SLAVERY IN REVELATION AND IN 21ST CENTURY
No other book of the bible engages the imagination of its readers while exasperating their ability to understand its meaning. Written by the apostle John, its vivid symbolic imagery all carry symbolic connotations. How can one begin to understand this book without considering “its historical context, social and religious milieu, and literary genre…its form, content, and function and so clears the way for us to hear the warning of the risen Jesus: ” It is also a book that admonish, corrects, and encourages its readers. It talks about Christian characteristics such as repentance, obedience, faithfulness, and perseverance.
LITERARY GENRES OF ...view middle of the document...
Historically, Rome had “dominion over the kings of the earth” (17:18). Its military successes brought wealth, power, and influence to Rome, and enabled it to assert political and economic supremacy, “The merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury” (18:3). Even to the point of valuing gold, silk and cattle above human life.
This is very similar to what is happening in the slave market of the 21st century as the value of oil, gold, and diamonds, are more valuable than humans are. Different forms of exploitation in today’s slave market consist of forced labor, bonded indenture, child slavery, sex trafficking and domestic servitude.
“Although Revelation does not include a sustained discussion of slavery or outline a specific social program that readers are to implement. Nevertheless, several lines of inquiry help to show the significance of the slave trade in John's critique of imperial economic life.”
SOCIAL AND RELIGIOUS CONDITION
Despite the fact that human lives should be valued above anything else, in the book of Revelation, the Beast "conquers" by inflicting suffering on others (11:7; 13:7). The slave trade industry of the 21st century is estimated to be 27 million people across every continent and most countries. Estimates by the US State Department suggest up to 17,500 slaves are brought into the US every year, with 50,000 of those working as prostitutes, farm workers or domestic servants. Paul addressed this same issue in Revelation. “The story of the Lamb who is slain offers a critique of human history and of our delusions, of the violence we use to maintain the status quo, and of the lies with which we disguise the oppression of the victim." Slavery affects all social and cultural consequences to human populations affecting changes to the norms, values and beliefs of individuals that direct and diminish their cognition of themselves and the society around them. It affects the way people live, work, relate to one another, organize, and generally cope as members of society.
“At its heart, slavery is an inhuman perversion of a simple economic principle: the best way to maximize profits is by minimizing the cost of labor. In today’s global economy, the seemingly inexhaustible demand for cheap goods and services has created a vast, largely invisible market for easily replenished supplies of men, women and children who are forced to work against their will, for little or no pay, and under constant threat of violence or intimidation.”
Apparently, “white slave owners in the American South were caught in the same predicament as the Romans because they did not believe in liberating, transformative power of slave religion.” As Christians, we recognize that any corrupt society that opposes the true God is a modern version of ancient Babylon.
The Apostle John called himself a slave of God, thus all Christians are considered slaves or servants of God. I...