Audio (40:22 including 2 videos)
Pastor Dan – Transcription
Well here at Kirkmont we are in Week 5 of a 5-week series called “Kirkmont Cares”. What we’ve been doing is taking the time to celebrate some of the things that our church is doing to care for people who are in need. But we’re also taking the time to invite God to challenge us about some of the things and ways that God would have us care that we aren’t already caring for those people who are in need.
Essentially what we’re doing is we’re taking the time in this Kirkmont Cares series to ask ourselves, “Does our church care about the things that God cares about as expressed in the truth of His Bible?”
And today we’ve come to the topic of HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
We’ve dealt with several other topics… we’ve dealt with Local and Global Poverty; a couple weeks ago we looked at the Global Orphan Crisis, and we realized that there are 150 million orphans in the world.
Last week we looked at the Clean Water Crisis globally and we came to the realization that there’s almost a BILLION people on this planet who do not have access to safe drinking water; and today we come to the subject of Human Trafficking.
Ya know, when we think of the word slavery we tend to think of the past, don’t we. We hear the word slavery and our mind immediately goes to the past. Friends, people are calling Human Trafficking the modern day slavery.
And it’s to remind us that slavery is not a thing of the past. Not only is it not a thing of the past, but it is a growing thing of the present.
Statistically, globally now speaking, there are 25 million people who are believed to be in Human Trafficking situations… twenty-five million people.
Now when we talk about human trafficking we talk about human trafficking from two different standpoints. We think of it first from the idea that some people being forced into labor; forced to do labor in certain circumstances. And there’s also human trafficking from the sexual exploitation standpoint as well… those are sort of the two sub categories of human trafficking.
Forced Labor and Sexual Exploitation
It is believed that around 80% of the 25 million people who are trafficked are being trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. And 20% for forced labor. In fact 3000 new people are added if you will… forced, tricked, coerced into the human trafficking world every day… 3000 a day.
And you want to know what the cost is globally for a person… now let’s be clear: there’s money to be had all over the human trafficking world; there’s multiple levels and layers to the human trafficking world:
1. There are of course the sick and perverted people who are actually ENGAGING in these people in a sexual way;
2. There are people who OWN them, who pimp them out if you will; and then
3. There are people who RECRUIT them, and try to trick them and get them to the pimps if you will.
There’s money to be had at multiple layers, and the cost, the average cost globally to buy a person and bring them into the human trafficking world is $90.
It is now the third largest international crime behind drugs and illegal firearms, producing $32 BILLION dollars a year. 25 million people being trafficked producing $32 billion a year, and it is fast and rapid growing.
Ya know when we think of human trafficking we often tend to think of somewhere else, don’t we.
If you’ve heard the expression, if you’ve thought about it at all, and been exposed to it at all, we tend to think of human trafficking as being something that is a Third World problem–it’s happening over seas among poor people only.
Even though we forget that it’s often been white, American business men traveling who have provided money into the human trafficking world over seas.
But nonetheless, beyond even just that reality, it is a growing_local_problem as well.
Every year now they believe that 15,000 people are being trafficked in-to the United States. I want to be clear. Why are 15,000 people being trafficked into the the United States? … because the demand for people to exploit people sexually is HIGHER… there are more clients if you will than the rate in which they can trick US children into the sexual slave market. So they are now bringing in 15,000 people to our country for human trafficking.
But there are also of course, our US citizens that are being tricked and coerced into trafficking as well.
And maybe when you hear that image you think of a grown woman standing on a street corner. But that is not what the numbers tell us. They tell us that the average age of a person from the United States brought into the Human Trafficking world in the United States is 12-14 years old.
It is believed that there are about 300,000 American children who are at severe risk when it comes to the subject of human trafficking.
And more pointed… maybe even more local than any of those other numbers is that the State of Ohio is believed to be the 4th most at-risk State in the United States–especially within the State of Ohio, Dayton, because of the I-70 / I-75 corridor.
Friends, we need to realize that the threat on our children has grown because of the economic demand for sexual exploitation in this world.
It used to be that parents would have to fear and protect their kids from the group of people who wanted to harm them personally, and to exploit them personally. That number is now not only growing, but there’s a new demographic of people out there who are threatening our children… the people who might not ever actually personally DO anything to them, but because if they can coerce them and trick them and take them, they OWN them and they can make a LOT of money off of them.
