Slavery 4: Modern Slavery

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 30, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln emancipated the slaves in America. They were released from their station of being “owned” and could suddenly make their own choices. However, as I mentioned before, they never were actually saved. They only knew and understood one thing: cotton. So they were forced back to the same plantation owners or started their own plantation to do what? Grow cotton. George Washington Carver, by bringing the peanut into the discussion with 300+ recipes, created an entirely new industry that finally saved the South from slavery to cotton.

Slavery in the South was a necessity because of the industry. Cotton was a big industry, and it was where the money was for plantation owners. Everyone was doing it, and no one knew differently. The cotton gin only makes the industry even bigger, thus requiring more slaves because of needing a bigger workforce. Could the plantation owners have done the same job without people formally being slaves? That was easier said than done as the struggles in the Reconstruction Era showed.

The South was big into slavery because they themselves were slaves to an industry: cotton. Each of those plantation owners was a slave themselves – not to a person but to a thing. Cotton required a workforce, and having slaves work the field was both the cheapest and easiest way to do the job. There were good plantation owners and bad ones, just like there are good employers and bad employers today. But each boss and each job we work are slaves to the industry. We think we have freedom, but do we really? We have to let go of the “American Slave Trade” image to truly understand that slavery is a much bigger thing than just kidnapping, chains, and forced labor. We need to get back to a Biblical mindset because every one of us is a slave. We all serve a master. For the South, it was cotton, which led them to seek labor, which brought in the slaves. Yes, what was done to the Africans was wicked and evil, but the motivation for that was largely due to slavery to cotton.

Things have not changed today, except we don’t call slavery to a thing “slavery;” we merely call it an addiction or give it some other euphemism. Slavery requires a master, and each of us is controlled by something or someone. Jesus Himself called us “slaves” when He said that we cannot serve two masters; we would serve one or the other. He specifically said we cannot serve both God and money. Why did cotton control the South so dominantly? The love of money. Cotton was the money maker and what the plantation owners could be certain about. Planting anything else was too much of a risk, and it was about making money. Now, there is nothing wrong with making money. What is wrong is when money controls you, not you controlling the money. Today, many people go for the jobs they want not because they are good at the job, not because they have a skill they can use to help people, but because of the prestige and money that comes with the title. As a result, they are slaves to that job and slaves to that lifestyle.

Debt is one of the clearest forms of slavery today. It was why many ended up as slaves in ancient history and it’s no different today. Those who are in debt are owned by the banks from which they took the loans. How can I say that? Because if you default on your loans and don’t pay them back, they take your house, your car, and your stuff. They own you. That is why Scripture says multiple times to not be in debt whenever possible, and it gives instructions on how to handle those who need to borrow from you. Yet stats have shown that the average American lives on 125% of their income. This means that for many of us, the lifestyle we prefer is more expensive than our means to maintain it. The government is even worse and doesn’t even know what the word “budget” means anymore. It’s no longer mere blacks that are slaves in America; the vast majority of the country is enslaved to debt.

We have other slave masters in this country as well. We simply call those addictions. Drugs, alcohol, and pornography are the big three. Why do so many drugs come across our border? The answer is very simple: our demand and appetite for them call for it. Smokers are constantly craving that next joint, and those who are on the “harder” stuff are incapable of walking away from it. Heroin in particular is a drug the body literally cannot break free of. Why are beers and bars so popular? Because they are sought to dull the pain of life and to make us oblivious to what is going on around us. People seem to love the high of being drunk but always seem to forget the barfing and unconscious thinking and the risks from those around them. Pedophiles will often get teens or pre-teens to parties where they will get drunk enough to be incapacitated, get them to a bed, and all it takes is a few seconds to get a few pictures and that victim will be on display on the dark web forever. And then there is pornography itself. It’s truly a drug that has a vicious grip. And don’t think just controlling your ability to resist watching and looking at the junk is going to help. Once you have looked, those images are in your head, and it is very difficult to get them out. It gets worse when the mind goes into “fantasy porn,” when one just pictures the deeds in their heads. These are slave masters and you can’t just say “no” to them. You need a greater master to free you, and only one Master can do that, Jesus Christ. Then instead of answering the door when they knock, let your Master answer the door.

Those are merely the common bad things. What about the good things? Yes, we can be enslaved to those too. Can we put away video games for a season? Or hunting? Or stamps? Or LEGOs? Or cross-stitch? Or sports? None of these things are sinful. But, just to use sports for example, some are so addicted to a team they follow that they actually think they are part of that team, part of that experience when they win or lose. I personally root for the Denver teams because that is where I was born and raised. But when my team is basically out of things, I don’t follow them so closely. I am still loyal to my teams, but I’m not watching what is going on as closely. But when they are doing well, I am often checking to see what the latest statements are. Last year, the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup. I was watching them tightly. Once they got eliminated this year, I have basically only followed hockey from a distance. While the Denver Nuggets made their run to the NBA Finals (which results played out between when I wrote this post and today when you are reading it) I was watching. I can find myself following sports too closely and potentially at the expense of greater spiritual things I could be doing. Whatever your thing is, the real question is: does it control me?

