Happy ‘anti-slavery day’

Diagram of a slave ship from the Atlantic slav...

Diagram of a slave ship from the Atlantic slave trade. From an Abstract of Evidence delivered before a select committee of the House of Commons in 1790 and 1791. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Apparently in 2007 the EU Parliament passed a law that made 18 October ‘Anti Human trafficking day’ and in 2010 the british Parliament made the same day ‘Anti-slavery day’. My take on that is: whoopee, maybe we could have a hashtag next–they’re all about as effective.

Why this is here is a reminder that it was the British, led mostly by Wilberforce, that ended the transatlantic slave trade, by putting the Royal Navy, and their money where their mouth was.

Still, I like Ann Jolis’ article here, she says some good things, and that’s her job. And she did a good job.

But we need to heed what the Spectator editors of an earlier age said.

We could not have believed for a moment, a year ago, that the Times and Saturday Review would both in the same week devote their ablest pens to an apology, not merely for Slavery itself, but for the Christian character of that institution. Yet so it is. . . .

The Times follows its bolder contemporary on the same track, modestly suggesting that it would be much more Scriptural and Christian in the abolitionists to preach the ‘amelioration of the negro’ (we suppose the writer means, of his lot), than his emancipation. . . .

For ourselves we do not hesitate to say that no religious scepticism of the present day seems to us so monstrous and so atheistic as this; nay, that if the Gospel were weighted with such a condition, it would be one that neither sign nor miracle could prove. It is, speaking relatively, of infinitely little importance whether we live under an aristocracy or a democracy, compared with whether we live under a God who loves freedom, or a Devil who loves Slavery. But, we confess, nothing seems to us more astounding than the assertion that the Divine revelation is indifferent on the matter. No doubt, the Divine education of the Hebrew people never attempted to ignore the actual historical condition of the nation. It recognized, under the strictest possible limitations, the fact of Slavery, at an era when no other people had learned to impose any limitation on the power of the master at all.

 

Via Happy ‘anti-slavery day’ to Clapham Christians, et al » Spectator Blogs.

Those are words we would be well advised to heed, and with more than our mouths.

There is still much work to do.

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3 Responses to Happy ‘anti-slavery day’

  1. Funny, but when we in the West look at Slavery, we forget about Israel and the Israelis with the Egyptian Pharaoh, (Exodus 4-15, etc.) Surely the pharaoh of the exodus, made a very profound reality on the Jews, and their spiritual history. As Paul notes in Romans 9: 16–17! But Jesus was not a political agitator, or even a social reformer, (note Mk. 12: 2-4 ; Matt. 24: 45 ; John 8: 35, etc.) But of course later as Christianity reached into the world and the Roman empire, and developed into something of a social force, it became necessary to consider what the attitude towards slavery should be, especially as many slaves became Christians. And in this St. Paul gives us just one great principle, as ‘In Christ’, and all these distinctions disappear spiritually! (1 Cor. 12: 13, Gal. 3: 28, Col. 3: 11). But not fully formally, Paul did not use this principle to overthrow the institution of slavery. In Philemon we have the classical illustration of St. Paul’s attitude towards slavery in a concrete case. But again, this was the case of the Roman Empire, (note 1 Cor. 7: 21-23) Paul used it to present the Gospel itself!

    Btw, just a historical note, but both Washington and Jefferson owned many salves, and it was quite functional in their monetary lives, business and homes.

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    • Btw, my point was that the Gospel is not sent to change this fallen world or age itself, but to gather the redemptive People of God “themselves”, and ready them for God’s eternity ‘In Christ’! When Christ comes again, He will Himself bring and make a New World, or “the new world” (Palingenesia, Gk), literally a renewal or “regeneration”, (Matt. 19: 28). The word or term is used only here and in Titus 3: 5. In Titus it is to the present and individual regeneration, but here it is toward the future end-time renewal of the world, (see 2 Pet. 3: 10-13).

      “Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Gal. 1: 3-5, NIV 2011)

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      • Indeed our greatest “slavery” is to the sin in our hearts, which inhabits “self”! Note, Romans chapters 7 & 8! And only in God’s “glory” and heaven will this be fully removed!

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