Our children, our grandchildren, our neighbor’s children are being kidnapped, targeted, tricked, lied to, forced, threatened, and manipulated. And that’s just by their so-called “pimps”.
To avoid being unnecessarily explicit, we won’t even begin to discuss how they’re being treated by their clients.
And when I hear all of that, there’re SO MANY places our mind can go to.. there’re so many violations, there are so many things about the TRUTH OF GOD’S WORD that this all violates, about the Character of God that this all violates.
The one that rises to the surface is the JUST Character of God. This whole things SCREAMS incredible INJUSTICE to me.
It is the opposite of how God wants people to be treated; it’s INJUST because people are not being treated the way they should be treated; it’s injust because people are not being punished the way that they should be being punished.
Do you know that for years our country was prosecuting the victims of human trafficking as if they were prostitutes themselves. And our laws are just finally catching up… probably realizing the reality of this situation and starting to increase efforts into arrest and conviction, and the sentencing is now starting to grow. But we have a LOT of catching up to do.
The whole thing wreaks of injustice !!!
Church… when we fight for justice, we reflect the character of a “Just God”. The Cross behind us this morning, it ought to remind us that God_is_Just.
And when we fight for JUSTICE we reflect the character of God.
I want to show you a video from an organization called “International Justice Mission”. They are the world’s largest organization fighting globally to right this wrong; to free people all across the world from human trafficking situations; plus, they are a Christian organization. Here’s just a few minute clip, an overview of what they do; and then we’ll get into the Scripture together. [00:08:43] to [00:12:15] on audio tape.
Well… as I alluded to earlier, there are so many places in the Scripture that we could go to to address this subject of human trafficking.
But I’m reminded this morning of something a professor once told me and that is, “All good theology begins in the Book of Genesis“… especially the first 11 chapters–meaning “if you get the first eleven chapters of Genesis right, you’re probably going get a whole lot about God and humanity right after that. But if you mess up the first eleven chapters, you’re probably going get a lot wrong after that.”
“Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,…”
Let’s pause there; so you see this plural language being used; maybe you never had anyone point this out to you, but this is not more than One God speaking at Creation, but this is God who’s speaking in the Trinitarian formula: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit; three persons eternally existing. And here they’re saying the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit together, collaboratively said, “LET US MAKE MAN LIKE US”.
And they’re going to be so important, so significant, that we’re going to let them…
“…. rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
“So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
So many people misunderstand this verse that somehow MEN were created in the image of God more than women, and it can’t be any more clear that we were created in the image of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and neither men nor women reflect the image of God more or less than each other–but equally. We both equally reflect the Image of God. Then the Scripture goes on to say,
“God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number;
When we address the subject of Human Trafficking we have to realize that no matter who it is we’re talking about… whether they’re people here, whether they’re overseas, whether they’ve made BAD decisions, or whether they haven’t made bad decisions… either way, they come from Adam and Eve as do you and I and they were made in the image of God.
“fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Friends, the reason we start in Genesis, is because whenever it comes to social justice; whenever it comes to caring for people, the Church always has to keep in mind, at it’s very foundation perhaps… IT’S VIEW OF HUMANITY: We believe that God created everyone, and in_His_Image.
There should be no group of people that care about people in NEED more than The Church, because our convictions tell us that they were “made in the image of God”.
And you know what? … as often as the Church has been lacking in this area, one of the things that we fail to remember in history and through the media… is the Church has often been very successful in this area as well.
Sometimes it takes us a little bit longer than it should have, but we have been successful:
We start thinking about slavery in America and we hear stories about how people would quote Scripture to justify their actions, but we forget that it was the Church of Jesus Christ that was also leading the way, saying that “this is wrong“, that “this is not how God wants people to be treated”.
Look at the subject of abortion in America, and the 4000 children that are killed every day in our country through the subject of abortion–and it’s unpopular to fight up against that.
But God has raised up the Church of Jesus Christ; we’re a little bit slow on the move, but we are now on the move and over the last decade have built THOUSANDS of pregnancy resource centers across our Country because we are responding to the reality that EVERY-ONE is created in the Image of God — that all_life_matters.
And when it comes to this subject, God is now awakening the church, causing it to move. Churches all across the Country supporting organizations like International Justice Mission.
Let me just be real open and direct with you about this.
