10 Reasons Your Church Needs Philemon

10 Reasons Your Church Needs Philemon October 23, 2017

Screen Shot 2017-10-04 at 11.15.52 AM

Some of you may know I have a new commentary out called The Letter to Philemon. I have never written a book more difficult to send on to the editor (Joel Green) and publisher (Eerdmans). I enjoyed it so much I wanted to keep on working on it, but I was done.

#1: Slavery has immediate connections to our world.

The slave Onesimus has probably run away; the slavemaster, Philemon, has probably been shamed (at least in the household); Philemon probably was also financially damaged. So we are looking at a slave who has offended the honor of a slavemaster. We are looking at a slave who is willing to return.

How Philemon treats his slave Onesimus puts the Christian gospel and Christian ethics on the line.

In our world, any situation where status differentials are at work is immediately addressed by Paul’s letter to Philemon.

In our world there are millions of slaves, and this letter tells Christians in cultures where there are slaves to fight for the brothers and sisters and to establish cultures where siblingship not slavery becomes the norm. (I have a long section in the book on modern slavery; this section was researched by Justin Gill, an assistant of mine.) We may not have slavery as some cultures today but we’ve got status differentials not unlike slavery.

Racism, white nationalism, populism, elitism, marginalization, power differential, economic privilege, economic power, political power … I could go on but I leave you to fill in the blanks. Paul’s letter to Philemon addresses each of these and many more situations.

What is Paul’s answer to the Philemon-Onesimus differential in status and power? “No longer a slave, better than a slave, a brother or a sibling.” That’s the Christian answer to these differentials: No longer! No longer equality, justice, eradication of status differentials by the Body of Christ in the Body of Christ and beyond!

#2: Power is perennially a problem.

This point is entailed in #1, but power itself deserves to be addressed. It is too easy to create a culture of power and authority that becomes a culture of authoritarianism and inequality and injustice. It is far harder to create a culture where power is surrendered for the good of the other. “No longer a slave, better than a slave, a sibling.” Power that is not used to create cultures of siblingship are not Christian cultures.

Everything learned about power in our culture — well not everything but almost everything — is challenged by what the gospel teaches and announces as true in Christ: power is not Christian until it is power-for, power-with, and power-unto. Power is not Christian when it is coercive, forceful, and empire-building.

#3: Reconciliation is the message.

The slaveowner Philemon had options: he could punish Onesimus and in that punishment implicate any other slaves connected to Onesimus. He could diminish his status in a number of ways. Philemon could “bring justice” to use the language of so many in our culture.

What was Paul’s message? Welcome him as you would welcome me, he tells Philemon. Which means Paul wanted reconciliation: he wanted Philemon to welcome, to embrace, to forgive, to restore, and to reconcile. To start all over again, but no longer as a slave and no longer as a slaveowner. To start all over again as siblings — Paul, Philemon, Onesimus. Three brothers, not three levels of power or hierarchy.

#4 Decision is the implication.

What is perhaps most amazing about this letter, and what is most needful for churches today in reading and preaching and teaching this letter is this: Philemon is put into the corner of decision by Paul.

The audience who heard this letter publicly read would have been asking all along: “What will Philemon say? What will he do?” This isn’t a theoretical letter about pre-emancipation theories about slaves. This is a pastoral letter from an apostle, who refuses to claim his authority (and so models what he wants Philemon to do), to a co-worker named Philemon who ran a household and who had slaves and who had power.

Paul asks Philemon in front of everyone: “What’s your answer, Philemon?” Or better yet, “How Christian are you, man?” Or for the whole audience, “How gospel-shaped will your household be?”

#5 The way of the empire is not the way of Christ.

A striking flash of a new way of life is found in Philemon: the way of the empire was most likely the way of punishment — from beatings and diminishment and permanent scarring and life-long shackles to capital punishment.

The way of Christ is conversion, is gospel, is advocacy for the runaway by the apostle, is sending him back to Philemon for Philemon’s decision, is confessions and forgivenesses and embraces and and reconciliations. The way to undo injustice is not to strike back but to offer the healing graces of reconciliation.

#6 The church is the location of kingdom realities taking form.

I am unpersuaded this was Paul’s agenda for the Roman empire. It was well beyond his scope. What he had in mind was something smaller and something deeper: No longer a slave, better than a slave, a brother.

