The role of slavery and racism in our world
By Tesse Wilson
Out of one blood God formed the nations (races) of the earth. Peoples of different races have experienced some form of slavery. Sadly slavery still exist today. One example is human trafficking.
The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade of persons from Africa did happen, it was horrific, some say get over it. That is trivializing one of darkest period in human history. A period of time according to the United Nations which lasted approximately four centuries where persons of one race enslaved human beings of another race for commerce. People like themselves made in the image and likeness of God. It was big business to trade the Africans and justify it through the misinterpretation of scripture by those who may have considered themselves to be good Christians, patronized by those who were just following the norms of the day, encouraged and financed by those with race supremacy ideas who disliked persons of dark skin tones. Some good white folks did not like it, some spoke out, but others were fearful and stayed silent. Slavery was institutionalized.
Can one have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and yet be involved in the trade of slaves? NO! Jesus said to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. But then slaves were not viewed as equal, but as animals and were treated as such or even worse. All humans should be treated with dignity and animals should be treated humanely. Knowing Jesus brings conversion, transformation, a change of heart from one of stone to flesh. There were slave traders and owners whose hearts became one of flesh when they truly turned to God and received his amazing grace for they were themselves slaves to a master called sin.
Slavery cost dearly in flesh and blood, families were torn apart, loss of identity, culture and history. Even today the descendants of some slave owners sometimes feel the burden of what their fore parents did and some descendants of slaves feel a sense of inferiority.
Slavery has sown seeds of hatred, mistrust and discord which may be with us for generations to come. Today we witness so many sad scenarios. We see acts of injustice. There are those who still hold and practice white supremacy views and it is condoned, encouraged and supported by a minority. Then there are those who want revenge for ills perpetrated against black people and it is also condoned and encouraged by some. Let us remember the example of the late Nelson Mandela the freedom fighter who also served as President of South Africa. While we must not stay silent where there is injustice we must never go the way of an eye for an eye. Even among persons who claim to know the God of the Bible, who have a greater understanding of who God is and his will there are some who have secret bias against persons of different races, skin tone and color. Oh, the bad things that is in the human heart, the charades. God sees it and it is revealed even more during election times. It is clear segregation still exist. Racism exists. The things many try to hide, others can discern or it can be confirmed by a slip of the tongue. Race issues make some people angry to kill. The words of the Apostle John echoes how can someone claim to love God whom he/she cannot see and hate your brother, sister, another human being whom you see. No matter our claim to know Christ, we may preach, teach, sing and give our lives for the gospel yet we can do all of these good and noble things and still lack genuine love. The apostle Paul says love is the greatest thing. God wants us to love him and others willingly. We must be motivated by love.
Some folks complain of race influencing everything. Tired hearing about it, they say it should not be an issue but it colors and influences many decisions. God did not send his son to save a perfect world. Is it that we have swept it under the carpet for too long. We cannot be afraid to address it or be afraid of being labelled a racist if there are moral failings and behaviors that are counter productive in persons who are not of our race and we point it out. However one must use tact and the right avenues to highlight these issues. Most important is having the right motive.
Black people should not be perceived as lazy and would be criminals and White people should not be perceived as racist. People are individuals. We should all contribute to the development of the nation in which we live. Correct black history needs to be taught. We salute the actions of those in high office who played a vital role in the abolition of slavery but persons of African descent owe no debt of gratitude to anyone for the end of slavery. Like all men, black people were created by God to have free will.The caste system in India, tribal issues in Africa and Arab countries speaks of a world which does not really know the true God. Look at the way women are treated in some countries in the Middle East. In the west the drug trade, those who view and use women as sex objects in advertising and the horror of human trafficking. Jesus has sent us out to preach the gospel in a world where there is a lot of injustice, hurt and pain. The gospel would bring unity and real change to many hearts if it is preached in his power and love and received with sincerity. His word will transform our hearts if we allow to. Love must be sincere.
Peter was biased against other races, it was a tradition but God spoke to him a vision and dealt with Peter’s heart and admonished him not to call common and unclean what he (God) has made. Peter had a change of heart and he shared the gospel and ate with the Gentiles but was afraid of what the other Jews would think. Paul also an apostle rebuked him.
Let us not think that we are better than anyone else. Let us call no one uncommon and never view ourselves as less than anyone in terms of race, beauty, education, ability or status or we will continue to perpetuate the worst form of slavery which is mental slavery.
Jesus was never on the side of the slave trader or master whipping the slave. Jesus always hears the cries of those taken captive against their will. Jesus died for all men, all races, creed and color. Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white we are precious in his sight Jesus loves us all. Out of one blood God formed the nations,we all came from Adam.
Tesse is a woman who is happy to be a vessel fit for the Master’s(Jesus) use and glory. Contact info: [email protected]