold my slave, Judas by name, to you Abban, a merchant.’ Abban and Jesus approach Judas Thomas in the marketplace, and Abban asks the apostle whether Jesus is his master. Judas Thomas affirms that yes, Jesus is his master. Abban announces that he has purchased Judas Thomas from his master, Jesus.
“Judas Thomas is silent. His prayer changes, and he no longer rebels against Jesus’ intentions. ‘Your will be done,’ Judas prays. As Judas prepares to leave with Abban, Jesus hands him the price of his redemption from slavery and instructs him to carry with him always the price of liberation, which Jesus has paid for him.116 Although the Acts of Thomas does not specify what price Jesus paid, the Christian reader recognizes that the price Jesus has paid is his own life – with his own death. The figure of the Christian as a slave of Christ or of God is inchoate in a number of Jesus’ parables and familiar from the writings of Paul.” (Slavery in Early Christianity, p. 96)
Readers of Jennifer Glancy’s Slavery in Early Christianity, which is referenced four times in John MacArthur’s Slave, are likely to want no part of this slave master Jesus and decide that the “good news” of salvation through faith in such a Christ is instead bad news. It’s difficult to resist the suspicion that this is precisely the author’s intention.
As in John MacArthur’s Slave, we again meet the Greek word kyrios interpreted by Glancy as Master Jesus, and we recall the words of J. Gresham Machen that kyrios was specifically a title of divinity, Lord, whereas master was used by modern scholars as a protest against the deity of Christ:
“When Christians living in the Roman Empire called Jesus of Nazareth kyrios, lord or master, and referred to themselves as slaves, they relied on imagery rooted in the social relations of their age. Even in antiquity, however, countless repetitions of ‘Lord Jesus’ would have deadened those who employed such language to the metaphoric dimension of the title. The story that opens the Acts of Thomas both relies on and revivifies the metaphor. When Judas Thomas acknowledges Jesus as his Lord, he is not thinking of himself as a literal slave of Jesus. As Master Jesus writes out a bill of sale for his slave Judas Thomas, the reader recalls with a shock of recognition the material realities that shaped Christian theological discourse.” (Slavery in Early Christianity, p. 97)
“...the Greek word ‘kyrios’ in the first century of our era was, wherever the Greek language extended, distinctly a designation of divinity. The common usage of the word indeed persisted; the word still expressed the relation which a master sustained toward his slaves... Thus it is not in accordance with New Testament usage when Jesus is called, by certain persons in the modern Church, ‘the Master,’ rather than ‘the Lord.’ Sometimes, perhaps, this usage is adopted in conscious protest against the New Testament conception of the deity of Christ; Jesus is spoken of as ‘the Master,’ in very much the way in which the leader of a school of artists is spoken of as ‘the Master’ by his followers. Or else the word means merely the one whose commands are to be obeyed.” (Machen, The Origin of Paul's Religion, p. 308) (See Part 2)
Another pseudepigraphal book cited by Jennifer Glancy as a true record is the Acts of Paul. This work of fiction mischaracterizes Paul as a cowardly liar who disdained to rescue a fair damsel in distress.
“Differential vulnerability of free and enslaved women to insult provides a context for understanding an incident in the second-century work known as the Acts of Paul. Thecla is a young woman of Iconium who breaks her engagement in order to follow Paul and convert to Christianity...
“Paul is expelled from Iconium, and Thecla is sentenced to death by fire. When the fire is miraculously extinguished, Thecla escapes and finds Paul again. Together Paul and Thecla enter the city of Antioch, where a prominent man named Alexander spies them. Smitten with Thecla, Alexander plies Paul with money and gifts, but Paul denies that he knows Thecla—or that she belongs to him. Alexander then physically embraces Thecla publicly, in the open air, an embrace she resists. The scene becomes more plausible when we infer that Alexander has mistaken Thecla for a slave. She is no longer dressed as an elite young woman. Since Paul denies knowledge or ownership of her, she appears to be unaccompanied. Thus, Alexander exerts the privileges of the elite male, who understands himself to have sexual access to a female slave.” (Glancy, p. 14)
Yet another pseudepigraphal book produced as evidence is the Acts of Andrew, who is also mischaracterized.
