By Ryan West
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him. Proverbs 14:31 In the Bible, the Lord offers little room for debate. Oppressors are insulting to God, whereas the one who is generous glorifies Him. We often skim past verses such as this one, thinking we are free from this judgment. After all, who have we oppressed? Surprisingly, we are all learning the horrifying truth of oppression in relation to modern day slavery.
Historically, Christians have understood their role in addressing slavery.
In our journeys as Christ’s disciples, we are accountable for sins of commission as well as omission. Our involvement in addressing the social ill of modern day slavery is no different. Have you omitted—or neglected—God’s explicit commands to care for the current slave population? Check out passages such as Deuteronomy 10:17-19, Zechariah 7:8-10 and James 2:14-26, and discover what God has to say about caring for people. You see, we are called to continue the work of Jesus found in Luke 4:17-19: Proclaim good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to the captives, to set free those who are oppressed. By doing so, we will be those who proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor to these individuals as we set them free.
Our Role in Addressing Slavery
Historically, Christians have understood their role in addressing slavery. British evangelicals quit using sugar in their tea to protest the slave trade in the West Indies. William Wilberforce fought a long political battle in British Parliament for the same purpose. William Carey and other Baptist missionaries bought prostitutes from their pimps and employed them in India to give them freedom. The question before us today is whether we will follow their example or continue to ignore the social ill of modern day slavery.
The question before us today is whether we will follow their example or continue to ignore the social ill of modern day slavery.
You can be one who responds to God’s call to engage in providing relief to human suffering around you or contribute to the heart of the problem through commission or omission. I am convinced that God’s Spirit will not let us rest until we are generous to the needy. When it comes to slavery, we must join the movement and end it! How are you putting this call into action in your own life?
Because people can be sold over and over again every day, human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. Discover how Send Relief can help your church bring awareness to and refuge from the human trafficking epidemic in your area.