One of the complaints Atheists have about the Bible is seemingly inappropriate verses such as the following:
Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. (1 Peter 2:18, NIV)
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. (Ephesians 6:5, NIV)
I’ve never had a problem understanding these verses. If I were a slave, and if I were a Christian, then I would submit happily to my master, even if he was evil and harsh to me. This is no different than the commandments to give you cloak to those who would sue you for your coat, or walking 2 miles with those who compel you to go 1, or turning the other cheek, or loving your enemies, etc…
Do these verses endorse slavery? I don’t see it. We are no more to own or be slaves than we are to have enemies, obviously.
Rather, these verses teach us how to deal with the injustice that life deals us. The world would have us rise up, use violence, and extract revenge. The Gospel of Christ teaches us to submit obediently to whatever life has dealt us, glorifying God and living with kindness, patience, and love to all, looking forward to a future heavenly reward.
Slavery was a fact of life 2,000 years ago. In some parts of the world, it is still a fact of life. As a Christian, I teach that slavery is wrong. The reason why America abandoned slavery is because of Christians like myself who came to believe that there was no inherent substantial difference between the black and white races, that God did not condone violence and injustice, and that we had a moral prerogative to use our freedom to free the slaves.
Atheists would try to twist these verses to mean the exact opposite of what they mean. That’s their freedom, but to claim intellectual superiority in the process is insane.