Modern Slavery IJM
Civil Liberties

The fight against modern slavery has a new hero

 

When we consider the way that Christians have been at the forefront of combating the scourge of slavery, the name that quite rightly springs to mind is William Wilberforce. During the latter part of the eighteenth century he led the parliamentary campaign against the British slave trade, fighting a 20-year battle until his persistence and courage finally paid off with the passing of the Slave Trade Act of 1807.

In years to come another name may be held in equally high esteem; that of Gary Haugen. Following the end of South Africa’s apartheid in the 1980s, Haugen, an American human rights lawyer, served on the executive committee of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s National Initiative for Reconciliation. In the 1990s he was appointed by the United Nation’s Centre for Human Rights to oversee its genocide investigation in Rwanda. With his team of lawyers, he was personally involved in gathering eye-witness testimonies and physical evidence from nearly 100 mass grave and massacre sites across the country.

This experience had a profound effect on Haugen and not long afterwards he founded the International Justice Mission (IJM), basing its vision on Isaiah 1:17: ‘Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.’ IJM is now based in 18 countries; taking on trafficking and slavery, working to fix broken judicial systems and addressing the violence, crime and corruption that blights the lives of so many. It is vital, brave and often dangerous work.

Slavery may be technically illegal in every country in the world, but there are still an estimated 35.8 million people who, to every intent and purpose, are living as slaves; possessed, exploited or controlled in such a way as to significantly deprive them of their individual liberty. This is more than three times the entire number of Africans who were shipped across the Atlantic as a result of the slave trade. Far, far more people are living in situations where they cannot rely on the rule of law to protect them from. This number, which the UN puts at 4 billion, must contend with the relentless forces of violence on a daily basis. This is violence that has not resulted from war or political conflict, but simply stronger neighbours harming and abusing weaker ones.

Powerlessness and violence are overarching realities for entire populations and IJM has made it its mission to break these chains of oppression through the work of lawyers, investigators, social workers and community activists – and through prayer.

In the last ten years, IJM has rescued more than 23,000 people trapped in slavery and 21 million are being protected from violence through training police forces and partnerships with those working in local justice systems. In the UK IJM has been instrumental in the formation of the Modern Slavery Bill and in Cebu, a city of 2 million in the Philippines, its work over four years in one district that was notorious for child prostitution and sex-trafficking has resulted in a 79 per cent reduction in the availability of children in the sex trade. IJM attributes this success in some of the darkest places in the world to the power of regular and committed prayer.

I first came across IJM about two years ago and was blown away by their commitment to restoring the lives of the oppressed around the world and their reliance on God’s strength to do it. I watched Gary Haugen speak in front of 5,000 at this summer’s New Wine conference and as he finished he received the biggest and most powerful standing ovation I have ever witnessed. There was a profound acknowledgment that God was doing incredible things through their work.

Just this weekend I attended IJM’s second annual UK conference and heard Vincent, international director of investigations, tell stories of finding himself in apparently hopeless situations where God has miraculously intervened.

In 2008 Vincent had been posted to IJM’s office in Calcutta in India. Child prostitution was a massive problem and the crime lords running the brothels were feared by all, including the police. Trafficking was rife, but no one had ever been convicted of abusing these girls, many of whom were between 11 and 13 years old – they were simply not worth the effort. Vincent and his team were praying that this would change and eventually through undercover work they persuaded the police to carry out a raid of a brothel where six girls were being kept. On the day of execution, however, the area police chief decided to carry out a snap inspection of the local station, delaying the raid. The fear for Vincent was that word had leaked out and this had happened to give the criminal gang time to hide the girls. He prayed with his colleagues as their concerns mounted and he told us that as they did, he had a strong sense not to worry; that this was all part of God’s plan.

Later that morning the police chief left and Vincent went with the officers to the house with little hope. What they found amazed him. Instead of six girls, there were 19. A new group of girls had been trafficked into the area and had arrived at the house, which was to be used as a distribution point, just minutes earlier. The police’s late arrival resulted in a much bigger success.

As Vincent and IJM continued to work in the city, they experienced further breakthroughs. In 2010 they were able to secure 38 convictions of traffickers and crime lords including the kingpin who controlled the area. Since then the number of girls being prostituted on the streets has fallen to a small fraction compared to 2008 and it has been two years since any small girls have been seen being sold for sex. Vincent now hears the girls who were rescued talking about God releasing the enslaved. He says he has learnt to trust God far more through these experiences, and that most of all prayer changes everything.

In a video message at the start of the conference Gary Haugen explained that he wasn’t going to start IJM unless he could find at least 100 people who would pray for it every day. In the end he found 123. Now, each morning, the 600+ members of IJM start the working day in prayer and then stop at 11am to pray again. It is ingrained in the organisation because as Haugen has every confidence that, in the words of Charles Spurgeon, “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence”.

Some may look at the darkness and evil in the world and ask, ‘Where is God in all of this? Why does he let it happen?’ In Exodus, when Moses encountered the burning bush, God told him that he had seen the suffering and misery of his people and that he was sending Moses to rescue them. God is anything but ambivalent towards the plight of the poor and vulnerable, but in his wisdom chooses people like you and I to bring his restoration into the world.

Some like Wilberforce and Haugen will be used to change the lives of millions. For most of us it will be less monumental, but until we lay ourselves before God we will never know how much we are capable of achieving in his name. And for each one of us, there is no better way to go about this than getting on our knees in prayer.

This article was first published at Christian Today on Wednesday 7th October

  • What an uplifting article demonstrating God’s power and how he uses people to promote His will.

    From Wiki:

    “The latest figures and stories from the IJM 2013 Annual Report state that in that year, 3,555 children, women and men were brought to safety through IJM’s work with its local partners.
    Detailed view: 2,266 freed from forced labor slavery by IJM and its trained field partners in India; 239 rescued from sex trafficking in India, Cambodia and the Philippines; 131 child survivors of sexual assault now safe because IJM intervened in their cases in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia; 400 widows and orphans had their property rights secured in Uganda and Zambia; 471 hill tribe people secured legal proof of their rightful citizenship in Thailand—critical to protecting them from violence; 43 innocent men and women were set free from prison in Kenya.

    Jack will pray for this organisation and its work. They have a website where one can donate and also purchase gifts.

    https://www.ijm.org/

  • Jon Sorensen

    Christians have *not* been at the forefront of combating the scourge of slavery. William Wilberforce was arguing against Christians and Christian organisations. He was an exception and now Christians want to take a credit. For over 1000 years Christians had the power to get rid of slavery, yet they did not do that, so why does Christianity get the credit now?

    • The Explorer

      WHixh slavery are you referring to? Slavery in the US is reckoned to have started in 1619. That’s not 1000 years.

      • James Bolivar DiGriz

        I suggest that you ignore him. Sadly he does not deal in evidence or facts, just his own opinions.

        • Jon Sorensen

          upvote because it is funny as I’m the one asking for evidence here!

        • Pubcrawler

          Not so much that, but I find him too combative for my taste. I prefer a more exploratory sort of exchange.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            I think that we have to accept that different people have different styles and work with that. Also (in a reply to Busy Mum on this piece) he says that English is his fourth language, which will not help clear communication.

            I try to be reasonable but I am aware that I come across as more combative than necessary, at least for some people’ taste. However I like to think that if someone showed that something I had written was incorrect I would modify my position.

            However, to give one example, he said that eradicating a disease would only cost USD1-2 billion. Sceptical but intrigued I asked for supporting evidence & he just told me to look for it myself. When I said this made his case unconvincing he provided some links that gave figures of 59 to 128 billion US dollars. I pointed this out and his responses, in order, included:
            “my original … info is correct”
            “You might not be familiar with numbers (sorry) but these are single digit $B dollar figure estimation. Just like I said.”
            “I agree USD 1-2B was too low and maybe $9B is too low too. So let’s say it cost $20B”
            “I stand by my original number.”

            So, totally ignoring any facts or evidence, even ones provided by him. So I think that there is no real point in trying to explain anything to him.

          • Pubcrawler

            Well, those who have patience for it can pursue that line; I’d rather have the sort of discussion that is likely to end up with both parties better informed instead of arguing the toss and banging ones head against a wall.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            I don’t see what point you are making. I said that engaging with him is pointless because he does not want to use evidence (which will hopefully leave at least one and probably both parties better informed) but just shout his opinion. You seem to be disagreeing with me but saying that you want the same thing as I want.

          • Pubcrawler

            No, I’m agreeing with you. You and I (and doubtless others) may see no point in engaging, but those who fancy a ding-dong with him are welcome to do so. Not that they need my permission anyway. Sorry if that wasn’t clear, I was waiting for news of a friend who was having an operation so my mind was focused elsewhere.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            Okay, thanks for the clarification.

      • sarky
        • The Explorer

          Comprehensive article. It is possible to argue with it. Paul Copan’s ‘Does the Old Testament Endorse Slavery?’ deals with some of the issues in there, but to argue the case as a whole would be as long as the article itself.

          A real problem is that ‘slave’ has so many connotations. Paul describes himself as “the slave of Christ”, but that doesn’t mean picking cotton and being whipped. Were the indentured servants who emigrated to the American colonies effectively slaves until they had worked their time? Was the Feudal System a form of slavery? Jefferson and Locke were Enlightenment figures, but Jefferson owned over two hundred slaves and Locke bought shares in a slaving company. Newton, who wrote ‘Amazing Grace’ started out as a slaver but became an abolitionist. Were the navvies who dug the cuttings and tunnels effectively slaves? True, they could refuse to do it, but if they didn’t how would they eat? And so on.

          • sarky

            None of that matters, christians were complicit in slavery. End of.

          • The Explorer

            True, and so were non-Christians.

          • Inspector General

            Stop being an arse for a moment and start to appreciate there were different forms of slavery…

        • Anton

          Christ said, “Treat others as you would wish them to treat
          you.” That rules out slavery.

          • Darter Noster

            No it doesn’t.

            Slavery was a legal relationship in which one person owned another. In the Roman world many slaves of kind masters lived better than the free poor, and some free poor sold themselves into slavery to escape poverty.

          • Anton

            It rules out slavery of the sort that was abolished in Western colonies in the 19th century.

          • Darter Noster

            There I agree with you.

          • Definitions are important here.
            “As used here, “slavery” is the condition of involuntary servitude in which a human being is regarded as no more than the property of another, as being without basic human rights; in other words, as a thing rather than a person. Under this definition, slavery is intrinsically evil, since no person may legitimately be regarded or treated as a mere thing or object. This form of slavery can be called “chattel slavery.” ….

            However, there are circumstances in which a person can justly be compelled to servitude against his will. Prisoners of war or criminals, for example, can justly lose their circumstantial freedom and be forced into servitude, within certain limits. Moreover, people can also “sell” their labor for a period of time (indentured servitude).

            These forms of servitude or slavery differ in kind from what we are calling chattel slavery. While prisoners of war and criminals can lose their freedom against their will, they do not become mere property of their captors, even when such imprisonment is just. They still possess basic, inalienable human rights and may not justly be subjected to certain forms of punishment—torture, for example. Similarly, indentured servants “sell” their labor, not their inalienable rights, and may not contract to provide services which are immoral. Moreover, they freely agree to exchange their labor for some benefit such as transportation, food, lodging, et cetera. Consequently, their servitude is not involuntary.”

            http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?RecNum=1201

          • Watchman

            Well said, Jack, bringing some sense of perspective to the debate. Perhaps you should also add (and you touched on it) that slaves in the Roman world in which Paul lived were an important part of the social fabric. Paul describes himself as a bondservant (in some translations) which describes a form of slavery common in the Roman Empire. A man or woman could be a slave for many reasons: to pay a debt; as surety for a loan to a relative or simply as a way of acquiring a job with accommodation. Often a physician or accountant could be slave in a large household. Legal contracts often accompanied some forms of slavery.

            The amount of ignorance of the historical perspective on this thread is truly remarkable!

          • Certainly regarding a person as mere property with no inalienable rights because we are all made in God’s image, is inconsistent with Christianity

          • Darter Noster

            The best Christian masters under the Roman Empire provided their slaves with protection and status which they did not possess under law. Good pagan masters did the same. Being the property of, and therefore a protected asset of, a decent master provided poor people with protection, status and a living which as free men in the same society they may well not have had.

