Letter: Know the Bible before attacking it

On Feb. 20, Michael Glawe wrote a piece on the National Prayer Breakfast speech controversy concerning Obama’s juxtaposition of ISIS actions with the Crusades. I do not wish to comment on this, as Christians have said enough stupid things in the hopes of defending something stupid, and I believe Obama’s point was mostly solid. My concern is with the biblical reference to I Timothy 6:1-2.

In his review, Glawe points to “the moral justification of slavery in Christian texts” and states that “the most disgusting and disgraceful passage of the Bible seems to cast its endorsement.” (Quick aside: there are many more passages in the bible that are much more difficult to swallow than this.) Unfortunately for him, he goes on to quote a passage that has nothing to do with endorsement of slavery and certainly not with its moral justification.

Looking at the context, history shows us that slavery was a fact of life at this time and even that, under the law, ordinary citizens were often sentenced to slavery if they were unable to pay their debts. Also, this command is written only to believers, and the entire point is stated: “so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.” This is not an endorsement of slavery, but a call to respect for the sake of the Kingdom.

To quote the headline of the article that appeared immediately above Glawe’s, “History needs to be taught fully.” My point to Mr. Glawe: if you are going to reference the bible, be sure you understand it and are prepared to defend your position.