09 July 2015

Has Doug Wilson changed his mind about the "wonderful issue" of slavery?

Doug Wilson has had a rough couple of weeks. Same-sex marriage is legal throughout the U.S., Affordable Health Care has been upheld, and the Confederate battle flag is coming down across the south.

So when he saw Matthew Vines's 40 questions for Christians who oppose marriage equality, he just had to respond.

Here's how he answered question #16:

Do you think supporting same-sex marriage is a more serious problem than supporting slavery?

Yes, far more serious.

This has caused a bit of an uproar, since everyone today (including nearly all Christians) considers slavery intrinsically evil.

But Doug Wilson isn't like most Christians. Here's what he said about slavery back in 2005 (emphasis added):

[N]othing is clearer – the New Testament opposes anything like the abolitionism of our country prior to the War Between the States. The New Testament contains many instructions for Christian slave owners, and requires a respectful submissive demeanor for Christian slaves. See, for example, Eph. 6:5-9, Col. 3:22-4:1, and 1 Tim. 6:1-5. . . .

The reason why many Christians will be tempted to dismiss the arguments presented here is that we have said (out loud) that a godly man could have been a slave owner. But this 'inflammatory' position is the very point upon which the Bible speaks most directly, again and again. In other words, more people will struggle with what we are saying at the point where the Bible speaks most clearly. There is no exegetical vagueness here. Not only is the Bible not politically correct, it was not politically correct one hundred thirty years ago. . . .

This entire issue of slavery is a wonderful issue upon which to practice. Our humanistic and democratic culture regards slavery in itself as a monstrous evil, and acts as though this were self-evidently true. The Bible permits Christians to own slaves, provided they are treated well. You are a Christian. Whom do you believe?

He also wrote two booklets defending slavery in the Pre-Civil War South: "Southern Slavery As it Was" and "Black and Tan." (The latter was a re-write of the former to address plagiarism concerns.)

Here are some excepts:

Slavery as it existed in the South was not an adversarial relationship with pervasive racial animosity. ... There has never been a multi-racial society which has existed with such mutual intimacy and harmony in the history of the world. The credit for this must go to the predominance of Christianity.

Slaves were well-treated and often had a deep loyalty to, and affection for, their masters.

The slaves were not stolen cars; they were human beings — and the many Christians who treated them lawfully were in no way disobedient.

The abolitionists maintained that slave-owning was inherently immoral under any circumstance. But in this matter, the Christians who owned slaves in the South were on firm scriptural ground. ... Provided he owns them in conformity to Christ's laws for such situations, the Bible is clear that Christians may own slaves.

Slave life was to them a life of plenty, of simple pleasures, of food, clothes, and good medical care.

Slavery produced in the South a genuine affection between the races that we believe we can say has never existed in any nation before the War or since.

One could argue that the black family has never been stronger than it was under slavery. It was certainly stronger under the southern slave system that it is today under our modern destructive welfare state.

The issue of slavery was used to provoke a revolution in 1861. That revolution has continued to this day, and slavery has increased in our land as a result. It is time for us to stand and declare the truth about slavery and to expose the failures of the abolitionist worldview.

[I]t has been estimated that (with the possible exception of Cromwell's army) the Confederate Army was the largest body of evangelicals under arms in the history of the world.

But Doug Wilson doesn't talk (out loud) about the wonderful issue of slavery very much anymore. And when he does he says as little as possible. (Like he did when answering Question 16.)

Here, for example, is what he said yesterday on his blog (while defending his beloved Confederate flag and attacking "Sodomites"):

This is not a contrast between those who want slavery and others who don’t. It is a contrast between different reasons for opposing slavery. ... Christian opposition to slavery is quite different.
So I guess Pastor Wilson has changed his mind about slavery. The old Doug said, "The Bible permits Christians to own slaves." But the new Doug is opposed to slavery. (For "quite different" but unspecified reasons.)

I wonder how long it will be before he changes his mind about Leviticus 20:13.

(It looks to me like he already has.)

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