September 27th, 2012 at 7:00 am
Attention: Pornography is causing more pain and suffering than many imagine. The Internet is the latest means of encouraging sexual fantasies, but the devastating impact of pornography is anything but a fantasy. There are victims, real victims.
Ken Camp of the Baptist Standard has written a helpful story that connects pornography to human trafficking. Ken covered a recent “Freedom Ring” event at First Baptist Church of Commerce that dealt with trafficking. Freedom Ring is an alliance of Christians against human trafficking, and the Texas Baptist Advocacy/Care Center and Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas are key partners in the effort.
Pornography represents a form of commercial sexual exploitation with “branches and tentacles that reach into our homes,” said Noel Bouché, vice president of PureHope. Pornography constitutes 10 percent of the Internet’s content, and its creators use trafficking victims—many of them minors—in porn production, Noel Bouché, vice president of PureHope, told the Commerce gathering.
There is an evil at work here that is hard to comprehend, and it’s fueled by money, much of it paid by viewers of pornography.
Christians need to realize the magnitude of the commercial sex industry, said Tomi Grover, founder of TraffickStop, which is supported by the Texas Baptist Cooperative Program and the Mary Hill Davis Offering for Texas Missions.
“Pornography in the United States makes more than the National Football League. It makes more than Major League Baseball. It makes more than the National Basketball Association. In fact, it makes more than all three combined,” Grover said.
“It’s a global problem that’s happening in our own country and that’s being channeled into every home,” Bouché said.
Grover made a staggering comment. ”The average age of exposure to pornography is 8 years old,” she said. “Exposing children to porn is like putting their brains on opiate drugs.”
Bouché urged Christians to pursue a four-fold response–pray, understand, resolve, and engage.
Why respond? Because Scripture teaches that every person is his or her brother’s keeper, and God hears the cry of the oppressed, said Van Christian, pastor of First Baptist Church in Comanche. Churches cannot escape their responsibility to God when it comes to responding to issues of trafficking and sexual exploitation.
The Baptist Standard story provides more detail on the conference.
This needs to be talked about in our churches–from the pulpit and in smaller groups. It’s not easy to talk about, but the need is there. People are hurting and suffering. We need to care enough to do something.
Before the Civil War, the average cost of a slave was about the equivalent of $40,000 in today’s currency. Today, a person can be purchased for about $90. And the number of slaves in our world today is much higher than it was at the height of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade years ago. Something must be done to change this dark reality.
Though their ministry is not specifically to women caught in trafficking, Brett and Emily Mills, founders of Jesus Said Love, have come across trafficking rings as they have been about caring for exotic dancers and strippers and sharing the love of Christ with them. Their belief is that Jesus loves all people, yes, even strippers and that the church should be reaching out to them out of love. Below is a story originally published in Oct. 2012 that shares about what God is doing through the faithful obedience to love the women He has placed in their lives.
Human trafficking depicted through film, art and literature can assist you and your church in grasping the scope of this issue. Below is a list of books, films and documentaries to help in your learning journey.