In 2016, Nothing New


What would you do if I tell you to throw away every DVD that does not give me glory? What would you do if I tell you to cut out of your life even movies and music with positive messages that do not give me glory?

 Everything that does not give me glory is unholy; everything that takes my people’s focus off of me is unholy. What would you do if I tell you to leave your job or to walk away from that business because it is directly serving the devil’s agenda?

 What would you do if I tell you to stop your fellowship with some people you call friends? Did I not command for you to be holy like I am holy? Did I not tell you to get out of her? Did I not tell you to get out of that Babylonian system birthed out of the heart of Nimrod who rebelled against Me?

 Your degree and commitment towards holiness is the same exact level of commitment towards Me. I do the work of the heart, says the Lord, it is your responsibility to keep yourself clean by avoiding people, places, unholy habits and things. It is your job to watch what you do, what you see, what you hear and what you say. Learn from Exodus 4:24-26,

 24 And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the Lord met him and sought to kill him. 25 Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses’ feet, and said, “Surely you are a husband of blood to me!” 26 So He let him go. Then she said, “You are a husband of blood!”—because of the circumcision.

 New King James Version (NKJV)

Many are calling themselves Christians, but are using my name in vain, mocking my principles and minimizing the importance of walking in the beginning of my wisdom, that is, the fear of the Lord. My people are engage in loosing battles; it is not my will for them to lose these battles, but I will not intervene because they are sinning with the sin of Achan found in Joshua 7:10-26,

 10 So the Lord said to Joshua: “Get up! Why do you lie thus on your face? 11 Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have both stolen and deceived; and they have also put it among their own stuff. 12 Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you. 13 Get up, sanctify the people, and say, ‘Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow, because thus says the Lord God of Israel: “There is an accursed thing in your midst, O Israel; you cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the accursed thing from among you.” 14 In the morning therefore you shall be brought according to your tribes. And it shall be that the tribe which the Lord takes shall come according to families; and the family which the Lord takes shall come by households; and the household which the Lord takes shall come man by man. 15 Then it shall be that he who is taken with the accursed thing shall be burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of the Lord, and because he has done a disgraceful thing in Israel.’”

16 So Joshua rose early in the morning and brought Israel by their tribes, and the tribe of Judah was taken. 17 He brought the clan of Judah, and he took the family of the Zarhites; and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man, and Zabdi was taken. 18 Then he brought his household man by man, and Achan the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken.

19 Now Joshua said to Achan, “My son, I beg you, give glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession to Him, and tell me now what you have done; do not hide it from me.”

20 And Achan answered Joshua and said, “Indeed I have sinned against the Lord God of Israel, and this is what I have done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. And there they are, hidden in the earth in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”

22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent; and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the Lord. 24 Then Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the garment, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his oxen, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? The Lord will trouble you this day.” So all Israel stoned him with stones; and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.

26 Then they raised over him a great heap of stones, still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day. (NKJV)

Look at the power of the sin of one man to bring such defeat to a whole nation. What he got infected with? Babylon! We are still infected by Babylon! This call for holiness, is nothing new, is an Old and New Testament command. Be holy as I am holy!

 

 

 

Living With an Emotional Amputation


Ten years ago, on a day like today, I lost my first wife, Ileana Casiano. This last decade has been a decade where I have seen the devil face to face and, at the same time, I have experience God’s goodness like never before.

            I remember when Ileana died someone told me that it will take at least five years to recover from such pain. Somebody else told me that when you lose a love one; a father, mother, son, daughter, wife, husband or a close friend, etc. is like living with an amputation for the rest of your life. Both of these statements proved to be truth in my life.

            My current wife and I, both, have experience awful tragedies and circumstances in our lives. In our forties, I think that we would have prefer to be able to live alone with the Lord, see our children and grandchildren grow and learn to be at peace with ourselves. Believe me when I tell you, this blended family thing is not easy at all! However, it is still not good for a man (Woman) to be alone. We still have the need to share our lives in a very intimate way. Still, to be marry is better than to burn. This Biblical reality does not change because of divorces, failed relationship, mistakes, death, etc.

            So we learn to rely on the Lord like never before, navigate through our lives after such awful tragedies and pain and, we learn to be grateful to our God.

