Australia's prime minister recently said that he ignored certain Bible passages because they contain values that are deplorable such as slavery. Kevin Rudd is ignorant of the Bible's ancient historical contexts and not the only one to misuse the term slavery, reading modern definitions into ancient cultures. We moderns tend to have a knee-jerk reaction to the word slavery simply because of the historically recent abuse of African slaves and because of the horrors of sexual slavery. However, ancient slavery was not always abusive as we will see.
While the ancient's also had some abusive practices, not all slavery was. Our recent African slavery is condemned in the Bible because it was a form of slavery resulting from kidnapping, which the Bible forbids. On the other hand, we have some forms of slavery today which we consider to be quite legitimate. We have just changed the vocabulary and no longer call it slavery.
One form of legitimate slavery which we have today is a requirement for people to do community service if ordered by a judge. In ancient times this was called slavery. We also sometimes require prisoners to do certain tasks such as litter clean-up or even road repair. In ancient times this was handled via a form of term-limited slavery. We also require that debtors pay off their debts. In ancient times this was settled via various systems of term-limited slavery. Are we not also slaves to debt? Another example was war-reparations. Soldiers captured in wartime were required to work as slaves to repair the damage they had caused.
So, next time someone starts to spout off about the Bible and how times have changed, just realize that there is another side to the coin for those who care to use their brains.