“Everyone is a slave. The aim is not to be free, but to serve a perfect master. The next best thing is to serve those who best pursue his perfection.” –Houston Malande
Picture this. Your village raided, and everyone is roughed up and shackled, then taken to this dreadful Island, 3km off the Mombasa coastal town. Children and women separated from men. You get marched into a small dark room half-filled with ocean water. Shackles of iron then used to tie your arms, legs and necks. A 10kg of weight then placed on everyone’s legs. This tiny room will be your new dwelling for the next three months, after which your fate decided on. If you weigh less than 60kg, the captors will take you to a fattening room. You risk being fed to the sharks lurking around the shores of the Island if you fail to attain the required body weight. In case you fall sick, the same doom will befall you (this was a precautionary act intended to ensure the survival of all-just in case your disease is infectious). By now it’s pretty clear that you are all slaves being prepared for the ‘market day’, when slave traders from the Americas and the Caribbean will come to bid. You will all later be shipped thousands of miles away across the ocean. After three months, the slave traders come to ‘shop.’ But first, they must strip you naked and gather you outside for a better view. Ethnical background and physical attributes are the main selling point here. Now prepare for a voyage that will take months. Some people try to escape while you are boarding the ships. Shots fired, and dozens killed instantly. Those who continue to resist are thrown overboard. The shark-infested oceans turn red. Unperturbed, the slave traders proceed with the journey, which will result to even more deaths from suffocation and suicides among some of your people. You’ve just left the infamous ‘House of Slaves.’ Stop imagining now because these events took place between the 15th century and 1848, commonly referred to as the transatlantic slave trade. The Island in question is called Goree Island, located in Senegal. It is estimated that over 20 million Africans forcibly were enslaved in this ‘slave depot.’
AUTHORITY ABUSED, FREE REIN PURSUED
Slavery is a touchy subject, more so in 2020, and having a title that says ‘we are all slaves’ may seem contentious without a proper context. However, having a skewed understanding of the same issue has caused a lot of problems. What happened at Goree Island is an example of what happens when there is the abuse of authority. It has caused many to revolt against any form of Lordship, including that of Jesus Christ. One of our previous articles https://kuzaapp.com/blog/2020/8/22/the-religious-nones?rq=religious%20nones revealed to us how the youth are increasingly refusing to be associated with any religious group ranging from Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and any other faith institutions. They want to be ‘free.’ Majority of them will try to make you understand how religion has caused harm to society. Most certainly, slavery in the 15th century will be top of their list. Civil disobedience has become a daily occurrence in many parts of the world, resulting from bad governance. In Kenya, we have seen leaders abuse power conferred to them by millions. The horrors of police brutality in Kenya that we discussed in https://kuzaapp.com/blog/2020/6/11/police-brutality?rq=police%20brutality is another glaring example. The outcome is the rejection of the Supreme Lord, Jesus Christ.
EMANCIPATION MOVEMENTS IN THE PEWS
Christian circles have people who are champions of ‘free will.’ The sovereignty of God is fiercely fought. They want to present to the world a God who is not an absolute Master. From their subconscious perspectives, God cannot be in control of everything and dictate how we should live our lives. That isn’t good in a progressive society. Freedom is paramount. Certainly, most of them do all this without even knowing that it stems from what has been happening around them. You can infer why reformed doctrine is quickly turned down by many in the church.
Regarding theological stands, we have a growing number of ‘theological nones.’ People who dread having a theological stand, claiming controversy is not their thing. Well, if you fall into this category, you might want to go through https://kuzaapp.com/blog/2020/7/29/guys-on-the-bridge-part-1?rq=guys
SLAVES OF A RIGHTEOUS LORD
Pastor Kevin DeYoung remarks, “If someone or something is going to have authority – I’d like it to be Jesus.” He further explains, “Part of our problem is we’ve all seen authority abused – but Jesus never abuses it. He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s the only one in the world who can have absolute power, and it doesn’t corrupt him absolutely – it doesn’t corrupt him at all… we want him to have authority over our lives. Because of the way we look at it, he offers us joy and freedom and grace and forgiveness. And if all of that is wrapped up in Jesus – and all of that can be ours when we follow him and trust in him and what he did for us on the cross – then that’s the kind of authority that’s actually good news.”
Jesus proclaimed in Mathew 28:18 that all authority in heaven and on earth had been given to him. Isaiah 32:1 prophesied that Jesus would reign with righteousness and justice. Jeremiah 23:5 agrees with this, saying that he will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land.
Paul in his letters loved to refer to himself as “a bondservant /slave of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:1.) It’s a marvellous thing to be a “slave of righteousness,” after all; we are all slaves of something or someone. Romans brings this point out clearly, “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
The gory Goree Island and the 15th-century slave trade will forever be a painful reminder to us all, regardless of our race or origin, of the effects of abused authority. But Jesus Christ is our hope and refuge. Put your faith in him, and you’ll find all you need under his Lordship.