“The Acts of Andrew, dating from the second or early third century, includes the story of a Christian woman named Maximilla, who uses her slave Euclia as an erotic body double. Maximilla was under the influence of the apostle Andrew, who decried all sexual activity as polluting. The proconsul Aegeates, Maximilla’s husband, was not a Christian and was unhappy with her resistance to his sensual overtures. Seeking to preserve her own purity, Maximilla sends Euclia to assume her position in Aegeates’ bed. By serving as surrogate body, Euclia pays the price for Maximilla’s personal purity:…
“The Acts of Andrew seems to exempt Maximilla of any moral culpability in the subterfuge, implying that Euclia’s actions are completely explicable in the context of her nature, depicted as both lascivious and greedy... The Acts of Andrew condemned Euclia’s behavior but did not condemn the sexual use of slaves, at least if that practice permitted an elite Christian woman to remain unsullied by sexual contact. Rather, the Acts of Andrew condemned the hubris of a slave who overestimates the significance of a sexual relationship with her owner… ” (Glancy, p. 22)
Glancy blames the sexual exploitation of slaves on Christians or Christianity and frequently portrays the early Christians as sexually immoral. In order to make her case, she rewrites verses and puts the worst possible construction on passages such as 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8:
“The NRSV translation renders the passage with artificial clarity, lending cogency to Paul’s advice that is not warranted by his own phrasing: ‘For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication [=porneia]; that each of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you’ (4:3-6; emphasis added)....
“...in the NRSV translation Paul tells the Thessalonian Christians that it is important that ‘each of you know how to control your own body.’ What Paul actually wrote is that each (male) Thessalonian Christian should know how to ‘obtain his own vessel.’...
“...because slaves were their masters’ sexual property, their obligations to their masters would at times have included actions defined as polluting or aberrant in the Christian body. ...consideration of the sexual demands of first-century slavery requires that we revise, or at least qualify, our claims about the composition and practices of Pauline communities...
“Either the community excluded slaves whose sexual behavior could not conform to the norms mandated within the Christian body, or the community tolerated the membership of some who did not confine their sexual activities to marriage. The first possibility challenges the assumption that slavery did not jeopardize the standing of individuals in the Christian community; the second possibility suggests that Pauline communities viewed some sexual activities as morally neutral.
“In 1 Thessalonians Paul advises as an antidote to porneia the acquisition and control of a vessel, skeuos... The Christian men of Thessalonika who first received this letter were accustomed to thinking of slaves as morally neutral sexual outlets. I suggest that we revisit Paul’s advice to the Christians in Thessalonika to ask how the first male recipients of this letter would have understood Paul’s instruction that each man should acquire a vessel for himself.” (Glancy, p. 50)
1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 is among the many exhortations to moral purity in the New Testament, but the passage is reinterpreted by Jennifer Glancy to portray Christians as sexually immoral slave owners. Despite the fact that she bears false witness to Christians and the apostles of the early Church throughout her book, John MacArthur believes her perverse view of Slavery in Early Christianity is helpful to “illustrate certain truths about the gospel and the kingdom of God.”
Another Gnostic book which Glancy identifies as “Christian” is the Gospel of Philip.
“One Christian document that relies heavily on the trope of slavery and particularly the movement into and out of slavery is a Gnostic collection of sayings about ritual and sacrament, the Gospel of Philip. (The manuscript of the Gospel of Philip excavated at Nag Hammadi dates from the middle of the fourth century. The sayings recorded therein are of earlier origin.)
“The Gospel of Philip stresses the holiness of a sacrament to which it refers as the bridal chamber, which seems to be an initiation into some form of mystical union...
“Ultimately, however, the promise of initiation into the sacraments encompasses liberation for all: ‘Then the slaves will be free [and] the captives ransomed.’” (Glancy, pp. 98-99)
The Gospel of Philip was discovered in 1945 in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.
“The Gospel of Philip is one of the Gnostic Gospels, a text of New Testament apocrypha, dated to around the 3rd century but lost to modern researchers until an Egyptian man rediscovered it by accident, buried in a cave near Nag Hammadi, in 1945.” (Wikipedia)
Like the Acts of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip advocates asceticism which involves initiation into the Mysteries. Egypt is the land of the ancient pyramids in whose subterranean chambers initiations were conducted by fallen angels. During the Tribulation period, initiation rites will also be performed in which the mark of the Beast will be received, which explains the heavy promotion of the Gnostic apocrypha and pseudepigrapha and why these forgeries will replace the canon of Scripture.
