If 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!
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.