This past Sunday New Hope one of many churches throughout the country and across the world who participated in the Church of God’s Freedom Sunday. Freedom Sunday is a part of the Church of God’s TraffickLight initiative meant to raise $1,000,000 this year that will help churches and ministries around the world fight the evil that is human trafficking.
At New Hope, Freedom Sunday was about providing people with practical ways to be involved in this fight. Both number two and number three are calls for people to think carefully about how we participate in the systems of our world.
No. 2 – Consume Wisely
For God’s people, fighting injustice always begins with prayer, but Sunday we looked at Isaiah 58 and how God calls his people to live lives of justice as they pray and fast for justice. In fact, the passage goes so far as to give the impression that prayers apart from lives of justice are void of power and effectiveness.
For many of us in the United States, it’s easy to neglect this call because we’ve done away with slavery. The Civil War has been fought and the purchasing of people for servitude is not only illegal, but is a cultural faux pas at the very least. As we saw Sunday, however, we are a part of a larger system that puts us front and center in the system that makes human trafficking a reality.
Worldwide, labor trafficking is the largest form of human trafficking in the world, and it touches everything we buy. Our clothes, our computers and phones, our coffee and chocolates and much much more all come from industries stained by the forced labor of adults and children.
Consuming wisely is about knowing where our products come from. Check out www.free2work.org as a starting point in learning what companies are working against trafficking and which companies need improvements. It also means considering how the culture of consumerism in our society shapes our attitudes about what we have and what should want. Not getting caught up in the drive to have the latest and greatest product, choosing products that last, and making them last all help us step out of the rat race of consumerism that drives the labor industry.
Overhauling our purchasing habits can be a daunting task, so we talked about begin with items like chocolate and coffee. These items are non-essentials and can be more easily reconsider than our wardrobes and work computers. Consider purchasing coffee and chocolate that’s been certified Fair Trade, or which have been verified to source their products ethically.
No. 3 – Stop Consuming Pornography
We live in a culture that has marketed sex to us like it’s the latest phone or pair of jeans. It’s nearly impossible to get away from and the effects of turning sex into a commodity for personal consumption are damaging. The pinnacle of this reality is pornography, and the rise of the internet has made the porn industry a beast of epic proportions.
There are countless reasons why the church should be opposed to pornography, but one of them is undoubtably the connection of the porn industry to human trafficking. The organization Fight the New Drug is committed to informing people about the dangers of pornography based on sheer science, and one of the ties to the industry and trafficking is one of their highlighted dangers of pornography.
Stopping pornography isn’t easy. It’s addictive, and in a world where sex sells, it’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. There are organizations like Fight the New Drug and XXXChurch who can provide helpful information for fighting pornography. It’s a topic the church doesn’t often want to talk about, but if we are committed to stopping human trafficking then we must be willing to bring things out into the light and expose them for the evil they are, and pornography is evil.