Worldly Philosophy and the Philosophy of God’s Word
There is a philosophy in the world, which is selfish in application: “Every man for himself.” Self love and self benefit is the heart of this slogan. The Bible, however, teaches otherwise: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus teaches that the Golden Rule which says, “In everything, do to others as you would want them to do to yo.” (Matthew 7:12).
The idea behind this exhortation is to care for people and help those who are in need. This principle gives motivation to all Christian charitable work.
Encourage the Timid and Help the Weak
The Apostle Paul told the Christians in his day: “Encourage the timid, help those who are weak” (1 Thessalonians 5:4). The timid may have a psychological problem and the weak may have both physical and mental defects. Both are disadvantaged when facing a society that thrives on taking advantage of others, like “big fish eat small fish.”
William Wilberforce and His Struggle Against Slavery
William Wilberforce in his day was concerned for a particular group of people downtrodden by society. They were the slaves-mainly the Blacks from Africa-captured or kidnapped from their homes and sold to rich white men who used them as “cheap labor” in their plantations and homes. These slaves were mistreated and mustered like animals in some cases. Wilberforce was greatly troubled by his Christian conscience and he spent his whole life fighting against slavery. A former slave trader and an ex-slave called John Newton joined forces with him in the fight against slavery in “Christian” England.
They managed to influence the politicians to vote against slavery in Parliament and they won. John Newton wrote the song, Amazing Grace, How Sweet the sound! This song continues to move the hearts of millions around the world, and gives great strength and confirmation to all those who come to Christ.
Now there is a movie honoring them and their work. In North America, Abraham Lincoln also fought to liberate slaves and succeeded.
These men were devout Christians who had a deep conviction about helping their fellowmen in distress. The slaves were the “weak” in their days and they were committed to help set them free. We may not have slaves today, but there are many enslaved by sin and Satan. They need to be set free from their chains of evil and evil habits. Let us help them by ministering to them the Gospel of love and power.
The Real Liberation from Slavery
The apostle Paul, “an old man and now also prisoner of Christ Jesus,” said of a former slave Onesimus, that Onesimus became his (Paul’s) very heart! Such is the power of freedom from material and spiritual slavery! Paul sends Onesimus back to his former master Philemon “no longer as a slave, but better than a slave, as a dear brother.” When people are liberated from slavery, both material and spiritual, they become so transformed that they become the most effective instrument of God.
Let us give the Gospel to the suffering world in bondage and sin, and help them liberate themselves from material and spiritual slavery.
Dr. Kok Beng
Asia-Pacific Mission, Ltd.
Bethany International University