            In the last ten years I added many personal mistakes to the book of my life’s story, plenty of sin and plenty of stupidity. I still carry some regrets in my heart for some of those things I did that brought shame to my family, to the Body of Christ and for letting my God down. However, I celebrate ten years of God’s faithfulness; ten years of changes, ten years of still surviving and ten years of great hope.

               I am not dead nor depress, I have plenty of dreams, goals in life and excitement for the next ten years. Ileana gave her life to the Lord just three weeks after I did; that is the most important event in any person’s life. If you are not saved, that is your first problem that will only get worse with death. If you are born again and you suffered your whole life, can the time of your life be compared to an eternity with Christ? There is a life after this one that is so amazing that the brightest minds are unable to even imagine how amazing is going to be like.

            One day all of us, brothers and sisters in the Lord, will form a perfect family with no negative and no evil emotions. Are you ready?

El Más Grande Regalo


feliznavidad

Recientemente comencé unas clases de discipulado en la Iglesia de la cual soy parte aquí en Alaska. Hace ya un tiempo eh sentido en mi corazón la necesidad muy grande de regresar a las enseñanzas fundamentales de nuestra fe. Una de esas enseñanzas básicas es la doctrina de la salvación.

         El mensaje de la salvación fue claro durante los tiempos de Juan el Bautista, él anunció la llegada del Mesías haciendo eco a las Palabras del Profeta Isaías cuando nos dijo cientos de años atrás,

Por tanto, el Señor mismo os dará señal: La virgen concebirá y dará a luz un hijo, y le pondrá por nombre Emanuel. Isaías 7:14Reina-Valera 1995 (RVR1995)

         Mas este mensaje sería brutalmente atacado y sigue siendo atacado aún hoy. Hay gente que lleva años en la Iglesia y no conocen lo que es ser nacido de nuevo. Esa fue mi experiencia recientemente con un hombre que prácticamente se crió en la Iglesia. Un gran percusionista y músico profesional. En una conversación que tuve con él en donde el estaba batallando con asuntos y pecados personales muy serios, él parecía minimizar el asunto. Enfatizaba una y otra ves que él hace sus cosas a su manera. Yo le recordaba lo que la Escritura nos dice sobre el pecado, pero parecía que no le entraba nada.

         Finalmente le hice la pregunta, ¿Haz nacido de nuevo? Me miró con una mirada perdida, no sabía de lo que yo hablaba. Comprendí que estaba perdiendo el tiempo hablando con él.

         Unas semanas luego de esta conversación me encontraba hablando con otro individuo. Este era un maestro de la Palabra en su Iglesia, no era el pastor, pero era la mano derecha del pastor. Escuché muchas de sus enseñanzas, me parecieron maravillosas. Este hombre me contó la historia de esta mujer, ya mayor, quien le oraba a Alá, el Dios de los musulmanes. Este individuo me dijo que aunque esta mujer le estaba orando a Alá él estaba convencido que esa mujer era salva y que ella realmente le oraba a Dios sin saberlo. Me di cuenta que este hombre estaba ciego en lo que respecta al Evangelio.

         Hermanos, el Evangelio es un regalo de Dios, es una obra maravillosa y milagrosa en la cual solo Dios se lleva toda la gloria. Efesios 2:9 nos dice,

porque por gracia sois salvos por medio de la fe; y esto no de vosotros, pues es don de Dios. No por obras, para que nadie se gloríe, Efesios 2:8-9 Reina-Valera 1995 (RVR1995)

         ¿Haz recibido ese don? El corazón de la razón por la cual Cristo nació, moró con nosotros, murió y resucitó at tercer día fue para que esta tan grande salvación estuviera disponible para el mundo entero.

         Le pido al Dios todo poderoso que todos mis familiares, amigos, seres queridos y conocidos reciban este maravillosos regalo. Ese es el verdadero espíritu de la Navidad. Espero que caminemos juntos sobre las calles de oro.

 

 

The Forgotten Love: A Christmas Message


awaypoint-nativity-scene

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11 (KJV)

There is no evidence that Jesus was born in December; nevertheless, we know He was born. We are all subject to his time for time was divided not before or after Buddha; not before and after Muhammad or any other religious figure or so call god, but was divided before and after Jesus. Even an atheist is subject the reality of the times.

No, the Word Christmas is not in the Bible either or any mandate to take one specific day out of the year or even a couple of weeks of the year to celebrate this thing we call Christmas.

