Back from the Global Forum on Human Trafficking. Tired… drained… but excited. Being in the same place as 800+ other abolitionists pumps a gal up for what's to come! There was definitely a greater air this year, if you will, if moving past awareness towards engagement. While awareness will always be a factor (as it is in all issues), we need to engage. Christians need to engage. Church communities need to engage.
Freedom Sunday. February 13, 2011. Send me an email and I'll set you up with how you can celebrate freedom in Christ, freedom for slaves, and freedom for the oppressors who are perpetuating the slave trade.
You a business person?
Shoot me off an email and I'll give you ways to engage your spheres of influence.
Boy oh boy… this movement is being led'n'fed by YOU! Thank you! Young people today have seen slavery and are standing all around the world to stop it! They want no child to suffer in order to make our chocolate. They don't want their friends bought and sold for sex. The refuse to be a part of a world that dehumanizes people to the point that they are nothing but objects. If you're a student, contact me and I'll offer some ways to plug you in!
You a parent or grandparent?
Fire me of an email or call me. There are ways for you too to have a voice. Everyone has a voice.
This isn't "an issue". Just like poverty isn't "an issue", it is a reason why Jesus Christ came to earth (see Luke 4, among other passages). It has never been a question of "should churches engage the slave trade?"… it has always been "how?". Period.
Many faith communities have been reluctant to take stands, for whatever reason. I'm telling you today: we need to take a stand. Like the anti-slavery communities of old, the time has come again. We are needed. But no change will happen if our voices are not heard together.
Am I sounding forceful? I hope so. The slave trade accounts for the second largest form of crime in the world today. When Paul says that we are not our own, we are bought at price — the price of the blood of Jesus Christ — God was not fooling around. He sacrificed Himself so that we could be reconciled to Him. Slavery destroys and mocks that price. Slavery destroys others' humanity — our neighbors' humanity, as Christ called everyone our neighbor. Slavery is an embodiment of evil hidden from our sight, but growing fast, and growing here… now. If God has already made the purchase price, everything else is a forgery.
And when we engage slavery, we find that we come up against poverty, illiteracy, racism, classism, immigration issues, and the like and many churches don't want all of that at once. It can be overwhelming and paralyzing.
But here's the deal: all of that IS happening at once. We need to be smart, we need to be strategic, we need to be compassionate, we need to be Christ-like. But most importantly: we need to begin. We are needed.
"Gen J" is in my subject line… stands for "Generation Justice". Justice, in the Bible, is God's mercy, grace and divine authority interwoven in His character (that's the Cole's Notes version). It is not a "search and destroy the enemy" form of what humans think justice is today.
Young and old, rich and poor, Jew and Gentile, slave and free… we are living as Generation Justice. We have a choice: will we add our voices to declaring the justice of God or will we not? By keeping quiet and letting individuals decide for themselves when/if they might want to help out with a program dealing with slavery, communities make their choice not to stand.
I entreat you today: stand.