Saturday, August 24, 2013

Saved by a Spoon

A few days ago, my favorite theologian, Theology Mom Krista Bontrager, sent me a link to an article about teen girls hiding spoons in their underwear hoping to be stopped by airport security in London. They wanted to be rescued before being forced into marriage in their South Asian ancestral homelands.

Knowing I've been involved with human trafficking issues, Krista wondered if this story is true. She's a stickler for "Truth" and I'm grateful that she's taught me how to think better, not just buy into everything I read or hear.

My take on this situation stems from common sense, not hard facts. The natural outworking of  worldviews other than Christianity is the treatment of women as possessions. Naturalism is survival of the fittest. Anyone who is stronger and tougher can force those who are weaker and more vulnerable to do what they want. In other religious ideologies, the value of baby girls is still so low that they are slaughtered in countries like China and India; only boys matter. When those baby boys grow up, they still want a wife. So using logic it only makes sense that the  tremendous shortage of female brides makes it inevitable that girls will be sold into forced marriages either by their parents or human traffickers. The more disdain for life as created by God, the more pain and suffering we experience.

That's why "Ideology" is one of the global challenges being addressed by Transform World and Transform LA. A biblical worldview is not optional for true Christians. If we genuinely believe in Jesus, we are to follow Him--the Way, the Truth, and the Life that is the Light of men.

Each Christian has their own area of responsibilities and giftedness, but all of us are called to think--to make sure we're offering "truth" instead of lies. We must show how we value each life no matter how different a person may be from us, by holding fast to sound doctrine and knowing it well enough to promote what's good, pure, healthy, and just.

As "Theology Mom," Krista challenges many Christians to think better. And, thinking better leads to behaving better. She's a person who's good to know when it comes to developing a biblical worldview and putting it into practice. If each Christian does their part, perhaps we put an could end the trafficking of young girls. What do you think?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Their only savior

A pimp. A child's only savior? Are you kidding me?

That's how a recent San Francisco Chronicle article describes the way young girls fall into the clutches of pimps:

"These pimps groom these children by gaining their trust, making them believe that their pimp can provide them a better life," Irizarry said. "Once these pimps feel they can manipulate and control these victims, they put them to work as prostitutes. These children believe pimps are their only savior and the only ones who can offer them a better life" (emphasis mine).

Counterfeit salvation? It's the work of the evil one. Lies from the very pit of hell designed to enslave children in a nightmare of selling their bodies, rape, torture, and quite often an early grave.

For genuine salvation; Christians know the answer. Of course, it's Jesus. The same God who created the universe, died on the cross that we might be set free from the schemes of the evil one.

When God talked to Job (chapter 38), He asked some questions that might be worth asking today when it comes to these human trafficking victims and the idea of pimps being their savior.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand. . . .
who laid its cornerstone—while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels shouted for joy?
Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?
“Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?" 
( emphasis mine.)

God made this Earth to sustain life--even more so it could thrive with joy. Our Creator loved us so much that He gave us a gorgeous planet and the intelligence to even soar above it into the bright blue yonder. With such intelligence wouldn't it make sense for His people to come up with a plan to eradicate modern-day slavery and protect the innocent from the clutches of the wicked?

Genesis 11:6 says: The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them." (emphasis mine). If we speak the same language--hmm, imagine that. . . .

Because the the Tower of Babel was a prideful endeavor, God thwarted man's purpose. But in his book, Fast Living: How the Church Will End Extreme Poverty, Dr. Scott C. Todd describes: "our power to imagine, to aspire, to plan, to influence others, to love others, to work collectively, to take action, to build, to create, to harness the wind, to extract the chemical energies of earth, to shape the future--all on loan from God."

I can't help but believe that with a good purpose, the Creator would pour out His power in and through His people if they rose up in unity to abolish human trafficking. Doesn't it make sense that if the Creator gave us access to so much power that the living body of Christ ought to figure out ways to target at-risk kids and show them the real Savior? Are we not far more powerful than those already doing that with the counterfeit? What if every church developed a plan to gain the trust of the most vulnerable children desperately in need of love and embraced them in such ways that they couldn't help but see their real Savior?

Opal Singleton of Million Kids can help churches learn what to do. So can Rob & Colleen Myers of Plur Life Ministries. If we all work at abolishing modern-day slavery with one voice, nothing would be impossible. Especially not considering the power on loan from the Creator, not to mention the resurrection power of our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. We'd love to see your thoughts and to have you join the discussion.

[photo courtesy of  Katie Martinez, c. 2013]