No, Santa Claus is not in the Bible and indeed, this commercialize holiday season is probably an abomination before the Lord for it takes the focus away from Christ and place it right on us. What are you going to get this year?

The world knows how to make money; they have been making money during this season for years. In my country Puerto Rico, they celebrate the 25th of December and turn right back on January the 6th to celebrate the tree kings; remember, the three kings that brought gifts to Jesus?

The world has now found a way where they can even celebrate Christmas without honoring Christ. It has become increasingly politically incorrect to say, Merry Christmas, have you noticed?

But on the day Christ was born we received a pattern for all of us to follow; there was worship all around his birth.[1] I don’t see anybody giving gifts to each other because Christ was born, I see three kings giving gifts to Jesus and I see the heavens open, giving honor to Him who is worthy. I see God expressing the ultimate love by giving his only begotten Son to be killed like a sacrificial lamb for the salvation of the lost. Where did you find in the Bible that the focus is on us?

But the world has us focus on gifts to each other; I mean that is the true! Christmas parties, drinking, etc. You name it! The other day I went to a Christmas party for a local medical center; no prayer, no acknowledgment of Christ, but plenty of alcohol. I could not wait to get out of there!

The reality my beloved brothers and sisters, is that God gave us the greatest gift of all; salvation. A salvation that nobody deserves and a salvation that nobody can possibly earn. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us,

 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. (NKJV)

I am grateful for His gift and I will never take it lightly. He caused me to have the faith to believe unto salvation. He caused my heart to see my sin and to repent and to stop the thinking system that told me that I was… well; I was ok; when I was really lost.

Did I get saved because I was a part of the elect spoken in Romans 9? No, the Israelites were the elect people and they blew it; but it was all God’s plan; it was always His heart not just to save a few, but to extend this opportunity of salvation to the whole world, for God so love the word that he gave his only before Son that whosoever believe shall not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) That is why in the Bible He saved the King of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar, who was the king of the most demonic city of their time. Was he an Israelite? That is why God took a very reluctant Prophet, Jonah, to preach repentance and salvation to another demonic city, Nineveh and that whole town experience a great revival. God has shown us over and over His love for all of us. We are called Gentiles ourselves, that means that we are not chosen, that we are not Israelites, but did God abandoned us? No, His love reaches out to us also.

Beloved, these are the times of grace for the Bible tells us in Romans 5:20,

 

Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, (NKJV)

 

Now, these are good news! Jesus provided us with that good news. There is plenty of sin on this world and it will get worse before the coming of the Lord, but God is still saving people by grace and through faith. These are the times where God can be found. The prophet Isaiah told us in Isaiah 55:6,

 

Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near. (NKJV)

You can find Him; He is not hiding from anybody. The amazing love of God has reach out to the elect and the elect massively rejected Him. So according to Romans 11 they were cut off from the promise and we were added in. The natural branches were cut off, nevertheless, has God given up on Israel? His covenants still alive today and He will take those cut off branches and connect them again because… He can! Has God given up on you, as long as you are alive there is still hope.

Never question God’s love; His love is universal. He “… demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Is that good news or what?

Merry Christmas, I say, with great joy and meaning; not depending on what I get or don’t get. I have gotten the greatest gifts of all; on April 26, 1997 for no particular reason other than God’s mercy and, not because I was seeking Him, but because of His grace, He saved my soul. Today, if God decides to stop blessing me, but I still have this salvation, I have more than enough.

Again, Merry Christmas and not just a happy new year, but a new year filled with joy, for the joy of the Lord is our strength[2]. A year of the peace of God that overpasses all understanding.[3] A year of close relationship with God, a year of digging into the Word, a year where you will “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15. And finally, a year of growing “…in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”[4]

 

[1] Luke 2

[2] Nehemiah 8:10

[3] Philippians 4:7

[4] 2 Peter 3:18

My Frustration with the Charismatic Movement


It is not necessarily theological matters and discussions that have caused such division in the Body of Christ. If anything, we should have our little theologies challenge constantly.

It seems like we do not have a problem talking about sports, our jobs, our families, our neighbors, our cousin, etc. However, when it comes down to God, we want to remain as ignorant as possible.