Slavery is everywhere, and there are many masters. Most masters don’t require chains or whips to control you. All they have to do is offer you something you desire, and they control you. This is why Scripture tells us that we must not be controlled by the lusts of the flesh, but we must master them and submit those lusts to the will of Christ. Before I go that direction though, there is one more sinful slave master I need to address: the self. And I’m not just talking about doing what the self wants; I am also going to talk about the self-desire to rule all others, to take the God position and have a “God Complex.” That’s for next week.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


1 Corinthians 7:8-16

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 26, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.
To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.
But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?
- 1 Corinthians 7:8-16

In the first part of chapter 7, Paul began answering a question from the Corinthians about married life as a Christian. This faith was still new to them, so they needed instructions on how to live properly. Since the beginning of chapter 5, Paul spent a lot of time condemning the sin of incest and other sexual sins in their congregation, so it is helpful now for him to explain what a good example of marriage should look like.

Here, Paul gives advice first to the single people in the church – those who are unmarried and widows. In verses 8-9, it almost looks like he contradicts himself, both saying that it is good for them to stay unmarried but also it’s good for them to marry. The reasons it is good for them to stay single are spelled out in more detail later in the chapter (verses 25-35), but for now he states that it is good to stay unmarried just as he is not married. However, the catch to that is if they are unable to control themselves sexually. Paul considers it better for them to be married where they are in accordance with God’s will to experience sex with their spouse rather than having sex outside of marriage.

Next, Paul addresses divorce in verses 10-11. He first specifies that this is not his own command but that it comes from the Lord. When he talked about single people, that was his own opinion, but here he specifies that this is from God. A married couple staying together is not just good; it is a command from God! The command against divorce echoes the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 5:32, Matthew 19:3-9, and Luke 16:18, so there is ample evidence to back up what Paul is saying here. Paul specifically calls out both the husband and the wife in this situation, unlike Jesus’ teachings that seem to specifically call out the man only. But the focus of this passage is on maintaining or restoring marriage as being a command from God.

In the next few verses, Paul goes beyond the instructions of Jesus, specifically addressing a situation where one of the marriage partners has become a Christian and the other has not. Again, Paul clarifies that these are his thoughts, not commands from Jesus. We do believe these words are God-inspired Scripture just like everything else in the Bible, of course, so Paul’s words here are still very important.

Paul makes it clear that whether it is the husband or the wife who is a believer when the other partner isn’t, the couple should not get a divorce (verses 12-13). This was likely a big problem in the early church where people were coming to faith all the time. If one spouse heard the gospel and believed while the other didn’t, they need assurance that staying with their spouse was the right thing to do. This is a different situation than a believer choosing to marry an unbeliever; Paul will address that in 2 Corinthians 6:14. Here, he is talking about when they are already married and one spouse becomes a believer.

Paul explains the importance of remaining in a “mixed” marriage like this in verse 14. The believer can be used by God to influence the unbelieving spouse. This idea of the unbelieving spouse being “sanctified” by the believing spouse does not imply moral purity; rather, it emphasizes a relationship with God in that the family is set apart for God. This makes it even more important for the believing spouse to teach the Christian faith to the children and to bring them up as believers. The hope, of course, is for the believing spouse to bring the unbelieving spouse to saving faith in Jesus Christ.

However, Paul realizes in verse 15 that the unbeliever may choose to leave the marriage. In this case, the believer must respect that and let the unbeliever go since it was the unbeliever who broke the marriage contract. Another reason Paul gives for this is how we as believers are called to live in peace, and it would not be a peaceful relationship if the unbeliever is no longer committed to the marriage. The believer should do their best to live at peace with the unbelieving spouse, but they should not be forced to stay.

In verse 16, Paul emphasizes again that the marriage should remain intact, even if both spouses are not believers in Jesus. The hope is that God will use the believer to bring the unbeliever to faith and salvation.

How does this apply to us today, in our culture where divorce is rampant? While there are Old Testament laws that we no longer need to follow today because they were fulfilled in Jesus, these are New Testament instructions from Paul, and these verses are still part of the Scriptures and were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Even though Paul clarifies that some of this is only his instructions and not instructions from Jesus, what Paul writes here lines up with the teachings of Jesus. God instituted marriage back in Genesis 2:24, and He desires that marriages should remain intact.

If you are single, it is wise to remain single as Paul did, but if you are married, it gives God glory and honor to remain married. We are called to give God glory in all things, including our relationship status.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Slavery 3: Israel in Egypt

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 23, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

There is only one tale of slavery that depicts the brutality of man upon another greater than our typical image of the US/European slave trades: the slavery of Israel in Egypt. The account of Israel’s slavery in Egypt is one that stands out above all others. It is the primary account of a nation who came and blessed another nation, only for the host to turn on them and enslave the whole without conquest or a fight. It is also the only account of an entire nation being delivered from slavery without conquest or a fight. The history of Israel going to Egypt (the most powerful nation on earth at the time), being enslaved, being miraculously delivered by God, and then their journey from slavery into the Promised Land is meant to be a picture of the Christian life. Only instead of being enslaved by a nation, our slavery is to sin. I’ll deal with that as the series goes, but today, we’ll focus on Israel.

