The sexual exploitation awareness organization For The Silent recently placed two escort ads online for a medium sized city in Texas to see who would respond. During the two weeks that the ad ran, 950 men responded: “pastors, therapists, fire fighters, doctors, real estate agents—people’s fathers, husbands, and brothers.”
Taking into account the demographics of the city, it means approximately 2 out of every 100 men in the city responded to that ad. For The Silent’s newsletter mentions that their study “broke apart friendships and caused uncomfortable exposure” hinting at the fact that some of their employees knew some of the folks who responded to the ad.
Now to change things up, think about your town. What is happening there?
I know we like to think that our communities are different and this type of thing only happens to “those” communities. The harsh reality is that sexual exploitation of women, children and even men is everywhere. We, the people of Jesus, need to stop hiding our heads in the sand and start speaking up against this issue.
We also need to stop talking about simply getting ‘saved.’ While our eternal destination is important, it is only part of the Good News of Jesus. We humans are in desperate need of help and a Rescuer who not only will save our souls – but who will free us from the bondage of our own brokenness and show us a new way of living. Religion and knowledge about God will not help; rather we need a personal encounter with the Living God who will radically set us free – and note that this does not mean a one-time event. Rather it is an ongoing process were we constantly seek after Him and allow Him to change our hearts and actions.
So what can we do?
We can start by having an honest look at our own lives. If we are actively participating in the sexual exploitation of others (hiring prostitutes or viewing porn, amateur or professional), we need to stop and seek help. If we know of people who are engaged in the active exploitation of others through trafficking, selling, controlling, etc – we need to contact the proper authorities right away.
If are someone who wants to help, contact an awareness group in your area and see what you can do. For those in the Vineyard (or friends of the Vineyard), you can also contact the Vineyard Justice Network or sign up for I-61 Ministries’ Love Justice School to learn more about how to help fight this injustice.
This is a fight that needs all hands on deck. Please allow God to cleanses your heart and break the chains that bind you so that you can help others find freedom, both figuratively and literally.
Come Holy Spirit come.