REGINALD E. O. WHITE
The forthcoming Luciferic initiation also explains why John MacArthur—who mandates absolute, unquestioning obedience of all future slaves of the coming slave-state, where “the slave exists only to work!”—“speaks of slave-marks and seals of Christ’s possession”:
“As one author explains:
“As Christ is Lord, so the Christian is slave, even bondslave, owing unquestioning obedience. Paul explicitly compares spiritual with literal slavery (e.g. Colossians 3:22-24), speaks of slave-marks and seals of Christ’s possession, and works out in detail the conception of the Christian as purchased, belonging to the Lord: ‘Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price.’ To be alive at all ‘means fruitful labor’—the slave exists only to work! (1 Corinthians 6:19, 20, Philippians 1:22) So represented, consecration is complete more submission to Christ’s absolute claim and ownership. 16.” (Slave, p. 46)
“16. Reginald E. O. White, Christian Ethics (Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1994), 166. White is a former principal of the Baptist Theological College of Scotland.” (Slave, p. 54)
MacArthur’s source, Reginald E. O. White, also wrote The Biblical Doctrine of Initiation which misrepresents the ordinance of baptism as an “initiation rite”—a “process” rather than an event. The following article on a Masonic site reveals that R.E.O. White was a leader in a “scholarly” movement to redefine the doctrine of baptism as a rite of initiation:
“A major development in the study of baptism began to take place in the 1940s and 50s when scholars increasingly came to discuss not just baptism itself but the broader subject of Christian initiation. Baptism came to be discussed within the context of conversion and the other elements constituting Christian initiation, which include the gift of the Spirit, faith, forgiveness and justification. This shift is evident in the title of R.E.O. White’s The Biblical Doctrine of Initiation, in which he observes that in the New Testament baptism was an integral part of what has more recently become termed ‘conversion–initiation’ or ‘conversion–baptism’. He writes: ‘The full rite of Christian initiation emerges from Luke’s account as comprising the hearing of the gospel, repentant acceptance of God’s word, baptism, reception of the Spirit, entrance to the church and to the New Age of eschatological fulfilment’. Initiation, then, is a process comprised of the aforementioned elements.” (One Baptism and Christian Initiation in the Ecumenical Age)
The term “initiation” is not a Biblical term referring to baptism or conversion. Initiation is a pagan term referring to a secret rite of entrance into a secret society and according to Reginald E. O. White, entrance into the “New Age.”
“1580s, from L. initiationem (nom. initiatio) ‘participation in secret rites,’ from initiatus, pp. of initiare ‘originate, initiate’.” (Online Etymology Dictionary)
“...formal admission or acceptance into an organization or club, adult status in one’s community or society, etc... the ceremonies or rites of admission. Compare rite of passage.” (Random House Dictionary)
“...the often secret ceremony initiating new members into an organization.” (Collins English Dictionary)
Reginald E. O. White’s Christian Ethics is an apologetic for the ‘social gospel’ which feigned to embrace the moral principles taught by Jesus Christ as a ploy to move mankind into the New Age.
“Amid the changes of the centuries, the imaginative re-interpretation of the figure of Jesus in each new age, and the capacity of the Spirit-led Christian conscience to re-limn His image in the colours of each new generation, has been the secret of Christianity’s perennial appeal, moral authority, and redemptive power.” (Christian Ethics, p. 233)
To promote the social gospel, Reginald E. O. White made reference to the “Social Creed of the Churches” formulated by Frank Mason North, who served as President of the Federal Council of Churches, a forerunner of the National Council of Churches, both funded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.:
“From its beginning in 1908, the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America emphasized the social bearing of Christianity, and published the Social Creed of the Churches, a statement of principles and social ideals (formulated by Frank Mason North)—abolition of poverty, curbing of divorce, labouring men to share in determining working conditions, abolition of child labour, arbitration, application of the teaching of Jesus to family, State, international affairs. Christian activity must remove causes of social injustice and evils; ‘opposed to revolution, it must be interested in reconstruction.’” (Christian Ethics, p. 290)
Although the stated purpose of these interfaith organizations is social justice and liberation of the oppressed, their hidden agenda is the enslavement of mankind in the New Age/New World Order:
“The clear-cut statement of Rockefeller’s purpose in his ‘philanthropies’ has never been lost to sight by the Rockefellers or their agents. That purpose from the start, was, and still is, a ‘new social order,’ the establishment of a dictatorship in the United States. The objective is to convert our republic into a totalitarian state,...a ‘Servile State’, a state of slaves.” (Emanuel Josephson, Rockefeller “Internationalist,” p. 90)
DALE B. MARTIN
Yet another book on Christian slavery which John MacArthur references is Slavery as Salvation by Yale professor Dale B. Martin. Slavery as Salvation describes the horrors of the Roman institution of slavery:
“Speaking of the abuses of slavery during this time, Dale B. Martin, in Slavery as Salvation, explains that ‘during the early empire, from the time of Augustus to the end of the second century, millions of human beings must have lived in humiliation and destitution, serving the needs and whims, the pleasures and tempers, of other human beings... Owners had the right to bind, torture, or kill their slaves. In literature of the time, one continually comes across the opinion that slave life is the worst imaginable’ (xiii).” (Slave, p. 38)
MacArthur then states that Paul’s use of the terms ‘slaves of Christ’ is closer to the above description of Roman slavery than slavery of the Israelites to God in the Old Testament. John MacArthur is starting to sound more and more like Jennifer Glancy, and other postmodern scholars who see no difference between Christian “slavery to God” and the abusive institution of Roman slavery.