Israel came to Egypt through Joseph. Joseph was kidnapped by his brothers, sold into slavery, arrived in Egypt where he served Potiphar, was falsely accused of rape and imprisoned, and then interpreted several dreams, the latter of which was Pharaoh’s and brought him into the Prime Minister position. When the famine hit, Joseph’s father Jacob (whose name was changed to Israel) sent his sons to Egypt to get food. After testing their hearts for a while, Joseph could not restrain himself any further and revealed himself. He brought his whole family to Egypt where they were given the best land, Goshen. Through Joseph, Egypt was made a powerful nation and survived the famine.

Yet, Israel got comfortable in Egypt and did not return to Canaan. They grew and multiplied and made Egypt afraid. So Egypt, who refused to remember what Joseph did for them many years earlier, captured Israel and enslaved the nation with brutal force. Israel lacked the strength of man or the leadership to leave. Again, they were comfortable in Egypt. Goshen was lush, and they had all the food they wanted. There were hardships from slavery, but they tolerated the slavery, having little clue of what was waiting for them in the Promised Land. There was something else that happened while in Egypt: they began adopting the Egyptian culture and the Egyptian gods. This is why they turned to create a golden calf just months after leaving Egypt at Mt Sinai. They had even taken altars and images of Molech through the wilderness.

When the time was right, God raised Moses to be educated in Egypt so he would learn leadership skills, language, law, etc. God sent him to the wilderness for 40 years to teach him true humility, and then God called him to deliver Israel from Egypt and lead them right up to the entrance to the Promised Land. In performing many miraculous signs, Moses proved he was God’s spokesperson and eventually Pharaoh finally broke. Through the account of the Ten Plagues, we see several things about Pharaoh, who represents sin.

Pharoah, when challenged, set his foot down and went on a power trip. He took away the straw from Israel but would not reduce their workload in making bricks. He refused to even acknowledge God, let alone obey Him. No matter how much damage he took, he was not going to let go of his slave work force. Sin does not care what the loss is; it is determined to keep its grip on you. When sin has a person, you can discipline them until you are blue in the face, but they won’t budge. Pharaoh’s own officials recognized it early and quickly, but Pharaoh would not quit. The plagues were also a judgment upon the gods of Egypt. Each plague was a blow against the major deities of nature that Egypt worshiped, including the frogs, the bugs, the sun, the crops, and the animals. God wasn’t just judging Egypt for enslaving His people; He was taking down the idols to prove that He was God and none other.

Then upon leaving Egypt, God destroyed the Egyptian military by burying them in the Red Sea miracle. Israel was saved from the physical nation of Egypt, but they weren’t totally saved. God had pulled Israel out of Egypt, but then He would need to take Egypt out of Israel. Through the wilderness for 40 years, God would use the desert to strip Egypt from Israel. Israel constantly complained about the wilderness and wanted to get back to Egypt. Why? Because there was food and comfort there. It sure is amazing how selective our memory is about past times. Just ask a parent. They love to talk about when the kids were younger kids, relishing the fun things, but they selectively don’t remember all the battles of the terrible twos, the tantrums, the messy, smelly diapers, the rebellion, etc. The same is true about Israel. They remembered the dates, the figs, and the onions, but they forgot the left the whips, the chains, and the deaths. They also forgot what was promised but not yet realized. They wanted instant gratification, much like our current generation.

Because Israel refused to let God work Egypt out of their system, because they refused to let go of their sin and refused to serve God, God forced that generation to die in the wilderness. And the children, all of whom were under 20 and still alive and understood what was happening, were forced to endure 40 years in the wilderness while their unbelieving parents died off. One thing we can learn from Israel: many rescued slaves actually don’t want to be rescued. They would rather continue in their slavery because they know and understand it. A journey with God is scarier than facing the wrath of their masters. Can you believe it? Israel cried out to God to be rescued from the bondage of Egypt, and when they got it, after witnessing many miracles and God’s goodness, they preferred Egypt to the temporary journey towards the Promised Land. In hindsight it is easy to see, but how are we any different?

Israel’s time of slavery was meant to be a clear physical picture of our slavery to sin. The deliverance of Israel in the Passover and the crossing of the Red Sea are pictures of what Jesus did on the cross and the baptism into the new life. Yet many of us still have “Egypt” left in our systems, and many of us are not willing to let go of the former master that “fed” us all the while beating and torturing us. It was said that people once asked Joseph Stalin how he kept the people in line. He grabbed a chicken and violently ripped out its feathers, leaving it scarred and bloodied. He then began to toss some food to it, and it soon began eating the food and following Stalin. Stalin said that all he had to do was feed the people just enough and house them just enough to get them to think he was their source, and no matter what he did to them, they would still follow him. The same is true about Egypt, and the same is true today for many people who follow the government no matter what they say just so they can get a tiny morsel of food from them. Next week, we’ll start looking at modern slavery – a slavery without chains but with much stronger bonds.

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1 Corinthians 7:1-7

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 19, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
- 1 Corinthians 7:1-7

The next 7 chapters of 1 Corinthians (through the end of chapter 14) contain Paul’s answers to questions that were raised to him by the first-century Corinthian church. While Paul has been providing teaching and instruction specific to their church in that context, that is made even clearer here by the fact that he is addressing matters that they wrote to him about.

Paul will address two related questions from the Corinthians in this chapter. We see the first question here in verse 1 regarding married life as a Christian, and the second begins in verse 25 where Paul talks about whether certain Christians should get married.

