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« Abusing Freedom | Main | Jim Crow Comparisons Are Not Apt »

July 04, 2015

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The human trafficker discovers his true, factual, wretchedness.

The human trafficker discovers the unthinkable - true, factual grace.

History, groaning in pain, shouts thank you ~~~

Yes, Amy, I'll go with you. :-)

FIRSTLY, JOHN NEWTON...

"Editor's Bookshelf: Amazing Myths, How Strange the Sound: An interview with Steve Turner, the author of Amazing Grace: The Story of America's Most Beloved Song" by David Neff, Christianity Today, March 31, 2003)

John Newton was a pastor and author of "Amazing Grace" and "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken."...

INTERVIEWER: What mythology did you yourself hold that you discovered was wrong when you did your research?

TURNER: I think I just knew the basic skeleton of this story. I knew Newton was a slave trader, I knew that he had been in a storm, and I knew he'd written a song. I didn't really know the sequence in which that happened. Arlo Guthrie tells the story on stage that Newton was transporting slaves and the storm hit the boat, he was converted on the spot, changed his mind about slavery, took the slaves back to Africa, released them, came back to England, and wrote the song. That would be nice. That would be the way we'd like to write the story. But the fact is that he took years and years before he came to the abolition position. And he never captained a slave ship until after he became a Christian. All his life as a slave captain was actually post-conversion.

The majority of Christians were in favor of the slave trade. The ship owner that he worked for had a pew in the church in Liverpool. It was not uncommon at all for prominent Anglicans to also be involved in the slave trade. And it made me wonder, what things are we involved in that we think are fine but in centuries to come people will think, How could they possibly have done that? [...]

Newton's tender ship captain's letters that he sent home to his beloved Mary showed complete lack of concern for the African families he was breaking up. A telling passage from one letter cites "the three greatest blessings of which human nature is capable" as "religion, liberty, and love." But referring to those he had helped to enslave, he wrote, "I believe... that they have no words among them expressive of these engaging ideas: from
whence I infer that the ideas themselves have no place in their minds."

When it came to denouncing the slave trade, Newton would not commit himself publicly until the mid-1780s—nearly 30 years after the issue was first broached in Parliament, 20 years after the Countess of Huntingdon began campaigning for equal treatment of the races, and 14 years after John Wesley wrote his Thoughts on Slavery.

READ MORE AT http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2007/02/rational-response-to-film-amazing-grace.html

An OP elsewhere commented on the common mistake of asserting that Jim Crow laws and Segregation laws are "Scriptural".


The Christian Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. was, fortunately, well educated and hence was well aware of the long established and factual statements which Christ and Scripture declare of all men, of mankind.


Those long established and factual statements were obviously a part of why he served Christ with such intensity, defending Scripture’s definitions and truths with his life. Hence, asserting that Jim Crow laws and segregation laws, and so on, are "Scriptural" obviously doesn’t stand up to more sophisticated eyes.


History, groaning in pain, finds the Truth of God's love compelling Mankind towards His instantiation on the world stage and on the individual's stage. Both stages, of course, ever fighting between said Truths of Scripture and deeply embedded mindsets in need of renewal. Such is one of several obvious reasons why Scripture warns us to define reality by Christ, and not by the disciple.


The lens zoomed out finds, coming into focus, the power of Christ's Grace to change a man's heart and mind, bit by bit, and, thereby, to change many hearts and many minds, bit by bit, and, thereby, to change a nation's heart and mind, bit by bit, as the God Who is love presses in upon Man.


C.S. Lewis noted that it is not necessarily new information that is needed, but merely the reminder of information one has already gone over.


The OP mentioned earlier (Segregation laws and Jim Crow laws are “Scriptural” etc….) is a good example of Lewis’ point, as our Christian Pastor Martin Luther King Jr. reminds both them and us not of such misinformation spoken in emotion’s heat, intending to harm, but, rather, of the long established and factual statements which Christ and Scripture declare of all men everywhere, spoken by said Christian to heal, not to hurt, and at great cost to himself.

Sam, your "biggest fan" title is officially reinstated.

Edward, I'm not surprised the play compresses things. I do encourage people to read the book I linked to to get the full story. And there's some question as to when his conversion was—whether in the storm or later. In fact, Newton himself didn't consider that to be his conversion:

I was greatly deficient in many respects. I was in some degree affected with a sense of my enormous sins, but I was little aware of the innate evils of my heart. I had no apprehension of . . . the hidden life of a Christian, as it consists in communion with God by Jesus Christ: a continual dependence on him. . . . I acknowledged the Lord's mercy in pardoning what was past, but depended chiefly upon my own resolution to do better for the time to come. . . . I cannot consider myself to have been a believer (in the full sense of the word) till a considerable time afterwards.

Here's a short, free audio biography.

Arlo Guthrie tells the story on stage that Newton was transporting slaves and the storm hit the boat, he was converted on the spot, changed his mind about slavery, took the slaves back to Africa, released them, came back to England, and wrote the song.

I am really disappointed to learn that Arlo's version of the story is not accurate. I have repeated that to an awful lot of people.

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