            As Flashman points out, some of the 19th century abolitionists had no difficulty with keeping the working class British poor in horrendous conditions in factories, forcing even children to work brutal hours in dangerous conditions. A valued house slave in 19th century Carolina could have a safer and more comfortable life than a British child working in a mill.

          • sarky

            Oh ok then, we’ll just sweep that bit of inconvenient history under the carpet then.

          • Anton

            I’m not asking you to!

            It happens that I’ve written a short summary of the origins of slavery in North America, so here it is. Please remember that there is no such thing as a Christian country (I disagree with atheists and Christians alike who say that there is); only Christian and non-Christian individuals.

            Forced by the Elizabethan Act of Uniformity to choose between religious freedom and their native culture, a Nottinghamshire community of radical protestants decamped to the Netherlands. They still wanted both, however, and they were ambitious enough to cross the Atlantic and found their own society. In 1620 these pilgrims picked up further sympathisers from southern English ports and sailed their ship, Mayflower, to what is now Plymouth in Massachusetts. This event is traditionally viewed as the beginning of the United States. Jamestown had been set up in Virginia 13 years earlier and was the first permanent English colony anywhere, but that was a venture for fortune-hunters rather than freedom-seekers. Neither Plymouth nor Jamestown was well organised, and many of the first settlers came to grief. A decade later, however, with James’ son King Charles I so dismissive of the Puritan majority in parliament that he dissolved it and ruled absolutely, a Puritan exodus began across the Atlantic. The Puritans chafed under the religious policies of the Church of England’s bishops, led by Charles’ Archbishop William Laud. In the 1630s some 20,000 Puritans, often entire families, migrated across the Atlantic. No resident bishop was appointed there, because of determined local opposition and because episcopalianism would soon be eclipsed in England itself for a while.

            Black labour was soon imported, mainly from the Caribbean to which various European nations were now bringing captured Africans for sale; by the end of the 17th century the English were the leading transporters of captives across the Atlantic. In England’s North American colonies their number and status varied from colony to colony – more were required to tend the cotton and tobacco crops planted in the south – but during the course of the 17th century their status declined to that of slaves. Slave labour offered the colonies economic advantages, and Africans were for sale and powerless. Their marked differences from the colonists – cultural, racial, religious – gave excuse to view them as inferior and suited to slavery. Some colonists protested or declined to own slaves. (Rhode Island outlawed slavery until the end of the century.) But men of influence in the colonies placed economic expediency above the command of Christ in their Bibles to “Treat others as you would wish them to treat you.” The call to preach the gospel was also set aside, for slaves who converted (or said they did) would have had to have been set free as Christian brothers. Hence grew the grotesque irony of slavery in colonies founded on the desire for freedom.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Treat others as you would wish them to treat you.” That rules out slavery.

            That’s right and that also rules out monarchy, gender inequality, and homophobia. Oh… wait. It does’t work like that doesn’t it?

          • Anton

            The context is private interactions between people, in which category the master-slave relationship qualifies. Otherwise no judge could ever jail someone even for murder.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You better read the Bible because “neighbour” is in a context of being a fellow Jew. If you read the Bible there is no “master-slave” relationship in the OT. only “master- Jewish slave” and master-non-Jewish slave”. Law was different in those cases.

          • Anton

            The point is don’t buy a human being for bonded labour against his will.

          • Jon Sorensen

            And that is a big failure in the Bible if you believe that. The point should be that there should not be a slavery in the world.

          • Anton

            Please be specific what you are complaining about in the Bible as I’m not sure what you mean. Passages would be helpful.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Slavery existed in Europe from 300AD to 1000AD and then it slowly morphed in to serfdom which was not much better. Christians did have slaves in France at least until 13th Century. “Slavery in the British Isles existed and was recognised from before the Roman occupation until the 12th century”.

        I’m referring to that.

        • ceige

          Oh you lot, the slave trade was a general practice worldwide by Christian’s and non-Christian’s alike, that doesn’t make it right. And Christian’s and non-Christian’s currently work against the modern day slave trade. This is a good thing. In many cases modern day slavery is more insidious as it is done largely sight unseen, and many of the victims end up being illegal immigrants and are doubly persecuted.

          While slavery was still practiced in biblical times, the NT challenges its practice. We have of course that song Amazing Grace written by the infamous slave trader who also became an advocate against the practice.

          • Jon Sorensen

            NT does not challenge the slavery. Jesus said that not a jot or tittle will change from the law and Paul told Onesimus to go to the master and keep the status quo. You should really read the NT. If Christianity would have been a solution to slavery it would have disappeared 400AD in Christian area, but it didn’t

          • ceige

            And neither will anything change under law, but Christian’s are not under law but under grace because Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the law. Hence Paul could say there is no longer slave nor free… but all are one in Christ Jesus.

            No Paul sent Onesimus back to his owner in order to challenge his owner to walk the talk and to change his attitude towards Onesimus of his own accord not under compulsion. He said by sending him he was sending his own heart, and urged him to be seen as no longer a bondservant but as a brother (in Christ).

            And this is the greatest equaliser in the good news, putting no one in unvoluntary submission to another:
            For we all for short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace.

            As for your last sentence, mayhaps if everyone in 400 AD were Christian. But remember the majority of Christians coming from the Jewish and Gentile communities had to learn a new way of being.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “And neither will anything change under law, but Christian’s are not under law but under grace because Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the law.”
            Sorry I don’t get this moral relativism you push that some moral laws are valid based on time or place.

            Paul sent Onesimus back. He should have said slavery is wrong and we’ll stop it now.

            “this is the greatest equaliser in the good news, putting no one in unvoluntary submission to another”
            No. It is bad news. slavery of submission is wrong. If you are not sure about it think about sending your kids to slavery. Bad thing is a bad thing even when you try to put lipstick on it.

            “mayhaps if everyone in 400 AD were Christian”
            WUT? They outlawed other religions. They could have easily outlawed slavery if they wanted. Nothing to do with everyone being a Christian.

          • ceige

            Lets see if there is an example you can understand. Take the law an eye for an eye – at the time this law was in place the common practice amongst people was to pay people back for more than what they did in the first place. So the law was to restrict revenge to an equivalent action.

            Enter Jesus. Jesus took on the punishment specified by any OT law for us, hence the fulfilment of the law. We get a get out of jail free card metaphorically speaking.

            This doesn’t mean the OT moral laws don’t still exist, e.g. Do not steal. What it does mean is we won’t face the penalty for them (which biblical speaking is death) if we genuinely accept what Jesus did and are prepared to forgive the wrongs done to us. Hence his instructions, how many times are we to forgive, 70 x 7. We will of course face the natural earthly consequences if what we does breaks civil laws.

            So shall wrongdoing increase even more, strangely enough it doesn’t. And this is the paradox of Grace which exists in no other religion.

            Or Shakespeare: If justice be thy plea, then consider this, that in the course of justice none of us shall see salvation.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “This doesn’t mean the OT moral laws don’t still exist”
            “So we agree that the moral law of how to get and treat slave is still valid?

            Is that God’s moral law absolute, or did it change and it relative of time and place?

            “wrongdoing increase even more…paradox of Grace which exists in no other religion.”
            You should read about Buddhism

          • ceige

            Some of the laws of the OT were absolute some were contextual (e.g. suitable for that time and place). The difference is well distinguished by theologians but I am afraid I am not qualified enough to help you differentiate them all.

            I have extensively studied Buddhism as I had a fiancee who was Buddhist, I’m curious where do you find grace in the teachings?

          • Jon Sorensen

            How do you/theologians determine which absolute word/laws of God were absolute and which were “suitable for that time and place”? If you think some God laws are “suitable for that time and place” then you are a moral relativist.

            What I would recomment is that you read for yourself and try to understand morality. Begin a moral relativist and relying on “theologians” has lead us to trouble so many times.

            Re grace: I get that Christians use this as what God gives us, where Buddhist use it more in “blessings” or “spiritual power” coming from Buddha. When I lived in Thailand I noticed that Buddhists seem to offer a lot of love, mercy and benevolence toward other humans. I got the feeling they have more that Christian grace than Christians in Europe.
            http://what-when-how.com/love-in-world-religions/grace-in-buddhism/

          • ceige

            You probably won’t like this answer but in many things there is both relative and absolute truth, the two are not mutually exclusive.

            My study of Buddhism is limited to the South East Asian practices. Definitely compassion is a big part of Buddhism. The understanding of grace as you use above would differ then between the two traditions. In the example you link to grace is seen as the ‘blessing passed on’ so to speak from the enlightenment/insights gained from Buddha.

            In Christianity grace is seen as God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. Gaining forgiveness for sins by what Jesus did on the cross, and so to be reconciled to God now and eternally.
            It is this grace, as you were forgiven so forgive we are to follow. How much Christian European’s epitomise this you would know more than I : )

            I do not think the idea of forgiveness is a part of the Buddhist belief system, its focus tends to be on re-incarnation based on how well you live your life . One of my fiancee’s aunties had Polio which she saw as the result of what she did in her previous life.

            I found the Thai people friendly when I was there. However, the lack of mercy, justice etc seemed to be as below the surface as it is in many places. The girl who gave me a foot massage in a smaller village worked sixteen hours a day for a guy in Bangkok and got to see her child once a year (cared for by her mum). The stark contrast between the wealthy and the poor in Bangkok also struck me completely in the face. Alongside the prevalence of the sex industry, a few wealthy Europeans with rings on their fingers and young Thai girls who didn’t strike me as perhaps being there wives… That’s not to say all Thai’s are practising Buddhists as not all English are practicing Christians …

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You probably won’t like this answer but in many things there is both relative and absolute truth, the two are not mutually exclusive.”
            This was not about “truth”. It was about God’s “laws”. The question was are God’s laws absolute or relative. If they are “both” then by default those are not absolute.

            “Christianity grace” also varies.
            http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Saturday/Unbelievable/Episodes/Unbelievable-Do-Mormons-believe-in-Grace-Bill-McKeever-James-Holt
            But I agree with you assessment of differences. Grace (like many religious words) is a word with many meanings and ideas.

            “the lack of mercy, justice etc seemed to be as below the surface as it is in many places”
            Just like in Europe you find good and bad, practicing and non-practicing Buddhists in Thailand. Tourists tend to see the sex industry and European men with Thai girls. But I find most locals have nothing to do with it, don’t like it and don’t like that reputation. Women working in a normal office like the office I worked don’t want anything to do with it. Thailand is a big country of 67M people. Tourism has ruined only small part of it.

          • ceige

            I personally would agree, God’s laws as given through Moses were a mixture of relative and absolute.

          • Jon Sorensen

            This is the issue you have to wrestle with. How are some God’s laws relative, and how do you know which are “absolute” if Gods laws can be relative. If some laws are relative any absolute law can become relative tomorrow.

          • ceige

            Yes you are right. Many a theologian has no doubt spent hours doing just that. In the OT there are civil laws, moral laws and legal laws each with different purposes.

            However, it is always good to remember, the Christian Era is different from the OT Era (BC/AD etc). Only two commandments are the guiding measures:

            36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

            37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

            38 This is the first and great commandment.

            39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

            40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Only two commandments are the guiding measures”
            Jesus also talked about not a “jot and tittle” from the would change.

            Shows how incoherent the overall message is.

          • ceige

            Nice try. It hasn’t. Firstly all the law and the prophets point to those two commandments. Secondly for those who choose to accept Him people are justified by faith in Christ don’t live under the law. Thirdly one is free to still live under the law if they would rather.

            11Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
            12The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”
            13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Secondly for those who choose to accept Him people are justified by faith in Christ don’t live under the law.”
            Jesus didn’t want to change the law, but you don’t have to follow the law, and one is free to still live under the law if they would rather. Such is relativistic mind.

          • ceige

            Relativistic?

            Choose –
            Live under the law
            or
            Live by faith accepting Christ payed for where you fall short of the laws demands

          • Jon Sorensen

            Both moral paths seem to lead to happy afterlife. One’s morality seems to be correctly in either path. This is a text book relativistic morality.