As always with reading Scripture, it is important to keep the context of a passage in mind when jumping right in like this. Paul has spent the two chapters prior to this discussing an issue of sexual immorality in the Corinthian church and how they should handle that, along with other sins. Just prior to this passage, he told the people to honor God with their bodies. So, talking about marriage in a Christian context is a natural step after all that setup.

All the sexual sin that was occurring in Corinth (both inside the church and outside of it) appears to be the basis for the statement, “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman” (verse 1). But, that statement appears to go against the traditional Jewish belief of being married; when married, it would be fully expected for a man to have sexual relations with his wife. This statement by Paul is not to be taken as an absolute. It should be taken either as a repeating of a statement that the people of Corinth made to Paul for him to discuss, or it is due to the nature of the specific issues that the church in Corinth was struggling with. Elsewhere in Paul’s writings, he appears to be in favor of marriage – see Ephesians 5 and 1 Timothy 3 for example.

Paul clears up any misunderstanding with specific instruction in verse 2: “But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.” It’s not enough to tell people not to do something, but they need instruction on what they should do instead. To counter all of the sexual immorality that was occurring, they should instead only have sexual relations with their spouses. Sex should only be between a husband and wife (verse 3). Paul realizes that both genders will experience temptation in this way, so he makes his instructions very clear. This is the way that the people should honor God with their bodies (1 Corinthians 6:20) – by only having sexual relations with their spouse.

Paul’s instructions in verse 4 are reminiscent of God’s original design for marriage given in Genesis 2:24: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” When the husband and wife are united as one flesh, they no longer belong only to themselves but to one another. They do not have full authority over their own body, but their spouse has authority over their body as well. This is the implementation of that “one flesh” idea that God instituted.

Paul emphasizes that unity and mutual agreement in verse 5 while also emphasizing the married couple’s relationship to God. Paul’s description of depriving themselves for the purpose of prayer and then coming together again is similar to the idea of fasting, except it is fasting from sexual relations rather than fasting from food. They should be devoted to prayer and building up their relationship with God – focus on Him rather than focus on what they are lacking.

When Paul says, “I say this as a concession, not as a command” in verse 6, scholars debate what “this” is that he is referring to. The general consensus is that it refers to verse 2, meaning that while marriage is a part of God’s plan for His creation, it is not mandatory. This is supported by verse 7, where Paul says how he wishes all men were single like him but he realizes that some do have a strong desire to be married while others have a strong desire to refrain from marriage.

His final point in this section on how everyone has been given a gift seems like a foreshadowing of Paul’s teaching on spiritual gifts that is coming in 1 Corinthians 12. But in the context here, it appears to refer to either embracing the gift of marriage or refraining from it, which can also be a gift.

It is important to remember that this letter of 1 Corinthians was written to specific people in a specific context at a specific point in time, but the concepts still apply to us today. While our culture has adamantly tried to change the definition of marriage, God does not change and God’s definition of marriage has not changed. Marriage is still defined by God as between one man and one woman. God’s design of marriage is still supposed to be reflective of His relationship with His Church. Marriage cannot be redefined because God has not redefined it for us; His definition still applies.

Marriage and proper sexual relations within it are one way that we as believers can honor God with our lives and with our bodies. That was true back in the first century in Corinth, and it is still true for us today.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


Slavery 2: What Is Slavery?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 16, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

What is slavery? What does it look like? How does it operate? Why do people engage in it? Why do people despise it? I will explore that today.

Most of our images of slavery come from the Civil War and Colonial days. We tend to think of putting black men in chains, sailing them across the Atlantic, and forcing them into manual labor on plantations in the southern United States. The historical account of The Amistad, and the movie that was made to showcase it, dealt with the Spanish ship of the story’s namesake, which was transporting illegally acquired slaves when the slaves escaped and had a revolution. The ship ended up in New England, and an intense trial took place as to what to do with them. This is the image we often have of slavery.

This was a great blight in American history, a blight that was paid for with the lives of 650,000 American men. The US Civil War was the price we paid for slavery. Many textbooks say the issue was about states’ rights, but in reality, the very right the states were arguing over was slavery. Why? In one word: cotton. It wasn’t just the selling and trading slaves that was the issue; it was the demand for slaves that kept calling for more slaves to be brought in. What created the demand? Cotton. The South didn’t merely want slaves; they were slaves themselves to cotton. The product was in high demand in England and the North, and it was the only thing the plantations owners knew how to grow. Yet cotton was sucking away the land’s nutrients making the crops weaker and weaker each year, thus requiring more cotton, more fields, and more labor.

When President Lincoln freed the slaves, it left some devastating side effects. The slaves couldn’t go anywhere because all they knew how to do was to grow cotton. The plantation owners now had to pay their former slaves wages to grow the only crop they knew how to grow: cotton. They had no other ideas, until George Washington Carver entered the scene and introduced the peanut, which wasn’t even in the almanac as a potential crop. He not only showed the south the crop but created well over 300 recipes and products from the peanut plant to produce an industry that was not cotton. The South was finally freed from slavery to slaves and ultimately slavery to cotton. (For further details and a spiritual application to this history, see Eric Ludy’s sermon “The Power of the Peanut.”) Keep this image in your mind during this series as I will keep referring to the issue of slavery to things throughout this series.

