The Curse of Slavery
(Phil. 2:5-11) [Christ a "bondservant" (slave) for our sake]
"Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant [slave] which is escaped from his master unto thee: He shall dwell with thee, even among you, in that place which he shall choose in one of thy gates, where it liketh him best: thou shalt not oppress him." (De. 23:15-16)
"Art thou called being a servant [slave]? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant [slave], is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he that is called being free, is Christ's servant [slave]." (1 Cor. 7:21-22)
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:28)
"If a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake. And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake." (Exodus 21:26-27)
"The seventh day is a day of Sabbath rest before the Lord your God. On that day you are to do no work of any kind, nor shall your son, daughter, or slaves -- whether men or women -- or your cattle or your house guests." (Exodus 20:10 LB)
"Celebrate the Feast of Weeks [Pentecost] to the Lord your God by giving a freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has given you. And rejoice before the Lord . . .--you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, [slaves] . . . and the aliens, the fatherless and the widows living among you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt, and follow carefully these decrees." (De. 16:10-12 NIV)
Abraham Bininger, a young Swiss lad, and his parents were on the same ship that brought John Wesley to America. Both parents died and were buried at sea. Years later, when he was a man, he heard of the "great misery and degradation" of the slaves on the island of St. Thomas, and "asked to be sent to tell the story of the cross" to them.
When he arrived he learned that only a slave was allowed to preach to the slaves there. It "was the policy of the planters to keep the blacks in ignorance and superstition." He wrote a letter to the governor begging "to become a slave for the rest of his lifee, promising to serve as a slave faithfully, provided he could give his leisure time to preaching to his fellow-slaves." The governor sent the letter to the King of Denmark, who . . . sent an edict" allowing the young man to preach to anyone, anywhere he chose, slave or free.
Lough Fook was a Chinese Christian. He heard of the condition of Chinese coolies working in the South African mines, and sold himself for a term of five years as a slave in Demerara. As he worked in the mines with his fellow slaves he preached the Gospel to them, and before he died he had won nearly 200 to Jesus Christ, and they joined the Church. He could say of them what Paul said of Onesimus, that he had begotten them in his bonds.
In a Nigerian slave market "a poor little boy was placed on the auction block. His appearance was so miserable that the slave traders offered only a roll of tobacco for him. He and the other slaves were on their way to America when the ship was captured by the British. They took the slaves to Freetown, I believe that is in Sierra Leone, and freed them. "The little boy was put in the charge of missionaries." "Many years later in St. Paul's Cathedral, London, in the presence of church dignitaries and statesmen and nobles there was consecrated the first bishop of Nigeria." You have guessed it. That little boy, Samuel Crowter, "did a wonderful work for God in Nigeria, where his name is still revered as a true hero of the Lord Jesus."
"When the late Bishop of Madras was visiting Travancore," he was introduced to a little slave girl called "The Child Apostle." She had persistently spoken to Christ to others, but had been brutally persecuted as a result."Her face, neck and arms were disfigured and scarred by stripes and blows." The bishop's eyes filled with tears, and he said, "My child, how could you bear this?" In surprise the little Christian answered: "Don't you like to suffer for Christ, sir?"