From Paul, a servant and a apostle of Christ Jesus, and Richard his brother,
Grace and Peace.
Our brother Richard has reported that in the 21st century some are accusing me of supporting the practice of slavery. It did take me some time in Arabia to realise that the Gospel of our Lord would impact this practice. It is also true that my main emphasis is to preach Christ knowing that His presence in you will bring about reform in every area of society.
However, I must implore you to examine my writings more closely to see my three pronged attack on this abomination.
First, you will see that my letter to the church at Ephesus and elsewhere I have commanded slaves and masters to treat each other differently because of our Lord Jesus Christ. If this command were viewed apart from my other writings then I can understand the above assumption. However, this first step is very important. By expecting Christian slaves to work as if they were working for our heavenly master they will grow in self respect. Their increased efforts will alter the manner in which fair minded masters treat them. More importantly, my reminder to the masters that there is really only one master who treats us all equally will, upon reflection, begin to transform people’s thinking. These words will have been read in the mixed company of the church. The concept that God has no partiality and that slaves and masters are equal are completely revolutionary, as is the whole Gospel. The transformation will begin from small home church communities.
Through these writings and others that I will refer to in my next e-pistle you will understand my opposition to slavery and my determination to bring the ownership of human beings to an end.
How sad that many who criticise me do so little to end trafficking in their own generation, even eating foods produced by slaves.
I will send Richard to you soon.
Grace to all those who love the Lord Jesus with a love incorruptible.