The Church and Slavery

This week, the Idea Camp bloggers are writing about slavery. You can’t have a discussion on sexual issues facing the church today without going there. The blogs have been informative, stirring and provoking. I encourage you to read them and educate yourself on this very real issue that is taking place in our own back yards.

In conversations I’ve been a part of with several church leaders locally, the question that remains at the forefront is:

“What can the church be doing?”

According to the A21 Campaign,

“The average age that people are trafficked into forced prostitution is only 12-14 years old, and we have a responsibility to ensure that this upcoming generation does not fall victim or add to the future demand for trafficked victims. Through education and awareness, we have the ability to help prevent human trafficking and inspire young people to be a part of a cause that is worth fighting for.”




Supply and demand are key words to this conversation concerning the church. If the demand is not there, the supply becomes limited.

The Church is what Jesus had in mind to bring hope to a lost a dying world. It was designed to be the refuge where people should come to seek transformation through discipleship and love when they are struggling with the propensity to add to the demand. The Church is where young girls should be taught how not to lose sight of their worth as women who are made in the image of Christ so they do not fall prey to human trafficking. The Church is where we should be reminded of how all of us were bought with a price by the blood of Jesus and with this blessing comes great responsibility.

I’m looking forward to hearing from others on this issue at the Idea Camp in hopes that the Church will be more likely to take its place in this fight to end slavery.

A Few Resources :

Take a look at this series from Oakland Local.

Watch the video at the end of this previous post

Washington Times

ABC News

8 thoughts on “The Church and Slavery

  1. Your point about the demand is something that resonates with me. Throughout this project, I’ve become increasingly convinced that a big part of the problem is that the demand for this kind of stuff is SO HIGH. People who struggle with sexual addictions are going to find their ‘fix’ somewhere. And if it is not with prostitutes/sex slaves, then we’d probably see an increase on other areas where they would turn to get what they ‘need’.

    That’s exactly why I think that OPEN and HONEST dialogue about these issues is one of the most important things that the church can be doing. Thank you for being a part of the conversation!

  2. Demand driven economics is supposed to be healthy, but this is definitely not one of those instances. Prevention, education, awareness are huge bastions of action that we can look at and make progress in, but the church does need to consider how to talk about the demand side of this also. What do we do or say to address the demand side?

  3. @justapen…
    Great question. I believe that a BIG part of it is simply to create a safe environment where people can talk about their struggles. There are many inside the church who struggle with sexual addictions that feel like they cannot talk about it. That means that they will keep it quiet, and secretly continue to pursue filling those ‘needs’.

    If we can make church a safe place to deal with people’s struggles, then we are taking a BIG step in the right direction.

    I’m sure there are other things, and I look forward to hearing more about what others may think.

  4. @justapen, this is a great question and I agree with Dan. Open and honest dialogue is a great place to start.

    When addressing any type of sin, grace, love and the opportunity for restoration is an important part of the conversation. It needs to be addressed with every one, not just those who struggle. Sexual addictions effect not only the person with the addiction but spouses, children and the body of Christ.

  5. I agree that open dialog is key in addressing and delivering people from sin patterns and sexual sin especially. But what about people who are already lost in it? (which is what I meant to ask in the first place, sorry )
    Unlike many other sin patterns, even hurtful and aggressive ones, when dealing with sex addiction in the context of sexual slavery we will come up against the questions of child pornography and prostitution which are both illegal. We might be able to forgive him/her, and the victim might be able to forgive him/her, but I’ll bet money that the justice system won’t.

  6. Hmmm… good question. I think that like any other sin that has legal consequences, then that is part of the price that you pay. I know that it sounds cold, but sin has consequences, and being forgiven doesn’t mean we are released from our responsibility for our actions.

    Not sure if that answers what you were asking or not. This is a pretty big and complex issue, and I’m enjoying the discussion!

  7. In the what I’ve seen with people I’ve known who are already lost in sexual sin, there are usually many other issues that are underlying the sin that have led them to the point. For those who have found victory in it, there is a lot of digging up of roots that needs to take place and those in the Church need to be willing to do the work of walking alongside, asking hard questions, and loving through the process. It’s a messy process and we have to be willing to let our hands get dirty. And yet, there is also a point of surrender and obedience that needs to take place. We need to walk with people to the point where they are willing to surrender and obey as long as they are willing to be in the process. Does that make sense?

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