“Dale B. Martin, in Slavery as Salvation, has an important explanation about how Paul’s use of ‘slaves of Christ’ was based not solely on an Old Testament Israelite understanding of slavery to God, but also (and largely) on a Greco-Roman understanding (xvi).” (Slave, p. 38)
The Yale University Press promotional for Professor Martin’s book, Salvation as Slavery, poses a very good question. Why would the apostle Paul and the early Christians use the concept of slavery to describe salvation, since a “gospel of slavery” would make God’s way of salvation distasteful to sinners.
“Early Christians frequently used metaphors about slavery, calling themselves slaves of God and Christ and referring to their leaders as slave representatives of Christ. Most biblical scholars have insisted that this language would have been distasteful to potential converts in the Greco-Roman world, and they have wondered why early Christians such as Paul used the image of slavery to portray salvation.”
(Source: Slavery as Salvation: The Metaphor of Slavery in Pauline Christianity, Dale B. Martin, Yale University Press, 1990)
Dale B. Martin is Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University with a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, which since the departure of J. Gresham Machen (1929) has been a source of spiritual shipwreck for seminary students. Dale B. Martin, an admitted homosexual, is also the author of Sex and the Single Savior: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation. The book is basically Professor Martin’s argument with the Biblical view that heterosexual marriage is the only expression of human sexuality approved by God:
“Heterosexism maintains that ‘heterosexuality is the normative form of human sexuality. It is the measure by which all other sexual orientations are judged. In this chapter I analyze the logic of modern heterosexism as it has read Paul’s remarks on homosexual acts in Romans 1. My purpose is not to argue that Paul approves of homosexual sex or would consider it acceptable behavior for Christians. I will demonstrate, however, that modern scholars are being disingenuous or self-deluding when they claim that their position—the heterosexist position—is simply an appropriation of ‘the biblical view.’ Their reading of Paul is prompted not by the constraints of historical criticism or their passive perception of the ‘clear meaning’ of the text, as they claim, but by their inclination (not necessarily intentional) to reinforce modern heterosexist constructions of human sexuality.” (pp. 51-52)
In Chapter 4, “Heterosexism and the Interpretation of Romans 1:18-32,” Martin argues that Paul was not writing that homosexuality per se is wrong, rather it is wrong only when carried to lustful extremes, such as bestiality:
“…In verse 24 Paul says that God ‘gave them up in the desires [epithymiai] of their hearts to uncleanness with the result that they dishonor their bodies in themselves.’ Paul uses the term ‘passions of dishonor’ (pathe atimias, v. 26), and he writes that males ‘burned in their yearning [orexis] for one another’ (v. 27). But it is a mistake to read into these comments the kind of modernist dichotomy between homosexual and heterosexual desire, in which a difference in kind—between an unnatural, abnormal desire and a natural, normal desire—is assumed. The question is, Does Paul here assume a category of homosexual desire that is a different kind of desire from heterosexual desire?...
“The problem had to do not with a disoriented desire, but with inordinate desire. Degree of passion, rather than object choice, was the defining factor of desire… As Victor Paul Furnish notes, the ancient moralists, and here we must include Paul, considered homosexual behavior to be ‘the most extreme expression of heterosexual lust.’… In other words, a basically ‘natural’ desire is taken to an ‘unnatural extreme.’…
“For the ancient writers, certain behaviors were ‘contrary to nature’ because they went beyond the proper limits prescribed by nature. ... This is why the ancients had no notion of ‘homosexual orientation’ or ‘homosexuals’; it was not a question of ‘disoriented desires’ but of legitimate desires that were allowed illegitimate freedoms.” (Sex and the Single Savior, pp. 56-57)
Dale B. Martin, who characterizes his approach to the Bible as “postmodern Christian historicism,” encourages his readers to think the unthinkable, as he blasphemes Jesus Christ as a homosexual.
