Davis Motor Sales banner ad

ronniemcbrayer300 aKENTUCKY (1/19/14) - Before and during the US Civil War, tens of thousands of slaves made their way out of slavery on what was nicknamed the Underground Railroad. It wasn’t a railroad. It was a secret escape route that took slaves from the Deep South across the Mason-Dixon line and beyond.

The slaves were assisted by people known as “conductors” who transported their precious cargo by clandestine means, all the dangerous miles to freedom. And it was Ms. Harriet Tubman who was the greatest single conductor in the history of the Underground Railroad.

An escaped slave herself, and often referred to as “Moses” for her chain-breaking efforts, Tub-man was responsible for leading nearly a thousand people to freedom, including her siblings, parents, and numerous nieces and nephews. And though she journeyed deep into slave territories many times with a huge bounty on her head, she was never caught.

She said, “I did something most train conductors can’t never say. I never run my train off the track and I never lost a passenger.” She credited her success to two things. First, she believed God’s divine protection hovered over her and those placed into her care.

And second, once a slave came into her custody, no matter how afraid or demoralized that person might become on the hazardous journey, she never let them return to their chains. She would say to them, with all the resolve her tiny, five-foot frame could muster, “You will be free…or you will die.”

You will be free. This has been the motto of freedom fighters from Harriet Tubman and Patrick Henry to William Wallace and Nelson Mandela. Of course, who can think of freedom without hearing the iconic words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoken more than 50 years ago: “When we let freedom ring…we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children…will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.’”

Freedom is God’s intention for all of his children; for all people. The theological word for free-dom is “ransom,” and it was a favorite term of the Apostle Paul in the New Testament. In Paul’s day, slavery was as common as in the American South in the 1800s. Ancient society, being what it was, forced the poor, orphaned, weak, conquered, and otherwise discriminated against into servitude. Chains were a constant until the slave’s life was wrung out by hard labor.

The exception to this state of affairs was adoption. A tradesman or head of household could, gra-ciously, adopt a slave – no matter his or her age – as a son or daughter. This ended the injustice and granted to the adoptee all the rights and privileges of family. It was a revolution of status and a literal salvation. It was ransom.

Ransom means, in its most literal form, “To remove from the marketplace.” It is a term straight from the slave trader’s auction block. For someone to be ransomed in that day meant that they had been liberated from bondage. They had been removed from the auction, or in the immediate context of most of Paul’s writings, they had been transacted from a house slave to an honored child of the household.

What God has lovingly planned and what Jesus has dramatically accomplished is far more than a change in the human perspective; it is an actual change of status. It is more than the alleviation of the feeling of hopelessness; it is the alleviation of actual hopelessness. It is not psychosomatic therapy; it is actual rescue from slavery – in all its varied forms.

Spiritual, emotional, psychological, and physical: All aspects of captivity are eradicated in the liberty of Christ. In the elegant words of Placide Cappeau, “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother; and in his name all oppression shall cease.” Put more bluntly, as Harriet Tubman would say it: “You will be free.” May it be so for all of God’s children.

Ronnie McBrayer is a syndicated columnist, pastor, and author. His newest book is “The Gospel According to Waffle House.” You can read more at www.ronniemcbrayer.me.


Disclaimer: The content supplied by columnists and letters to the Editor on this site does not in any way, shape or form, implied or otherwise, necessarily express or suggest endorsement or support of any of such content, statement, or opinions therein. SurfKY News does not necessari-ly adhere to or endorse content provided by outside non-staff sources.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
1 DOW 18,192.07
+59.37 (0.33%)    
2 S&P 2,110.79
+6.29 (0.30%)    
3 NASDAQ 4,992.14
+28.62 (0.58%)    

Most Read This Week

February 25, 2015 7218

Multi-Agency Investigation Nets Large-Scale Meth…

in Top News For All Sites by Trooper Stu Recke
February 24, 2015 7087

Two Charged in Central City Meth Bust

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Trooper Stu Recke
February 22, 2015 6949

Easter Cuties Pageant in Memory of Shanice Bean

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
February 25, 2015 6083

New Asian Restaurant Coming to Madisonville

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Gary Gates, SurfKY News
February 23, 2015 4744

Fire Departments Respond to Wester's Body Shop

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Shawn Freels
February 24, 2015 4445

School Board Holding Special Called Meeting

in Muhlenberg News by Sherri Miller

Most Read This Month

February 12, 2015

UPDATE: Name of Pennyrile Fatality Officially…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
February 09, 2015

Police Pursue Man after Fight at Taco Bell

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center

Stories Trending Today

March 01, 2015 1535

HCCHS Student Has Unique Eye for Art

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 1120

4H Penguin Plunge Draws Hundreds to Poolside

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 930

West Broadway Vendor Event, Tag Sale Planned

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
March 01, 2015 901

Dave Says - March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Dave Ramsey
March 01, 2015 824

Whitfield Meets with American Financial Services…

in General News For All Sites by Robert Hankins
March 01, 2015 818

Legislator's Log - Week of March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Brent Yonts
March 01, 2015 750

Libraries’ Drawing Contest Begins March 2

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Amie Waltrip
March 01, 2015 740

Outdoor Truths - March 1, 2015

in General News For All Sites by Gary Miller
March 01, 2015 735

Kentucky Offers Tax Credit to Small Business…

in General News For All Sites by Joe Hall
March 01, 2015 641

Endowment Partners with Cheri for Free Screenings…

in Lakes News by Kyser Lough