          • ceige

            Unfortunately they don’t because no-one can ever obey all the laws, and the consequence for not doing so is death – eternal separation from God. Hence, why Jesus chose to die and take all the consequences of not meeting the law on himself, vicariously, on our behalf.

            For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18″He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

          • ceige

            This is Good News because the separation from God in the first place, because of sin, which necessitated the law was instigated by Satan not God, Satan is the author of death. In Jesus God provides a way out for humanity to be reconciled again with God.

            Hebrews 2:14
            Verse Concepts
            Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,

          • Jon Sorensen

            Relativism is not ” no-one can ever obey all the laws” it’s “no-one needs ever obey all the laws”

            “Jesus chose to die”
            Except he is not dead. Never understood why God needed Jesus to be “dead” couple of hours.

            “he who does not believe has been judged already”
            This is like communists Russia where thought crime was punished harshly. You didn’t have to do anything wrong, just a wrong thought of belief that you can’t even control was enough to convict you.

          • ceige

            Exactly it’s not relativism we are talking about, no-one can ever obey all the laws, the only way to meet the requirements of the law is by relying on the death of Jesus.

            You don’t understand why Jesus died on the Cross? This is hard to believe when your biblical knowledge seems comprehensive. To forgive/pay for any wrongdoings you have ever done by the punishment he endured on the cross and being seperated from God as it happened. He was resurrected and lives now because he himself was without sin, so death/Satan could not hold him.

            Ask a the few odd 60 million plus christians in China what the difference between communism and christianity is…. One is prepared to kill to keep their belief system, the other is prepared to lay down their life for the sake of belonging to Jesus. You choose which one you think is harsh.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Exactly it’s not relativism we are talking about, no-one can ever obey
            all the laws, the only way to meet the requirements of the law is by
            relying on the death of Jesus.”
            You are still confused. Relativism/Absolutism is not about if you can follow, but should you follow.

            “You don’t understand why Jesus died on the Cross”
            True. Can you explain why it was necessary for someone to die to forgive/pay for any wrongdoings. Why couldn’t God just forgive without blood sacrifice?

            “Ask a the few odd 60 million plus christians in China what the difference between communism and christianity is”
            Ask a the few odd 1 Billion plus Muslims what the difference between Islam and non-Islam? False beliefs make a big difference. the truth makes even bigger difference. Are you ready to accept the truth if it is against everything you know and believe?

          • ceige

            Because God by nature being love must also be just. And justice requires payment for wrongdoings. In respect to sin that payment is seperation from God which in literal terms is death (because God is life). Therefore the payment required to reconcile is a life.

            The difference re your example of asking Muslims is most of the Christians in China were previously communists (atheists), hence, they have greater understanding and experience of both systems of belief. Indeed for them Christianity was against everything they knew and believed?

            I cannot predict how I would respond if I was presented with what is obviously truth yet contradicts what I currently know and believe. I can ony say when my boss was killed in a car crash and I wondered if there really was a God, I searched, and I found Jesus.

            It is an interesting question though, I actually asked my Buddhist fiancee this after he became a Christian, ‘What made you change your beliefs?’ and he just responded, there is no comparison once you know Jesus, Buddha does not enter the equation. He was quite a devoted Buddhist and his decision went against not just everything he knew and believed but also against his family.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I don’t get how Flood making and genocide ordering God’s nature is being love.
            I don’t get how “justice requires payment for wrongdoings” and forgiveness in to enough.
            I don’t get how “In respect to sin that payment is separation from God” when you get tortured forever.
            I don’t get how “God is life” when he orders genocides
            I don’t get how “Therefore the payment required to reconcile is a life” which is his own son?

            “understanding and experience of both systems of belief”
            Which are the two systems of belief?

            “I can ony say when my boss was killed in a car crash and I wondered if there really was a God, I searched, and I found Jesus.”
            Sorry to hear. Sad story. People tend to find religion for emotional reasons and people usually find the religion which has be biggest marketing budget in the area.

            Have you asked a ex-Christian Buddhist why they changed their religion to Buddhism?

          • ceige

            Sorry Jon you made me laugh at that one, the church doesn’t have a very big marketing budget in NZ. Actually I was looking generally at life after death, and it was my Buddhist (boyfriend) then who said I need to look for answers in the faith of my parents. Incidently the same person who later became a christian, but that was quite a time later.

            Which two systems of belief, of those people I know:
            Hinduism and Christianity – Indian
            Buddhism and Christianity – Sri Lankan
            Atheism and Christianity – Chinese Singaporean
            No I have never asked an ex-christian why they changed there religion but if I met one I would be interested to know.

            I understand that before Jesus, God’s actions were based on the concept of Justice so evil was punished, an evil nation destroyed, an evil generation destroyed in the flood etc
            I understand why Jesus chose to die so I don’t have to, and that he knew he would rise to eternal life and in three days.
            I understand from the time Adam and Eve sinned (due to Satan) humans were seperated from God because an eternal world where good and evil would co-exist is a frightening thought.
            I understand that to be seperated from God is to die because God is life.
            I understand Jesus came to take evil and sin upon himself, so we could be in an eternal relationship again with God.
            I understand that from the beginning because of the obedience and faith of Abraham in the goodness of God, Satan’s efforts to destroy humankind are defeated on the cross by the Mystery made known, Jesus, by whom we can by faith in believing in God’s goodness as revealed through Jesus, provide a way back to him.
            I understand that forgiveness comes at a great price.

            I do understand that God gave us free choice and that he values this so highly it allowed Adam and Eve to follow Satan’s directives over God. And I do understand that you are free to believe or think knowledge is subjective, emotional and without sound reason.

            But as for me I know in whom I have believed.

          • Jon Sorensen

            The Christian church and Christians in NZ have bigger marketing budget than Islam, Buddhism, Mithraism or Scientology. There are more Christians and they recommend Christianity for others.

            Atheism is not system of belief, just like bold is not a hair colour. Atheism just answers one question. I’m an ex-christian. I left because I found it not to be true.

            How is genocide “based on the concept of Justice”? Would you really tell this to a Jewish holocaust survivor or is this just to convince yourself?

            There was no Adam and Eve. That is fiction. Generics have shown that.

            Why was sinning due to Satan in the garden. Satan told the truth when God didn’t? And didn’t all go according to God’s plan?

            “Satan’s efforts to destroy humankind are defeated”
            But Satan is having meetings with your God. Aren’t working together of why is God meeting Satan?

            Why does forgiveness comes at a great price? What would God ever need?

            “I do understand that God gave us free choice ”
            Your Bible disagrees with you. God can harden your heart without you knowing.

            “he values this so highly it allowed Adam and Eve to follow Satan’s directives over God.”
            God does not value free will. He punishes people when they use free will. Is there free will in heaven?

          • ceige

            The Christian church and Christians in NZ have bigger marketing budget than Islam, Buddhism, Mithraism or Scientology. There are more Christians and they recommend Christianity for others.

            How is genocide “based on the concept of Justice”? Would you really tell this to a Jewish holocaust survivor or is this just to convince yourself?

            You coined the term genocide. God’s instruction to wage war on other nations in the OT were given to the Israel the Jewish people, so I doubt this co-relates to a Jewish holocaust survivor. The motivation for the actions was because of the evil of those nations, it co-relates more to the allies fighting against the Nazi’s in WWII.

            There was no Adam and Eve. That is fiction. Generics have shown that.

            How have they shown it?

            Why was sinning due to Satan in the garden. Satan told the truth when God didn’t? And didn’t all go according to God’s plan?

            Satan said if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil they wouldn’t really die as God said. They did, and death became a part of human life.
            Well it seems God had a contingency plan, but plainly put it didn’t go according to the ideal plan because God allowed Adam and Eve to have free will because he is love, and one cannot ever force another to genuinely love them. This is the very nature of God and of love. Having free will Adam and Eve could choose to do what they decided.

            “Satan’s efforts to destroy humankind are defeated”
            But Satan is having meetings with your God. Aren’t working together of why is God meeting Satan?

            Satan challenged God saying His followers only did so because of what he did for them. Through Job God demonstrated this was not the case. Hardly working together? More like the type of conversation we have been having. Anyway this passage you refer to happened before Jesus’s crucifixtion.

            Why does forgiveness comes at a great price? What would God ever need?

            Have you ever had to forgive someone for something that has drastically influenced your life. I have. And if you have you will understand the cost.
            It’s not what God needed but that desire to be in relationship with us, unrequited love.

            “I do understand that God gave us free choice ”
            Your Bible disagrees with you. God can harden your heart without you knowing.

            With your knowledge you will know this passage which appears multiple times can be translated as God heardening peoples hearts and blinding their eyes OR simply their hearts were hardened and their eyes blinded so they could not see and hear and turn and be healed OR it hath hardened their hearts (it being their evil behaviour and actions) blinded their eyes so they etc… Choose the one that most suits your case if you wish.

            “he values this so highly it allowed Adam and Eve to follow Satan’s directives over God.”
            God does not value free will. He punishes people when they use free will. Is there free will in heaven?

            Well the last one I can hardly answer until I get there. So God punishes us for all the choices we make, back that up. Free will doesn’t mean we won’t ever make bad choices that have bad outcomes or vice versa.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So when God ordered genocide it is good, but when Nazis ordered genocide is was bad. Such a relativistic bankrupt morality. You call it “God’s instruction to wage war” but actually he ordered to kill everyone including little babies. How were these babies evil?

            “How have they shown it?”
            There has never been a single human breeding pair. Human population has never been less than 12000.

            “Satan said if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil they wouldn’t really die as God said.”
            Not true. Read your Bible.
            God said “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
            Which was not true.
            Serpent said: “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
            And that was true.

            “death became a part of human life”
            But not because they ate of the tree of the knowledge.

            “Having free will Adam and Eve could choose to do what they decided.”
            But they didn’t know before they ate. Who do you think were allowed to eat from those two trees? And why?

            “More like the type of conversation we have been having.”
            Why does God need to have conversation with Satan? Doesn’t he know already everything?

            “Have you ever had to forgive someone for something that has drastically influenced your life. I have. And if you have you will understand the cost.”
            I have but I didn’t require a blood sacrifice. Forgiveness doesn’t need it.

            “Choose the one that most suits your case if you wish.”
            No. You can’t just choose what suits you.
            https://www.blueletterbible.org/esv/exo/10/1/t_conc_60001
            You can read ole Jewish commentary and ignore modern apologists.

            “So God punishes us for all the choices we make, back that up”
            So why did God punish Adam and Eve for using their God given free will while knowing in advance they would eat?

          • ceige

            Ummm the Nazi’s like didn’t wage war against evil nations … they were the evil nation.

            Yes God said in the day you eat of it, this is not a prediction, if you read it in its literary context it means if there ever comes a day you eat of it this is what will happen. Why would he bother even warning them you shall not eat if he knew they would eat it?

            Yes death did come from eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Before then man only knew what was good. This is what caused them from being expelled from the garden of eden and living in communion with God.

            Says who the populatioin has never been less than 12 000?

            Of course they knew before they ate God warned them as you quoted.

            Sorry to disappoint but I use the blue letter bible all the time.

            Of course you don’t need a blood sacrifice to forgive someone else. Your forgiveness does not exonerate their guilt it just means you don’t hold a debt against them for what they have done to you. Only God can forgive all a persons sins. The reason a substitute – Jesus – is because life is in blood and life is what is forfeited by sin; ransom then is made by through the shedding of blood. In the OT testament sins were forgiven through animal sacrifices but that included only the sins at the time; through Christ in faith we died with him and are therefore dead to sin.

            He didn’t know they would, he knew it was a possibility. He sent them out of the garden because living eternally on earth with evil in their midst would be hell anyway – as many would testify today even with our mortality.

            This will be my last reply. I acknowledge your efforts to question and challenge. However, none of what you have raised comes close to making me question the evidence of Jesus in my life through personal experience, answers to prayer, and study of the scriptures. And, unfortunately, I have other work I must do….

