Jesus began His ministry by standing up in the Synagogue and saying God had sent Him “to proclaim freedom to the captives” (Luke 4:18). There were all kinds of captives in His day and in ours. There are those held captive by spiritual darkness, prisoners of war, hostages held by terrorists, and those imprisoned by their own fear. Of course there are many others, but one type of captive that gets very little play in most circles are those trapped in the world of human trafficking.
Sure, there are many who give lip service to this horror, but we simply don’t do justice to an industry that enslaves over 27 million people. These are people just like your sons, daughters, friends, and family. Twenty-seven million people who have unsurpassable worth in the eyes of God. And yet Christians remain far too silent.
In Isaiah 58:6, God says, “Isn’t the fast I choose: To break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke?” In both the Old and New Testaments we see the abolishment of slavery is at the heart of the mission of God. We were created to be free; free to worship, free to choose, and free to love. When people are put into slavery, they are considered less than human, worthless in the eyes of their owners. This is a direct violation of God’s teaching about people. Humans were created in the likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) for the purpose of glorifying Him (1 Pet. 4:11, Isaiah 43:5-7), not to be subjected to the perverse and degrading whims of others.
I have been encouraged by the trend of younger people becoming more concerned with issues of social justice, including that of human trafficking. Unfortunately, many who protest against such slavery are also feeding the very industry they are vilifying. As David Platt points out in his book, “Counter Culture”, “at least a third of victims trafficked for sex are used in the production of pornography.” Platt again: “Every time a man or woman views pornography online, we are… fueling an industry that enslaves people for sex in order to satisfy selfish pleasure… We may scoff at how pre-Civil War churchgoers justified [owning] slaves… but aren’t we dangerously like them when we participate in pornography (and promote the sex slavery to which it is inextricably tied) in our own homes?”
Over 80% of male students attending Christian colleges have viewed pornography in the last year. These are the same individuals attending rallies against human trafficking. We need to wake up and recognize the hypocrisy in our lives. It’s not limited to the millennials. I am certain the statistics are comparable across all demographics. Our world is getting darker, and our appetites are following suit. Human trafficking is on the rise because there is a need to supply the demands of our sin. Pornography is only one piece of the tragedy that is human trafficking. These are precious young boys and girls, many under the age of 10! They will grow up knowing nothing but slavery, abuse, and feeling worthless. They desperately need the love of Jesus. They urgently need us to speak up on their behalf. We can be silent no more. We cannot remain motionless; we must act. Human trafficking exists because Christians like you and me allow it to. It must end now.
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