Paul thought the local church was the embodiment of the kingdom, kingdom space taking root in Colosse itself. In tangible ways. In concrete realities. In real relationships. In turning the way of the empire into the way of Christ the kingdom of God would become visible to those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

Paul is not trying to change Roman laws — and that would take centuries of moral failure and ethical vision for the church to see through slavery to the radical reality of “no longer a slave, better than a slave, a brother.”

But Paul did see that the church could be a different place; that the church could be kingdom space embodied.

#7 Churches need to perform the letter.

It’s too easy to preach a sermon on Philemon and move on to Hebrews or to move to another Bible book. It’s too easy to teach a course on slavery and then fill in details about Onesimus and Philemon.

Instead, I suggest this: read yourself full of what we know about slavery (my Introduction has a lengthy study of slavery) and then read yourself full of how letters were read in the ancient world, and then instead of forming talking points about Philemon create Philemon’s household all over again and march this letter into the congregation/housechurch and then read the thing. 

Get a Philemon to stand up in a corner; stand an Onesimus next to the reader, and call the letter reader Tychicus (our best guess); and don’t let the congregation sit there and take it in. Urge them to participate — to ooooh and aaaah and to ask questions aloud and to make comments from the peanut gallery and to express their opinions. First Century audiences didn’t sit like posh Christians in posh churches. They were minimally Pentecostal Amen-ers!

#8 Persuasion can be gentle.

Paul’s letter has an agenda: to get Philemon to welcome Onesimus back and to reconcile and perhaps even to send Onesimus back to Paul to support his gospel mission work. So he persuades.

Persuasive is the point. But Paul is subtle if not obvious to us: he pushes himself into Philemon’s presence and then backs off a bit, and then pushes back, and then gets emotional (I’m an old man, I’m in prison) and then pushes, and then says Don’t do this because I say so but out of love and Do this willingly and not out of duty and then, surprise of surprises, he says “Confident of your obedience.”

This back and forth, this pressure and letting up, this is gentle persuasion.

It’s all in Philemon’s lap, but Paul spells out the implications of the gospel and wants Philemon to get this right.

#9 An example of how to read a book in the Bible.

Philemon can be used to help people learn how to read a whole Bible book. Move then to a letter of John or to Jude or then to a shorter book like Philippians or Galatians then finally to Romans and Corinthians. Perhaps then on to a Gospel.

Reading each line in light of the whole book is possible for Philemon and it’s a good starting point for inductive Bible study methods. Also for historical context (study Roman slavery) and also for Paul’s house church movement of how they learned to live as Christians in an old institution: the house, the home, the family.

#10 A marginalized letter (appendix to Colossians) with a marginalized voice.

A slight beef: for a long time I’ve complained in classes that Philemon deserves to be more than an appendix to Paul’s letter to the Colossians. Which if you look at most commentary series it is.

But the messages are so, so, so different.

Furthermore, back #1, the entire theme of slavery that runs right through this letter is something of vital important today. I’m so glad Joel Green and Michael Thomson and Eerdmans approved turning this letter into a separate volume.

It’s been a marginalized letter and that is sad because Philemon provides a marginalized voice: the voice of a slave who stands silently next to Tychicus as the letter is read. The whole time Onesimus is reading the response on Philemon’s face and all the other slaves in the household and cheering for Onesimus. The slave gets to be a character in the performance of this letter and he deserves a place in our churches too: this time, No longer as a slave, better than a slave, a brother.

 

 

 

"Thank-you!I can easily see men speaking religious blather for centuries - they are doing a ..."

Kevin Giles — The ETS Response ..."
"Fluffybabybunnyrabbit indeed...;-)"

Kevin Giles — The ETS Response ..."
"The reality of course is all these fellows entirely misunderstand the man Christ Jesus - ..."

Kevin Giles — The ETS Response ..."
"I do not know much about this Apostles creed but I believe that God likes ..."

N.T. Wright and those Pesky Creeds

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Evangelical
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Sam Lam

    Scot,
    I am excited about this book. I have loved Philemon ever since I heard our friend Murray Harris teach it at TEDS. It is one of my “must haves” at SBL. Thanks for the work on this neglected letter.
    SamLam

  • Reconciliation is the message.

    The takeaway for me from Philemon is that Jesus had the chance to reject slavery, but he didn’t. Heck–God had the chance to reject slavery, but he institutionalized it.

    That slavery is in the Bible, supported by God, makes clear that the claims about God (for starters: that he exists) fail.