            Choose you this day whom you will follow as for me and my house we will follow the Lord.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Ummm the Nazi’s like didn’t wage war against evil nations … they were the evil nation.”
            It’s never black and white. Remember how other treated Germans after WWI. However you just like Nazis have fallen into your own propaganda. Have you read what Canaanites wrote? Do you think their little babies were evil needed to be killed? Christian morality is bankrupt when they think little babies deserved to be killed.

            “Yes God said in the day you eat of it, this is not a prediction, if you read it in its literary context it means if there ever comes a day you eat of it this is what will happen.”
            Not true. Rabbis and early Christians have struggled with this verse. If you have read about Gnostics this is the key passage to understand their view.

            “Why would he bother even warning them you shall not eat if he knew they would eat it?”
            Good question. Christians don’t want to know this answer. Remember originally Yahweh was not the Omnicient highest God…

            “Says who the populatioin has never been less than 12 000?”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Population_bottleneck
            Go to footnotes 3 and 4 or google human bottleneck for DNA studies.

            “Of course they knew before they ate God warned them as you quoted.”
            They did they know that before they ate and knew good and evil?

            “Sorry to disappoint but I use the blue letter bible all the time.”
            Then you should have known the original Hebrew translation and usage.

            Why does God need a substitute for forgiveness and I don’t? Is it too hard for God to forgive sins?

            “He didn’t know they would, he knew it was a possibility”
            Glad to see that your God is not omniscient. So God can be mistaken many times as he does not know everything. Could I trick God?

            “none of what you have raised comes close to making me question the evidence of Jesus in my life through personal experience”
            “Faith is a powerful thing” – my Muslim friend said

          • ceige

            Re slavery and how it operated in ancient Israel, this article might provide some understand how it’s function, reason for existing and practice varies quite significantly from what our modern day understanding of slavery is or of the type of slavery Wilberforce fought against:
            http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201102/201102_108_slavery.htm.cfm

          • Jon Sorensen

            Paul Copan is Christan apologists. It is apologists job to make their idea look good, not to give a balanced or truthful view. Do yourself a favour and read a more non-biased source. Once I started fact checking apologist my eyes opened.

            For example Paul says:
            “people were to automatically cancel debts every 7 years. And when a master released his debt-servants,he was to generously provide for them — without a “grudging heart” (Deuteronomy 15:10)”

            But look how he left our the references Deuteronomy 15:7 and 15:12 that he talks about! When he uses passive voice it is actually only for “Israelites” and “Hebrew men or women”.

            These regular constant subtle changes and omission to will paint a different picture; a lie. You will not find a truth in apologist writings.

          • ceige

            You are correct in saying this laws were based on nationhood in this period of history.

          • ceige

            Umm like Paul basically did in this case – just in a way teaching people whose practice had been to the contrary…. “he is no longer a bondservant but your brother (e.g. equal and free)”.

            I did not say slavery of submission I said no one is put in un-voluntary submission. (e.g. one only submits if one chooses to; and this includes God, He doesn’t make you it’s up to you). We all submit voluntarily all the time. To spouses requests to, children’s demands. Where on earth do you get sending your kids to slavery from that?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “This doesn’t mean the OT moral laws don’t still exist”
            So do you agree that the moral law of how to get and treat slaves is still valid?

            Is that God’s moral law absolute, or did it change and it relative of time and place?
            That is the problem of the Bible. Christians use the same letter of Paul to argue both sides of the issue. That why it is bad.

            Don’t confuse slavery with submission to God. Different issues.

            “Where on earth do you get sending your kids to slavery from that?”
            I try to establish are you a moral relativist (=slavery laws not valid) or do you think God’s laws are absolute. Which one is it?

          • ceige

            Ha, ha I am afraid this is actually the problem with human beings we will use what we often start with our own opinions and work the texts to support them, rather than the other way around.

            And yep, Christians are human and less than perfect.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I note that you avoided my questions. Christians usually do that when you ask difficult moral questions. This is why I know their morality is in conflict and their Biblical morality is wrong.

            “I am afraid this is actually the problem with human beings we will use what we often start with our own opinions and work the texts to support them”
            This not the problem I addressed. Paul could have said “Don’t be/buy/sell/own slaves ever. Slavery stops today.” and it would have been clear. The problem is that Paul is not clear and does not stand against Roman slavery. A good book is clear.

          • ceige

            What about he is no longer a slave but your brother is not clear? Or there is no longer slave nor freeman, male nor female, jew nor gentile (e.g. the main divisions in society at that time) but all are one (of the same worth) in Christ Jesus is not clear?

            Although Paul’s primary occupation was not that of an anti-slave trader activist the stance he believed to be taken as a follower of Jesus regarding slaves seems pretty obvious to me.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “What about he is no longer a slave but your brother is not clear?”
            The slave stays as a slave, as a property of someone. Is that not clear?

            You are confusing the reality of being a slave and a spiritual brother hood of equality. I’m concern of people being real slaves.

            You pointed the real problem. Paul followed Jesus who did not want to get rid of real slavery.

          • ceige

            Not in the culture Jesus grew up in, what was slavery (probably better phrased servanthood) in this community was a voluntary agreement in order to rescue people from absolute poverty when all other contingencies had been exhausted – lack of a redeemer, not enough gleanings to make do on. People could agree to be a servant in order for help to pay off a personal debt, have something to eat each day… Even then the ‘Master’ had legal requirements in how they were to care for those under them AND they were released again to be free men every seventh year. Paul even extends this further by adding that the Master was not even to consider himself as superior in status.

            Slavery like that which existed when colonial Britain imported slaves from Africa – the forced servitude; well forced slavery was an act punishable by death in Israel.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            A couple of points.

            It was not Britain that took slaves across the Atlantic but some people, quite a lot of whom were British (There were slaves in the non-Brititsh colonies in the Americas). There were people opposed to the trans-Atlantic slave trade at the time.

            What was taken from Africa was not so much slaves as common African practises. There were a lot more Africans involved in the slave trade than there were British people.

          • ceige

            Apologies James, I merely meant the slave trade existed in Britain. Of course people from other countries and nations were just as or more involved.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            Of course. It is just that so much about this area is presented in such stark and black & white (and historically incorrect) ways. I just wanted to emphasise that it was a lot more complex and lot more people were involved.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “in the culture Jesus grew up in, what was slavery (probably better phrased servanthood) in this community was a voluntary agreement in order to rescue people from absolute poverty”
            This is a weird Christian myth of people who have not read the Bible or a history book.

            “Even then the ‘Master’ had legal requirements in how they were to care for those under them AND they were released again to be free men every seventh year.”
            This is another weird Christian myth of people who have not read the Bible. Start with Deut 15:12.

            “Paul even extends this further by adding that the Master was not even to consider himself as superior in status.”
            This is another weird Christian myth of people who have not read the Bible. Paul was talking in spiritual sense. He did not advocate slaves to have a same real life social status as master.

            “forced slavery was an act punishable by death in Israel.”
            Except when God commanded them to commit genocide and keep the virgins.

          • ceige

            Actually I think Paul did advocate slaves having the same status (and worth) as their Master. A brother is one who is an equal in all senses of the word.

            It is necessary to acknowledge the shift between the teachings of the OT and the NT with the coming of the Messiah, and even more so after the death of Jesus which is when Paul became an apostle.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I wish Paul would have been a lot clearer about it. Millions of slaves would have been better off.

          • ceige

            Indeed, I think many of us desire hindsight.

          • Jon Sorensen

            If Jesus/holy spirit would have inspired/helped/guided Paul this would not be a problem, but I’m glad you realise Paul’s and Bible’s mistakes.

          • ceige

            Footnote: Many people are guided by the Holy Spirit, this does not mean we have the ability to know the future, unless God reveals it, which is recorded in the bible although it is usually in parts and for a specific purpose.

            You will have to look the new age guru’s if you want fortune-telling.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Footnote: Many people are guided by the Holy Spirit, this does not mean we have the ability to know the future”
            Is this why Jesus said that “some here standing will not face death” but he got it wrong?

            “You will have to look the new age guru’s if you want fortune-telling”
            I never mentioned fortune telling, but I’m glad you are moving to the direction that Paul got it wrong about slavery in hind sight.

          • ceige

            …will not face death until they see the Kingdom… – next passage the transfiguration when some of the disciples ‘saw’ Jesus in all his Glory in the Kingdom.

            No, I just doubt he never had the fore-sight to know what slavery would exist or become in the future. He was dealing in his context in his day. Combating slavery was also not his primary purpose in life unlike Wilberforce.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “next passage the transfiguration when some of the disciples ‘saw’ Jesus in all his Glory in the Kingdom”
            I thought that “this generation will not pass away, until all these things are accomplished” but Christians tell me that Jesus will come back one day and accomplish more.

            “I just doubt [Paul] never had the fore-sight to know what slavery would exist or become in the future.”

            I agree.

          • ceige

            The this generation passage refers to the generation which will be alive when certain things happen just before Jesus returns so I am not sure of your question.

            Jesus return hails in the full establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth and the destruction of all evil.

          • Jon Sorensen

            ” this generation passage refers to the generation which will be alive
            when certain things happen just before Jesus returns so I am not sure of
            your question.”
            No it refers to Jesus’ contemporaries generation. Read the text.

          • ceige

            It says ‘this generation’ after describing event that will happen to a generation at a future date?

            What’s your evidence to the contrary?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “this generation” means Jesus generation or any generation. If it means any generations it does not mean “this generation”.

            Christians are trying to explain away failed prophecies.

            If you still think “this generation” means some random generation I’m happy to just discuss that in original Greek, to see which generation is meant. Hail Preterists!

          • ceige

            You will have to wait until I can catch up with your learning on that one. I have just got the textbook to learn Greek but it may take me a while to go through it….

    • Inspector General

      It was a Christian who successfully campaigned for the abolition of slavery in the British empire, not one of your godless lot. That’s what the text books will tell you and will always tell you. Do you see now how it’s done?

      Hurts, don’t it…

      • Busy Mum

        Unfortunately, the school text books give our children the impression that the British Empire started slavery in the first place….

        • Inspector General

          And yet slavery was being practised by the African negro when the British explorers arrived…

          • Busy Mum

            Exactly – do not fear, I correct the imbalance by making Con Iggulden’s Dangerous Book of Heroes compulsory reading for my children when they are being subjected to this particular unit of brainwashing (this is at age 12 – they get them early). Then they can sneak all sorts of interesting facts into their work…such as that more white sailors than black slaves died on the ships, because the slaves were more valuable than the sailors. Unfortunately, the teachers don’t seem to notice…I think they are trained to spot government-approved sentences and anything else is ignored.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’m interesting to find out where you get the
            “more white sailors than black slaves died on the ships”

            Typical values I see is that 10 to 15% of slaved died during transport.

            For example the Jupiter had 46 crew for 299 slave. 28 slaves died and only 7 crew members.
            http://discoveringbristol.org.uk/slavery/people-involved/sailors/slave-ships-crew/who-worked/

            Often slave ships carried 700-1000 slaves and would lose 100 slaves on a way. You would not be able to runs a ship if you lose 100 crew members.

            Could you link to something that supports your claim?

          • Pubcrawler

            So on that voyage a little over 9% of the slaves died, compared with 15% of the crew. Hmm..

          • Jon Sorensen

            “One man drowned, the other six died from ‘the fever’ (probably malaria) or ‘the flux’ (either gastroenteritis or dysentery, which spread quickly in the cramped conditions on board ship)”

            “Many crew members often became ill on the West African coast. Being from Europe, the sailors were not used to the tropical diseases found in this part of the world, such as malaria. At the time of the transatlantic slave trade, no cure for malaria had yet been discovered. Conversely, the enslaved Africans were not used to European diseases, and the sailors would spread measles and smallpox amonst them.”

          • Pubcrawler

            Yes, I already read the piece, thank you. And?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Nothing more really to add. A lot more slaves died than sailors…

          • Pubcrawler

            But the mortality rate was higher for crew.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I agree. But that was not the argument. The argument was “more white sailors than black slaves died on the ships”.

            I’m looking for evidence for that.

          • Pubcrawler

            My comment was not in support of that, it was observation about those figures. So, albeit based on the evidence of only one voyage, it seems reasonable to say that a greater proportion of crew died than slaves. That’s interesting and somewhat counter-intuitive, don’t you think?