“‘Sex and the Single Savior,’ which gives Martin’s volume its title and deals with the question of ‘Jesus’ sexuality.’ As Martin notes, such phenomena as The Last Temptation of Christ and The Da Vinci Code testify to interest in this controversial topic within what Martin calls ‘the popular imagination.’ Martin rejects the view that questions about Jesus’ sexuality must be illegitimate because they are anachronistic, pointing out that such an objection is only persuasive ‘if one is ‘playing by the rules’ of modern historical criticism” (p. 91). However, Martin goes on to discuss attempts by historical critical scholars to explore the sexuality of Jesus, not in order to tell his own readers the true nature of that sexuality but rather to show how Jesus’ sexuality can be ‘imagined’ in numerous different ways even by scholars who attempt to use historical analysis to arrive at historical truth or original meaning. For some such scholars, Jesus must have been celibate. For other such scholars, Jesus may have been heterosexually active. For still other scholars, homoerotic activity on the part of Jesus is at least a possibility. All of these scholars deploy conventional tools of historical and textual analysis in more or less disciplined ways to make their cases. But rather than insisting that one scholar or another is likely to be right, Martin summarizes their diverse views in order to ‘illustrate what has been imaginable at different times with regard to the sexuality of Jesus—and what has been apparently unimaginable’ (p. 96). ... Martin discusses both ‘the patristic imagination’ and ‘the gay imagination’ as examples. Instead of attempting to adjudicate among such imaginative construals of Jesus and his sexuality from the perspective of historical criticism, Martin argues that it ‘is theoretically naïve and theologically suspect’ (p. 101) to insist that all interpretations of biblical figures such as Jesus, or all interpretations of biblical texts such as the gospels, must be subordinated to the supposedly superior interpretations reached through modern historical reconstruction.”
It is beyond reason how anyone could perceive Jesus Christ as sexually immoral. These scholars are not stupid; they are familiar with Scripture and comprehend what it says about Jesus Christ and His commandments. God’s laws are for the good of mankind and He forbids homosexuality because it is destructive of the human race. The real reason modernist and postmodern scholars reject the God of the Bible has nothing to do with His existence or character. All of their intellectual posturing and slanderous allegations are merely pretexts for their rejection of God’s moral requirements. Like the ancient Hebrews, they refuse to worship or submit to a God who places any moral restraints on them. This profound insight into human nature is expressed in The New Unger's Bible Dictionary:
“The inhabitants of Canaan were addicted to Baal worship, which was conducted by priests in temples and in good weather outdoors in fields and particularly on hilltops called ‘high places.’ The cult included animal sacrifice, ritualistic meals, and licentious dances. Near the rock altar was a sacred pillar or massebah, and close by the symbol of the asherah, both of which apparently symbolized human fertility. High places had chambers for sacred prostitution by male prostitutes and sacred harlots. The gaiety and licentious character of Baal worship always had a subtle attraction for the austere Hebrews bound to serve a holy God under a rigorous moral code.” (Unger, p. 413)
Is not the love of sin the reason people reject Jesus Christ today?
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” John 3:18-19
“But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’” Luke 19:14
Do you agree with Crossan and Borg that Paul was opposed to slavery and, perhaps had he lived longer, he might have come out even more strongly as an abolitionist. They use the letter Philemon as evidence.
BART: No, I don’t see the basis for that claim. I think they’re painting Paul in their own image. They’re against slavery, so they want to believe Paul was against slavery. I don’t see the evidence. I think that in the letter of Philemon, Paul was not asking Philemon to set Onesimus free from slavery but to give him to Paul as Paul’s slave. I don’t see any grounds at all to see that Paul would have come out against slavery. - See more at: http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/414-conversation-with-bart-ehrman-on-a-skeptical-look-at-the/#sthash.bZNQ8BdH.dpu
FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH
THE MARK OF THE BEAST
JOHN MACARTHUR’S “SLAVE” BOOK
BASED ON HERETICAL SOURCES
FALLING AWAY FROM THE FAITH
JOHN MACARTHUR: FREEMASON
MACARTHUR’S DRUID FESTIVAL
CAMP REGEN MIND CONTROL
THE WICKER MAN
THE ONCE & FUTURE CLAN
THE BRITISH DRUIDS
HISTORY OF THE DRUIDS