  • scotmcknight

    Thanks Bob, and you touch on a sensitive moral issue. My response: If I thought I had perfect moral vision I could sit in judgment with firmer convictions. I don’t so I don’t. It’s not that I don’t see clearly that the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery as we do today, for I do. I encourage you to read this Philemon commentary and see how I attempt to work this problem out.

  • Paperboy_73

    It always bothered me that everything Paul suggests regarding Onesimus’ reconciliation seems to hinge on the fact that Onesimus is now a Brother in Christ. How would Paul have responded if Onesimus had not accepted the gospel?

    Given his at-best ambivalence on slavery as an institution (and let’s not pretend Paul hesitated in addressing behaviour he saw as sinful or objectionable), I do wonder.

  • Our understanding is imperfect–you’re right about that. Nevertheless, we must evaluate Christian claims as best we can with what we have. No Christian says, “Well, my understand is imperfect, so who am I to sit in judgment over Muslim claims?”

  • Jim Kilson

    When discussing the slavery issue and how we interpret what scripture has to say on the subject I do believe it’s imperative to remember that simply because God allows something to exist doesn’t necessarily imply that he approves of such actions. There are things that God allows which he adamantly opposes. In such instances, God institutes guidelines and restrictions on them.

  • australian stockman

    There was no moral “necessity” to “outlaw all slavery”. Some slavery – such as voluntary or involuntary servitude (when used, say, for repayment of debt) – can hardly be considered “immoral”.

    And, one must remember that in Hebrew, the words slave, worker, servant (voluntary or involuntary), and servant as in “servant of God” are all precisely the same word: ebed.

    There is also no “inherent” immorality in “self-slavery” – ie, a person selling themselves into slavery. If the “deal” was good enough (and, it would have to be really good), I’d consider it myself as an option.

    “Owership” of another human being is not inherently immoral. Heck, if I were, say, a botanist who goes to the deepest part of the Amazon for a study, and I run across an indigenous tribe that has never had contact with the outside world, and the Chief decides he likes me and gives me a slave, there has not been one iota of “immorality” on my part – and yet, I’m a slave owner.

    But – this is another problem in Hebrew. In Hebrew, they operated under the concept of “possession”, not “ownership”. The only true “owner” of anything at all was God, and He is the owner of ALL things. Slaves were “possessions”. But then, so were children. So, there could not be a de-facto statement of “possessing another human being is *always* immoral”.

    These days, even in the US, we accept slavery as a moral “punishment” for crimes, according to the 13th amendment. That’s why we still have chain gangs, highway work crews, prison farms, “20 years hard labor at Levanworth”.

    What I’m getting at is that we’d LOVE to see this outright “thou shalt not have slavery” in the bible, but, it’s just not there. And, for good reason. Slaves – (not the Hebrew ‘indentured servants’) – were almost always enemies, soldier and civilian, captured in warfare. So, you had a choice:

    1. execute them? Nahhhh…
    2. turn them loose, and let them fight against you again? Nahhhh….
    3. keep them captive in order to trade them with the enemy king in order to get your own people back? Now we’re talking…
    4. If the other king doesn’t want them back, then keep them as “slaves” (because you can’t just turn them loose again).

    But – you then have to decide what “slavery” means.

    In the Law of Moses, every slave had the “right of redemption” which he/she could exercise at any time, for a price fixed in the Law (and not arbitrarily, by the owner). If a slave received a permanent injury at the hands of the owner, he/she was automatically set free. If a slave agreed to abide by the Law of Moses, he/she was automatially set free. If a slave married a free person, he/she was automatically set free. Under the Law of Moses, all non-Hebrew slaves had legal “personhood”, legal rights and legal recourse in the courts. And, (if you read Hebrew), you’ll see that if a slaveholder killed a slave, the slaveholder was liable for the death penalty.

    I could go on and on, but the point is this: God could no more outlaw slavery than He could outlaw war or sex (for that matter) unless He had the expectation that everyone had to be a celibate, pacifist monk. But, that was clearly not the will of God for all people. So, certain realities had to be dealt with, and one of them was the fact that at that time, every single nation anywhere *near* Israel at that time engaged in slavery, generally as a result of warfare. If Israel were to deal with enemies, they had to fight the same war the enemies were fighting. And, that would involve capturing enemies and rendering them incapable of fighting again, either by a truce, with prisoner exchanges, or by slavery. But, the Laws of Moses placed very strict and rigorous rules on the treatments of slaves, and gave every slave legal means to gain freedom.

