Friday, May 7, 2010

Lutherans and slavery - #6

Yes, it is a matter of great importance, says Walther.  "This must, therefore, be a matter of consequence and great importance, on which hinges God's honor and man's salvation. And so it is!  For the Christian this is not merely a neutral, political issue.  The question is not:  Is it advantageous for a state, a country, a people to lawfully abolish slavery?   The question is:  Does the law of love and justice demand that all people enjoy equal civil liberties and rights; is it right or wrong to use the existing civil law which enables one to exercise rights over another person;  it is right or wrong to acknowledge and accept such a law?

"The question is whether the old canon - Evangelium non abolet politias - the Gospel does not remove a political law - is a lie, and whether the Gospel demands civil equality.  The question is whether Christian freedom, that is the freedom we received from Christ, is a physical, civil one; whether Christ was the kind of messiah expected by the Jews, who would free his people from earthly oppression; whether the Gospel contains elements of rebelling which seek to do away with worldly law.  "

I now skip on to Walther's final conclusion in this section.  "May this suffice as proof that slavery is not against Christian morals. "

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