          • The Explorer

            “Beware oh beware of the Bay of Benin.
            There’s one as comes out for ten as goes in.”

            It’s why the white slavers didn’t venture inland. They confined themselves to the coast and the loading of slaves. The actual capture of slaves was left to the indigenous population, who could cope with the climate.

          • Pubcrawler

            That is also true and all too often swept under the carpet.

          • James Bolivar DiGriz

            My understanding is that the white slavers didn’t need to venture inland. Slavery was endemic in those parts and so when trading with the locals (or black slavers as we perhaps ought to call them) one of the items that could be offered in trade was slaves.

          • The Explorer

            I believe so. An appalling thought for political revisionists; so vehemently rejected in the teeth of the evidence.

          • CliveM

            Getting into this sort of argument with our friend here is an exercise in futility. He will argue black is white until finally stating black was black and that’s what he had been saying all along!

          • Jon Sorensen

            I know. People asking for evidence is here called “argue black is white”

          • Anton

            But the crew had options not to be on board…

          • Pubcrawler

            True. But I’m just musing about relative mortality rates, not addressing the morality of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

          • Busy Mum

            I gave you the book title; pubcrawler has already done the maths for you.

            I find museums tend to follow the pc line – I daresay they would lose government funding if they told the truth.

            Incidentally, the correct English is ‘I am interested’,’on the way’, ‘run a ship’. Collins publish a combination dictionary/grammar/thesaurus, available in a wide range of languages. My children find them useful when learning a foreign language, although I do not know whether they publish an English one.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I don’t see pubcrawler’s math. Where is it?

            I don’t see how the math works out if slave to sailor ratio was 1:6 and 10%-15% slaves died. That would require more than 60-90% of sailors to die, which would make sailing impossible. Can you summarise the argument from the book?

            So government museums are in the business to hide the truth and it is all big conspiracy that you uncovered.

            I agree my English is terrible. Actually my motherlanguage is pretty bad too. My German and Swedish is okish. Anyways English is my forth language so sorry about the grammar issues.

          • sarky

            So as they were such good christians the explorers adopted the practice. I’m sorry but “they started it” is no excuse.

          • Inspector General

            The explorers bought the captives. They became an investment.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Christians ostracize non-Christians and atheists so that if you would publicly reject trinitarian Christian God, you would probably get killed or at least lost your standing in a British society. And now you claim that only “Christians successfully campaigned for the abolition of slavery in the British empire”. It’s like Muslims proudly claiming credit that only Muslims are responsible of human right improvements in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. LOL. What’s next? Are you going to claim that only Christians are responsible of charity work done by people in Vatican?

        And you are right. You logic hurts my brain.

    • Phil R

      It seems Jon that there are a few facts that may be news to you. Christians are the only one really interested in combating slavery and atheists are responsible by far for the vast majority of the murders ever committed.

      • sarky
        • The Explorer

          As far as I can see, the data runs from 1997. Take it from, say, 1917 and the statistics look a little different. In “ever committed” Phil wasn’t just talking about the last twenty years.

          • Phil R

            It is percentage of total numbers in prison

            It is not adjusted for percentages of prisoners who identify as atheist etc.

            By Sarky’s link’s reasoning, Christians will always be in a majority as they are the majority of the population.

            To say that Christians commit more crimes on the basis on the statistics on how this site are collected is a nonsense.

          • The Explorer

            I remember a discussion with Linus in which he argued that more women died in childbirth than gays died of AIDS. Therefore, vaginal sex was more dangerous than anal sex. On the other hand, there are more women than there are gays, and when the raw numbers were converted into percentages, a totally different result emerged.

            Similar sort of thing going on in Sarky’s article. How many of those in prison for rape or murder are identified as ‘Christian’ simply because they haven’t said they are atheists? In the last census but one, those who identified themselves as Jedi Knights were reclassified as ‘Christian’. That might have suited the administrators, but the conflation would be rejected by Christians (even if it boosted their numbers) and by the Knights themselves.

          • Phil R

            There is also the issue of social class in prison populations. Far more poor identify as Christian than Atheist than in the general population.

            Far more poor end up in prison. Lack of a good and affordable lawyer perhaps?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Where did you get this:
            “Far more poor identify as Christian than Atheist than in the general population”

            Is there are study about this?

          • Jon Sorensen

            Just provide the evidence to support you original claim:
            “theists are responsible by far for the vast majority of the murders ever committed.”

            Surely you have it as you made the claim and are now defending it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            But Phil is not providing any evidence is he?

          • sarky
          • The Explorer

            That’s a most impressive compilation of the number of people killed by God. If one were a misanthrope one would have to hand it to the Old Boy. The bulk of the casualties, of course, are at Armageddon; and since that hasn’t happened yet it can’t form part of our analysis.

            Whether religion or atheism has killed the more people is not how I myself would frame the argument. ‘Religion’ would include child sacrifice to Baal; the Aztec priests; murders committed by devotees of Kali; and Islam: and I would not care to defend the depredations of any of those. Indeed, I even believe them to have been mistaken in some key respects

            My point was that if one takes one’s data from 1917 onwards, rather than from 1997, one gets a different outcome. ‘The Black Book of Communism’ estimates nearly a hundred million victims of communism in the C20. Communism’s atheist credentials are not in doubt. My point stands.

          • sarky
          • The Explorer

            Much less impressive than the other two articles you have cited. Naïve and superficial. The testimony of RIchard Wurmbrand, for a start, cries out against it.

        • Phil R

          See comment to Explorer

          • Jon Sorensen

            That is how science works. We build models and develop them and test them. Nothing wrong admitting that we don’t know something.

          • sarky

            Its better than filing the holes with ‘god did it’.

          • Phil R

            This is how science works. You get finding on a vast scale Invariably from business or the state to find evidence that proves predicted conjecture or current theory

          • sarky

            Spell check not working?

          • Pubcrawler

            This from someone whose deployment of the shift and apostrophe keys may kindly be described as erratic…

          • Jon Sorensen

            You have no idea.

          • Phil R

            Correct. Most of us have no idea what scale of the problem is.

            UEA gives us an insight. As far as Physics goes at least, it is only the tip of the iceberg.

          • Jon Sorensen

            What is UEA?

          • Pubcrawler

            Look up ‘climategate’

          • Jon Sorensen

            Ok. But they did not find anything in those emails. Manufactured outrage. Or you could just tell us what the worst finding was if you think they found something. Please link or source, not handwaving.

          • Phil R
          • Jon Sorensen

            OK, a newspaper artiecle. But they did not find anything in those emails. Manufactured outrage. Or you could just tell us what the worst finding was if you think they found something. Please link or source, not handwaving.

          • Phil R

            They buried data that did not support what their sponsor required

          • Jon Sorensen

            I have heard that claim before. Can you provide the evidence for that? What data did they bury, and now that we know that how did that change our knowledge of climate change?

          • sarky

            Go on then!

      • Jon Sorensen

        You are right! These facts are news to me.

        Can you provide some evidence that “Christians are the only one really interested in combating slavery”
        and
        Can you provide evidence that “atheists are responsible by far for the vast majority of the murders ever committed”

        So evidence please or retract your statements. Or are you just going to run away if the evidence does not support you?

    • alternative_perspective

      Gosh, you are a little bit pathetic… In the French understanding of the term… Of course.

      • Jon Sorensen

        Why are you so salty?

        When facts and evidence don’t support believer’s narrative they turn into ad hominem and aggression.

    • ceige

      Because his Christian faith motivated him to do what he did.

      • Jon Sorensen

        And he was fighting against Christians motivated by the Bible and Bible motivated Churches. If you give Christianity the credit also give them the blame.

        • ceige

          I give his faith the credit because it was only after he became a christian and was encouraged by Newton to stay in parliament for such a reason as this (he was going to quit) that he took up the cause against slavery in parliament.

          Those who used the bible as justification for slavery did so using OT passages which Wilberforce despite refuting them also said it wasn’t convinced that even if he changed their minds he doubt religion played a strong part in their actions enough to halt them.

          • Jon Sorensen

            And his opponent were Christians motivated by the Bible. So crediting Christian faith can be argued for both sides. Christianity inspired slavery and anti-slavery. Give credit to both or neither.

            People have used Paul’s letter to Philemon to justify slavery forever. You don’t need to go to OT.

            Don’t just push Wilberforce opinions. Give both sides equal time. Let his opponents speak for themselves.

  • David

    What an uplifting article ! Thank you indeed for it.
    Evil and confusion are ever busy, acting through our fallen human natures, yet God’s power to do good, also acts through human beings. This is of course because our free will allows us to do both good or evil. As ever we must decide which course to follow. In fact we all produce a mixture of both good and bad.
    I shall pray for Vincent and IJM.

  • len

    What a sad indictment of the world we live in that people are still exploiting others for their own gain….of course slavery is just an extreme example of this….there are others….

    I suppose nothing much will change until Jesus comes back and restores Justice and His rule of Law upon this World.Until then we must do what we can…..

  • Inspector General

    Oh dear. It looks like the age of empires ended too soon. Remember that time, when the lesser achieving races of the world were treated, and yes that is the correct word – treated, to life under the rule of law and of order that only European types and descendants thereof, could provide. That that golden time of comparative peace and prosperity ever existed at all entirely validates the Inspector General in his mission to provide hope to the wretches of the world, by championing a new era of colonisation to save humanity in these areas where re-colonisation is required.

    Yet there are still people out there, in their comfortable middle class homes, drinking their middle class wine after thoroughly enjoying their middle class meal who will tell you “NO, NO, NO. Never again must we save these types from themselves. It is racist and therefore wrong.” Instead we throw good money on them, and allow them to migrate to our country, so they can see how it’s done, but of course, they will never return to their homeland to put into practice what they have seen and learned about if they can help it. And who can blame them. They got out, and are only interested in themselves.

  • Inspector General

    For those who ask, “‘Where is God in all of this? Why does he let it happen?”, then how about THIS controversial remark.

    God has gifted us the blessing of AIDS. That should ensure a return to correct sexual morals as the Almighty would have it. As it stands, man’s intervention in giving medicine to criminals so affected to keep them alive so that they can go back and continue their criminality whether they organise sexual abuse of girls and women or use the ‘services’ so provided, is a mistake. Better these AIDS undesirables be confined to a camp as lepers once were and allowed to expire with only pain relief at hand. Only the wrongfully infected should be helped.

    Perhaps prayers for divine intervention have thus been answered. You are given an answer, and you reject it. You reject it out of hand, because it is not to your liking. Yet that won’t stop you whining about the smear of filth the worst of humanity leaves as it thrives while it is alive. It needn’t be this way. Think about it!

    To help you understand this way of thinking, here is part of a version of the macabre tale The Monkey’s Paw. A man is given a monkey’s paw. With it, he is told, comes three wishes. Once he has made the third wish, it will no longer be of any use to him, so he must pass it on to another man, and not take payment for it. To do otherwise than the instructions will invoke a curse. He brings it home to his bemused wife. They both agree that they have health, happiness, peace and security and have no need for wishes. After a bit of thought, the wife reminds him that they still have a mortgage on their house. So the man holds the thing and says “Paw. I wish for sufficient funds to pay off my outstanding mortgage”. Nothing happens for a few days, and then there is a knock at the door one afternoon. His wife opens it, only to find her bachelor teenage son’s works manager there, white faced. He informs her that the lad had been killed at work in an horrific accident. After spending some time comforting the grieving mother, he leaves, telling her that her son’s life was insured against accidental death in his place of work. The figure he gave her would pay to bury him with enough left over to pay off the mortgage.

    • Inspector, there’s some truth in your comment and yet so much that is wrong too.

      Think on these quotations:

      “God loves us, so He makes us the gift of suffering. Through suffering, we release our hold on the toys of this world and know our true good lies in another world.

      We’re like blocks of stone, out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men. The blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much, are what make us perfect. The suffering in this world is not the failure of God’s love for us; it is that love in action.

      For believe me, this world that seems to us so substantial is no more than the shadow lands. Real life has not begun yet.“
      (C.S. Lewis, Shadowlands)

      “We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
      (C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain)

      • Inspector General

        Do feel free to quote the Inspector’s wisdom in reverent italics in the future, Jack.