But this kind of slavery, in which people were stolen from their lands to produce a labor force, has only been around for about 1000 years when the Ottoman Turks found the blacks of Africa “available” to use as slave labor. I don’t have the details to cover this heavily, but prior to the Ottoman Turks, there was not much widespread kidnapping and selling of slaves across the nations. Sure, it happened, but it was not whole nations involved. The only time whole nations were involved was during a conquest.

In ancient times, slavery was a major part of the economic system, but it wasn’t the evil system that we tend to picture. In those days, the slave owner actually took care of his slaves. He provided clothing, housing, food, and education and gave them rights. There were many slaves that were actually better off than their masters and more educated than their masters. Look at Joseph. Joseph was a victim of kidnapping and trafficking by his own brothers. Yet when under Potiphar, Joseph thrived and ultimately ran Potiphar’s house as a slave. There were many slaves who could earn their own money and eventually buy their own freedom, though this never happened with Joseph. Some slaves were actually better off as a slave under their master than they would have been under their own, so of their own free will, they chose to stay under their master.

There is one big difference between the slavery of the ancient world and the slave trades beyond these things. Slavery was just a station, and it was independent of race, people group, or culture. The Ottoman Turks were the first to see that the Africans were valuable and expendable. Then the Portuguese and Spanish did the same. But prior to that, slavery was merely a station in life. The servants we see serving nobility in Europe were slaves in this regard. They just called them “servants” rather than slaves. And this is part of why the King James and New King James versions us the word “servant” instead of “slave” for the Greek word doulos. When John MacArthur and his team went to update the New American Standard Bible, to get even more accuracy to the original text and to get the original author’s intent, this term was one of the key points they made for doing The Legacy Standard Bible. The language that Jesus used for many of His parables involves a master/slave relationship, and Paul used the master/slave stations to showcase the Christian life as well. I’ll hit those points later in this series.

Now the key question everyone wants to ask: We abolished the illegal slave trading that plagued the US and Europe about 150 years ago. Based on how Scripture tells us how to treat other people and other races, we realized that this kind of slavery is an abomination. Yet, what about the slavery during Israel and Greece and Rome in the 1st century? Was that evil? Did the Bible miss it in not explicitly condemning slavery? It is interesting how the economic system is never challenged. How to work within it is addressed, but the system itself is never questioned. The Bible explicitly calls out kidnapping for slavery purposes as an abomination. But it does not question the institution in which “indentured servants” and other kinds of slaves were a key part of the system. It does tell masters how to treat them, and it tells servants how to serve. It even allows for man in his sinful heart some leash, much like how Moses allowed for divorce when it never should have been an option.

What I will say is slavery never went away. We abolished the station, but we never got rid of slavery. It just no longer has chains and whips attached to it. I can argue that God allowed slavery to remain intact through Israel’s history to teach us a lesson that is still here today and few of us realize it. Over the next few weeks, I’ll examine the slavery of Israel in Egypt and then examine the slavery systems of today. They are far more common and severe and rampant than chained slavery ever was.

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.


1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 12, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
- 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

The problem of sexual sin was clearly a big issue for the first-century church in Corinth, as Paul continues to address it in his letter to them. In the previous verses, Paul included sexual sins among a much larger list of sins, indicating that the people really needed to change their ways in order to live in a way that honors Christ. Here, he further addresses changing their mindset.

Some of the believers in Corinth believed that they were allowed to do anything (verse 12). They likely took that idea of freedom in Christ too far, claiming that they could do whatever they wanted because they would be forgiven. While we don’t have dates on Paul’s writings, scholars believe that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians before he wrote Romans, so they would not have had the beginning of Romans 6 to refer to, telling them that they should not go on sinning just so that they could receive more grace.

But the questions the Corinthians should be asking are whether an action is beneficial for them and whether that action could become their master. We are allowed to do whatever we want; God has given us that free will. But that does not mean that we should do whatever we want, because sinful actions are not beneficial, and they can very easily become our master and control our lives.

It appears that the Corinthians were using the argument that the act of eating has no bearing on Christian morality, so why should what they do sexually matter (verse 13)? Paul agrees that eventually, we will have no need for food or our stomachs, but sexual immorality is different so they cannot make that parallel. Eating is a natural process, but sexual immorality is unnatural. Our bodies are meant to glorify God and to be used in the ways that God intended, and sexual immorality goes against that.

So along with asking whether something is beneficial and may become a master over our life, we should also ask two additional questions. Will the action be glorifying to the Lord and to the intended purpose of our bodies? Will the action support the fact that the Lord has redeemed our bodies through his death and resurrection? Just because we can do an action does not mean that we should, and as people who strive to glorify God with our lives, we should carefully weigh every action with these questions.

In verse 14, Paul goes on to show the connection between God and our bodies. God’s power raised Jesus from the dead, and that same power of God will raise us one day too. We will be raised out of corruption from our sin into perfect eternal life, which was bought and paid for by the death of Jesus.

Because of that, our physical bodies “are members of Christ himself” (verse 15a). We should treat our own physical bodies as we would treat Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Because of that, Paul gives additional warnings in verses 15-16 that we should not unite our bodies with a prostitute because that would be the same as uniting Christ with a prostitute. Paul reminds them, quoting Genesis 2:24, that having sexual intercourse unites the two bodies together into one flesh – whether they are married or not. We should treat our bodies as we would treat Jesus, who we claim to honor and glorify.