I’ve been a little vague as to how I want our church to respond to some of the other topics that we’ve addressed. I want to be very clear. If you’re on the Missions Committee, or you have the “ear” of someone on the Missions Committee, I would LOVE to see Kirkmont supporting International Justice Mission in the years ahead of us.
Genesis Chapter One reminds us that God created humanity in His Image, and God is now awakening the Church to that reality.
As we move through the Old Testament, we begin to see that God began His relationship with a group of people in the nation of Israel. Does anybody remember the circumstances in which God began that relationship with them?
Let’s turn to Deuteronomy, Chapter 5, starting in verses 12 through 15, we’ll pull that Scripture up on the screen. Now, this is under the section of The Ten Commandments that are listed.
If you are familiar with the Bible you know that the 10 Commandments show up in the Bible, but most of you think of the 10 Commandments showing up in the Book of Exodus… right after God freed His people from slavery; He provides them with the 10 Commandments; but the 10 Commandments show up TWICE in the Bible.
The first time they show up is right after He freed them from slavery… but they were disobedient in their behavior; He causes them to wander in the dessert for 40 years, and an entire generation of people passed away and now a new generation is raised up, and before they enter The Promised Land, God gives them their 10 Commandments again.
Which means, that this Commandment… the commandment to “observe the Sabbath day“, they heard TWICE. And the first time they heard it they were told, ‘the reason why you ought to honor the Sabbath is because God rested on the seventh day’.
But now they hear it a second time… and the second time they hear it, it’s a different justification. He comes along and He says, ~‘The reason you ought to honor the Sabbath is because I_freed_you_from_slavery’. Let’s see what the Scripture says in Deuteronomy 5:12-15,
“Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your ox, your donkey or any of your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns, so that your male and female servants may rest, as you do. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God has commanded you to observe the Sabbath day.”
You see friends, God began a relationship with a group of people living in circumstances not that unlike what we’re talking about together this morning — they were enslaved by the nation of Egypt, forced to do things they didn’t want to do; without any freedom of any kind.
And the Bible says that they cried out to God; God heard their cry; had compassion on them and miraculously delivered them from_those_circumstances.
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why would God begin a relationship with a group of people under those circumstances? Why not take the most blessed group of people on the planet and say, “I’ll start with them; we’ll make a movement with them; Jesus will come from their lives.” Why start with a group of people who are enslaved by another country…
… so that they might remember ALL the years… every time that they decide to not love people and care for people the way that God wants them to, He can call upon that moment and remind them of their history, saying …
“Don’t forget how you and your people were treated at one point in time, and how wrong that was, how opposed to my character that is, and I freed you from that… that’s part of the past… how can you justify your injust treatment of people as being a group of people who’ve been freed”.
And God, over the years, would have to remind Israel that they were supposed to care for people and treat them justly; because often times they would forget about their ancestor’s injustice.
In Ezekiel 16 Israel has gone really far from the character of God; and God raises up a prophet named Ezekiel to speak to them. And here’s what he says in Ezekiel 16:49,
“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom; …
Now I’m choosing this passage because it’s a story that many in the Church are familiar with–Sodom and Gomorrah. So God is speaking to Ezekiel to tell Israel about an event that happened hundreds of years before this — the destruction of the city of Sodom and Gomorrah… the complete destruction of that city.
Now I just want to ask you, if you’re familiar with the idea of Sodom and Gomorrah being destroyed… off the top of your head, why do you think they were destroyed?
Oftentimes, it’s because we think it’s because of their homosexual behavior. There’s an incidence in Genesis that refers to that, and the whole Church has just conveniently… because it doesn’t effect all of them, been able to dismiss the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and say, “You know what… that’s someone else’s problem. God was judging them for homosexual behavior”.
But here we have a reminder of what the real problem was…
“She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”
Now this next verse in fairness is one we think of when we think of Sodom and Gomorrah…
“They were haughty and did detestable things before me.”
But look at what God begins with,
“They were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned. They did not help the poor and the needy”.
You see friends I think it’s safe to say that for years, and years continuing, a large part of the Church of Jesus Christ, when it comes to caring for people, particularly with the subject of human trafficking, will be unconcerned and unwilling to help those who are in need.
But as I said earlier, God is doing a movement to reverse that, to awaken the Church to this reality, and that’s why we’re talking about it here at Kirkmont.
We do not want to be counted… this whole series is about us not being counted among those who are arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned… taking the time to discover the things that God cares about so that we make sure that we care about them as well.