        • chiefofsinners

          Here you go:
          “Perhaps King Richard would appreciate ‘diversity’, so in the procession may we have a breast feeding peasant, an unfortunate wretch with today’s version of leprosy, a crypple with the attytude, a blackamoor from far off who believeth England owes him a home, a man who lyeth with other men as the beast in the fyeld, a fellow who has sold his soule to the mandrake, a few dozen alms cases, a lazy student, a woman who ranteth and raveth because she is not content to be a wife and mother, a craftee butcher, a worker who is in a social party but does no work, a half formed child plucked from the womb, a priest who believeth not in
          God, a bishop who wears women’s cloths and does haft breasts, an archbishop who doeth wish to smite the old, a man who liveth as a woman with badly fitting wygg and standing in a pool of hys own pyss, a scimitar wielding Saracen redwith the blood of Christians, a morderer with rights aplenty and certainly more than thee and me…”
          (Inspector General, The Burial of King Richard III)

          • chiefofsinners

            Darn, where did those reverential italics go…?

          • Inspector General

            Yes, one recalls. A magnificent rant that…

          • IanCad

            I must have missed that “Magnificent Rant.”
            Truly; IG at his most inspired!

        • Unlikely as you always seem to miss the pertinent point, Ludwig.

          • The Explorer

            What’s this Ludwig? I thought he was Aloysius?

          • It’s the European version of the Latinised name. More manly.

          • Pubcrawler

            Ah, so not an allusion to the rather surreal animated television series.

          • Jack is not aware of this program, Pubcrawler and will investigate further.

    • ceige

      Sorry Inspector but I think you’ve lost a marble… is the moral of the story to be careful what you pray for?

      • Inspector General

        No. More of a horrifying situation of your prayer having been answered, in a most dreadful way (until you come to think about it..).

        • sarky

          By a ‘loving’ god no less……..

          • Inspector General

            After much research on the subject, it falls to the Inspector to tell everybody that the idea of a ‘loving god’ is a human construct based around human concepts of what loving be. With the death of Egypt’s first born sons, including Pharaoh’s, among variuos acts of wrath attributed to the Almighty, you’d think people would have twigged that by now.

            Giving the world AIDS is therefore right up his street, so to speak.

          • sarky

            So why do you appear to have such a problem with men/women being indifferent to an indifferent god?

          • Inspector General

            Problem with that? Not at all. One’s problem is the corruption that is nurturing in the churches. Those who do not believe in God can go hang. You, for example…

            .

          • ceige

            Oh my dear inspector, naughty!

            Poor heterosexual wives of philandering men alongside their children are the biggest victims numerically in the onset of AIDS.

            Would it be God’s wrath was not taken upon Christ, I would think His creating a disease that bobbed off certain male genitalia might be more in line with your reasoning …

          • Inspector General

            The innocent have nothing to fear from AIDs, ceige. (that rhymes, don’t you know. How unfortunate for you). It is one’s understanding that the dreadful thing can only be transmitted where breaks in the skin occurs. This rules out normal conjugals unless beastliness occurs, but condemns those who abuse the alimentary canal, lower end. A structure that lacerates easily, so one is informed. Hence the ‘gay plague’…

          • ceige

            Oh yuck inspector you gross me out. Too much detail!!

            It’s sad to say but am starting to loose faith in your detecting skills. ‘Tis a shame ’cause the title suits you..

            Women are twice as likely to contract AIDS and make up the majority of people with disease. Worldwide the biggest reason for this is because it is what their husband bring home. Many children as a result contract the disease in-utero, over 2.6 million contracted it in the last year.

            But if you want to help UNICEF in a revolutionising step which not many are aware of is providing to as many pregnant women with AIDS as possible, anti-retrovirals combined with education that prevents the disease in 90% of cases passing from Mother to child.

            The sensationalism of AIDS being only a ‘gay plague’ was over in the 80’s…

          • Inspector General

            Steady, boy. Steady.

            The type of man likely to bring AIDS to the family home is more than likely an absolute pig. Men tend to be pigs when it comes to sex, so one has established is the case in primitive parts of the world, unless of course they are refined fellows like the Inspector. To wit, literally, gentle men.

          • bockerglory

            Everyone knows that tough love is better than spoiling a child. God provides “tough love”. Actually Syphillis was the AIDs equivalent for a long time. Brothels were seen as a sure way to death …. The sex industry was lethal.

  • Phil R

    IJM do a fantastic job.

    It is interesting to note where they do not work. They do not work in N Korea, they do not work in Muslim countries. Their rationale is that resources need to be targeted where they will have the most impact and are likely to be effective.

  • Darter Noster

    Christianity and slavery is a complex problem. Sincere, God-fearing Christian men have played a full, noble/ignoble role on both sides. Churches, Catholic and Protestant, have been at times against it and at others at least complicit.

    But two things must be borne in mind: firstly, that no other religion, faith or philosophical system has ever been against slavery since the dawn of time either, and secondly that the race-based slave system of the 1600s to 1800s conducted by European and American traders from West Africa, although it is what pretty much everyone thinks of when they hear ‘slavery’ is actually a minuscule part of slavery across time and cultures as a whole.

    Slavery at the time of the New Testament was a very different institution; when people say ‘The Bible condones slavery’ it does not mean that the Bible condones brutalising black people and forcing them to pick cotton, because that is not what slavery was, then or later. Slavery is the ability of one person to own another as property, and for the vast majority of human history that ability has been normal. Masters were under no obligation to brutalise their slaves, and in the Roman world many did not: do not confuse slavery with brutality, mistreatment and racism because they are not the same thing.

    • alternative_perspective

      Indentured servitude is probably a better term in the most part.

      • Jon Sorensen

        “Indentured servitude” sound so much better that a “slave”. I’m sure slaves would prefer that name and would feel so much better. We need more politically correct names, so we all feel better.

        • alternative_perspective

          And ur still a little.. U know. If you don’t know the difference between a slave and indentured servant then perhaps you should crawl back under your rock, along with the rest of the trolls.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Yet another angry Christians. But we still love you my friend.

            Surely kidnapped kids who never got their freedom appreciated to be called “indentured servant” rather than a “slave”.

    • CliveM

      Maybe but it could also be very brutal. There were many different types of slaves.

    • IanCad

      Today, our notion of slavery is, likely, far different from that which was practiced in those ancient economies.
      Food was always the big problem. Lucky he who was sheltered under a stern yet fair capitalist, aristocrat, or politician.
      Also – dare I say it? There are some folks as take to domination more readily than others.

    • Owl

      I am not sure that Spartacus an his friends would agree. The Romans seem to have had special punishments for slaves.

  • Darter Noster

    Also, a minor point relating to the headline of this post:-

    Slavery has been criminalised; but like prostitution it has never, at any point in human history, been abolished.

    • Dreadnaught

      Prostitution is not a criminal offence. Soliciting for prostitution is.

    • Anton

      Don’t we have to specify where and define it too?

  • chiefofsinners

    A fine example of a Christian adorning the teaching of God our Saviour.
    Freely you have received, freely give.

  • Inspector General

    If fellows care to view the Wiki entry on Manna, there’s slavery for you. It happened in the OT, it was there. The slaves were, it seems, girls and women attached to a Jewish household. A household that provided security for them. The more attractive of them would become concubines. That’s how it was in the iron age. The Jews were no worse than any other iron age tribe. Perhaps infinitely better as the chosen people…

    • Darter Noster

      I can’t help but laugh when people claim the world is run by Jews.

      It isn’t, of course; but looking at Jewish history I can’t help but think that, at the very worst, they couldn’t possibly make a bigger cock up of it than the rest of us have.

      Given the record of the Jewish people, I’d bet that a Jewish run world could only be an improvement.

      • dannybhoy

        “The story is told of an incident in the life of Napoleon Bonaparte during one of his military campaigns. Someone asked Napoleon
        if he knew of any evidence that proved that God exists. (Atheism and
        skepticism were major issues among French philosophers of the time.)
        Napoleon is reported to have pointed to a Jew and said “There is living proof that God exists. God has preserved the Jews for all these centuries.”
        The above story about Napoleon may or may not be literally true but the fact that the Jews have been preserved as a distinct people and defied all the sociological and demographic laws of assimilation for more than 3,500 years is certainly worth pondering..
        http://www.gracelawandsonship.com/dtf-212.asp

        it may or may not be a true story, but personally I believe that the Jewish people remain God’s Covenant people and that we Christians are grafted in. The future of the world is wrapped up with the story of the Jews.
        Christians can learn from the Jews. We should honour and respect the Jews because from them came the Salvation of the world, available to all who humble themselves and accept God’s free gift.

        • Anton

          It is also told about Frederick the Great. If anybody knows whether any prominent ruler actually said it then I’d love to know.

          • dannybhoy

            Apocryphal maybe, but no other people have endured so many attacks on their existence as a coherent people.

          • Anton

            I wholly agree (although that was not my subject).

          • dannybhoy

            I said people twice.. clumsy.

          • IanCad

            And I thought it was Berthier.

        • bockerglory

          Here here.

    • The Explorer

      I thought Manna was the stuff the Israelites ate in the wilderness.

      • Inspector General

        It is, was.

        • chiefofsinners

          Actual meaning of the word: ‘what is it?’
          Hence the frequent comment at our family dinner table when food is served: ‘Manna’.

    • Dreadnaught

      There’s no religion with clean hands.

      • Inspector General

        Now we can’t judge the past by today’s sensibilities…

        • alternative_perspective

          Nor apparently atheists living 60 years ago in Russia and China… They were communists don’t you know.

  • The Explorer

    The Slave Trade unquestionably escalated the demand for slaves, but the sad thing is that it simply exploited an already-existing situation.

    However many things we care to blame the white slavers for, we cannot blame them for the tribal warfare that preceded their arrival.

    • Anton

      Any history of Europe shows war after war after war too.

      • The Explorer

        Well, yes. By the Susan Sontag narrative, that’s to be expected: the white race is the cancer of history. By that narrative, the black race should have started fighting itself only after its encounter with the white race. Before that, everything should have been paradisal.

        When the narrative doesn’t tally with the facts, bury the facts..

        • Anton

          I too am heartily sick of Europeans being blamed for everything, but this thread is about the slave trade.

          • The Explorer

            And my point is that the slave trade would not have been possible without black assistance. “A plague on both your houses.”

          • Anton

            I’m not sure of that. From the 15th to the 17th century Muslim raiders crossed the Atlantic and captured as slaves some 2 million people from Europe’s southern shores, and those Muslims didn’t have local assistance. (See the book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters by Robert C Davis.) Europeans probably could have done it to Africans all by themselves, but it is indeed a fact of history that they didn’t. We can also stop talking past each other by discussing the allocation of responsibility.

          • IanCad

            Truly, the Arabs were the master slavers.

          • Anton

            Europeans transported some six times as many slaves, but we have abolished it today.

          • IanCad

            I hardly think you are correct there Anton. The transatlantic trade in souls was but a fraction of the African/Arabian traffic.

          • Anton

            I was comparing transatlantic and transmediterranean.

          • Pubcrawler

            “Were”?

          • IanCad

            Point taken.

          • The Explorer

            Yes, but the Barbary Corsairs who were responsible for most of the European slaves weren’t dealing with a climate and landscape to which they were unaccustomed and unsuited: as the slavers were in West Africa. (And East Africa, the source of black slaves for the Arabs, was not climatically dangerous in the same way as the Gulf of Guinea.)

            Prisoners of tribal wars were kept in barracoons by their fellow blacks until the arrival of the white slavers, who would load them into the ships. There were only enough white slavers to crew the ships, not to fight wars as well; and they would not have survived the climate. When they tried, they died. Even as late as the Boer Wars, more British soldiers died of dysentery than died of Boer bullets; and that was in the relatively clement climate of South Africa.

    • Ivan M

      Slavery was a constant after the Flood. The archaeological evidence from the those times in Europe, and the practices of living fossils such as the (then) remote tribes in the Americas and Melanesia all attest to two constants that haunted mankind for much of history, cannibalism and slavery. This is one of reasons why Christianity was able to make such inroads among the peoples. Jesus Christ both frees the slaves and offers Himself as food in place of the victims, who had by then various cultic and religious rituals endorsing their state as variously either food or slaves. The particularly terrifying state cult of Aztecs is an example of this.

