Deuteronomy 24:5-7 (Part 4) – Dry Up the Demand! – What We Must Do As Christians to End Sex Trafficking

Posted: April 3, 2017 in Book of Deuteronomy
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Deuteronomy 24:5-7 (Part 4 of 4)

Miscellaneous Regulations

 

When we think of slavery, we think of the old South and the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade between Africa and the Caribbean Islands. That seems like old history as we continue to march onward into the so-called enlightened age of the 21st century. People being kidnapped from their families and sold in forced labor on the plantations and farms of the 17th through 19th century South seems like a distant memory of less enlightened time – a time when human life seemed far less valuable than it seems today. Forced slavery seems abhorrent to us and a practice that has long since been outlawed in the United States and the rest of the civilized world.

 

However, as we sit in our mini-mansions by the standards of the rest of the world, the world beyond our pleasant suburbia is different. As we drive our Chevy Tahoes with the bumpin’ sound systems, back up cameras, and bun warmer seats, the world is different out there. As we complain about the wi-fi not working at church this Sunday as we watch our daughters texting on their iPhone 7’s and we go to dinner at Red Robin with endless French fries, the world is different out there. As we obliviously work in our middle class jobs with our middle class incomes and rush home to take our children to the various athletic activities in which we have them enrolled, our nice, tidy and neat little worlds that are insulated from any real problems beyond “first world problems”, the world is different out there. Did you know that more than 27 million people worldwide are enslaved in some fashion or another? 27 Million! As we complain about Donald Trump! As we march on Washington to protest the possible loss of the right to terminate unwanted babies even though our mothers decided to have us so that we could grow up and protest against the potential loss of abortion rights, 27 Million people are in slavery. The most at any point in human history.

 

Forced slavery, particularly of young women into the sex trafficking trade, is the fastest growing industry in the world. That teenage girl you see looking down and seemingly sad with ghost eyes with a man twice her age as you dine at a restaurant anywhere along Interstate 20 that runs from El Paso, TX to Florence, SC (known at the Sex Trafficking Superhighway) could be a person in sexual slavery. It goes on all around us and we are oblivious. As we protest because a person blatantly committed a crime is shot by a police officer, we ignore people who are kidnapped and sold into the sex trafficking trade that are right under our noses every day. As we wear our Red X as our sign of support for the cause against sex trafficking but yet never actually really do anything about it, women are forced into sexual slavery the world over.

 

Every time, we as men pick up a pornographic magazine, watch pornographic movies, or subscribe to porn sites on the internet, we are supporting sexual slavery. According to World News Daily, an internet news service, groups like the Freedom Youth Project, an organization that fights against child sex trafficking through research, believes that “pornography is a leading cause of human trafficking for minors in the U.S.” That is one reason why the Salvation Army’s Vision Network is producing the feature documentary, “Hard Corps,” aimed at uncovering the “undeniable connection” between pornography and the human sex trafficking Industry. Their website notes that: “this film proposes to uncover the façade of pornography as ‘a harmless pastime for consenting adults.’ It pulls back the curtain to reveal the ugly reality of addiction, infidelity, prostitution, child abuse, rape and Human Sex Trafficking.

Forced slavery is alive and well in the world, my friends. No longer do we see black men living in shacks on plantations being forced to pick cotton, but today it is more subtle and even more dangerous and difficult to stamp out. They may not be in shacks on plantations, but sex slaves are in apartment buildings in parts of town we don’t go it. They may be in crack houses in neighborhoods we do go in. They may be in warehouses that seem abandoned, but are covers for pornographic photo studios, or film studios. 27 Million people are enslaved today my friends – most of them women in the sex trafficking trade. 27 Million. To give you perspective, that’s equivalent to the population of the State of California. That is the equivalent to the population of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina combined. 27 Million.

 

For those who have ever said that slavery was OK in the Bible must have just skipped right over the last verse of this passage about our liberties being stolen from us. God is against human trafficking – kidnapping and selling people into slavery against their will. With that in mind, let’s read the passage, Deuteronomy 24:5-7, and for this morning let’s concentrate on Verse 7:

 

5 If a man has recently married, he must not be sent to war or have any other duty laid on him. For one year he is to be free to stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married.

 

6 Do not take a pair of millstones—not even the upper one—as security for a debt, because that would be taking a person’s livelihood as security.

 

7 If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.

 

Human trafficking is against God’s will for us. He wants each of us to have the dignity and honor reserved for the only creatures on the planet that were made in His image, according to Genesis. We are ALL one in Christ Jesus, according to Paul. We all have equal dignity before God. No matter if you are white and do not like blacks, or vice versa, that does not change the fact that we are all created in the image of God. It does not matter if you are a woman or man. We are both created in the image of God. We each have dignity and the right to live in the liberty that God gave us as His image bearers here on earth. Human trafficking is an offense to God.

 

It is time that we quit talking out of both sides of mouth. As college men, we participate in campus protests against sexual slavery and human trafficking. Meanwhile, 90% of college males and 30% of college females view pornography on a regular basis. Even at evangelical Christian colleges, research has shown that 60% of their male students view porn on a regular basis. And, college students are not alone. 30% of the general public of evangelical Christian males admit to having viewed porn within the last six months. No matter how many Red X’s we may put on our t-shirts or on our hands to say that we support the end of sexual slavery, it will not end until we take our hands off of our computer mouse, or magazine pages, etc. The link between pornography and sexual slavery is undeniable and has been statistically linked as valid.

 

It is the new slavery. Just as the transatlantic slave trade was only ended by gospel loving men and women teaching people about the dignity of all humans and thus drying up the demand, we must as Christ followers do the work demanded of us in our century. We must convince men and women who support the $15 Billion a year porn industry in the US ($30 Billion worldwide) by viewing it, purchasing it, etc. that it is an affront to the dignity of women (and sometimes children of both sexes) around the world. We must dry up the demand to put an end to this modern version of forced slavery. We can go after the pimps and porn house owners all we want, but until we dry up the supply, women will continue to be abducted and forced into sexual slavery.

The Bible is clear. Our mandate is clear. We must do more than wear Red X’s on our hands or clothing. We must educate and we must not participate. Pornography cheapens the beauty and wonder of women. It cheapens sex to the point that it is acceptable outside marriage. It makes women into objects to be conquered, not co-heirs to the inheritance given each of us in Christ.

 

Convince people of the wrongness of pornography. Convince people of the link between porn and sex slavery. Convince people of the dignity of each and everyone of the women that we objectify when we view porn. Convince people and dry up the demand. Only then, will it end. William Wilberforce, the great British statesmen, worked tirelessly for half a century to get Britain to outlaw slavery resulting from the transatlantic slave trade. He never wavered with each defeat along the way. He never wavered and eventually convinced a nation. It will take that same level of effort from us Christians today.

 

Let us go beyond our Red X’s as we sit in our posh SUVs on the way to the Shops at Greenridge to get fresh-made ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery. Let us act. Let us act for the half of a century that it might take to end this affront to the liberty God gave us by creating each of us equal in his sight. Make we take human dignity more seriously than we take whether the wi-fi is working at church this morning or whether the worship band played 45 minutes worth of songs or whether the music was too loud or whether we like the worship leader or not. Let us work tirelessly as Wilberforce about things that matter to God!

 

Amen and Amen.

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