Does Philemon Teaches Worker Rights?

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by JimBowie1958, Feb 1, 2012.

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Does Philemon teach workers rights and human dignity?

  1. Yes, they should be treated with dignity

    3 vote(s)
    75.0%
  2. No, a business owner should be able to do whatever he wants to make more money

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Morality is a sham, I couldnt care less

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. no opinion

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  1. JimBowie1958
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    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

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    In the book/letter of Philemon, St Paul is returning a runaway slave named Onesimus to his owner, Philemon, and in this letter Paul says that Onesimus is not just a slave but a brother in Christ and should be treated as one would a true brother.

    I know that book has become abused as a defense of slavery, but it would seem to teach the exact opposite, that, as Paul says elsewhere, there is no slave or freeman in the body of Christ.

    By Paul telling Philemon to not punish his runaway slave but to treat him as a dear brother, Paul is binding on Philemon the obligation to treat Onesimus with human dignity and love.

    Today so many Christians endorse the most extreme forms of capitalist management policies. Many investers will buy a profitable and stable company solely for the purpose of exploiting its good credit by leveraging its debt to the max, selling off any assets it has and then selling the company off to suckers as it slowly slides into bankruptcy, throwing all its employees into unemployment, destroying entire communities.

    I hear Christians defend this type of thing all the time and it simply puzzles me.

    Is this something that these people would do to their dear brothers?

    If so, then it strikes me that such people are barbaric monsters and pagan in the most complete pejorative meaning of the word.

    Is the practice of laying off workers to increase profit when a company is already profitable and doing well, is that consistent with the teachings of St Paul regarding the human dignity of our Brothers in Christ? Is it how we would treat our own dear brothers?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  2. Old_Liberal
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    Old_Liberal Member

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    A genuine christian based capitalism would not be as profitable as what we have today. But it would create a larger middle class.

    Christians as we have them today can compartmentalize their minds and be immoral in business, while being moral in their lives outside of business. Greed prompts this. Yet the truth is, they are not actually real and genuine followers of christ. Why? The presence of greed.
     
  3. amrchaos
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    amrchaos Pentheus torn apart

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    Does not the body of christ refer to our spiritual state?

    If so, then the fact that a slave is a christian does not free him from his physical bounds, although his spiritual bonds are held by christ only. Christians do not begin to actively preach against slavery until around the 18th centurary and think that was actually started by the Quakers(not actually Mainstream Christianity if you think about it).

    The fact that slavery existed for over thousands of years is just proof that an evil against man could be accepted as either normal or even respected procedure. In other words, evil/good can escape one's intuition and is not intrinsically sensed by man.

    I wonder what other evils we practicing today?.
     
  4. JimBowie1958
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    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

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    I think not having a larger middle class is the whole point behind the owners of our mass media pushing the destructive life styles, greed, sensuality and moral degeneracy that they do, like a spiritual drug guarranteed to rot ones soul.

    But God still sees, and God still judges man by how he lives his life. It is pathetic that some people actuallythink that they can live a life of self-centered hatred and wipe it all away with a plea for forgiveness at the end of their lives. You cant game God like that.

    The mere presence of greed is not in and of itself mortal sin, IMO, no more than lust, sloth or any of the other deadly sins. It is how we act in regard to our baser instincts that sets us apart as moral followers of Christ.

    As we walk in the light, we dwell in His light and walk with Him and know we are forgiven.
     
  5. JimBowie1958
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    JimBowie1958 Old Fogey

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    It is commonly understood to refer to the church that Christ died for.

    I think that from a slaves point of view in the first century, not getting beaten half to death and instead treated like a loved family member would have been a huge improvement.


    Yes it can, but this is why God tells us what is sin and what is not and gave us the Holy Spirit to continue to guide us into all truth.

    The same ones we practiced from the beginning of the human race: hatred, murder, jealousy, greed, envy, anger and lust.

    But we can improve our lot and the human condition with patience, love and faith.
     

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