The pride of men in forcing their unconfirmed interpretations of Scripture and traditions in the form of denominations, are indeed to be blame for our current mess and our idolization of ignorance. It is bad theology the cause of our divisions; not theology. Pastor John Piper stated, “Bad theology will eventually hurt people and dishonor God in proportion to its badness.”[1] Hosea 4:6 backs Mr. Piper with these words;

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.

Because you have rejected knowledge,

I also will reject you from being priest for Me;

Because you have forgotten the law of your God,

I also will forget your children.” (NKJV)

Our ignorance causes personal destruction and, notice, that it will also hurt our children. Have we forgotten what the Scripture is saying regarding the study of God’s Word? “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

Honestly, how many pastors and teachers you know who are rightly dividing the Word of truth? No definitions of words in the original language are taken into consideration as if the Word was written in English; context is thrown out the door half of the time. They just grab something to make their little personal and selfish points or to take a shot at something going on in their congregations and run with it.

They become bullies in their pulpits where they can swing at everything and everybody without giving that other person a fair chance for a respectful debate.      Therefor is no longer about seeking and teaching truth, is about manipulating and teaching personal and untested opinions! This careless attitude is not helping, but hurting the Body of Christ.

I have to say that I am growing increasingly frustrated with this charismatic movement that is constantly manipulating people’s emotions with music and, either outrageous claims or super simplified statements with very little respect and honor for God’s Word.

I don’t know much, but I know that the church is in great need of a reformation that will get God’s people back to fellowshipping with the Holy Ghost, a people that truly have a relationship with God, not just praying only before a meal; a reformation that will take us back to confirming everything through God’s Word, the seeking of sound doctrine; a reformation that can clearly establish that there are not a million truths, but one truth, that you either have it, you are growing in it, you are in error or perhaps you and I don’t know what we are talking about as we are bound to knowing in part.[2]

I am believing God for a reformation that will truly brings us together in true Apostolic fellowship under the banner of God’s love and truth. I am believing God for a reformation that will take us back to the place where God’s people understand that we serve a God that also loves to talk to us personally; we can’t ignore the Logos, but we can’t disregard the Rhema. Beloved, lets “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…”[3] and lets say no to ignorance!

 

[1] John Piper, A Godward Life Volume Two, pg. 377

[2] First Corinthians 13:9

[3] 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV

Our Own Damascus


I am knocking people out of their horses; for they are busy in their own Damascus. I will blind them for a season to deal with their false traditions of Me. Traditions that are detestable before my sight for they have become idolatry. They have turned lies into truth. Their doctrines are doctrines of demons designed to move my people away from Me and away from my mandates. Their souls are defected with pride and lack of love. They approach my Word, when they do, to accommodate their traditions; they don’t come in humility to learn my ways. My people are perishing for lack of knowledge, but most of all, they are perishing for their lack of fellowship with ME. They don’t think is important; they have lowered the standards; they don’t want to learn about me. Where are the disciples? Where are the teachers? Where are the elders? Where are the pastors? Your fellowships are unholy, because that is what you desire. You think you know; you say, “all I learned I learned from the Holy Spirit”, but many of what you know is the result of your own flesh accommodating your prideful sins. Many are lukewarm, that is what you are when you call your self a Christian, but have an inconsistent prayer life. Your prayer life reflects your pride, that you don’t know how much you need ME, that you don’t really love Me, that you feel you can do all things through your own abilities. You are persecuting Me, says the Lord, in your silence, in your apathy, in your lukewarm example to the world and in your lack of love for one another, you are persecuting Me.

So I, the Lord God, I am knocking people out of the prideful horses of their lives as an act of love and I am changing your direction as I did my servant Paul.

 

 

 

 

 

Have Anybody Challenged Your Theology Lately? Well Somebody Should!


There is a doctrine out there that states, “All I have learn I learned from the Holy Ghost.” The clear implication hear is to establishes that, since all I know I learned from the Holy Ghost, all I know must be right. But we know that is not so. I guess that is why the Bible tells us in Second Corinthians 13:1, “…In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (KJV)

What is word? That is the spoken Word; the Rhema Word. In other words, whatever you want to release out of your mouth, let it be confirmed by two or three witness. That means that not only we are face with the Biblical reality that we don’t know everything, but also, we are faced with another reality, the reality that there is indeed a great possibility that what you and I think we know is wrong.

