Slavery in the Postmodern World

There is no candy-coated way to say this, therefore I will speak boldly – as my pastoral duties require of me. In this cold, broken, postmodern world of ours, we’re all slaves. You, me, her, him, them. All of us. This is the case for every living person in every home, every neighborhood, every town/city, every state, and every region of every country on this planet. I humbly submit to you that the more vehemently you disagree with my theory, the more of a slave you probably are. Contrary to what you say or think, slavery is alive and well. That’s right: I said it.
Black or white or both or neither; rich or poor or in-between; young or old or in-between; Republican or Democrat or Independent; educated or uneducated; gay or straight; and religious or not, I’m talking about you. I’m talking to you.
Many allegedly civilized nations currently allow full-blown slavery. There are sex slaves right here, right now in the United States. Go on – pretend it doesn’t exist. Our politicians do that every single day.
Allow me to usher you deeper into our individual and collective matrix. The truism of slavery applies to every tradition and every culture for every civilization which has existed since human beings have walked the earth.
Slavery as an institution is not simply relegated to thick, ridiculously heavy, dust-covered, leather-bound books sequestered deep within the bowels of scholarly libraries. Slavery was not just a phase mankind went through before being enlightened enough to swear off that dastardly practice forever and ever, amen. Slavery did not begin with the American Civil War, and it did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation. My friends, postmodern slavery isn’t an American problem. It’s a global one.
I can almost hear the doubting Thomases collectively smacking their lips in disdain. I can vividly imagine the involuntary shaking of heads in complete disagreement. And that’s ok. Someone who truly loves you will always tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. There’s a vast difference between the two. I love you enough to tell you what you need to hear – especially when you really don’t want to hear it.
We’re slaves to technology. Most of us are uncomfortable being more than 6 inches away from our smartphone whenever we’re awake. Many of us send and receive text messages and emails while we’re driving – knowing full well that [1] it’s against the law, and [2] it endangers us and everyone else on the road at that time. We do it anyway. The nuclear family in America in 2015 doesn’t eat dinner together – not even on Sunday. Even if the members of a family happen to be at the dining room table at the same time for a meal, you can rest assured that somebody there is using an electronic device: a cellphone, an I-pad, a tablet, a laptop… something. This is also the case on holidays. Not even Easter or Christmas can change our absolute reliance on technology. If you’re totally dependent on technology, you’re a slave to technology.
We’re slaves to our jobs. Once upon a time in America, an individual could graduate from high school on Friday evening, celebrate all weekend, get up Monday morning, and go to the local plant. Upon filling out a job application, that individual would be interviewed, hired, and asked to show up for work first thing Tuesday morning. If he/she performed well at the local plant, showed up on time every day, and maintained a good reputation, he/she could fully expect to work there for the next 30-35 years and retire with the gold watch and the life-long benefits package. Those days are gone with the wind. In 2015, you’re very fortunate to have a job, and your employer knows that quite well. In fact, your employer can force you to work longer hours without paying you overtime. Your employer can cut your benefits at any time with little to no notice without any fear whatsoever because labor unions are all but extinct now. No one dares to complain about such things because it’s common knowledge that your employer can fire and replace you with a kid fresh out of college who won’t complain. Ever. Our financial, professional, mental, and social health is intricately linked to our employment – where we work, what we do, and what we earn. If you’re totally dependent on your job – whether you’re a plumber or a physician – you, too, are a slave.
We’re slaves to politics, fashion, entertainment, sports, status, and on and on. Sorry, Dr. Ben Carson. Obamacare isn’t addictive – but most other modern conveniences are.
Once you begin to grasp the pervasiveness of slavery in postmodern society, the thinking person is left with 3 questions: [1] Do you acknowledge that you are a slave? [2] To what or to whom are you enslaved? [3] What are you prepared to do to secure your own freedom?
Perhaps the only question which truly matters is if you’re a servant of God. If the answer is yes, you’re free. If the answer is no, you’re not free. And if you’re not free, you subscribe to postmodern slavery. There ends the lesson.

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