And then Jesus comes along in the New Testament… there’s so much in the Old Testament about injustice and Israel treating people unjustly, God always reminding them of where they came from; but then Jesus comes along in Matthew 22:34-40 and He’s being sort of tricked here… this is a familiar passage to those who have been around the church for a while…
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees (another religious group) got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?””
So here’s someone challenging Jesus with this question thinking that certainly they could make Him look bad in front of everyone else, and…
Now if Jesus had stopped there, in many ways our life would be more comfortable wouldn’t it? If Jesus had just said, “ALL YOU NEED TO DO TO SUM UP OLD TESTAMENT IS LOVE GOD”.. why then we could come and we could worship, and we could pray, and we could read our Bibles, we could do religious things and our life would be very comfortable, we would never have to have a sermon series called, “KIRKMONT CARES” at all… but Jesus doesn’t stop there. He could have (stopped there), I think He could’ve answered his question wonderfully, don’t you? I think this is a great answer.
But he continues, saying that alone does not specify, it doesn’t quite summarize the Heart of God; it doesn’t summarize the movement of the Old Testament. Instead he adds,
Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus, in just a couple of sentences, takes 39 Books, all of their rules, 2000 years of history from Abraham to His time and He sums it all up, “LOVE… LOVE GOD… and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR”.
And this is challenging now, because there’s concrete action… it’s measurable.
I can’t really measure whether or not you really love God, or how much you love God. But we need to be honest about the reality that if we love people, the way we’re supposed to, some of that’s tangible–we’re either doing it or not.
If you have 2 coats and your neighbor doesn’t even have one; you either give them one of yours or you don’t ( soft under-breath laugh).
And when it comes to this whole subject of “Human Trafficking”, this becomes challenging. Jesus, I think even more pointedly in Matthew 7… He referred to this as the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12.
I was doing some research on this verse and discovered that this was an expression that was already existant in the time. And many of the leaders of that era had rejected it (he chuckles)… they rejected it, perhaps for obvious reasons.
But Jesus comes along and talking about the generosity of God towards His people, speaking about how God is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to His children, He comes along and He says,
with that premise, those of you who claim that God is good and who have been blessed by Him,
in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
Let me just ask you… if you were among the 25 MILLION Human Traffic victims, or one of your children were, or one of your grandchildren, or someone whom you cared about was in this situation, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I mean what would you want them to do? What you want others to do? … and Jesus is simply saying, “There is your answer”. That’s how intense we ought to be about fighting this injustice.
DO, WHAT YOU WOULD WANT OTHER PEOPLE TO DO FOR YOU if you were in that situation.
Some of this stuff isn’t “Rocket Science” is it?
It just takes so long to cut through our heart because we have been convinced that inactivity is an acceptable thing.
This one person is quoted, making this statement. “Sometimes, I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice, when He could do something about it”.
I mean have you ever thought about that? “God, why do you allow poverty, suffering and injustice when you could do something about it?” The person next to him said, “Well, why don’t you ask Him?”… and their response is, “Because I’m afraid that He would ask me the same question?”
Church… Kirkmont… why do you allow poverty, suffering and injustice when you could do something about it?
I want to spend just a minute talking about the things that we could do.
As I said earlier and alluded to earlier I think our church should support organizations like International Justice Mission. And beyond that, I would even love it if we sent a person or two from our church to go to one of the places they’re working each year, and to visit with them and to see the work they’re doing.
Could you just imagine the adrenaline that would be flowing… just how incredibly nerve-wracking it would be to get in the car with some of these workers from International Justice Mission and go to one of these sites and be a part of that work.
And when you come back, you wouldn’t have to hear sermons from a pastor who’s never seen it first hand; we could hear from people who’ve been there. Can you imagine how contagious that intensity would be if we were connected to them in that way?
We support W.A.R. (Women At Risk) already. We have a relationship with them; we have an Annual Jewelry Party with them. I’m told that we raised more money a couple weeks ago at our Annual Jewelry party for W.A.R. than we have in a awhile–at least more than last year; so we can continue in that effort.
And we can care for the poor and our orphans as we discussed in the past because they are indeed the most vulnerable when it comes to the subject of Human Trafficking.
And friends we need to talk about something that’s just a little bit awkward to talk about for some people. We cannot have a conversation about Human Trafficking… and you were thinking, “Is this the awkward part coming up? … not the previous part” (he smiles under breath).
