May 27, 2024

Slavery in 2007

Although slavery officially ended in America after the Civil War, it’s still existing in the USA.  True, there is sex slavery, human trafficking, and other things that are alive and well, but when you go to the Bible and the historical accounts you get a different picture of slavery and you’ll see what I mean.

First, slavery in the Bible did not bear the negative connotations it does today. If you do even a short study on slavery you see that Paul tells us that we are to be bond slaves to Christ.  You see that Sarah was exalted for calling Abraham Lord.  You see that Paul sent Onesemus back to Philemon to be a good slave, and tells slaves to obey their masters.

Slavery may have changed the way it is manifesting itself, but it is here.  Take, for instance, the indentured slave.  In the early founding of America, you could come here without any money with the provision that you were a slave to the person that brought you for an amount of time.  This would be parallel to the Biblical account of a person that went into debt having to work as a slave to the person he was indebted to (albeit he should be released at the Sabbath or jubilee years).

We have the same thing today– it’s called a credit card.  You’re a slave to the creditor– to your plastic.  You’re working a part of your day (small or large) to pay back your credit card company.  Don’t think you’re a slave?  Try not making a payment.  How do you like phone calls, the collection agency, or prison?

How about the whole employment aspect of slavery?  Now it is true that we are able to move from job to job– but we have certain hours that we have to be working.  We have an amount of time we have to put in, and we need to be doing what the employer wants us to do (most of us) rather than what we would like to do.  Now, hopefully we find something that we like to do for a job, but that’s not always the case.

The same about slavery.  If people were better at something, you can be sure that they were the slave that did it.  If they were stronger, they did the things that required physical effort.  They just were not as mobile.

You see, Biblical slavery didn’t disappear– abuse did, but that was always wrong.

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2 thoughts on “Slavery in 2007

  1. And then there are other ones, like lust, gluttony, laziness, love for pleasure…

    Only one form is good and desired – to be slaves of God. The other ones – we have to fight them, some we have to accept…

  2. I think there is a lot of mileage in seeing that contracts of work are not wholly disimilar from slavery, and to wonder how our society can improve on this modern indenteured servitude! I for one feel that “human resources” is not wholly different from “human property”!

    But there are some key and important differences – saftey nets that were not available either to slaves or those in indentured servitude.

    You speak of credit cards, but you can, in fact, stop payments. Bankruptcy is an option, and there are laws that will protect you from your creditors if you become bankrupt. (As opposed to the practice not so long ago of sending people to a debtors prison!)

    Likewise there are reciprocal rights in contractual arrangements, the most obvious of which is your absolute right to payment, as well as your rights to terminate the contract, take leave etc.

    So whilst there is a type of “wage slavery” here, we note it is a voluntary arrangement.

    That, of course, is similar to our slavery to Christ. We have chosen Christ just as Christ has chosen us. It is the arrangement in the Old Testament where a slave, at the end of up to seven years of slavery, has chosen to continue to serve his master and has his ear pierced to demonstrate this fact. No longer is he a slave because he was taken captive, or otherwise sold into that estate. Now he is a slave because he has chosen to be so.

    Unfortunately the enlightened biblical model of slavery (which was really indentured servitude) was not followed in the evil transatlantic slave trade.

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