Therefor in order for your outrageous statements to be establish as truth they must be challenge by two or three “mature” believers” who know how to bring about the challenge, not in a personal way, but in a way that will lead us back to the “Logos” as the establisher of truth. The problem is that many of us are struggling with such massive pride issue that any indication by somebody that our theology is not as strong as we think, is consider a direct personal attack. This is the main reason people leave churches and start new denominations; everybody “feels” they have the truth.

Consider that we are suppose to be growing in our knowledge of Christ according to 2 Peter 3:18,

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (KJV)

Let us humble ourselves and allow our limited knowledge to be challenge. First Corinthians 13:9 forces us to humility as there we find the reason for such mandatory humility,

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (KJV)

Allowing such challenge may show how you and I many times place traditions in place of God’s truth; how we force and twist God’s Word into our idea of what a matter should be. Allowing such challenge can show us our error or perhaps that we are right, in the right direction and so on. However, for sure, allowing such challenge will take you and I to highest levels as the Spirit of God take us from glory to glory,

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (KJV)

My Response to Slaveholders Who Used the Old Testament to Justify their Practice of Slavery


 Introduction

            In 1619 slavery was initiated in America with about twenty black slaves.[1] By the time the abolition became a reality it is estimated that there were close to four million slaves. Slavery, without a doubt, is a dark and difficult chapter in the history of our great nation. The stronghold of slavery divided our nation and was at the center of our civil war from 1861 to 1865 in what is to this day, the bloodiest war of all.

“Roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation’s wars–620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts. It was only as recently as the    Vietnam War that the amount of American deaths in foreign wars eclipsed the  number who died in the Civil War.”[2]

Even as the abolition of slavery took place in 1865, the effects of slavery in American can still be felt today. Slavery found economical benefits and political purpose. These realities have contributed to this deep, open and painful social wound in our culture. There is, however, another factor that has contributed, in a deeper way, in causing such pain and social wound in our culture. This factor has contributed in the process of deepening the confusion in regards to the tragic of slavery. This factor is the darkest chapter of all; the church and many of the most prestigious teachers and theologians in America, supported slavery.

Does the Bible promote slavery? This is a key question because slaveholders commonly used the Bible to justify their proslavery views.[3]

Even as it is historically factual that some of the churches in America and key religious figures were openly proslavery, to accuse the God of the Bible of supporting slavery is a whole different matter.

I can deal with men’s humanity, but did God give these slave masters the biblical backing to do what they did? They seemed to believe God did. The Bible is filled with verses that speak about slavery as if God is in favor of it, but is He really?

On this reflection paper we will take a look at the main arguments for justifying slavery and some of the Bible verses used to make such justification. We will take a look at the hypocrisy behind such claims and we will look at exactly what the Bible refers to when the word slavery is used in the Old Testament.

Slaveholders’ Bible Justifications for Slavery

            The word slave in the Old Testament is mentioned over eight hundred times. With that many biblical references to slavery it should not be a surprise to see how easy it was for slave masters to biblically justify slavery. Opponents of slavery primarily argued that the issue of slavery was an immoral one. It became vitally important for the defense of slavery to make a biblical justification.[4]

To develop a theology around slavery, the slaveholders started with the curse of Cain in Genesis 4:10-12. Slave masters established that such curse was a divine decree of slavery.[5] Genesis 9:20-27 gave the slave master great biblical ammunition as they concluded that the black race was cursed from the days of Noah.

While Noah was sleeping, naked and drunk, Ham saw his father’s nakedness and told his brothers about it. The clear implication is that he made fun of his dad’s nakedness. When Noah found out what happened he proclaimed a curse against Ham’s son, Canaan. Genesis 9:24-25 tells us, “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.”[6]

In 1823 Frederick Dalcho, an Episcopal clergyman from South Carolina, gave the slave master the perfect theology to explain and justify slavery.

“The prophecy of Noah was the fulfillment, not in the individual named, but         nationally in their descendants. Canaan’s whole race was under malediction. Thus       the descendant of Canaan, the Africans, were to be servants of servants, or the       lowest state of servitude, slaves, to the descendants of Shem and Japeth, the             present day Jews and Christians.”[7]

Dalcho called upon the authority of Bishop Newton to explain this curse. Bishop Newton was right on target regarding Israel’s future restoration, but he also concluded that there is no biblical evidence that the curse of Canaan was to ever be removed. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that there is no time limit on enslaving Africans.

