Christians have long been guilty of ignoring the darkest places of society. Something in our story, probably stemming from puritan ideals, has left us weary of going to places where it’s easy to see God not working. One of those long ignored areas is the human trafficking scene, with some estimates
putting the total number of victims at 27 million. We’ve tended to stay isolated in our little circles and ignore the problem, praying for Jesus to come back. We’ve lived as isolationists afraid to act.
Prostitutes in front of a gogo bar in Pattaya, Thailand. Original text: Like slaves on an auction block waiting to be selected, victims of human trafficking have to perform as they are told or risk being beaten. Sex buyers often claim they had no idea that most women and girls abused in prostitution are desperate to escape, or are there as a result of force, fraud, or coercion. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But the reality is the people who should be at the forefront of the movement to end human trafficking are Jesus followers. We are the only ones with the good news of why humanity is special and why evil doesn’t win. Instead of running away from the problem, we should be running towards it
, headlong into the deepest and darkest corners of the world to pull people out of the hell they find themselves in and restore them with the Good News that Jesus is alive, that his resurrection means something, and they they aren’t commercial goods to be traded or sold. Only in Christianity do we find hope for the ills and fallenness of this world. Here are four reasons why Christians need to be aware of, be involved in ending, and supporting those who find themselves victims of human trafficking.
1.) We are all created in the image of God (Genesis 1-2). That means we can’t mistreat or exploit others or we harm the ‘God-ness’ image that they naturally bear.
2.) A command from God is to seek justice, love mercy, walk humbly. The great failure of the ancient Israelites, and our own generation of Christianity, has been to ignore God’s heart for the poor and disenfranchised. By ignoring the great injustices that occur in our day, we forsake one of God’s key commands.
3.) Our testimony is found among ‘the least of these’. The poor, and others that are particularly vulnerable to the harm of others, require special consideration and attention from the Jesus follower. Jesus makes clear that salvation is tied to the way we treat the marginalized and forgotten.
4.) God’s desire is to recreate a new heaven and a new earth. The desire of the Christian is to pray and participate in that inauguration. Simply said, we should take stock of the things that are around us and determine if they will be a part of God’s new creation. If they are, we support and champion it, if it isn’t we work to end it. Human trafficking and the sex trade aren’t a part of that future.
Below I’ve included links for additional information and ways to act. Join me in speaking up about the tragedy of Human Trafficking. As a Jesus follower, don’t stand the objectification and commercialization of the world’s most vulnerable and voiceless. End Trafficking Now
*This post is a part of Blog Action Day 2013 focusing on Human Trafficking. To see more posts visit the Blog Action Day website here
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I am a Business and Life Coach in both non-profit and for profit settings. I coach leaders, executives, and pastors in areas of vision, clarity, and values. In relationship coaching I focus on healthy and sustainable relationships, and in leadership development roles I catalyze change for individuals and groups to thrive. I also consult churches and organizations on how to train new leaders and create a healthy culture.
In addition to that, I am an Anabaptist pastor in the Denver metro area. I specialize on topics that include: missional theology, discipleship, culture and the church in today’s society.
I am married to my wonderful wife Elise and we have three kids. I grew up and now work in the United States Mennonite Brethren Church (USMB) and love the people and history of the Mennonite Brethren faith.
I am a graduate of Tabor College with a dual degree in Youth Ministry and Christian Leadership, a graduate of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary with a Masters of Divinity, and a Doctoral Student and Bethel Seminary.
I also teach college classes in areas of Bible, Communication, and Business.