For 3 centuries, pro-slavery preachers manipulated scripture to teach a lie. That dark-skinned people are cursed, and that God approved of American-style slavery. For instance, they proclaimed that since Abraham and all the patriarchs held slaves, God must sanction it. (Gen. 21:9-10). The truth they covered up is people sold themselves into servitude to pay off debt. Harsh treatment of servants was condemned by God, and servants were to be treated like family.
Although slavery was indeed common, these and other facts demonstrate that Old Testament slavery was nothing like the horrendous American slave trade. And it had zero to do with skin color!
Slavery in the New Testament
Pro-slavery Christians pointed to teachings of Apostle Paul that specifically commanded slaves to obey their masters (Eph. 6:5-8). The scriptural truth they ignored is Paul also commanded masters to treat their servants humanely, and with respect (verse 9). Again… nothing at all like the ungodly treatment of captured Africans by white American slaveholders for 300 years.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
As soon as they learned to read English, freed slaves began to read the Bible and they learned the truth. That there is only one race – the human race – all from Adam and Eve. That there in one Savior, Jesus Christ, the second Adam. And that the Creator offers the promise of eternal life to all. Large numbers of blacks embraced the Christian faith, including my ancestors. As they began to write, they began to argue for their human rights. Just as Jesus promised “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (see John 8:31-36).
The Truth is Still Setting People Free
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 18:32). He will set you free from the lies you may have been told about who you are. Lies you’ve told yourself about yourself. God’s Word will set you free by revealing God’s extravagant love for you. When you embrace His love, God’s Spirit will set you free from slavery to all manner of addictions, hopelessness and fears. Believe God’s Holy Word and receive your freedom.
To learn more about the liberating truths of God’s Word, contact us here at Urban Light Ministries. ULM offers spiritual enrichment for children through the after school program The Sonshine Clubs. Our fatherhood programs introduce men to the love of the Heavenly Father and helps them learn to parent in God’s love.