We cannot have a conversation about Human Trafficking without also talking about Pornography:
Pornography has become an empire in the United States. It brings in more money than the NFL, Major League Baseball, and the NBA combined.
And as a result of it, we have a sexually confused country. We have no idea what God intended to be appropriate sexual behavior in the Bible. The result… our children between the ages of 9 and 13 are being exposed to pornography, they’re behaving sexually at younger ages; they’re developing attraction, then, as a result for younger people–and many of them never grow out of that.
Hence the demand for young children in the Human Trafficking Industry.
Pornography is violent, and it teaches that inappropriate sexual behavior is the norm.
Ironically it was promoted as some sort of a feminist movement which is a total lie–how harmful it is to our women.
And quite frankly today, the line between pornography and human trafficking is incredibly grey.
But one of the greatest ways that they make money off those they’ve victimized, is to force them to do acts in front of a camera and then to sell it on the internet to people like you and I.
It’s possible then, that you have supported the world of human trafficking without even realizing it.
The LIE is the person that you’re watching is actually interested in doing what they’re doing and really would love for you to do that to them as well. That is the LIE of HUMAN TRAFFICKING.
And so friends, if the Church is going to address the subject of Human Trafficking I believe pornography is the gateway into that world, and it must start to reverse it’s trend there.
Statistically right now, we aren’t any different than the world when it comes to this subject.
And I have what I believe is a solution for Kirkmont to begin changing that trend–for our behavior on the internet to stand out and be distinctly different from the world around us.
I’d like to talk to you for a second about an organization or company called Covenant Eyes.
Covenant Eyes is an internet software filter and accountability system. It filters what it is that you are and aren’t allowed to look at. And it also provides accountability by allowing you to sign up for an “Accountability Partner” who receives a weekly report of what it is that you have seen.
Now in the past, if I would promote Covenant Eyes to people the only way that they could respond to me was by sort of acknowledging or admitting that they had a problem in this area. But that is no longer the case.
They have software now that’s just about safety–Family Safety, and that’s how we’re promoting it this morning.
In fact I want you to use me as an excuse if you talk to your spouse about Covenant Eyes. And the excuse is this, “I believe that every home that has people who want to follow Jesus Christ should have something like Covenant Eyes in their home. Not just young families, not just single men… all ages should have something like this.
Again, it’s two-fold: it’s a filter that we, the Borgelt family have Covenant Eyes set up in our home. We have various filters… like our KIDS who are filtered at one level; and then Amanda and I are allowed to see like PG-13 stuff, ya know.
We have different filters, and if our 9 year old son Caleb goes to get on the computer, he has a password. He types it in, and every week we find out, has he seen anything that he shouldn’t have seen.
It’s not because we don’t trust our kids, but because we realize that the internet is targeting children. They are targeting them.
So Covenant Eyes isn’t just about, “Do you have an addiction, or a problem”, this is about PRECAUTIONARY ACTIONS… this is about safety for your whole family.
Some of us were exposed to pornography for the first time when we weren’t seeking it… it just came to us. And this is about preventing that, and having accountability.
I have friends who’ve signed me up as their accountability partner, and Covenant Eyes sends me a weekly report. And by all means I would always be willing to do that for anyone in this church.
But you cay use someone else, but either way I believe that any family that has access to the internet, that wants to honor God with its behavior should indeed have this as part of what they’re doing.
Also, I challenge you this week to simply type in the words, “Human Trafficking and Dayton Ohio“. Two homework assignments:
1. Investigate Covenant Eyes, http://www.covenanteyes.com/ and
2. Type in the words Human Trafficking Dayton Ohio (transcriber has done that for you below):
Dayton: A human trafficking hub
Help abolish sex trafficking in the Miami Valley.
I-75 Corridor Hub for Human Trafficking
Organization launches combat on human trafficking
Stop Human Trafficking Dayton
Pastor Dan (continued)
“We’re going to finish with a few minute video, and this is causing us to go a little bit over here. It’s another video through International Justice Mission. This will close our time together and make the story of Human Trafficking more personal. [00:35:39] – [00:39:29] on Audio Tape
I want to thank you for your sensitivity and patience as we’ve dealt with this subject this morning. I want to thank you for being here, for worshiping with us at Kirkmont.
I want to close our time with this quote from Martin Luther:
“Live as if Christ died yesterday, rose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow.”
Thank you for being here, and God bless….”
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