The Highway

Man Stealing

Posted By: Tom

Man Stealing - Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:12 PM

What do you say to a Reformed person that says the following?

[quote]“If your conscience is clear reading an unrepentant manstealer, then by all means, read them. I can't get past that, because I think some sins disqualify a pastor. I'm thinking Whitefield and Dabney here, who campaigned for the chattel slavery.

Again, though, we all answer for our own consciences.”[\quote]

This particular person is Reformed and I usually am in agreement with him when it comes to most subjects.
Yet, he is very particular about this matter. He does not care how biblical a person is in their writing, the people he mentioned are just two people he believes are disqualified to pastor.

Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Man Stealing - Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:59 PM

Okay, I'm guessing here, but what I gather is that this person is trying to say that because Whitefield and Dabney supported slavery? then they are disqualified to be pastors. Is that correct?

1. We all live in our current times and what is currently accepted as "normal" may be determined later to be wrong, illegal, etc. So it was with Whitefield and Dabney. I know nothing of Whitefield and slavery. Dabney, however, being from the South it is very possible that he supported or even had personal slaves. HOWEVER, there are many good men during that time who had "slaves" but they were more like employees and treated with great kindness and respect. More details need to be considered before making any judgments.

2. What is an "unrepentant manstealer"? On its face, it sounds rather odious doesn't it? giggle Would it be something like kidnapping? shrug

3. It seems that this person has been drinking the Left's poison Koolaid and would possibly even support the radical Communist "Black Lives Matter" organization and/or similar organizations. If so, that would be very unfortunate and destructive to him and those he associates with who may be negatively influenced by him. The current outcry by the radical socialist Left of SYSTEMIC RACISM, which in fact doesn't exist in the US nor Canada, is more than troubling. But fortunately, the majority of people who haven't been indoctrinated by the public school systems nor from accepting what the Leftist professors are teaching at many universities know their history and the facts and thus dismiss this rhetoric as garbage, which is really a kind way of describing what it really is... Godless hatred for those who love their fellow man and particularly those who worship the one true God.
Posted By: Tom

Re: Man Stealing - Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:21 AM

If what I studied about slavery is correct, there is the kind called "man stealing" that we see Ex. 21:6; or "slave traders" in 1 Tim. 1:10.

It is my understanding and this comes also from a number of Reformed writers as well. That the slave trading and ownership that was happening in America in the 1700s and 1800s, is not the same as we saw Paul talk about concerning Onesimus and his owner Phliemon. In Philemon 1:10. “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains”.

From my studies, in Paul's day, someone could buy themselves into slavery to pay debts, or to care for their families. Col. 4:1 Paul advises slave masters to treat their slaves fairly. Which Paul also says similar things in Eph. 6:9. Eph. 6:6-9 gives instructions to Christian slaves. My understanding is also that in Paul's day slave ownership was close to what we see in employer, employee relationship we have today.

It has been a while, but a while back I did a fair amount of research on this subject; which I saved in Word. Unfortunately, I lost everything when my computer crashed and even where I tried to get it fixed , they told me they were unable to get my Word files back. So I am relying on memory now. It was not the slavery of other eras based on kidnapping and racism, which Scripture abhors (Ex. 21:16; Gal. 3:28).

In America, can we honestly say that they slavery in the 1700s and 1800s did not involve "kidnapping and racism"?

One of the things I remember, is that many slave owners during the 1700s and 1800s justified being slave owners by using verses such as the ones I gave above. Reading some of what some Reformed people said about this however, they basically said that they were not justified in doing so.

During the times of slavery, there were a lot of people who were trying to abolish slavery;on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Many of them of the Reformed faith and even John Newton, the writer of the hymn 'Amazing Grace' was as well. John Newton was also an ally of an English politician name William Wilberforce, who headed the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade for twenty years until the passage of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.

I also did a bit of research on what CH Spurgeon said about slavery and found quite bit. However the following really stood out.
“I do from my inmost soul detest slavery . . . and although I commune at the Lord’s table with men of all creeds, yet with a slave-holder I have no fellowship of any sort or kind. Whenever one has called upon me, I have considered it my duty to express my detestation of his wickedness, and I would as soon think of receiving a murderer into my church . . . as a man stealer” (Pike, The Life and Work of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, p. 331).

As a reply, many in America replied some pretty strong words about Spurgeon.

Here are a few published comments from different parts of the country:

Florida: Spurgeon is a “beef-eating, puffed-up, vain, over-righteous pharisaical, English blab-mouth.”
“A Southern Opinion of the Rev. Mr. Spurgeon,” The New York Herald (March 1, 1860).

Virginia: Spurgeon is a “fat, overgrown boy.”
“The Great Over-Rated,” The Daily Dispatch (August 17, 1858).

Louisiana: Spurgeon is a “hell-deserving Englishman.”
“Spurgeon on Slavery,” The Bossier Banner (February 24, 1860).

South Carolina: Spurgeon is a “vulgar young man” with “(soiled) sleek hair, prominent teeth, and a self-satisfied air.”
“Spurgeon and the Lady,” Charleston Courier (June 15, 1858).

By the way, I totally agree with you we no longer have "systemic racism" in either Canada or the USA. It is a ploy that the cultural Marxists use for their cause and people buy into it. Racism or as I like yo call it ethnic prejudice does occur and I do not think we as Christians should deny this. The basic difference is how we deal with it. It is a battle between two opposing world views, that unfortunately some Christians don't recognize and often think that the ideas from the CRT (Critical RaceTheory) can be used alongside Scripture as a tool. The CRT, can not be used as a tool, because it is completely incompatible with Scripture.


Posted By: Pilgrim

Re: Man Stealing - Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:31 AM

I say again... unless your friend can produce irrefutable evidence that Whitefield or Dabney were guilty of racism and looked upon their alleged slaves as chattle, then the accusation and disparaging remarks are to be rejected and branded as violations of the 9th Commandment.

Now as to the absurd suggestion that one should not read the writings of Whitefield or Dabney because they were slave owners is the wisdom of a genuine fool. Why? Because applying the same 'logic', we should not read the Bible, for all the writings came from the pens of sinners, some even vile sinners, e.g., David and Solomon. The fact that God the Spirit inspired them to write Scripture does not negate the fact that adultery, murder, greed, etc., constituted a good portion of their lives. Let's not forget to mention Peter too who denied the Lord Christ thrice and then went on to be publicly rebuked by Paul for his hypocrisy and 'racism' of Gentiles. "Let him cast the first stone who is without sin!". Do we overlook the sins of men? No, we cannot, but to totally dismiss them as reprobates is unwarranted for God is the Judge of men's souls. Let the writings of Whitefield, Dabney and countless other true men of God be cherished and read much so that we may learn from both their wisdom and faults.

I suspect that at the Judgment, your alleged "Reformed" friend and those like him will not see the faces of either Whitefield or Dabney. For how could they see them since they will most likely be far back in the throng of worshippers while Whitefield and Dabney will be toward the front. evilgrin
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