    Christians need to get educated about this. There are always non-Christians that want to bring up the slavery issue because it is, in this culture, such a sensitive issue. And, ultimately, the “attack” is *always* the same: “How can a moral God sanction slavery?”, as if all slavery were somehow the same as we had here in the US.

    The question is this: Is there any circumstances under which slavery might be moral?

    The answer is “yes, there are such conditions”.

  • Some slavery – such as voluntary or involuntary servitude (when used, say, for repayment of debt) – can hardly be considered “immoral”.

    Involuntary servitude in prison is considered moral in the West. That’s pretty much it.

    And, one must remember that in Hebrew, the words slave, worker, servant (voluntary or involuntary), and servant as in “servant of God” are all precisely the same word: ebed.

    The Bible advocates slavery for life. I really have to pursue this with you? You gonna argue that that’s acceptable?

    But – this is another problem in Hebrew. In Hebrew, they operated under the concept of “possession”, not “ownership”. The only true “owner” of anything at all was God, and He is the owner of ALL things. Slaves were “possessions”. But then, so were children.

    I think you’re making my point for me.

    So, there could not be a de-facto statement of “possessing another human being is *always* immoral”.

    Uh, in the West, that’s pretty much universally accepted. I know you Australians are burdened with the guilt of giving us Ray Comfort, but I’d be surprised if this weren’t just as true in Australia.

    What I’m getting at is that we’d LOVE to see this outright “thou shalt not have slavery” in the bible, but, it’s just not there. And, for good reason. Slaves – (not the Hebrew ‘indentured servants’) – were almost always enemies, soldier and civilian, captured in warfare.

    You’re just arguing for slavery. In the 21st century. Is that your final answer?

    1. execute them? Nahhhh…
    2. turn them loose, and let them fight against you again? Nahhhh….
    3. keep them captive in order to trade them with the enemy king in order to get your own people back? Now we’re talking…
    4. If the other king doesn’t want them back, then keep them as “slaves” (because you can’t just turn them loose again).

    Why does the atheist have to educate the Christian about what omnipotent means?

    In the Law of Moses, every slave had the “right of redemption” which he/she could exercise at any time, for a price fixed in the Law

    Wrong. Read Lev. 25:44-46. There’s a big difference between indentured servitude of fellow Jews and slavery for life of non-Jews. I’ve written more here:
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2014/08/yes-biblical-slavery-was-the-same-as-american-slavery/

    the point is this: God could no more outlaw slavery than He could outlaw war or sex (for that matter)

    Poor God! He’s omniscient and omnipotent, and yet he can’t get “Don’t enslave people” into the tablet of laws that he established! That’s gotta be frustrating.

    Y’know, you’d think that being God would be a sweet deal, and yet you don’t think of the day-to-day headaches.

    And if your point is that God was bound by the customs of the day (and that’s why he regulated slavery), presumably you are happy with someone saying the same thing about the anti-homosexual verses in the Old Testament. God was just bound by homophobia at the time, but it’s not constraining on us today. Right?

    every single nation anywhere *near* Israel at that time engaged in slavery

    Yet again, why am I teaching you about what God’s omnipotence means?

    the “attack” is *always* the same: “How can a moral God sanction slavery?”, as if all slavery were somehow the same as we had here in the US.

    Correct! Slavery was indeed pretty much identical to what we had here. Read that post of mine.

  • Please help me understand one sentence you used, because I thought I spoke this language natively (but apparently not). You wrote: “Power that is not used to create cultures of siblingship are not Christian cultures”: I’m having trouble finding the sentence’s subject, which can’t be “Power” because that does t agree with the controlling verb “are.” So does the sentence mean “Cultures that are not cultures of siblingship are not Christian,” or does it mean “Power that is not used to create cultures of siblingship is not Christian,” or does it mean something else (if so, what?) I want to gather the exact meaning you want to convey, so please tell me what you were trying to write.

  • australian stockman

    Re: “The Bible advocates slavery for life. I really have to pursue this with you? You gonna argue that that’s acceptable?”

