Posts Tagged ‘William Wilberforce’

The Image that Stopped a Thousand Ships

August 3rd, 2015 1 comment


It has been said “a picture is worth a thousand words.” And when it comes to exposing and defeating the societal evils in fallen humanity’s long struggle for freedom and dignity, the power to “see” has been the deciding factor in changing a culture’s beliefs.

British abolitionist and cultural reformer, William Wilberforce, engaged in a twenty-year fight to abolish the British slave trade. Wilberforce made thousands of impassionate pleas before Parliament calling for an end to “that hideous traffic, so disgraceful to the British character.” His prophetic voice was slandered and his sound arguments ridiculed before a corrupt political assembly who had grown fat and prosperous on the backs of the slave trade.

His cause reached a tipping point when that which was done in secret was brought to the light. The dreadful treatment of those being sold as property was hidden from the view of the common person. The horrific evils committed by the slave traders were buried in the dark bowels of the cargo ships.

How could the conscience of a nation be awakened if the evil remained cloaked in a veil of darkness?

Josiah Wedgwood, a Christian pottery manufacturer, helped the cause by putting a face on the evils of slavery. In 1787 Wedgwood commissioned the image “that stopped a thousand ships.” This poignant antislavery cameo was reproduced on brooches, hat pins, cuff links, bracelets and dinner plates. It asked the simple question: “Am I not a man and a brother?” This powerful image became a rally point for the movement which eventually outlawed slavery in Great Britain.

The same thing is happening in our day. The ghastly practices of abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, are being exposed for all the world to see. The dismembering of tiny, defenseless babies, sacrificed on the twin altars of personal convenience and reproductive rights, are now being brought into the light. Despicable dinner chatter involving the sale of baby organs has been recorded for all to join the conversation.

Will we finally be able to hear the cries of the innocents: “I am a man and a brother. I am a woman and a sister.” Will we continue to deny the inherent value and dignity of the smallest and most vulnerable members of the human family?

Jesus promised, “Everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.” (Mark 4:22) I believe our good and gracious Father is exposing this evil to awaken a sleeping, apathetic Church and to prick the conscience of our nation. His merciful intentions involve reviving the Church and bringing repentance, salvation and healing to our nation. The plumb line of God’s holiness has been dropped. The evil is being fully exposed. On which side will YOU land?

Will you love darkness and hate what is evil? Or will you bury your head in the dark and pretend that these video are “fraudulent” or “politically motivated?” The Bible tells us, “God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.” (John 3:19) It’s time to repent of our evil ways. It’s time to rid our land of the vile practice of child sacrifice. It’s time to run to Jesus, the Light of the world and the Source of our healing as a nation. It’s time for America to re-discover her soul.