Would you free a slave? Would you feed a child?

Abe_LincolnIf you lived in the 1850s during the time of slavery, and you had the resources to purchase and liberate slaves, would you do it? Would you go to the slave markets and buy people in order to give them their freedom? Would you buy orphaned slaves and set them up with new and loving families? Of course you would.

Slavery is evil. There will be no slavery in the age to come and if we are to be a prophetic people, our job is to make what is true there, true here.

I’ve just finished reading Brian Zahnd’s book Beauty Will Save the World. In this gem of a book Zahnd says many things that’ll make you think, including this:

We need to seriously discuss among ourselves what the world will look like when the end of the age arrives and Jesus “hands over the kingdom to God the father, after he has destroyed every ruler and every authority and power.”… What we are to do is anticipate the future by living that way now! To do this we need to ask ourselves things like: What will be abolished? What will be maintained? What will be restored? p.141

Zahnd makes the point that the church today should be a preview of what is to come. Society should be able to look at us to get an idea of where we are headed. I totally agree. There is no slavery in the age to come so there should be no slavery in the church. One hundred and fifty years ago this wasn’t obvious to some Christians but hopefully it is obvious to you.

Poverty = slavery

There is no slavery where I live – at least none that I know about – but I do live in a world where 17,000 children die every day of hunger. As a father, a Christian, and a human being, this grieves me. It angers me. Does it trouble you? Do you think that in the age to come any child will die of hunger? Of course not. Therefore, if we are to be a prophetic people, we should be troubled that they are dying now.

But what can we do about it? It’s a big world and poverty enslaves millions. You may be thinking, “This is a huge problem. I can’t change the world.” Maybe not, but you can change the world for one person.

Don’t panic. I’m not about to use guilt to emotionally manipulate you towards sponsoring a poor kid in World Vision or anything like that. That’s not how we roll.

But I do want to tell you a little story.

About 15 years ago I started sponsoring my first child through the Compassion program. The young man that I sponsored has not only managed to survive the hardships of being a poor kid in a poor country, but he’s got himself an education and now he is on the verge of becoming an engineer! And if there’s one thing developing countries need, it’s talented engineers.

Can you imagine the satisfaction I get from knowing I played a small role in this young man’s life? I helped train an engineer!

Poor_with_youPaul’s secret wish

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. I often remind God that he has promised to bless the work of the hands. I want to be as rich as Abraham because there are a lot of kids out there I want to sponsor. I agree with John Wesley who said, “Make all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” And there’s no group I want to support more than hungry kids.

You can sponsor a kid or not sponsor a kid – it’s totally up to you. No pressure. But since this is the season for giving, I want to do something for hungry kids and you may want to join me.

Here’s what I have in mind:

If you buy a box of my books between now and Christmas, I will donate 100% of the profits towards combating child poverty. (I’ll probably give the money to Compassion.)

So if you have been thinking about getting a few copies of The Gospel in Ten Words to give away, now is definitely the time. Not only will you be blessing your friends and family with the undiluted gospel of grace but you will be participating in the sort of justice program that Isaiah spoke of…

Learn to live right. See that justice is done. Defend widows and orphans and help those in need. (Is 1:17, CEV)

Not only that, but you will also be eligible for all the freebies and prizes mentioned here.

A box of books starts at about $120. It sounds like a lot but right there you’ve got Christmas presents for ten people AND you’ll feed a hungry kid for two whole months! If just six people decide to participate that’s a year’s worth of food right there.

So what are you waiting for? Forget the mall. Forget the traffic and car-park hassles and queues of sweaty shoppers. Go to this page, order a box of books, and help change the world for a child.

Go on. You know you want to. And while you’re at it, why not share this post so others can get on board too.

14 Comments on Would you free a slave? Would you feed a child?

  1. No one has a plan for here and now or knows how to stop mothers from aborting their unborn babies yet. The marvels of modern doctoring and liberated women. At least the hungry kids got a chance to live. amen.

    • I believe a revelation of Jesus Christ will stop abortion – and that’s one of the many reasons why I preach the gospel.

      When I was younger, I used to participate in anti-abortion rallies. We changed nothing because the hearts of men and women aren’t changed by political activism or legislation. The best way I know to bring about change is to preach the gospel of the kingdom and let the Holy Spirit do his thing.

      • The enemies strategy is to take our focus of the real issues! I am sure of this, we will not be sitting in Heaven one day thinking that all that happened and was lost was really unfair, but its good to be here .No God will make all things right I don’t know how, I just Know he will. He said he will.

      • You are right Paul you have probably stopped more abortions by starting this blog , than attending any amount of rallies.

        you do Great work.

      • Sorry just to expand I read your blog get a revelation of the true Grace I tell Steve Steve tells Simon and so on and on it gets to where Peter tells Sarah who is contemplating abortion because of the condemnation she feels. We never know how far our words go and what they change if we could see the results we would speak more.

    • The Aborted child is not lost but there is a good chance that the person supporting or carrying out the abortion may one day be lost. Just a peek through Gods eyes.

  2. Good reminders.. I definitely agree that poverty is a form of slavery. There is also modern day buying and selling of human beings in labor and sex trafficking too. There is a growing awareness for this fastest growing criminal activity, but many people still try to kid themselves that it isn’t really happening. Last statistics I heard, it is a 35 billion a year criminal enterprise, larger and easier to “recycle” than drug trafficking. People need to be actively pursuing ways to help combat it and bring the light of the Gospel into the darkest places.

    • Human trafficking is one of the great evils of our day. Where are the Wilberforces and Lincolns who will oppose it? Maybe it’s you Brandon!

      I thought about making this a post on human trafficking, but the fact is my experience and heart leans more towards child poverty. We’re pretty sheltered here in NZ when it comes to human trafficking but we’ve got plenty of kids going to school hungry. It grieves me. But if you want to bang your drum for human trafficking, I’ll support you!

      • The only way to eradicate slavery is to address mans pride when we come to the realization that our existence is validated by the Redemptive work of the Cross and we did not get to the Cross by our own work but that Jesus was revealed to us by the Holy Spirit , the next thing we realize is that the only difference between us and anyone unsaved is not who they are and what they have done or are doing but Jesus and then we are reminded that the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to us WOW THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE !!! we are all of the same value in Gods eyes. You have only been given a GIFT to share.In the same way you deserve no more than anyone else .Acts 4;34 there were no needy among them

      • Yeah Paul I totally understand. 🙂 I hope it didn’t seem like I was implying one form of slavery was worse or more important than the other. They’re all bad, and some impact various people or geographic locations more than others. I was surprised to learn how much human trafficking is much wider spread than most people realize, and I have been volunteering in various ways with some agencies that combat it. Anyway, you certainly have the right idea about the Gospel being the answer to eradicating slavery! Many people get caught up in fighting the symptoms rather than the root cause.

  3. Thanks for the inspiration. We now are the proud sponsors of virgilio de Jesus from Colombia! 🙂

    Maryann’s iPhone

  4. “Beauty will Save the World” made a huge impact on me! Glad it blessed you as well…

  5. Update – Christmas 2012: Guys, we sold enough books to feed, clothe, and educate a child in a developing country for 20 months! Thanks to everyone who participated and Happy Christmas.

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