Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Church, Women and Global Sex Trafficking

The following passage is taken from a book compiling presentations given at the Second General Assembly of the World Reformed Fellowship. It presents a powerful call for action of the church on behalf of the nearly one billion abused women worldwide. It is a call for the church to repent and follow the lead of her Master. "A body that does not follow its head is a sick body."

“God says to seek justice, break every yolk, defend the orphan, set the prisoner free, and care for the widow. This list is also a match for the list given previously regarding who is vulnerable to trafficking. The list of God’s commands, the list describing our Head, and the list describing those vulnerable to trafficking are virtually identical. Our Head pursues those marked by the characteristics making people vulnerable to trafficking. A body that does not follow its head is a sick body.

I have been struck recently- in studying topics such as trafficking, abuse, incest, genital mutilation, suttee, female infanticide, and rape- by how the Christian community has focused for so long solely on the issues of the role and place for women. We seem far more concerned that women not overstep whatever boundaries our particular circle deems right than we are about their safety. I am not suggesting that those boundaries should not be considered in the light of the Word of God. They absolutely should. But they are not the only issues regarding women that need to be discussed. We must also face the fact that the body of Christ has failed to lead the way in this world regarding such issues as rape, incest, violence, HIV/AIDS and sex trafficking.

Going outside the camp to rescue trashed females has not been the church’s clarion call. We seem far more focused on keeping females in the so-called “right” place and concerned about anything that would take them away from the parameters we prefer. In the meantime, those in power are preying on females around the world, dragging them into positions and places far outsideany human being, male or female. the parameters of God for The girls and women of this world are dying on the dung heaps…

We who are the body of Christ often pour our money into all kinds of things while women die. We work hard for fame and success in our ministries while they are trafficked. We fly around in jets and build more buildings and drive big cars while they give birth in bullock carts. We condemn them for their immorality while AIDS increases exponentially or their children die in their arms from starvation. All the while the voice of our Savior is calling us to crawl all over the dung heaps of this world, searching for the abandoned, neglected, dying, abused, and trafficked females of our century.

Our Head has called us to go to the poor, the afflicted, the broken, the needy, and the imprisoned. He invites us to go where humanity is broken in pieces, violently rent, maimed, and shattered. He asks us to follow him into prisons, deserved and undeserved, places of little light and restricted movement, place without hope. He leads us into places of worthlessness and decay- places that appall and horrify us.

These are not places where you and I want to go. I fear we prefer light, freedom, beauty, comfort, and familiarity. We prefer healthy and alert minds to traumatized ones. We prefer clean bodies to dirty ones and whole bodies to crippled ones. But a body that does not follow its head is a sick body. These issues regarding the girls and women of this world are of grave concern for our God. The trauma and abuse that are devastating the females of this world are not merely the jurisdiction of psychologists and social workers. Nor is it to be left to governments and welfare institutions. The trauma and trafficking of females worldwide are the business of the body of Christ.”

- Diane Langberg “Sharing the Burden of Global Sex Trafficking” in Confronting Kingdom Challenges: A Call to Global Christians to Carry the Burden Together edited by Samuel T. Logan Jr.