      • Jon Sorensen

        There was no Flood. Cannibalism has not “haunted” us like wars. And Jesus did not free the slaves affected by the Slave Trade The Explorer talked about.

        • Ivan M

          The Flood is a well-attested phenomenon. It may have to be dated earlier.

          • sarky

            No its not. There is evidence of localised flooding but nothing of the scale mentioned in the bible.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            On the contrary, the preponderance of sedimentary rocks that mantle the Earth, with their fossils, testify to the Genesis Flood.

          • sarky

            Rubbish.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            There’s not much that can be done about your deliberate ignorance. I note you didn’t even try to present an argument against my point.

          • sarky

            I have posted a link to busy mum that answers your point.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            An article by self-opinionated fools that think themselves rational answers no points. That they are as ignorant as you on the subject is hardly surprising, since they also impose ignorance on themselves.

            Most of their arguments are based on their own beliefs, not facts & they clearly haven’t read either the Bible or Creationist literature very carefully. Or maybe they just want to put their position in the best possible light. After all, they wouldn’t expect serious Christians who know about the subject to take them seriously anyway. All in all, the article is meant for the already persuaded, like you.

          • sarky

            We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.Plato

          • Lord Chatham

            Grown men too…

            19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
            20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
            21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

            John 3:19-21

          • Martin

            LC

            My thoughts exactly.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            And the one afraid of the light is you. Light has come into the World but you prefer darkness.

          • sarky

            Erm no I don’t. My life is very well lit.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            I think the evidence is against you on that. You don’t understand the Bible, you don’t understand Christians, you pretend there is no God. Yes, the evidence is well & truly against you. Your foolish heart is darkened.

          • sarky

            Oh I understand the bible and christians very well. I understand that you are unable to accept the fact I can live a good and fulfilling life without an imaginary friend found in the pages of a bronze age story book.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            You cannot live a good & fulfilling life, and I don’t have an imaginary friend.

          • sarky

            I do. You do.

          • Martin

            Sarky

            I see you changed your post.

            Well, sad to say you don’t have a fantastic life, for you are a lost soul, dead in your sins. You can’t even understand how sad you are. You aren’t even an Atheist, just one who knows God exists & pretends He doesn’t. How sad does that make you? And one day, you will stand speechless before the Lord Jesus Christ to be condemned, In that day you will glorify God in the just condemnation that you receive.

            Remember, you are the one who knows I have no imaginary friend.

          • sarky

            What a load of b#####ks!

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Potty language, the last resort of the Atheist.

          • sarky

            No, it’s frustration brought out by stupidity!

          • Martin

            Sarky

            But you would be better served by seeking to correct your stupidity.

          • sarky

            Your my stupidity!

          • Martin

            Sarky

            Your stupidity is all your own.

            The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
            They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
            there is none who does good.
            (Psalms 14:1 [ESV])

            The fool says in his heart, There is no God.
            They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds,
            there is none who does good.
            (Psalms 14:1 [ESV])

          • sarky

            Do you only know two scriptures?

          • Martin

            Sarky

            They are two that remind me of you.

          • The Explorer

            It’s an interesting point. God would have known about Australia and the Americas, but the author of ‘Genesis’ didn’t, and biblical revelation is filtered through human minds.

            So a flood covering the whole world might or might not be true in global terms, but would be true in terms of the world known to the author.

          • Busy Mum

            Though the implication is that in the ante-diluvian world, there was only one land mass. This may have been broken up by the flood and/or by some other earthquake – the earth was divided in the days of Peleg. Don’t forget that the continents slot together like a jigsaw….

          • sarky

            Have a read of this (if you have time for evidence and rational thought)

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Global_flood

          • Busy Mum

            Had a very quick look – this does not read like a search for the truth by a genuine doubter/enquirer.

          • CliveM

            Busy Mum

            The source has an agenda, look what it’s called!

          • Busy Mum

            Thanks – yes, I had noticed and started drafting a reply to do with that belief system called rationalism, but then thought I wouldn’t bother….they are so irrational that they think they don’t have any beliefs.
            Time to go – had a quick vist along with my lunch – back to busy mum activities!

          • sarky

            Try having a proper look then!

          • sarky

            If we remember back to the boxing day tsunami, there is evidence of such events in the ancient world. It makes sense that ancient humans seeing this would see it as a worldwide flood and without scientific knowledge see it as the wrath of god.

          • alternative_perspective

            Strangely this localised flooding is attested to globally by most ancient cultures.

          • sarky

            See my link to busy mum.

          • Jon Sorensen

            There is no evidence of the Flood. It’s only in the minds of believers.

        • Martin

          Jon

          The rocks & the fossils testify to the truth of the Genesis Flood account.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Which rock and which fossil?

            And what evidence do you have that it was not Utnapishtim’s or Gilgamesh’s myth?

          • Martin

            Jon

            Pretty much all the sedimentary rock and fossils. As for the Gilgamesh, unlike the Bible’s Ark, it wouldn’t have been seaworthy.

          • Jon Sorensen

            None of the rock and fossils support Noah’s flood. Yet another Christian myth.

            Gilgamesh flood perfectly suited for it’s purpose, but even that story was a copy from earlier story.

            Noah’s boat would not have been seaworthy nor steerable in global tidal waves. I would have been bigger than any wooden ship ever build. Yet another Christian myth.

          • Martin

            Jon

            You mean layers of water borne sediment & inundated, rapidly preserved remains of dead organisms don’t indicate that there was a lot of water around?

            Gilgamesh is the result of retelling the story in ignorance, akin in some ways to the ignorant claims made of Evolution. The Genesis record has the element of truth to it.

            Noah’s Ark would have been seaworthy, but not steerable. Indeed, why would you need to steer when there was nowhere to go? I don’t see any problem in it being bigger than any subsequent ship, it wouldn’t have had to handle the stresses inherent in a ship.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You mean layers of water borne sediment & inundated, rapidly
            preserved remains of dead organisms don’t indicate that there was a lot of water around”
            You might have to be more specific. There was a lot of water around. All the time. Even on modern day mountains in Afghanistan.

            “Gilgamesh is the result of retelling the story in ignorance,”
            Gilgamesh story has deeper meaning truth. Both Noah stories in the Bible are fictional with no truth in it.

            Noah’s Ark would not have been seaworthy. You need a streerable boat if tidal wave and currents are not controlled by continents

            ” I don’t see any problem in it being bigger than any subsequent ship”
            because you are not a structural engineer. There is a reason Christians have not been able to build a replica and don’t tell me they have not tried.

          • Martin

            Jon

            More specific? More specific than the surface of the Earth? And the mountains were under the water before they were mountains.

            Gilgamesh is a distorted story, while the Genesis Flood is an accurate description.

            Noah’s Ark was seaworthy & since they had nowhere to go they didn’t need to steer it.

            And a structural engineer will tell you that a powered ship experiences vastly more stress than a simple box.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Noah’s Ark was seaworthy & since they had nowhere to go they didn’t need to steer it.”
            LOL. You have never been in a stormy sea on a boat.

            “And a structural engineer will tell you that a powered ship experiences vastly more stress than a simple box.”
            LOL. Structural engineer have not be able to build Noah’s ship!

            “Gilgamesh is a distorted story, while the Genesis Flood is an accurate description.”
            Gilgamesh story is true. Genesis Flood is fiction.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Noah’s Ark wasn’t a boat, nor do we have enough design information to build it accurately. If you think Gilgamesh is true can you explain why his ‘boat’ is a cube?

          • Jon Sorensen

            So if you think “do we have enough design information” then a honest thing to say is that we don’t know it sea worthy.

            Noah’s Ark was too long to be a wooden seaworthy ship.

            Gilgamesh story is a myth.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Based on the dimensions given, the Ark would have been stable & seaworthy. We do not, however, have details of its construction. And it wasn’t a ship.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Nonsense. No such “Ark” would not have been stable or seaworthy considering the stability of wooden ships and considering it couldn’t be steered.

          • Martin

            Jon

            It wasn’t a ship & it didn’t need to be steered

          • Jon Sorensen

            LOL. Ocean going vessel doesn’t need to be steered? So much faith!

          • Martin

            Jon

            It wasn’t an ocean going vessel.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Where did it go then? Was it only a local flood in Jordan River?

          • Martin

            Jon

            No, the Flood was global & covered the whole Earth. But the Ark wasn’t an ocean going vessel, more like the inflatable life raft, on a larger scale. I wasn’t designed to go anywhere but it was designed to be stable and protect what was inside. God took care of the where.

          • Jon Sorensen

            So global Flood created the biggest ocean ever, but the Ark wasn’t an ocean going vessel. Inflatable life raft works because it is small.

            “I wasn’t designed to go anywhere but it was designed to be stable and protect what was inside”
            The point is that it can’t protect anyone if it can’t be steered or if it is not structurally stable. Do you know why creationists have never build that size of ship out of wood? Make a wild guess!

            “God took care of the where.”
            So if God to care of it why was Flood needed at all?

          • Martin

            Jon

            It was stable, it wasn’t a vessel or a ship, it didn’t need to be steered as it had nowhere to go. And we don’t have a detailed design so any construction, and ther have been a few, are only guesses. The Flood was God taking care of it.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You need to steer the boat even if you are not going anywhere in tidal waves caused by lack of continents and storms to prevent capsising.

            We don’t need detailed design to know that you couldn’t build that wooden ship.

            “The Flood was God taking care of it.”
            Yes. Biggest genocide ever.

            I can’t believe people still believe in Flood myths.

          • Martin

            Jon

            There is no reason why the Ark could not have been designed to cope with wind & waves, indeed the dimensions we have indicate that it would be resistant to overturning. And, of course, deep sea is safer than coastal regions when encountering such as tsunami.

            You keep claiming that such a size of wooden ship couldn’t be built. Firstly it wasn’t a ship. Secondly there were ancient ships that approached that size. So provide evidence, other than your scepticism, that the Ark couldn’t have been built.

            God was judging a wicked people. He gives life and takes it, life belongs to Him. Genocide only occurs when you take life that doesn’t belong to you.

            I can’t believe people believe in the Evolution and Big Bang myths.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “There is no reason why the Ark could not have been designed to cope with wind & waves”
            Except the laws of physics including structural strength calculations.

            “indeed the dimensions we have indicate that it would be resistant to overturning”
            Nonsense. The opposite is untrue. There is a reason this ship has never been built.

            “Secondly there were ancient ships that approached that size.”
            Name any

            “Genocide only occurs when you take life that doesn’t belong to you.”
            This is where Christian morality is bankrupt.

            “I can’t believe people believe in the Evolution and Big Bang myths.”
            Me neither

          • Martin

            Jon

            So how do you do structural strength calculations for something you have no detailed designs for.

            Of course the opposite is untrue, the calculations have been made. http://creation.com/safety-investigation-of-noahs-ark-in-a-seaway

            You may like to look up Leontifera and the ships Demetrius built. Ptolemy Philopator also built a very large ship.

            I see you have no argument against God’s right to destroy His creatures in the Flood.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Your link provides the funniest reading I’ve read for awhile. A Creation institute study. Has this been verified by anyone…

            Can you explain how a ship or 13.5m high can without a propulsion navigated through waves higher than 30 metres? Try this at your bath tube with 13.5cm toy with 30cm wave (just one wave) and see what happens…

            Can you explain how a ship can be *navigated* without a propulsion as the study claims?

            “Even though many scientific researches on the occurrence of the Flood itself have been made by geologists and anthropologists”
            LOL

            “Good seakeeping quality is essential for the effectiveness and safety of the personnel and cargo on board”
            Can you explain how you can do “Good seakeeping quality” without propulsion?

            “However, several explorers have each claimed that they have discovered the remains of the Ark at some sites on Mt. Ararat. Based on their arguments and references”
            What are these arguments and references? LOL

            Anyways if you can answer these I’ll read further.

            Leontifera was ~130m meters just like Chinese treasure ships. Both have propulsion and stayed near the land while traveling to avoid storms.