Then Paul takes it one step further and says in verse 17 that, “whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.” Uniting our bodies physically also results in the uniting of our spirits. The body and spirit are connected; when one is united, so is the other. This is a good unity when it is in the proper context of marriage, but outside of that, it is immoral.

Paul gives them a clear command in the first part of verse 18: “Flee from sexual immorality.” He then gives more explanation as to why he’s talking so much about sexual sin – because it is a sin against one’s own body. All other sins are committed outside the body, but this is a sin against our bodies. Sexual sin actually defiles the way our bodies were created to function and be in unity with one another and with God.

But when we’re told not to do something, it’s always helpful to also look at the positive side of things. In verses 19-20, Paul shares that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We have one person of the Trinity of the holy God dwelling inside of our bodies! If we profess any kind of allegiance to God, that alone should make us want to honor God with our bodies. He is literally living inside of us! If the person Jesus was going to come to your house for a visit, wouldn’t you do everything possible to clean up and make your home look perfect? The same should be true with our bodies; we should do everything possible to honor God with our bodies because He is living in them.

We do not own our bodies; they were given to us by God. Not only that, but He bought them at a price – that price was the blood of His Son Jesus. Because of all of that, we should desire to honor God with our bodies, especially when it comes to sexual sins. We must remember who our bodies should be united to, both physically and spiritually. Just because we are permitted to do things out of freedom, that does not mean that we should do those things that do not honor God.

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Slavery 1: Introduction

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 9, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

This is a topic I have been chewing on for several months, and I believe it is now time to address it: slavery. Slavery is like sin, a topic that most of us would rather just avoid talking about it because we cannot contemplate a good image of it. Why would we? Slavery is forced labor under a master who has no right to your body, right? Mostly yes but not always. Hear me out before you dismiss the rest of this post and this series.

Whether we want to realize it or not, every one of us is a slave. Every one of us serves something. There is not a single person who is truly free. As I go through this series, I will explain precisely what I mean by that. For now, I am declaring as a premise that each of us are slaves, including myself.

A slave is either a good slave or a bad slave. A good slave is someone who does what he is told, is obedient, and never questions or challenges his master or his authority. A bad slave is someone who always seeks to break free from his bonds and those who have authority over him. Again, these are premises that require clarification and unpacking, which I will do throughout this series. I am just laying down these down on the table and will put them all together shortly.

A slave has a master. A master is either a good master or a bad master. A good master will take care of his slave, provide for all his needs, give him everything he needs to do his job, and reward him for his loyalty and dedicated service, while also administering proper judgment upon bad slaves. A bad master will domineer over his slave just to showcase his power and to make the slave feel weak compared to him. He will give only the minimal supports for his survival, does not care for his well-being, and often sees his slaves as expendable and easily replaceable. If one dies, he can always replace him with another one. Again, these are mere premises to be put on the table.

A person becomes a slave for various reasons. The primary reason is through debts. Someone owes another something, and so he becomes that person’s servant or slave until that debt is paid. This will be something I am going to focus on throughout the series. The debt could be paid for by another, thus “buying the slave.” For example, if you have student loans, you are a “slave” to the bank who lent you the money until you pay it off. Another bank can buy that loan, and thus you own that bank your money instead. This is one of the reasons why the Bible teaches to do everything you can to pay off your loans as quickly as possible and to never get in debt if at all possible. It is dangerous to be in debt to someone.

Other reasons why people get into slavery include conquest and kidnapping. A nation conquers another nation, and the people are made subject to the conquering nation. But the one we all tend to picture is kidnapping and slave trading via illegal acquisition. We try to lesson the sting of the issue with words like “trafficking,” but it’s the same issue. Some are kidnapped by force, while others are kidnapped through deception and luring. All types of slave trading and kidnapping are forbidden in Scripture. So, before you let a skeptic throw you off your game and say that the Bible endorses slavery, do note that they are likely thinking of the American Slave Trade, which is explicitly condemned in Scripture.

There are two major types of trafficking: labor and sex. Labor trafficking is the transportation of people to a “master” to do manual labor for them. Often these are women or girls for cleaning, cooking, and being a maid for the house. A much more sinister type of trafficking is sex trafficking, where the person is moved and sold to pimps who uses the victim for sexual favors, either for them or for anyone to whom they offer them. Many prostitutes are slaves in this regard where they are forced to use their bodies for money, and most of that money goes their masters. While young are often the focal point, there are a large number of boys who are held as sex slaves, too. There is no gender, age group, or nationality that is not represented as victims.

But there are other types of slavery as well. I already mentioned debts. Addictions are another major type of slavery. This is slavery to drugs, drinking, sex, pornography, gambling, work, social media, etc. We don’t like to say it’s slavery, but it actually is. You are controlled by it. You cannot get away from it. When you try to, it keeps nagging you. And the master, be it sentient or not, is always calling you to serve it. The craving for the drug can be just as compelling as checking your phone every 30 seconds to see what the latest trends are. Students have reported that if you miss the chat for about one hour, you are truly left behind in what is going on, and the pressure is that big to stay in the loop. It’s truly addicting.

