Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Time to Rebel

The late '60s and early '70s were a time of serious rebellion. For several years, I resisted that youth-oriented movement. Then, even my single mother rebelled against conservative standards and encouraged me to do the same. So eventually I did. No one ever told me that there was something more devastating about an illicit affair than getting pregnant or catching an STD. Becoming "one flesh" with someone you can never share a life with impacts your soul. No one ever talks about that concept, so it took me a long time to figure out what that meant, and why the Bible is the one place that mentions it. According to the Bible, becoming "one flesh" is supposed to be the byproduct of love within the context of marriage.

Now most of society has rebelled against that biblical standard. It's a rebellion that has grabbed hold of our culture so much that it's become the norm. On college campuses, in movie theaters and even in many homes, the doctrine of promiscuity is portrayed as not only permissible, but desirable. Television shows, music videos, and advertisers all promote the doctrine of instant gratification. Parents frequently model the way to this self-absorbed thinking. What does that have to do with human trafficking? Even more, what can anyone do about it?

First, the problem. Under the auspices of Transform World, Transform LA has identified 5 societal challenges that started spiraling out-of-control in American culture ever since that time ironically known as "The Summer of Love." (It was a time of anything but real selfless love.) These 7 challenges include:
  1. Ideology
  2. Relationships
  3. Orphans
  4. Poverty
  5. Human Rights (including the right to life, liberty, and dignity)
As the rebellion has grown and people have adopted new norms (such as Roe v. Wade 1973), the value of life itself has changed in a way that's created a climate ripe for human trafficking.

Traffickers frequently  trap modern-day slaves through the ideology of easy sex. If you're going to have casual sex, why not use it to make money? Some girls have even learned to sell their own virginity to the highest bidder.


And, if the girls themselves can do it, why not their brothers or mothers, or cousins or . . . strangers. Societal ideology no longer has any boundaries, no safeguards that protect the most vulnerable--our children.

Future blog posts will take on these challenges in more detail. But in general--one thing is clear. When the norm is this unhealthy, it's time to "Rebel Against Rebellion." That idea came from the first chapter in Ed Stetzer's book Subversive Kingdom: Living as Agents of Gospel Transformation.

Transform LA would encourage every Christian to consider how Stetzer's message could lead toward the solution of the first five societal challenges. He said: "The world's illegal rebellion is illegitimate. It certainly feels real, of course--IS real--but it doesn't change the reality that God is still Ruler of everything" (p. 5). 

Non-Christians may also want to consider the implications of Stetzer's message. If there is a God, and He is Ruler of everything--shouldn't we rebel against the ways that denigrate His authority--ways that result in turning valuable human beings into modern-day slaves?

A rebellion instigated an unhealthy standard that needs transformation in every sphere of society. To rebel against rebellion could significantly lead our culture to a healthier world, one where our children and grandchildren can be valued as human beings. Can we do it? No, but God can. The solution starts with personal transformation in each and every one of us. That's the 6th societal challenge: Christ's Missional command to go express the good news of Jesus Christ and to help people follow Him.
There's one more. The 7th challenge is Celebration. As we see Christ's transformational power expressed in individual lives, our society will start being transformed in ways that will start eliminating the problems that lead to human trafficking. Isn't it time to get involved and take the steps necessary to make a difference?

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