Reflecting on the books
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass
Mama Bear Apologetics by Hillary Morgan Ferrer
Books of The Holy Bible
THE SOUL Captive in Servitude
Can we agree that no one person is perfect? … that all humans are broken and need fixing? What does spiritual warfare mean to you?
LIFE & DEATH.
GOOD & EVIL.
FAITH & FEAR.
LOVE & HATE.
RIGHTEOUS & WICKED.
PEACE & WAR.
This world of opposites is our reality. We cannot escape it. We cannot stop it. We may seek perfection by striving for “life, goodness, faith, love, righteousness and peace”, but what we receive is “death, evil, fear, hate, wickedness and war.” It’s pretty easy to identify the faults and failures within ourselves, in other people, in culture, in past history, in systems both local and global, and even in the unfairness of biology. It only takes a five minute tour of social media to verify humanity is obsessed with it’s brokenness!
We seem desperate to fix the worlds greatest imperfection – PEOPLE. Human’s have developed a large range of solutions; from Self-Help books to rehabilitation, Christianity to Atheism, Capitalism to Communism, Western medicine to holistic, vegan diets to carnivorous … I mean, the list could fill this entire article. Each of us has a different solution to fix the same problem. Is that because we are so inherently different? We ARE different, but I don’t think our differences are the problem. I think “FREE” people actually fight the chains of their SLAVERY every day, unknowingly . . .
PART 1 INTRO : Slave To
PART 2 : Slave To MAN
PART 3 : Slave To SCHOOL
PART 4 : Slave To DEATH
The Tormented Spirit.
Those who suffer severe depression live in a state of debilitating mental slavery, and while their outside appears normal their insides scream for release from this anguish and torment. Unforgiveness, in many ways, can make us prisoner to the one we cannot forgive. It’s symptoms may present in any number of physical and/or mental ways. Inescapable chronic pain enslaves some. Life threatening diseases, like Cancer, enslave others.
When I think of a tormented spirit, I think of addiction and the horrible cycle of abuse we choose to inflict upon our own bodies. I say “choose” because no one else forces us to smoke, drink, gamble or participate in promiscuity, and yet I include it within the discussion of slavery because (to my Christian mind) we are all slave to SIN until we find our SAVIOR. Others might say they are a slave to their job. And for some, it is the never ending To Do List that prevents them from accomplishing much more. These last two may seem trivial to list, especially compared to slavery of the BODY, but sometimes our greatest loyalty is our greatest burden.
I want to consider, just for a moment, the possibility that ultimate slavery comes NOT from our fellow human being, but from an internal spiritual enemy.
Humanity’s belief surrounding DEATH and SALVATION (or not) is sung by a symphony of vastly different nations, religions and perspectives. It’s diversity of song is what makes it so beautiful.
Religion is relevant to the discussion around SCHOOLING because it guides history, culture and society. Even secularism has been called a religion, which I will discuss. For the sake of this article, I concentrate on Christianity, and I do that because I am a Christian and can interpret “The SOUL Captive in Servitude” best from this perspective. If I were to try explaining the soul from a religion other than my own, I could not possibly do the subject justice. I will, however, do my best to include non-Christian beliefs surrounding this idea (soul or no soul alike).
If death is inevitable, does that mean death owns us? We cannot physically escape it. Doctors have found ways to control and prolong life until we die, but no doctor or scientist has found the cure for it inside this world.
The opposite of death is LIFE. Does this mean we can be saved from spiritual death into life (like flesh escapes flesh)? … You decide.
If our greatest fear IS death, and we cannot save ourselves from death in the end, does that mean fear wins? We fear the unknown, so therefore death is scary without faith or knowledge.
The opposite of fear, to the Christian, is FAITH … and the opposite of fear, to the non-Christian, is KNOWLEDGE. Without faith or knowledge of life after death, what does that mean for our quality of life? … You decide.