We all tend to picture all these slavery issues as negative things, and each example I gave here probably should be considered as such. However, God’s wisdom turns everything that man thinks upside down and uses slavery as a good thing. When man is on his own, he is a slave to his desires, dreams, and addictions. But when God saves him from his sin, he becomes a slave to God instead. And unlike sin who is a cruel master, giving only death as its wages, God is a good master.

God’s timing is perfect because the very day I sat down to write this post, my church’s preaching elder preached about slavery and how we are unworthy slaves who only do what we are expected to do. It was a good sermon and quite convicting with how we handle work-life in particular. Man is made to serve someone or something. We always seek someone or something to serve. Those who work tirelessly to rule their own lives are still serving someone or something. Someone is telling them what to do. We as Christians have a Master – Jesus Christ. We call Him “Lord” and “King of Kings” and “Sovereign,” but we don’t like calling Him “Master” because that puts us into the “slave” position. In reality, we Christians are His slaves, but that is actually a good thing. I will flesh that out in greater detail as the series progresses.

Next week, I will compare and contrast the types of slavery history has known. It may surprise you that the slave trading that we tend to picture in US history was not part of normal human society until 1000 years ago. More on that next week.

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1 Corinthians 6:9-11

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, June 5, 2023 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

This passage is often cited to condemn many kinds of sexual sins, but it’s important to remember its context, which goes all the way back to the beginning of chapter 5. There, Paul begins to warn the people about the sin of sexual immorality, specifically incest, that was happening in their congregation. Then, Paul gives them stern warnings not to associate with people who willfully sin like that – they should not be a part of the church until they repent. Paul takes a slight diversion into lawsuits among believers, and then he ties it all together with the concluding thoughts that we’re looking at today.

Many people just want to jump right into this passage to bring about condemnation on people who commit these sins, but that’s not the model that Paul gives us. He provides warnings and instruction not to the person who is sinning but to the church! Paul’s responsibility as God’s messenger is to the believers who have faith in Jesus, not to pronounce judgment on those who do not have faith in Jesus.

So, now that we’re aware of the broader context, what does this particular passage say?

In verses 9-10, Paul gives a very stern warning that those who practice these acts of wickedness will not inherit the kingdom of God. If they are willfully doing these things, then they’re not following the ways of Jesus at all. While Christians are human and we do sin, there is a difference between repeated, intentional sinning and other times we fall into temptation.

So, what’s on Paul’s list of sins here? Sexual sin, idolatry, adultery, male prostitutes, homosexuality, stealing, greed, being drunk, abuse, and cheating. This passage is usually used for its inclusion of specific sexual sins, but it’s important to note the other sins listed in there too. Idolatry is really the root of all sin; we sin because we are worshiping someone or something other than the one true God. (For more on that, check out the blog post series beginning with this post by Charlie Wolcott.) Along with idolatry, two specific sins that made God’s top ten list (i.e. the Ten Commandments) are also included in this list: adultery and stealing.

But, the sexual sins are often what gets focused on in this passage. There are generally two angles that people take: using this passage to condemn others, or using this passage to try and justify whatever sexual sin they’re committing because it’s not specifically named in this list. So, what is on this list?

“Those who indulge in sexual sins” is from the Greek word pornos, which is where we get our English word pornography from. Various Greek dictionaries have given further definitions of this word as a fornicator, whoremonger, a man who practices sexual immorality, a male whore/prostitute, or a political entity hostile to God. This word is different from the word for an adulterer.

The word translated as male prostitutes (malakos) has also been defined as soft, fancy, or luxurious when referring to cloth. But when referring to a person, it can mean a homosexual, a homosexual pervert, mild, fair, being in a same-sex romantic relationship, effeminate, men and boys who are sodomized by other males in a sexual way, or a general sexual pervert.

Then how should we translate the word we see as “practicing homosexuality” (arsenokoites)? Various dictionaries give it the definitions of a male sexual pervert, a man who has intercourse with a man, or a male who engages in sexual activity with a person of his own sex. One prominent Greek dictionary gives the difference between this term and the previous one as the malakos (“male prostitute” being the more passive one in a homosexual relationship, while the arsenokoites (“practicing homosexuality”) is the more dominant one.

Now, note that while all these terms are specifically listed with the male gender, the male gender grammatically can also refer to both men and women. The text is not specifically clear on that. But again, remember that this list is not just about sexual sins; there are many other sinful lifestyles included as well!

The same phrase “not inherit the Kingdom of God” is used at the beginning of verse 9 and the end of verse 10. This serves to emphasize the point – Paul didn’t just say it once but twice, showing it is of great importance.

But, it is very important that we don’t get stuck on the list of sins and that we move on to verse 11: “But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” While some of those in the Corinthian church may have been living those sinful lifestyles he mentioned, they are not living that way anymore! There is a strong “but” conjunction there to indicate the transformation they had experienced.

Paul lists 3 actions that occurred during this transformation: they were cleansed (as in baptism; Matthew 28:19, Titus 3:5-6), they were made holy (set apart as God’s people; 1 Peter 2:9), and they were made right with God (God declared them righteous; Romans 3:23-26). All of these were not done by their own power but through the power of the triune God – they were made right with the Father through the name of the Son Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The point of this passage is not to provide a list of sins to avoid but for Paul to show the Corinthians how they are all guilty of such things and need to change their ways. They were being influenced too heavily by the pagan society around them. As believers in Christ, they needed to live their lives in a different and more God-honoring way than the people around them. Their lives have been transformed by the sacrifice of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit, and they should live in a manner that reflects that radical transformation.

