Slavery is where relationships have become broken and distorted to the extreme - where the essence of the personhood of 'the other' is neglected, and they become ruled or dominated by someone else. So we care and we fight against sex slavery, child trafficking, forced labour etc.
But what about in our western context? Yes, unfortunately we do hear of sex slaves and those horrors normally associated with the concept of slavery, but what else is slavery in our culture?
Substance, sex, entertainment addiction?
And so who are our slave masters?
Apple, Women's Weekly, ASB bank?
Or in naming them as such are we ascribing them too much power?
Should we care enough to fight them, and if so, how?
Do we know who we are without them?
And what about a slavery of our own self-centeredness?
In the first century Mediterranean world, Caesar was Lord. The stories of his power and peace brought by his sword dominated the minds and imaginations of the Roman Empire. The world was "held captive" by this picture. Until Jesus, who defeated the last weapon of the Empire, so that we could be truly free for others:
"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind... Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment..." - Romans 12