I'll just jump right in again:
James Van Alstine wrote:
"Many social norms of generations past are now considered contrary to Christian faith. Over the centuries, such now-abhorred practices were tolerated and practiced by Christians. As some Christians and progressive elements of society questioned such practices, those who wished to continue them sought justification in the Bible. Among these social justice issues are slavery, rape of women captives of war and capital punishment. Contemporary Christians now clearly reject all these, yet the Bible does not formally condemn them."
Well, this is very wrong!
Point by point.
Slavery- the Old Testament allowed "slavery" which is actually a bad translation. These, so called, "slaves" were employees, whom God commanded that they be released every seven years, and also be forgiven all their debt every seven years, and all land was returned. And there were even more great freedoms in the Jubilee, which is every 49 years.
Further, about slavery, the bible clearly condemns oppression and the book of James warns that God will avenge those who withhold wages unduly from their workers -- so this clearly includes slavery. Now, during war, for special cause situations, as when the children of Israel were sent on a mission to bring God's judgment on the land of Canaan, war slaves were allowed. Those who are held as slaves are told not to feel guilty about it, but they are instructed to get their freedom if they can.
Women who were captives of war are not allowed to be raped, since fornication is forbidden! Moreover, Christians and Jews are not allowed to marry non-Christians or non-Jews. I will look at some of these difficult passages. I know one verse that James was talking about, so I'll see if I can check it out more.
Capital punishment! James said that Christians now clearly reject capital punishment. Well, I don't condemn capital punishment. I think a cruel society has no compassion for the victims, and has compassion only for the murderers! Jesus doesn't condemn capital punishment. The reason that the woman caught in adultery was not stoned was because the Jews who trapped her, did not bring the man. So, they were violating the law. Jesus himself kills people for sin, and the book of Romans, in chapter 13, says that it is the job of authorities to reward evil and punish good, and that they bear not the sword in vain. I could go on and on, but scripture says clearly, that there are sins unto death (see the book of I John in chapter 5).
That's enough. I'm tired. It's 5:20 in the morning and I need to go back to sleep.