On Coffee and Slavery

What does one of the latest statements on slavery have to tell us about our knowledge of history? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Those who know me know I can’t stand coffee. I am a tea guy. I remain loyal to my beverage of choice. However, that doesn’t mean that anything said against coffee is right automatically. Consider this, one example of how ridiculous our culture is getting thinking they are making a powerful point by resisting something.

So let’s consider a few points here.

First off, let’s be clear that slavery is wrong. I can’t believe I have to say this, but unfortunately, I do. If I don’t say it, someone is going to think that I am defending slavery. They’re going to think that anyway, but I fully agree with the wrongness of slavery.

However, that being said, it’s time to list other facts.

For one, if we were to eliminate anything that has anything to do with slavery at any point in time, we will have to likely eliminate nearly everything that there is. (Which could include those tennis shoes you’re wearing.) Pyramids of Egypt? Gone. Great Wall of China? Gone. How many other great monuments from history would vanish?

Second, slavery has happened with every race out there practically and every race has enslaved every race and every race has even enslaved their own race. The word slave itself comes from the Slavs. Who were they? White Europeans. Who were white Europeans and others buying slaves from in Africa? Other Africans.

Third, the only slavery most people know of today is the slavery in antebellum America. Outside of that, no clue. It’s ignored that it was the West that ultimately did so much to end slavery.

Fourth, many people today who are against slavery, and rightly so, could likely not give a good defense of why they are. If you went back to the Roman Empire and asked anyone if slavery was wrong, even the slaves themselves, they would likely look at you stunned as if society could be any other way. Today, it’s the exact opposite.

Fifth, no matter what we do today, we can never erase history. Not buying coffee today will not change that slavery took place. There is no need to punish the industry today for something that happened before anyone in the industry today was even born. We are living with a fool’s errand if we think we can redeem ourselves this way.

Sixth, we can be redeemed, but only by Jesus. Our nation can make things right best by turning to the God who bought all of humanity for a price in the person of His Son. We will not do it by any other action.

Finally, today, we need to learn history again. So many people think they’re being activists by not buying coffee or something like this. Want to do something about slavery? It still exists in some parts of the world. Go there and do something about slavery in those parts of the world. Our ignorance of history leads to repeating it. Learn instead from slavery that we do have scars in our past, but the good news is we have changed the way we used to do things and become a beacon of freedom for the world.

Real change will take more than this. Avoiding anything that has anything to do with slavery, even antebellum slavery in America, will not do anything. It will only hurt people today who had nothing to do with what happened and are just trying to provide for themselves and their families.

As a tea lover, there are plenty of good reasons for not buying coffee. This is not one of them.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)