    I take it you neither read Hebrew nor have studied the Mishnah. From a Hebrew-language Rabinnical commentary:

    “A foreign slave “acquires himself” (Ḳid. i. 3) either
    by money—which money he may pay himself to the master, but which must
    be given him by others for the purpose—or through a deed of manumission,
    even at the instance of others; for, according to the better opinion,
    freedom is deemed to be a boon, and may be conferred upon him without
    his consent. When he becomes free by loss of “eye or tooth,” the master
    is compelled to write a deed of manumission. The necessity for a
    document is drawn from the words “her freedom has not been given to her”
    (Lev. xix. 20, Hebr.), i.e., given in a tangible form. Still
    where the master says by word of mouth that he has freed his bondman, he
    is not allowed to repudiate his own words, but is compelled to execute a
    deed (Giṭ. 40b).”

    And, from another commentary referencing Hebrew case law:

    “For alien slaves the bondage is terminated in various fashions. Release
    may be by payment of money, the price demanded by the master being paid
    to him by a third party, either directly or through the slave (Kid. 1:3;
    Yad, Avadim 5:2). A deed of release may be delivered by the master
    (Kid. 1:3; Yad, Avadim 5:3). A verbal release, or a promise of release,
    is not sufficient in itself, but the court may enforce it by compelling
    the master to deliver a deed (Sh. Ar., YD 267:73–74). The slave is freed
    if the master causes him grievous bodily injury: the two biblical
    instances of gouging out the eye and knocking out the tooth are
    multiplied, and a long list of eligible injuries has been laid down
    (Kid. 24b–25a; Yad, Avadim 5:4–14; Sh. Ar., YD 267:27–39). While the
    list in the codes was intended to be exhaustive, the better rule seems
    to be that all injuries leaving any permanent disfigurement are included
    (Kid. 24a). The rule is confined to non-Hebrew slaves only (Mekh.
    Nezikin 9); injuries inflicted on Hebrew slaves, male or female, are
    dealt with as injuries to freemen (BK 8:3; Yad, Ḥovel 4:13 and Avadim
    4:6). A slave may also be released if his master bequeaths him all his
    property (Pe’ah 3:8; Git. 8b–9a; Yad, Avadim 7:9; YD 267:57). By
    marriage to a freewoman, or by his de facto recognition, in the presence
    of his master, as a free Jew (e.g., using phylacteries and reading the
    Torah in public; Git. 39b–40a; Yad, Avadim 8:17; YD 267:70) a slave
    obtained his freedom. Marriage to the master’s daughter seems to have
    been a not infrequent means to emancipation (Pes. 113a).”

    As you see in just these examples, the “permanent slave” status you refer to in Leviticus turns out to be a *legal* designation, as opposed to a Hebrew (six-year) servitude. This “permanent” status could hardly be deemed “permanent” when a non-Hebrew slave had numerous ways in which he/she could obtain freedom. And this is a prime example of the language limitations, having the one word (ebed) meaning slave, servant (voluntary, involuntary), worker, and so on.

    Commentary on Vayikrah 25:46. “This concept of slavery is nothing like slavery that occurred in America to the
    Negroes. The slaves were not kidnapped, but rather were purchased from themselves; i.e., they were offered a sum of money, or guaranteed shelter and food, in exchange for becoming slaves. The obligation to treat your slave
    humanely applies to both Jewish and non-Jewish slave, as does the obligation to make sure they have all necessary comforts, even at the expense of their master’s own comfort (e.g., if there are not enough pillows for all, the master
    must provide his slaves with pillows before himself)”.

    BTW – I don’t expect you to know this, but all those references (ie Kid.i.3) are Talmudic references – this is both case law and commentary. If you actually want to get *serious* and discuss slavery as actually considered in the Law of Moses, then I’d strongly suggest you spend a little time looking at Hebrew case law to see how the laws were actually applied by those who lived under them.

    Re: “Poor God! He’s omniscient and omnipotent, and yet he can’t get “Don’t enslave people” into the tablet of laws that he established! That’s gotta be frustrating.”

    This is not a meaningful argument. We can *suppose* all want about God, but I’d suggest we stray from supposition. Such statements are “cute”, but hardly scholarly. The same applies to your “homophobia” statement and your statement about “why am I teaching you about what God’s omnipotence means?” question. What we’ve got – for whatever reasons – is the written text. Neither you nor I know *why*, specifically, it’s written as it is. Such “cute” commentaries are nothing more than “what abouts”: “If Jesus could heal miraculously, then why did he need to use mud to heal a blind man?” We can *suppose* an answer, or *speculate* on an answer, but, that’s all it boils down to.

    Re: “Slavery was indeed pretty much identical to what we had here. Read that post of mine.”