Perhaps no other portion of Scripture was used more than Leviticus 25:44-45, “Both thy bondmen, and thy bondmaids, which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you; of them shall ye buy bondmen and bondmaids. Moreover of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land: and they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your bondmen for ever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, ye shall not rule one over another with rigour.”[8]

Perhaps the heart and theology of these slaveholders could not be better expressed than in the words of one of their most passionate colleagues as he wrote for the Virginia newspaper,

“By this decisive, explicit, irrefragable authority of the written work of God, it is evident that servants…are commanded under the Mosaic Law to be bought; and                         that when so bought of alien sojourners, that they and their issues become inheritable property.”[9]

The Great Hypocrisy

            “That Western Christendom turned Africa into a hunting ground for slaves rather than a field for philanthropic and missionary endeavor is one of the world’s great     tragedies. That the New World became the chief arena for the European      exploitation of slaves is an extension of the same tragedy. That the United States  – the first new nation, the elect nation, the nation with the soul of a church, the  great model of modern democracy – moved into the nineteen century with one of  the largest and cruelest of slave systems in its midst with full constitutional           protection is surely one of the world’s greatest ironies.”[10]

            Slaveholders, for the most part, presented themselves as Christians. As you can see, they took the time to put together a solid doctrine on slavery. However, there is an enormous monument of hypocrisy in their seemingly serious commitment to follow Scripture.

That same Bible they used to justify slavery has very specific rules. Lets start with Exodus 21:16, “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.”[11] In the 17th century Africans were hunted, captured and brought to America against their will. This same kidnapping concept is made clear even in the New Testament,  “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”[12]

Notice that in this list, menstealers14 are mentioned; that word is actually stealers of men with the purpose of enslaving. It is obvious that slave masters “overlooked” the fact that what they were doing was a part of this list.

There are two biblical rules concerning slavery that were constantly violated by slaveholders, 1. Killing a slave was illegal and punishable by law according to Exodus 21:20.[13] 2. 2. Physical punishment was not allowed, especially physical punishment that resulted in serious injury according to Exodus 21:26-27[14].

As it seems to be a fact of history, the great majority of men picked and chose what to believe and what to follow in God’s Word. The slave masters were no different; however their ignorance affected close to four million African souls and its effects can still be felt today.

The slave masters focus on the curse of Ham, however Scripture is clear concerning the reason such overtaking of their land was allow and supported by God. “Speak not thou in thine heart, after that the Lord thy God hath cast them out from before thee, saying, For my righteousness the Lord hath brought me in to possess this land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord doth drive them out from before thee. Not for thy righteousness, or for the uprightness of thine heart, dost thou go to possess their land: but for the wickedness of these nations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee, and that he may perform the word which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land to possess it for thy righteousness; for thou art a stiffnecked people.”[15]

A curse was not the reason why God released this land to the Israelites, but sin was the reason. Furthermore, later Israel also lost this land and was taken captive by the Syrians and Babylonians because of sin also. It is clear that God will punish sin and there is no discrimination there.

Slavery & Bondage

            The slaveholder’s theology failed to point out the fact that there was a difference between the word slave in the Bible and our idea of a slave. According to the New Bible Dictionary there are essentially five different categories of slavery. 1. Slaves by Capture: These were prisoners of war. 2. Slave by purchase: These were slaves bought from another owner. 3. Slave by birth: Children born of slave parents. 4. Slaves by default or debt: These were slaves that work for somebody else in order to be able to pay a debt own to that person. 5. A Voluntary Slave: A slave who, after being able to be free decides to continue to serve his master. [16]

A slave by default or debt was indeed the most common one in the Old Testament. It is important to point out that in the great majority of times that the word slave is used; that is in the eight hundred times that is mentioned, it is translated Servant. It is also important to point out that the law only allowed a slave to be a servant for six years and be released from his duties on the seventh year.[17]

On the other hand, Israel was in bondage under Egypt. God released them from the house of bondage.[18] Later, as the Israelites were taken by the Syrian and later by Babylon, their return to bondage as the result of their sin proving that God was not operating based on curses, but based on the sins of the people themselves.

