Blessed assurance Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine! Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood, This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight, Visions of rapture now burst on my sight, Angels descending, bring from above Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long.
Perfect submission, all is at rest, I in my Saviour am happy and blest, Watching and waiting, looking above, Filled with His goodness, lost in His love. This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Saviour all the day long.
SLAVERY AND THE BIBLE The Calabash Club 21 st October 2010
The Old Testament and slavery “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” (Exodus 20:17) “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property." (Exodus 21:20-21)
"But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates." (Exodus 20:10)
The New Testament and slavery “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favour when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men.” (Ephesians 6:5-7) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28) “that you might have him back for good— no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.” (Philemon 1:16)
The early church and slavery Gregory of Nyssa (4 th century) “You condemn man who is free and autonomous to servitude, and you contradict God by perverting the natural law. Man, who was created as lord over the earth, you have put under the yoke of servitude as a transgressor and rebel against the divine precept. You have forgotten the limit of your authority which consists in jurisdiction over brutish animals. Scripture says that man shall rule birds, beasts, fish, four-footed animals and reptiles [Genesis 1.26].”
The later church and slavery 600 AD: Pope Gregory I wrote, in his Pastoral Rule: "Slaves should be told...not [to] despise their masters and recognize that they are only slaves.“ 1548 AD: Pope Paul III confirmed that any individual may freely buy, sell and own slaves. Runaway slaves were to be returned to their owners for punishment.
Slave-owners and the Bible (1) They used the Biblical sections on slavery to justify it in their time: –“[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." (Jefferson Davies, President of Confederate States of America) (2) They justified slavery as it made the slaves into Christians
(3) They used Genesis 9:25-27 to justify enslaving people from Africa “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers. He also said, 'Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem! May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japeth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave'.”
God of Justice Isaiah 1:17-18: “Seek justice,encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless,plead the case of the widow.” Isaiah 61:8: "For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.” Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
Proverbs 31:8-9 “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Matthew 12:20 “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.” Hebrews 11:32-34 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised.
William Wilberforce and abolition Mark 10:42-45, Jesus said “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
A task still to complete All around the world, and even in this neighbourhood are young girls maybe from Eastern Europe who have been kidnapped and are being raped in forced prostitution several times a day every day for years on end. All around the world a man, his wife, and his children are being abducted and all of them forced to work 16 hour days, seven days a week for years—even for entire lifetimes! All around the world some 27 million people have been kidnapped and are currently held in the bondage of slavery.
Different stories – common features Masud was 12 years old when he was tricked into leaving his family in Bangladesh with an unknown man. They travelled to England where he was left in an Indian restaurant. To survive he worked in various restaurants and lived in store rooms. He was not allowed to go to school and his life was controlled by the restaurant owners. When he was 28, he contacted the local police who helped him get the right documents to stay in the UK and be reunited with his family. Candy was born in West Africa. At the age of 15; she was sold and brought to the UK where she was held prisoner and forced to work as a prostitute – seeing up to nine men a day. She felt isolated and scared in a country where she was totally alone. Candy stayed in the brothel because she was told that if she tried to leave, her family in Africa would be punished. Candy eventually escaped and found help at the police station. She is now rebuilding her life.
Facts on people trafficking It’s the fastest growing international crime In one day, while anyone is doing a 9 – 5 job, 480 people will be trafficked internationally 80% of victims are female and 50% are children 2 children a minute are trafficked for sexual exploitation 70% of all women who are trafficked are sexually exploited It affects every country, everywhere
What can we do? Support the charity STOP THE TRAFFIK Be aware that trafficking could be happening in your community, and the community can stop it PRAY »
Amazing Grace Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; Was blind, but now I see. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come; ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, And grace will lead me home. The Lord has promised good to me, His Word my hope secures; He will my Shield and Portion be, As long as life endures. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail, And mortal life shall cease, I shall possess, within the veil, A life of joy and peace.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow, The sun forbear to shine; But God, who called me here below, Will be forever mine. When we’ve been there ten thousand years, Bright shining as the sun, We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise Than when we’d first begun.