By Levi Scott
The sexual culture of our world today is one that harms the lives of everyone made in the image of God. The link between pornography and sex trafficking should serve as a warning to all of us. Sadly, surveys reveal that people in our pews—and sometimes pulpits—each contribute to the trafficking industry by our silent acceptance and consumption of pornography. Our world is broken, people in our churches are broken, but many are doing what they can to make a difference. There are many who are actively fighting against the industries that are leaving God’s children in chains, whether in a brothel or behind a computer screen.
CHOG Trafficklight is has grown out of the Church of God with the intent to raise awareness and support for organizations and ministries in the Church of God bringing about transformation in the lives of those afflicted by the sex industry. Trafficklight has supported ministries like Stripped Love, Church on the Street, Pink Door, and OneHeart. Each of these ministries is fighting the sex industry through meeting people where they are, providing resources, and helping individuals escape the cycles of the sex industry through education and the love of Christ. Church of God congregations and individuals have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Trafficklight, which have all gone to promote freedom throughout the world.
Fighting sex slavery is no new task for the Church of God. We have been combating this evil for over a century. In 1914, such ministry began as a home for orphans in India, but was accomplishing much more than this. Its involvement with young girls kept them off the streets and provided a way for them to avoid sex traffickers, that frequently take advantage of the impoverished state of many families and persons in India, by buying these young women from destitute families and then selling them for sex. The Shelter has saved hundreds of women from traffickers who would otherwise harm them, and continues to do this today.
This fight for freedom so much bigger than the Church of God. For example, an ecumenical ministry combating human trafficking in Los Angeles is the Dream Center. They have many ministries, one of which provides a safe haven for women seeking to escape trafficking. The rescue phase is linked to their outreach programs, a hotline for victims of trafficking and branches of law enforcement with whom the Dream Center works. The Dream Center is preparing these women for a brighter future outside of the trafficking industry.
From Atlanta, Georgia, to Dayton, Ohio, to Berlin, Germany, we’re actively helping to abolish the harmful effects of sex addiction, sexual abuse, and sex slavery in our world. The sex trade industry is a complicated knot of sinful chains, one that has been successful at binding many people to itself, but this is becoming less and less of the case. With these and many other ministries reaching out to untie the knots that keep people trapped, God’s church is helping people live out the words of Ephesians 3:12 “In Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (NIV).
The push by God’s people to stop sexual exploitation is a growing effort. Local congregations can get involved by:
• Praying for all the victims of the sex trade industry, those who are forced into it, those who choose to work in it, those who cannot escape it, those who fiscally support it, and those who run it. It is important that we reflect Christ’s image of offering grace to all who are afflicted, even the ones who are afflicting others.
• Getting involved and building connections with already existing ministries that combat these issues. CHOG Trafficklight is the best place for Church of God congregations to start.
• Pastors have the special role of educating and helping their congregations deal with the issues that arise from pornography and sex slavery.
1. They can listen to issues while providing graceful care and love.
2. Encourage those who express issues in these areas to seek professional help from a counselor.
3. Inform their congregations of the dangers that pornography, and sex slavery impose on the self, and others who are engaging in these activities at all levels.
4. Be on the lookout for resources to promote sexual purity through Trafficklight 2.0, which will be unveiled on Freedom Sunday, March 5.
For more on the link between pornography and trafficking, click here.
Pornography is just one of the issues Trafficklight 2.0 will tackle. Trafficklight 2.0 will be unveiled on Freedom Sunday 2017, March 5. Please consider holding a place in your service for a short video introducing this next stage in calling our attention to the global—and local—human trafficking issue, and how close to home it really is for each one of us. Visit www.chogtrafficklight.org.