What do our own habits related to sexual purity have to do with the massive sex trafficking industry? More than you might think. In his most recent book, Counter Culture, David Platt addresses the hypocrisy of fighting sex slavery while indulging in pornography:
Surveys consistently show that over half of men and increasing numbers of women in churches are actively viewing pornography. Remarkably (but when you think about it, not necessarily surprisingly), statistics are similar for the pastors who lead these churches.
What Effect Does Pornography Have?
Such pornography is a severe problem on a number of levels but doesn’t miss its connection to sex trafficking. Research continually demonstrates a clear link between sex trafficking and the production of pornography. Federal legislation has acknowledged this, participants in the production of pornography have confirmed this, and while exact figures are hard to pin down, one anti-trafficking center reports that at least a third of victims trafficked for sex are used in the production of pornography.
Yet the cycle is even more vicious than that. For the more people watch pornography, the more they desire sexual fulfillment through prostitution. Such desire drives men (and women) to engage in physical prostitution or even virtual prostitution as “every home computer [becomes] a potential red-light district.” Pornography thus feeds prostitution, again increasing the demand for sex trafficking.
The Problem is Cyclical
Do we realize what we are doing? Every time a man or woman views pornography online, we are contributing to a cycle of sex slavery from the privacy of our own computers. We are fueling an industry that enslaves people for sex in order to satisfy selfish pleasures in our living rooms, our offices, and on our mobile phones.
The hypocrisy is staggering, and the conclusion is clear. No matter how many red X’s we write on our hands to end slavery, as long as these same hands are clicking on pornographic websites and scrolling through sexual pictures and videos, we are frauds to the core.
How Does God View His People?
Any and every time we indulge in pornography, we deny the precious gospel truth that every man and woman possesses inherent dignity, not to be solicited and sold for sex, but to be valued and treasured as excellent in the eyes of God. People are not inferior objects to be used and abused for selfish, sexual, and sensual pleasure. They are equal image-bearers of the God who loves and cares for them. We may scoff at how pre-Civil War churchgoers justified slaves in their backyards, but aren’t we dangerously like them when we participate in pornography (and promote the sex slavery to which it is inextricably tied) in our own homes?
First steps to counter the culture of pornography and sex trafficking:
Ask God to:
- Intervene and rescue individuals around the world who are being used as sex slaves.
- Open the eyes of Christians and churches to the issues of pornography and the plight of sexual slavery
- Redeem the perpetrators of sex slavery or otherwise execute justice in light of their sin
Prayerfully consider taking these steps:
- Support a ministry that addresses the problem of sex slavery and consider ways you can be involved in their work.
- Make fellow church members or church leaders aware of these issues so that you can pray for the victims of pornography and sex slavery and strategize how to help them.
- Call and write your government representatives urging them to oppose sex trafficking as well as the pornography industry.
Consider the following truths from Scripture:
- Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the LORD’S, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.”
- Psalm 82:4 “Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”
- Psalm 7:11 “God is a righteous judge and a God who feels indignation every day.”
On April 4-7, 2016, Josh McDowell Ministry and Covenant Eyes are hosting the Set Free Summit, a global summit to equip church leaders with the facts and emotional realities of porn’s impact on families, the church, and culture at large. This event, held in Greensboro, NC, will feature the presentation of a brand new study by the Barna Group, as well as three full days of information presented by Christian leaders from across the country.
For more information and to register for the Set Free Global Summit visit their website.
To learn more and explore additional resources for Counter Culture by David Platt like the corresponding Bible Study visit CounterCultureBook.com.