If we are broken (by sin or deficiency), and the human race has not been able to fix itself after thousands of years, what does that mean for humanities future? Does a broken thing even have the ability to fix itself by itself? Or does it require the help from it’s maker?
The opposite of sin, to the Christian, is RIGHTEOUSNESS, an accomplishment none other than Jesus can claim. Yet, without the existence of both wicked and righteous, are we whole? The opposite of deficiency, to the non-Christian, is PERFECTION. If humanity accomplished it’s own perfection would it finally live happily ever after? … You decide.
So what do we do when DEATH enters school in the form of a school shooting? …or FEAR enters school in the form of a virus? … or SIN enters school in the form of a false teacher? The one who puts their faith in the spiritual world will answer these questions differently than the one who puts their faith in the earthly world. In the public school setting, spirituality is ignored, at best, and shamefully ridiculed, at worst. This has been my experience.
SCHOOL POLICY WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO ADDRESS “SAFETY” ENTIRELY WITHOUT THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF SPIRITUALITY.
Religion has slowly been removed from state schools over the past 60 years due to the commonly accepted, yet incorrect idea, that this is in keeping with the First Amendment’s intention to protect the rights of non-Christian beliefs.
On John Stonestreet’s “Breakpoint” this past Thursday, he addressed this very issue in, “What ‘Separation of Church and State’ Is Really About”.
“The establishment clause is derived from the opening lines of the First Amendment which states, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof’ … There are two ways this statement is commonly misunderstood. First, it is often described as establishing a ‘wall of separation between church and state.’ In fact, those words are found nowhere in the Constitution. The phrase actually was coined later in a letter by Thomas Jefferson. Second, and more importantly, it is assumed that if organized religion cannot be supported by the state, then secularism is somehow ‘neutral.‘ Thus, by default, anything goes as long as it’s ‘secular.’” (See link at end)
“For a century, humanists such as John Dewey and Julian Huxley had defined their beliefs as a religion. After all, secularism involves certain claims about the cosmos, existence, and human nature.” (Stonestreet)
Removal of the Golden Rule, as well as any book with a positive Christian message, is called “neutral” by the state.
A secular “neutral” is now taught in 833, with all but Christian representation. Oddly, it resembles a religion of it’s own making.
Follow My Blog.
What to the unread child does slavery mean?
By “unread” this is to mean restrained by content and thought. What does “slave” mean to American children who don’t read the written records of dehumanization tactics? Unread children won’t learn empathy for an African child slave born 200 years ago who was kept deprived and ignorant from owning something as basic as the date of his birth. They won’t know how the identity of a father could be kept secret from a boy whose father was actually his master. In Douglass’s words,
“The means of knowing was withheld from me.”
They won’t feel sorrow for the slave child separated from his mother before the age of ONE. “For what this separation is done, I do not know,” said Douglass “unless it be to hinder the development of the child’s affection toward its mother, and to blunt and destroy the natural affection of the mother for the child. This is the inevitable result.”
The unread child won’t experience the gentle reminder of inhumanity at knowing the name “Frederick Douglass,” (the name we know as one of the most influential civil and human rights advocate of the 19th century) is not even his given birth name.
Most important of all, the unread child who is deprived knowledge about bodily slavery, by extension, will not know spiritual slavery. Since the unread child is deprived “the means of knowing” Christianity in state schools, SALVATION is withheld from their knowledge.
Power is an ugly beast though, and the beast can present itself clothed in beautiful buildings, fancy clothing, distinguished government, and even righteous religions. Powerful Christian leaders have not always demonstrated the heart of Jesus Christ. Some have abused their power and committed some of the most barbaric crimes against humanity. Listen to what Frederick Douglass has to say about the “religion of this land”.
“I assert most unhesitatingly,” Douglass says, “that the religion of the south is a mere covering for the most horrid crimes, – a justifier of the most appalling barbarity, – and sanctifier of the most hateful frauds, – and a dark shelter under, which the darkest, foulest, grossest, and most infernal deeds of slaveholders find the strongest protection.”
