Bible Studies
Written by Jim Jordal   
Sunday, 13 September 2015


By Jim Jordal

If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you; you shall not make him to serve as a slave. As a hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee: then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers. For they are my servants, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt. They shall not be sold as slaves. You shall not rule over him with harshness, but shall fear your God.                                        Lev. 25:39-43 WEB

That enslaving anyone for profit is wrong ought to be a bedrock principle of Christian faith. Yet slavery still persists in the form of children sold into servitude, industrial wage slaves locked into filthy dangerous sweatshops, immigrants seeking subsistence, sexual playmates for people of power, and scores of other instances where individual freedom is ignored in the race for pleasure and profit. 

And perhaps worst of all, some of these perversions of power still occur in the U.S. as vulnerable migrants fall into virtual slavery in the food production and preparation industry, and young women lured into prostitution as politically-correct “sex workers.”

Human slavery is perhaps the most glaring negation of the Golden Rule and Christ’s Law of Love in existence. It began early in history as military victors seized vanquished populations as slaves. It continued as debtors and often their families were enslaved for non-payment of debt. It grew mightily as advancing nations came to realize the economic value of unpaid labor on farms, homesteads, and factories. And it still exists today as producers of food and commodities use lax labor laws to virtually enslave their workers through low wages, terrible working conditions, and meager retirement provisions. Examples of this are the sweatshops of Bangladesh and other Southeast Asian countries and the plight of migrant farm laborers right here in the U.S.

Our own Civil War and the impending breakup of the union arose from the existing moral code essentially saying that the political definition of freedom included the liberty to hold others in slavery because it was the foundation of Southern culture and economics. Thomas Jefferson and several of the other writers and signers of the Declaration of Independence held slaves.  They evidently were so enmeshed in the existing culture that they failed to perceive the glaring contrast between what they said and what they did.

Today it’s not so much the social and cultural systems that create slavery; it’s the misdirected philosophies of free markets, the Law of Scarcity, and Supply-Side economics that enjoy the backing of establishment economists and financiers. Simply, they claim that everything exists in some form of scarcity, therefore demanding an economy able to ration scarce goods and services to those having the financial resources to buy them. Free markets ensure that the “invisible hand” of Adam Smith will fairly accomplish this rationing process. And the “supply-siders” claim that government resources (read: favors) put in at the top of the economic pyramid in the form of tax benefits, subsidies, and relaxed regulations will somehow filter down to the bottom of the pyramid, thereby ensuring prosperity for all.

Unfortunately, this just doesn’t work that way, mostly because of human greed and the ability of some to use their vast resources and power to subvert the system. God understood all the time that these perversions would occur, so he gave us warning in his word: “ Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees, and to the writers who write oppressive decrees; to deprive the needy from justice, and to rob the poor among my people of their rights, that widows may be their spoil, and that they may make the fatherless their prey!” (Isa. 10:1-2 WEB).

God is against slavery in any form. Christians should be also.