    I read that post of yours, and it’s so chock-full of errors that it’s hardly worth reading.

  • This “permanent” status could hardly be deemed “permanent” when a non-Hebrew slave had numerous ways in which he/she could obtain freedom.

    Sorry—are you speaking about the Hebrew slavery situation or the American slavery situation? They sound the same.

    And this is a prime example of the language limitations, having the one word (ebed) meaning slave, servant (voluntary, involuntary), worker, and so on.

    Not really that big a deal. Lev. 25:44-46 makes it clear that we’ve got a second kind of slavery besides indentured servitude.

    Commentary on Vayikrah 25:46. “This concept of slavery is nothing like slavery that occurred in America to the
    Negroes. The slaves were not kidnapped, but rather were purchased from themselves; i.e., they were offered a sum of money, or guaranteed shelter and food, in exchange for becoming slaves.

    Or were captured in battle. I suspect that many of these slaves for life didn’t go willingly.

    The obligation to treat your slave
    humanely applies to both Jewish and non-Jewish slave, as does the obligation to make sure they have all necessary comforts

    You may be shocked to know that in the South, there were also laws against abuse of slaves.

    Yet again, just like in the Bible.

    BTW – I don’t expect you to know this, but all those references (ie Kid.i.3) are Talmudic references – this is both case law and commentary. If you actually want to get *serious* and discuss slavery as actually considered in the Law of Moses, then I’d strongly suggest you spend a little time looking at Hebrew case law to see how the laws were actually applied by those who lived under them.

    Interesting information, though I don’t see how this changes anything. You still have unwilling slaves for life. Y’know, just like in the South or in other parts of the Americas.

    This is not a meaningful argument. We can *suppose* all want about God, but I’d suggest we stray from supposition.

    Uh, it was you who were supposing that God’s hands were tied by the Hebrew customs of the time (slavery). I’m simply reminding you that God was/is supposed to be omnipotent.

    I read that post of yours, and it’s so chock-full of errors that it’s hardly worth reading.

    Thanks. Very insightful. I’ve corrected that post based on your feedback.

  • australian stockman

    Re: “Sorry—are you speaking about the Hebrew slavery situation or the American slavery situation? They sound the same.”

    The examples I gave came supported with Hebrew-language Mishnaic references. Non-Hebrew slaves had a “price of redemption”, and could obtain their freedom at any time for that price, which could be paid by them, or certain relatives, etc.

    I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve given you actual, real-life information based on actual, real-life Hebrew case law.

    Re: “Interesting information, though I don’t see how this changes anything.
    You still have unwilling slaves for life. Y’know, just like in the South
    or in other parts of the Americas.”

    *chuckle* I don’t know what to tell you, buddy. The examples of supporting info which I posted are talking about “Foreign slaves” or “Alien slaves” — these are non-Hebrew slaves.

    But, keep on repeating to yourself “they had permanent slaves, they had permanent slaves”.

    I think I’m done with this. You got no idea what you’re talking about.

  • Non-Hebrew slaves had a “price of redemption”, and could obtain their freedom at any time for that price, which could be paid by them, or certain relatives, etc.

    Ditto African slaves in the U.S.

    I don’t know what to tell you. I’ve given you actual, real-life information based on actual, real-life Hebrew case law.

    And I’m trying to break it to you that you’re also describing conditions in the US.

    The examples of supporting info which I posted are talking about “Foreign slaves” or “Alien slaves” — these are non-Hebrew slaves.

    Yup. Just like Europeans in the U.S. had non-European slaves.

    I think I’m done with this. You got no idea what you’re talking about.

    Thanks for the feedback. If I may reciprocate: use this discussion to see how your argument won’t make sense to the next well-informed atheist and try to improve it.

  • Get a second opinion.

  • MR

    Second opinion: Hands down he was a flaming jerk who should have been banned long before.

  • Paul B. Lot

    In the end you DO have to silence people who can stand their ground and demonstrate that your just an insecure bully.

    You’re*

  • He pretends that I had to ban him because his arguments were just too darn good. Of course, if that were the case, my error was taking so long to figure out where the Ban button was.

  • australian stockman

    Re: “use this discussion to see how your argument won’t make sense to the next well-informed atheist and try to improve it.”

    I haven’t found the *first* well-informed atheist yet. Seriously, if I thought for a moment you had any idea what you were talking about, I’d continue this discussion.

  • Pamela Diehl

    Back at it, I see!