The devil is the great deceiver who will pretend to quote the Bible and the words of believers the Holy Spirit speaks through.
For a man who witnessed countless plantations under many slavemasters, Douglass was able to identify firsthand the hypocrisy of the slaveholding religion.
“Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible difference—so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt, and wicked.”
As Douglass explains his journey to faith, he laments that slaver Christianity makes a mockery of the gospel.
“To be the friend of the one, is of necessity to be the enemy of the other. I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land… Never was there a clearer case of ‘stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.’ ”
Douglass found the worst torture was dealt to slaves at the hands of the most esteemed religious leaders. Yet he recognized the earthly slavemasters was ruled by their spiritual slavemaster. Douglass did not allow Satan to deceive him into doubting Gods goodness.
“And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”2 Corinthians 11:14 ESV
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?Matthew 7:15-16
The easiest way to identify these two eternal forces fighting for the soul of humanity?
One spreads FEAR AND HATE.
The other spreads PEACE AND LOVE.
Who is Jesus?
Do you know him? Jesus is often misunderstood and misrepresented in both culture AND in religion. Jesus did not force himself on the world. We must be able to separate out the CARICATURE of Jesus from the CHARACTER of Jesus. Unfortunately, religious leaders have not always acted in good faith, but Jesus also did not condone their sin and arrogance. The religious leaders of Jesus’ time were the Pharisees, and He called out their haughty pride for its hypocrisy.
The only way to know Jesus is to read the New Testament.
Jesus did not come for riches and power and fame and glory, or that of a mighty King intending to condemn this world, fighting nations into submission. NO. The first coming of Jesus Christ was that of a humble servant who treated Jew and Gentile alike … with gentleness, forgiveness and patience. For those who believed Him to be the true Son of God, they followed Jesus willingly, even to their death. He taught them, by His own example, the righteous way to live and give openly to others.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”John 13:34
And when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, it wasn’t for nothing. He didn’t just die to prove his love for us sinners. He absorbed ALL OF OUR SIN so that through his death, resurrection and ascension WE might have ETERNAL LIFE. The only way for God to defeat death of the flesh was to become flesh himself, and so he sent us Jesus.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”John 3:16
THE SECULAR SOLUTION
to human brokenness
Secular Humanism and the Self-Help Industry.
In Mama Bear Apologetics, author Teasi Cannon identifies what makes this $11.3 billion industry (2021 forecast by John LaRosa of MarketResearch.com) so popular. Self-Improvement teaching goes back to Socrates, the Stoics, Greco-Roman and Renaissance literature, and it continues on with the more recent contributions of Benjamin Franklin, Charles Darwin, Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, Chopra, and Oprah Winfrey (Cannon). Humanism is alive and well. “As the term self-helpism suggest, self-help is a completely unbiblical take on human brokenness. Its message (boiled way, way down) is that we need search no further than within ourselves to find both the CAUSE and REMEDY for our brokenness.” (Cannon)
Some of the key words Teasi Cannon uses to describe Self-Helpism are . . .
I typed “Self-Help” into my internet browser to confirm Cannon’s observation, and the proof was overwhelming. Each individual is creating their own truth because everyone’s needs are different. They are placing the highest priority on how they feel, identifying their talents and dreams and who is getting in the way of this deserved happiness owed to them.
Whoever owes them the “good life,” I do not know. I don’t get the sense SIN is to blame for the “bad life”, but perhaps it is as simple as bad habits and character defects. They don’t have to deny themselves or repent of anything. Teasi Cannon describes self-helpism like this, “I am the source in my life and you are the source in your life. We are our own source of strength… I am both source and solution. It’s a closed system.” She goes on to say, “The message within self-helpism … is idolatry.” If this is a form of self-worship, then each individual becomes god of themselves.
Wow, that’s an enormous burden to carry.