Conclusion

            I conclude that the hands of our founding fathers are stained with the tragedy of slavery. The great Thomas Jefferson as he wrote about all men being created equal, the pursued of happiness and freedom, apparently did not realize that the slaves he owned were humans also. So I speak to Thomas Jefferson!

We can also conclude that the hands of the church in America are stained with the tragedy of slavery. Godly men such as the caliber of the great revivalist and evangelist George Whitefield and, Jonathan Edwards, who I consider our best theologians in America, did not walk innocently, but actually contributed to the atrocity of slavery. I am thankful, however, that George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards allowed God to used them so powerfully in our first awakening, but I speak to them also!

In all, the greatest tragedies of slavery go beyond the chains, the long hours of barbarian and animalistic labor. The greatest tragedies of slavery go beyond the emotional and physical humiliation, the rapes, the taking away of a man’s dignity, and all the rest of the horrible adjectives of slavery.

For me, the greatest tragedies of slavery are 1) how they denied my ancestors of even basic education, 2) how they filled the hearts of my people with hate and roots of bitterness that can still be felt today; 3) they gave our children the image of a weak earthly father who did not know the concept of protecting his family, 4) they destroyed our family structure and, 5) the worst theology of all, they gave my fathers and mothers an image of God that was not loving, but chose to treat them as less than human.

Perhaps Fredrick Douglas spoke prophetically when he stated, “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”[19] The violence in our ghettos all over America serve as an echo of the weeping of our slaves, their anger, their fears and their pain.

One hundred years later Dr. Martin Luther King described his dream to us. Our nation continues to be divided by race; but we have indeed come a long way. It is time now, in Jesus name, to come against the demonic agenda of the slaveholders that were at the heart of our bloody fight against each other. Yes, if I could speak to a slave master I would tell him these things; but I would also tell him… I forgive you; for that is indeed my ultimate freedom second only to the saving grace I found in Jesus.

I pray for unity, I pray for God to restore in us all of those years we intellectually lost. I pray that God restores in us a love for the truth that will truly make us free and decontaminate us from the lies of the slaveholders. I pray for understanding, I pray for forgiveness and I pray for a new and united America under the banner of God’s love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Sydney E. Ahlstrom, Sydney E. A Religious History of the American People. Yale University: Yale University Press, 2004.

 

Slavery and the Churches, accessed 11/24/2015, http://www.christianchronicler.com/history1/slavery_and_the_churches.htm

 

Civil War Facts, accessed 11/24/2015, http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/faq/

 

Morrison, Larry R. The Religious Defense of American Slavery Before 1830. American Theological Library Association.

 

Wood, D. R. W. New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition. Leicester: Inter – Varsity press.

 

Brainy Quotes, Date Accessed 11/25/2015. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/frederickd163959.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Slavery and the Churches, accessed 11/24/2015, http://www.christianchronicler.com/history1/slavery_and_the_churches.htm

[2] Civil War Facts, accessed 11/24/2015, http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/faq/

[3] Larry R. Morrison, The Religious Defense of American Slavery Before 1830, (American Theological Library Association), 16

[4] Larry R. Morison, The Religious Defense of American Slavery Before 1830, 16

[5] IBID., 17

[6] All Bible verses use for this paper will be taken out of the King James Version

[7] Larry R. Morrison, The Religious Defense of American Slavery Before 1830, 17-18

[8] KJV Bible

[9] Larry R. Morrison, The Religious Defense of American Slavery Before 1830, 19

[10] Sydney E. Ahlstrom, A Religious History of the American People, (Yale University: Yale University Press, 2004), 635

[11] KJV Bible

[12] I Timothy 1:8-10 KJV Bible

14 andrapodistḗs; gen. andrapodistoú, masc. noun from andrapodízō (n.f.), to enslave, which is from andrápodon (n.f.), a slave. A man stealer, kidnapper, one who steals men to make them slaves or sell them into slavery.

[13]  “And if a man beats his male or female servant with a rod, so that he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished.” (NKJV)

[14] “If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for the sake of his eye. And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.” (NKJV)

[15] KJV Bible

[16] D. R. W. Wood, New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition (Leicester: Inter – Varsity press), 1110 – 1111

[17] If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. Exodus 21:22 (KJV)

[18] Exodus 20:2

[19] Brainy Quotes, Date Accessed 11/25/2015, http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/frederickd163959.html