Will be on a panel tomorrow discussing this . . . here are some thoughts I drafted a few months ago . . .
There are many reasons that this issue of human trafficking should be important to the Church. I want to lay out several of those reasons.
First the Bible is consistent in having a particular concern for women in need and children in need. Perhaps too numerous to count are those texts in the Bible that implore us to help both…to encourage and care for the widow…to encourage, care for, feed and protect the fatherless and the orphan. When we look at this condition of human trafficking this is precisely what we find. Those in our society who are most vulnerable to predators. And, those in our society who many perceive to be less worthy of our consideration. But in the Bible, there are none who are less than…God so loved the world…
We see also the deep concern that the Bible and Jesus had for those who are vulnerable. He had great concern for the lost sheep. He had great concern for those who were like sheep without a shepherd. He had great concern for women and children who were subject to being exploited. And the Bible articulates great punishment for the exploiters of these people.
Next is both the obligation and opportunity that we have as pastors to shape the culture of our community. As shepherds over a flock we shape on a weekly basis the culture and norms of our faith community. We have opportunities to speak to our young men and our young women. We have opportunities to speak to our older men and our older women. They have opportunities to make clear that we are not exploiters of the vulnerable but assisters of the vulnerable. We have opportunities to have real conversations with the members of our flock about the world that we live in. There’s nothing to say that this human trafficking has not or cannot catch up the men and women in our churches.
We need to, also, be aware and alert. The Bible has appointed us watchmen over the flock. Our faith is not one that is prayer only. We are implored to watch as well as pray. We are implored to be as innocent as doves and as wise as serpents. Being wise as serpents means we need to understand how the predators work.