“For Christ followers, it’s the opposite. We don’t truly live until we die – die to selfish desires that exalt us against the wisdom, love, guidance, and righteousness of our maker.” says Cannon. “According to Christianity, God is our source, and He alone has the solutions. That, however, doesn’t mean we have no part to play. We have each been given free will, so each day we have the personal power to choose whom we will serve: self or God.”
“Jesus, we are told in Scripture, is the One who heals. He is the One who understands every wound, every betrayal, and every temptation we’ve ever faced or will ever face because He faced them too. By His death, resurrection, and ascension, we have been set free from the ultimate penalty of sin (our real problem) and our enslavement to its power. We’ve been given the ultimate helper, the Holy Spirit, who guides us in all truth.” (Cannon)
Some churches do teach this message of self-help – that our answer to finding the good life and achieving inner peace comes from within. Teasi Cannon describes the Christian preachers, Norman Vincent Peale, and later Reverend Robert Schuller (pastor of one for the nations’ first megachurches, The Chrystal Cathedral) who taught self-empowerment in their sermons and books. They even backed it up with scripture. “Any philosophy that elevates man over God is humanism.” Cannon warns though. She says the problem with a Christian leader advocating a Humanist approach is that they turn ‘God’ into a divine genie. “Using Christian terminology to promote self-reliant solutions only creates a funky form of religious humanism – a worldly ideological cupcake with a thin glaze of Christian icing.”
“What we need is our manufacturer.” says Teasi Cannon. “He knows exactly what our hearts need, and trying to fix ourselves is as futile as expecting a broken vacuum to fix itself. It won’t happen … No broken thing can fix itself, and that includes your hearts.”
THE CHRISTIAN SOLUTION
to human brokenness
To follow Jesus is to be a servant of Jesus. The ability to CHOOSE makes all the difference. We can choose LIFE or we can choose DEATH, but God does not force us either way. The Bible tells us we are SLAVE TO SIN since the time of Adam and Eve. Because we cannot follow perfectly the Ten Commandments, sacrifice is required, or else we become SLAVE TO DEATH. Jesus became the lamb of sacrifice for the sins of all nations when he died on the cross.
“… that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”Hebrews 2:14-15
Without a Savior, we are captive in servitude. With a Savior, we are FREE in servitude.
This is the Good News of Jesus Christ!
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit … “Romans 8:1-39 ESV
Loyalty and Idolatry
Whatever gets our greatest time, attention and money proves to be our greatest loyalty. God commands Christians to have no other gods before him, so any loyalty greater than God is idolatry. Media, knowledge, food, recognition. alcohol, drugs, sex, famous people, politicians, career, bank account, self.
Those who follow Jesus are instructed in the 10 commandments not to have any other gods before him. The reason for this is that we tend to take on the characteristics of that which we worship, and if we worship idols we inevitably will become as blind and insensitive as the idols themselves.
“For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money… without self-control… lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”(2 Timothy 3:2-4)
“The idols of nations are silver and gold, made by human hands. They have mouths but cannot speak, eyes, but cannot see. They have ears but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”Psalm 135:15-18
Slave to DEATH
WHERE did brokenness come from? WHEN were we broken? WHO has broken us? WHY did they break us? WHAT is the remedy for fixing us? And HOW do we find the source of our solution?
I hope you are able to answer these questions. And if not, I hope you will search for the answers. No one can give them to you EXCEPT YOU.
Symphony of Opposites.
In learning to read Douglass had this to say,
“I owe almost as much to the bitter opposition of my master, as to the kindly aid of my mistress. I acknowledge the benefit of both.”
I was overwhelmed at times by the depth of Douglass’s faith and the sophistication with which he understood the balance of Good and Evil. It was quite beautiful to read the complexity of his character come through in his words. His portrayal of these two eternal forces fighting for the soul of humanity was profound.
In this world, we enjoy the rise BECAUSE WE HAVE FELT THE FALL. We celebrate success BECAUSE WE KNOW THE MISERY OF DEFEAT. The antagonist is just as vital to a movie as the protagonist, and NO story is worth reading without a problem to solve. There exists a balance in life between good and evil we cannot explain … but without one, could we fully appreciate the other?