            Do you understand that even the fake small scale Arks build used steel nails and metal to strengthen the hull?

          • Martin

            Jon

            So there we have it, expertise doesn’t matter if it goes against your opinion. Hardly surprising, seeing your previous posts, but nice to have confirmed.

            The point was that you claimed no ships had been built approaching the size of the Ark, you won’t admit you are wrong of course.

            As to nails & metal, why not, metal was available to antediluvian society.

            Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah.
            (Genesis 4:22 [ESV])

            All in all we see that you are your god, nothing is allowed to contradict the god you worship. Thus you have sinned the sin of idolatry, to deny to God what is His alone.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “So there we have it, expertise doesn’t matter if it goes against your opinion.”
            I see you ignore all my comments and now declare Creations study as “experts” LOL. You could have at least address my comments before brushing them aside considering you don’t know my background.

            “The point was that you claimed no ships had been built approaching the size of the Ark, you won’t admit you are wrong of course.”
            Did you even read what I said about ship lengths?

            Antediluvian society? It is a myth.. and both Tubal stories in the Bible are variations of the same myth…

            “All in all we see that you are your god”
            You don’t address my comment but you have time for misinformation and insults…

            “Thus you have sinned the sin of idolatry, to deny to God what is His alone”
            The misinformation in your Christian bubble seem to have caused cognitive dissonance to trigger a faith-protecting mechanism

          • Martin

            Jon

            You complain your comments are brushed aside, yet you brush aside the comments of those with declared expertise. You claim there have been no wooden ships approaching the size of the Ark. Aside from the fact that the Ark isn’t a ship I present you with examples which you dismiss.

            You dismiss the antediluvian society as a myth, how do you know, where you there? All in all you fail to present any evidence for your position and only want to deny mine.

            The fact remains, we all have a god, it is either the God who made us or the god of our own wills. You choose the latter.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You complain your comments are brushed aside, yet you brush aside the comments of those with declared expertise.”
            I engaged. I read your article, I commented. You just will not respond to any of my comments and move on. I didn’t say that my “comments are brushed aside” you just didn’t respond.

            “the antediluvian society as a myth, how do you know, where you there?”
            LOL. Do you know if Antarctica existed last week? where you there?
            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/How_do_you_know%3F_Were_you_there%3F

            “All in all you fail to present any evidence for your position and only want to deny mine.”
            You made the claim. What evidence do you actually need from me?

            “we all have a god, it is either the God who made us or the god of our own wills.”
            Another faith myth to cushion insecurities. Reality does not support your claim.

          • Martin

            Jon

            “I engaged.”

            No you didn’t, you rejected it out of hand. You didn’t even seem to notice where the article came from. Oh, and it’s not ‘my’ article.

            You make claims about antediluvian based on no evidence, just your opinion. And let’s face it you use so called ‘rationalwiki’ to support your lack of evidence.

            All you ever do is sneer at what others say.

            Indeed, it is quite clear that you are your own god, that it is your opinions that matter. Anyone who disagrees with you is a fool in your estimation and their opinions are not even worth considering.

            So one day, when you stand before God, you will realise that all the time you have been wrong and that God is just to condemn you.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “You make claims about antediluvian based on no evidence, just your opinion”
            Just like it is only my opinion there was no unicorn civilization before the flood. There is no evidence that unicorns civilization did not exist.

            “Indeed, it is quite clear that you are your own god, that it is your opinions that matter.”
            LOL. “you are your own god” knee jerk faith defense. And don’t you think “your opinions that matter”

            “So one day, when you stand before God, you will realise that all the time you have been wrong and that God is just to condemn you.”
            Sounds like you try to convince yourself. I hope that makes you feel better. But then again God has [double-]predestined me already, so the outcome is out of my control.

          • Martin

            Jon

            So some of your opinions are based on evidence & some on prejudice. I think I already knew that.

            It isn’t a “knee jerk faith defence” but an analysis of what you have said. And, of course, my opinions don’t matter.

            God has ‘double predestined’ no one, we destine ourselves to Hell and God saves whom He chooses. Would you deny God what you demand for yourself?

          • Jon Sorensen

            “Would you deny God what you demand for yourself?”
            Which version of the God from the Bible you mean? The one that holds meetings with other Gods and devil? The one who comes with Asherah? The God who is one? The God which is trinity? The one which is from planet Kolob?

          • Martin

            Jon

            There is only one version of the God of the Bible, the God who does as He pleases, who chooses whom He will save.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Which one is it then?

          • Martin

            Jon

            What did you not understand about “There is only one version of the God of the Bible”?

          • Jon Sorensen

            I get that everyone believes that “There is only one version of the God of the Bible”, but Jews, Mormons, Protestants etc believe in different version of God. I wanted to know which one of those only one version you believe in?

          • Martin

            Jon

            Jews Mormons and many who call themselves Protestants along with the church of Rome do not have a biblical view of God.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I see. Only people from your denomination that are just like you have the correct biblical view of God. That pretty much sums up all the religions.

          • Martin

            Jon

            I attend a church that is not of ‘my denomination’ and I know of many others whose practice is similar.

          • Jon Sorensen

            But only the people who believe like you are right….

          • Martin

            Jon

            Don’t you believe that only those who agree with you are right?

          • Jon Sorensen

            I believe based on evidence. When it comes to nature of God I don’t see evidence one way or the other.

          • Martin

            Jon

            Really, what evidence is that?

          • Jon Sorensen

            evidence for what?

          • Martin

            Jon

            Why, the evidence you base your belief on, as in:

            “I believe based on evidence”

            What is your belief based on? Of course, God has placed within each of us a part of His nature. That is sufficient to prove to us that God exists.

          • Jon Sorensen

            There is no evidence that “God has placed within each of us a part of His nature”. So I don’t believe it.

          • Martin

            Jon

            You mean you don’t have a conscience? I don’t believe it, we all have a conscience, atrophied as it may be. Your conscience is that reflection of God’s goodness.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Why would conscience has anything to do with God? Do you have any evidence for this claim I could verify?

          • Martin

            Jon

            Your conscience is based on that nature that God imparts to you, a sharing with you of His nature and declaration of what is good. Within that is also the knowledge that God exists.

          • Jon Sorensen

            You repeated the same claim without providing evidence for your claim. So I ask again: Do you have any evidence for this claim I could verify?

          • Martin

            Jon

            So what are you going to verify it against? Your claimed grasp of reality? My basis, as always, is the testimony of the Bible.

          • Jon Sorensen

            “So what are you going to verify it against?”
            Depends what you present as evidence

          • Martin

            Jon

            Funny how you don’t seem to be able to say. I’d say it will be just what your opinion says is true.

          • Jon Sorensen

            Of course I don’t know how to verify if you don’t tell me what I need to verify.

            I’d say you don’t have any evidence and you are trying lead us to a rabbit hole…

        • Busy Mum

          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

          People like ‘Uncle Tom’ had free minds, despite living as somebody else’s slave. I would far rather be like him than the 21st century libertine who for all his imagined freedom is enslaved by his own lusts, and doesn’t even know it – doubly enslaved, body and mind.

          • Jon Sorensen

            I’m Gnostic. It set me free.

            You are not free. You run away or change the topic every time you are challenged.

          • Busy Mum

            I don’t run away; I am a busy mum and have to prioritise my activities.

            So we both think we are free – that’s fine by me – and that includes the freedom to pity each other. Each to their own…..

          • Jon Sorensen

            You don’t seem to be too busy making claim, only too busy to fact check or to provide evidence.

            You are not free. You are under a yoke of dogma you don’t understand. sorry.

          • Busy Mum

            I do not pretend to understand your (un)beliefs; why do you claim to understand mine better than I do?

          • CliveM

            Because he is a pompous, self regarding pillock!

          • Pubcrawler

            I shouldn’t laugh, but…

          • Jon Sorensen

            Not much is required to understand an “unbelief”. Gnostics understand.

          • alternative_perspective

            Ooh yes, your secret knowledge… Hush hush.

  • Inspector General

    Looks like the Inspector has stumbled upon what’s behind of one of the mysteries that be. Why a Jewish religious identity can only be passed down the maternal line. The tribe of Israel must have been awash with slave concubines, and it’s understandable that only children with both male and female connections to Judaism be considered Jewish to maintain the purity of the strain. With the maternal line code in place, half breeds were easily identified and thus excluded from the religious side. Damn clever stuff, what!

    • dannybhoy

      There may be doubts about who your father is, but not your mother…

      • Ivan M

        pater non veritas is among the little Latin I understand.

    • bockerglory

      One way to wipe out another faith/culture is by systemic rape – used today by certain religions that assume the father determines the culture and faith.

      This may be one Western powers want more women in power and owning property because women will just raise there

  • Dennis Lessenis

    ‘…we consider the way that Christians have been at the forefront of combating the scourge of slavery…’ – there is a good deal of self-congratulation when it comes to this topic on the part of our Christian friends; they are keen to bathe in reflected glory of others. It is believed ‘Christianity’ is what inspired the end of the Slave Trade and the abhorrence of slavery today. This is curious in itself, as there is no Biblical condemnation of slavery – indeed it is easy to condone slavery using Scripture (although, let’s face it, the success of the Christian Bible is that you can get it to say anything you want it to say – and many often approach Scripture to justify their own stance, behaviour or prejudice – rather than looking for instruction per se…).

    What is often forgotten in the clamour to bask in the glory of the work of others is little is said about the fact the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was begun at a time when England was fiercely Protestant – i.e. England WAS Christian when it made use of Slave Trade, so why did the transatlantic Slave Trade to the Caribbean begin in the first place? All the nations that developed the Atlantic Slave Trade were Christian nations (England, France, Spain and Portugal) – and the transatlantic Slave Trade took off at a time of Reformation and Counter Reformation in these societies, when Christian belief and doctrine was high on the popular and political agenda. With regard to ending the Slave Trade, clearly something influenced a Christian nation such as Britain, rather than a Christian nation influenced attitudes the Slave Trade. In truth Enlightenment values informed Christian thinking, rather than vice versa. Moreover, I don’t think it is a coincidence that Britain suddenly became ever so snooty and holier-than-thou about the Slave Trade AFTER the loss of her American Colonies following the American War of Independence – an anti-slavery stance was also a means of hurting the American economy – although even after the ending of the Slave Trade in the British territory we didn’t see Britain refusing to import cotton and sugar it knew to have been produced by slave labour in the Americas.

    Lastly – although here in the UK there is a good deal self-congratulation for the ending of the Slave Trade – claiming this to be the fruits of Christian belief, it is usually forgotten that the most conservatively Christian states of the USA are the Confederate States – the very states that FOUGHT to KEEP slavery – often using Scripture to validate their vile, racist and oppressive society. Up until the 1960s black people were still officially second class citizens in many Bible Belt states – without access to civil rights. And even today, African Americans suffer considerable racism and structural inequalities – particularly in Bible Belt states.

    Therefore, it can be seen that Christianity doesn’t result in one worldview nor does it always work for a postive outcome. A Christian nation made its wealth on the back of slavery, some Christians fought to end slavery – others fought to keep it. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ Christianity – it is just the desire for self-praise, self-justification and self-validation motivates Christians to emphasis the success stories of Christianity whilst side-stepping awkward questions that might mar their rather self-flattering image many Christians have of themselves and their religion.

    All praise to people like Vincent and IJM – but to believe Christianity and Christians have some special power to work for this or that social good is to cherry pick history and the present and fail to answer some awkward questions on Christianity’s compliancy with much that is oppressive – human rights, let’s remember, are an Enlightenment concept – not a Christian one. Exceptions aren’t rules – except in the worldview of the devout – usually swayed by their own need to validate themselves: playing up anything positive that is tinged with Christianity for all it is worth, and playing down or conveniently forgetting any awkward truths about Christian societies that don’t represent Christians in a good light.

  • LoveMeIamALiberal

    An estimated 35.8 million slaves today? Really? How is slavery defined? The phrase ‘to all intents and purpose’ suggests a certain slipperiness in who is deemed a slave. And could we have a breakdown in what countries most of these slaves live so we can understand which governments most need to be held accountable for this?