Slavery was attended with evils. As it existed in the South, it was not in any way perfect or utopian. But too often the real problems with slavery were not the problems we have been told about. However, as discussed earlier, Christians should be quick to notice the discrepancies between biblical slavery and that practiced in the South. These differences between the biblical standard and Southern slavery do make impossible an unqualified defense of the institution as it existed and operated in the South. Furthermore, the cruel mistreatment given to some slaves is inexcusable and truly despicable. All such evil was wicked and indefensible. When modern Christians condemn such things, however, they must recognize that they are not condemning something defended by the South. This mistreatment was reprobated by the majority of ante bellum Southerners as well. Modern condemnations of these abuses are several centuries late.
Third, a problem with slavery not yet discussed is the fact that slavery promoted what can be called a "slave mentality" in the minds of some blacks. Not everyone, as we have seen, was so affected. There are amazing stories regarding the industry and ingenuity of many slaves. Not everyone imbibed the "slave mentality," but many did. There are many complaints in the Slave Narratives which indicate this. The majority of those interviewed complain that they would rather be slaves again than to be free with all the responsibilities that freedom entails. Ironically, if slavery had not been so pleasant an experience for the majority, this mentality would not likely have such a strong hold upon the minds of some of their descendants today.
Finally, slavery gave an issue to radical revolutionaries by which they could provoke animosity against the South and, consequently, the "old order" which held sway in this nation prior to 1861. The War that resulted gave these radicals opportunity to increase the size and power of the federal Government in this nation to undreamed-of proportions. Our nation, after 1865, was transformed into a distinctly different entity than it had been before. The nation established by the founding fathers, a limited, constitutional republic, a union of free States, was no more. And the modern, messianic State which seeks to bring salvation by law, was firmly established.
Doug Wilson & Steve Wilkins, Reformed Theology 39 Comments
[7/26/2012 3:43:03 AM]
Fundie Index: 51