Take it all away … Imagine … It’s all gone.
ALL GOOD (no evil)
All pain and suffering , GONE. The hungry belly is full. The homeless man is sheltered. All friends and family are agreeable. No child is left vulnerable. Every woman and man feels complete. Every child displays respect. No bully lurks the hall. Sickness is gone forever. A cure to cancer is finally found. An epidemic fades into the past. Russia makes peace with Ukraine. Utter peace.
Are you free now? Are you happy?
I have a hard time believing we would appreciate perfection if we were actually able to obtain it on our own, in this world. The absence of pain would diminish the power of joy. I think we almost have to embrace the conflict in our broken world, and love one another just the same. If I didn’t tell you that Jesus loves you, then I wouldn’t be true to my faith. I have said what I want to say, and after that I trust,
Your journey is your choice.
Conclusion to the Series
Through Douglass’s Narrative, a child benefits from learning empathy and knowledge that will serve to better humanity from where it once came.
The message of abolitionists like Frederick Douglass may become lost in a generational fog if we don’t teach it to our children in it’s purest form. His firsthand account does not need to be improved upon. IT NEEDS TO BE STUDIED. Suppressing the entirety of Christian authors, books, and themes from kids in public education is doing more harm than good.
Christianity is the largest religion in the world, at around 33%, and “its impact on the shape of world history, and on present–day world culture, is incalculable” (See TheBestSchools link at end). To leave its impact out of the public school discussion is like building a house without a foundation. The content crumbles under its own weight.
You may think, after reading so many Bible verses in these articles, that I am advocating Christianity be pushed in the public school classroom. This is not true. I DO advocate any school who calls itself “public” in America be held responsible for giving Christianity equal weight in the classroom discussion. The Bible clearly repeats over and over many times and in many ways, that only a remnant will follow him. It saddens me, yet I know it’s true because though we are all invited into eternal life, we are also given free will.
“For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”Matthew 7:14
We need to stop perpetuating the lie that public school can and does serve the needs of all. IT DOES NOT. The only way a one-size-fits-all taxpayer funded school system will work is if it is truly neutral. A bureaucratic system controlled by power and money will NEVER be neutral. IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN. As hostile as the public school model is against Christianity (the largest religion in the world), they cannot claim their goal is to serve us ALL. To call secular schooling “neutral” is a FRAUD.
I am advocating that the name of each school model truly represent its loyalty. For instance, the current public school model is an anti-Christian model by design of the teachers unions (local, State and Federal) and MN state government. Its name should reflect its anti-Christian teaching style. All Christian parent beware!
Families should be free to choose the school model their tax dollars will support. Release the symphony! If you still choose to send your child to Anti-Christian School, don’t handcuff taxpayers to it. You have the power to change the horizon of education in Minnesota in the election this November. Vote for political leaders who say out loud they will support school choice legislation.
Just as the true character of Frederick Douglass is most accurately understood by reading his biography, so too is the true character of Jesus Christ most accurately absorbed by reading the Bible (not to be overshadowed by activist commentary). Do not read or watch The Handmaid’s Tale to understand the true WILL of God. Do not resolve to understand human suffering through Marvel series movies. READ the Gospel of John. READ firsthand accounts from Jesus’ disciples who were imperfect people just like you and like me. READ testimonies. Get information from the source, and teach your children to do the same!
God Bless !!!
by JAiME for SCHOOLS July 21st, 2022
REFERENCE LIST FOR “Slave To DEATH”
Book : Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass An American Slave by Frederick Douglass with an introduction by John Stauffer
Book : The Holy Bible -ENGLISH STANDARD VERSION containing the Old and New Testaments
Book : Mama Bear Apologetics – Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies by Hillary Morgan Ferrer. published 2019 -Chapter 5 Self-Helpism by Teasi Cannon