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Writing the Doctrines of Genesis

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 2, 2023 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

This Monday, my fifth and newest book will be released: The Doctrines of Genesis. As I have examined the books I have written so far, and even examining the ones I have already been “cooking” for what is coming next, this one very well could be the one that defines my writing career and be the most important book I could write. And I don’t say that lightly. Of the books I have written so far, only Call to Arms is truly unique and original to me, and that is a fiction novel. My other three are all content that I have gathered from other authors and analyzed. This one, however, is different.

When the reality of The Doctrines of Genesis being published began to sink in and exactly what I sought to do with this book was being revealed, our president Jason DeZurik stated that he has personally sought to get a resource like this ever since he started Worldview Warriors back in 2006. For those who have followed Jason and the ministry in general, you will have heard Jason use the slogan, “The Way Forward is Back.” His message is that the only way we can truly progress forward in a positive direction is to go back to the foundations and back to the concepts that made things work in the first place. This book does to theology what he has been preaching for many years.

The Doctrines of Genesis came to mind most specifically when my previous pastor at my former church made the statement that all doctrines of Christianity have some root in Genesis. I knew this fact before he said this, but I had not heard it articulated that way. And the more I thought about it, in all the time I had spent in discussing origins, this is a statement that all the Young Earth Creation groups have been saying. But even to the writing of this post, I have not heard of anyone actually going through and fleshing that statement out. Henry Morris talked about it in The Long War Against God and cited 200+ verses in the New Testament that tie directly to Genesis. But it never went beyond that. If you ask a solid YEC theologian how any particular doctrine points to Genesis, he could probably tell you; however, there are no resources I know of that actually showcase this truth. Not even John MacArthur does this in his book and sermon series, “The Battle for the Beginning.” I was simply baffled at this fact. So, I decided to actually write it.

I tried multiple approached and angles in getting it going. At first, I just went through Genesis and made a list of all the common doctrines we teach today that directly come from the book – doctrines like God as creator, the work week, marriage, clothing, judgment for sin individually and globally, the promise of a Savior, salvation from judgment, etc. But something wasn’t right with that. I wanted something more and stronger. Genesis gives the first images, first pictures, and the seed form, but it is not always directly visible to see where it leads.

After trying this route, I decide to go with doctrines that nearly every Christian denomination believes: the Apostles and Nicene Creeds. At the time, I was teaching a Bible study with my previous church, and we were setting up to teach on the Apostles Creed and why it needed to be written. I sought to take each tenet and trace it through Scripture back to Genesis. While this worked, I found myself chasing a lot more rabbit trails and drifting off topic more than I liked. After getting some feedback from my creationist peers, I gave it one more run through. This time, I took the creedal statement, described it, cited the initial Genesis Scripture where it would first be mentioned, and built forward from Genesis to flesh out the statement. While I did this, I read through the New Testament twice and marked every passage that would only make sense if Genesis was true as written. I found 237 such passages, and I do not believe that is comprehensive. With that, I did what no other author I know of has done besides via some websites with the power of search engines and sorting: I listed each reference and their source.

The biggest point I make throughout the book is that you cannot separate Genesis from the Gospel of Christ without heavily reducing its power and message. While I do not deal much with the scientific aspects of young earth versus old earth, I do showcase theologically why young earth is the only valid position the Bible teaches and why old earth models do not just get Genesis wrong but Jesus and the cross too. With that said, there are a number of Old Earth Creationists who do get Jesus and the cross correct, but they only by disjointing the two topics so much that it makes one wonder why they side with old earth ideas to begin with.

I emphasize more on the images that Genesis presents and what happens when we take those images consistently. We should notice that the judgment on sin is effective to all people of all places, and there is only one means of salvation. The Flood in particular cannot make this any clearer, so when one rejects the Flood as being global, they take that picture to the Gospel. Such a person is actually saying that there are some who are outside the judgment of sin and do not need Christ. This is no insignificant or secondary topic. This is the most central part of the Gospel: one means of salvation. Genesis makes this point on multiple occasions from Adam and Eve with clothing, to Cain and Abel with their sacrifices, to Noah’s Flood, to Abraham, and the list goes on. Salvation is done God’s way and on God’s terms. We have no input into it other than our sin and our acceptance or rejection of those terms holistically. I heavily emphasize the Gospel in several chapters and showcase how Jesus truly is the second Adam, the one who did all that Adam should have done and didn’t.

I want this book to not just edify and strengthen the Church but to be a tool that God uses to get Christians and churches back to Genesis and back to foundations and back to the roots of everything. If the church gets backs to our foundations, maybe our culture will return to its foundations, too. Get deeply rooted in Scripture, and make Scripture be what drives your thinking. The Doctrines of Genesis will be available on Monday in paperback and Kindle at You will not want to miss it!

This forum is meant to foster discussion and allow for differing viewpoints to be explored with equal and respectful consideration.  All comments are moderated and any foul language or threatening/abusive comments will not be approved.  Users who engage in threatening or abusive comments which are physically harmful in nature will be reported to the authorities.