Written by Mary L. Williams

Although Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in April, 1865, the Executive Order No.3 was still in effect. As Christian Believers, God gave Jesus an Executive Order to free all humankind as declared by the Savior Himself in Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised…” 

Even after the Executive Order by General Granger, some of the slaves due to the fear of the unknown, the unfamiliar, and the moment of what is unseen, chose to remain captive to their slaveholders. So, it is with all human beings who reject the freedom God has freely offered through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

The historical overview of slavery in America certainly imprisoned more Africans and African Americans who were born in slavery than any other people group. “Chattel Slavery” was birthed in Europe and other people groups as Irish and Irish Americans were indentured and shipped to the Carribean under British rule. Native Americans soon began to sell other Native Americans under this hideous form of human debauchery. However, the African humans and those of African descent was by far the largest indentured people group. It was so far exceeding that a “Caste System” was created for those with darker skin. By this time, Black, Irish, and Native American Slaves were intermating, ( as not all were legally married) producing mixed race children of color. Some Black Africans were already wealthy and free both coming to America and many gained freedom fighting for America in the Revolutionary War in 1776 under George Washington.  African Americans who gained their freedom after fighting in the war and many remained in southern states to help abolish slavery.  

Like many countries, African sailed the ocean and were resourceful in the trade of gold, ivory and other precious commodities. Some regions of Africa sold their people into slavery and other regions retaliated.  The earliest known captivity of slaves from 1619 elicited a retaliatory movement as early as 1625 by  Northern Africa. These Africans became known as “Barbary Pirates.”   As many as 700 colonists were captured as slaves for Africans. The retaliation movement by Africans was deemed “Barbaric” and by March 1794 the United States Navy was born. Yet, slaves held in the new world was considered a justifiable system of manifest destiny and freedom for the chosen class. 

Therefore, we ask the imperative question “What is Freedom?” I believe two definitions are in order.  One definition, which I describe as the secular term is: 

 “Freedom is the power to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint; the absence of subjection to a foreign domination or despotic ruler.”  

The second definition has been delineated in Luke 4:18 earlier. Jesus said, “He who the Son sets free is free indeed.” John 8:36. Free indeed encompasses the spirit, soul and body in this life and the life to come. Free indeed is the act of receiving the nature of Christ Jesus in the mind, will and emotions of the human soul. Thus, The truth of freedom can only be experienced through Jesus Christ.  

Partial freedom provides laws and governing agencies which we all need. However, the unregenerate cravings of carnal minds and insatiable flesh will always seek to medicate its deficient desires through the subjection and unlawful domination of other human beings and human systems of government. What one person or people group calls barbaric is to another person or people justifiable. The vain glory of pride and self-exaltation out of a spirit of greed and insufficiency stimulates strong delusion which leads one to steal, kill or destroy at any cost. Yet the insatiable cravings increase instead of diminishing and one becomes a slave to a destructive power within their own existence. This is the most tragic form of slavery and the most illusive aspect of freedom. 

We realize in modern society, despite the laws that offer freedom of choice, humans continue to enslave themselves and others out of a lack of knowing and receiving the Executive Order God made through Jesus Christ over 2000 years ago. 

Jesus Christ offers all human beings freedom from the despotic ruler and overlord called Satan. Like some of the slaves, who did not believe they were truly free, many people choose to remain held captive to drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, pornographic addictions, hate, racism, sexism, classism and other vices that seek to steal, kill and destroy the value of human life. 

One acronym for FREEDOM can be ascribed as: 

F– Forgiveness of sin (God) ; Forgiveness of self (You), and Forgiveness of others (relationships; both people and systems that have hurt you) 

R– Redeemed to live Righteously by Receiving Jesus Christ as savior  

E– Eternal life for His Excellent glory and Empathy for Every human being  

E– Experience of life more abundantly in this Earthly Existence  

D-Divine Deliverance through a born again nature in Christ 

O-Ownership of love and Offering it freely by God’s Omnipotent power and Omnipresence 

M-Meekness and Mercy with the scholarship of a renewed mind in the word of God  

Executive orders made by man such as: ​GENERAL ORDERS, No. 3. — The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, “all slaves are tree.” This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. 

And, the Declaration of Independence 

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, governments are instituted among Men…” 

Men and women have fought, bled and died for freedom. But the struggle with “isms” continue even with laws in place.  Thank God for the laws. We need legal systems in place. However, let it be said, the true freedom is birthed out of the truth within the human heart. Jesus Christ offers that truth, and He has promised, if you know the truth, the truth shall make you free!  

Mary L. Williams