Sunday, January 04, 2009

Blunt reminders

Nicholas Kristof, the foreign correspondent for the NY Times, has been writing columns about modern-day slavery in Southeast Asia. I highly recommend reading "If This Isn't Slavery, What Is?" and his previous column as well. Unbelievable stuff. His previous columns about abuse of women in Pakistan were equally frightening. It's tough to read columns that show women with their eyes gouged out or horribly disfigured by acid attacks.

After his previous column I checked out his blog and found the comments interesting. Some said "I've been to those countries, and don't buy anything you're saying. Those girls are working voluntarily." Others gave testimony of how they experienced the same type of slavery here in the U.S. Kristof responds to the commenters here.

A couple years ago, Kristof bought the freedoms of a couple of girls there and wrote their stories. He challenges his former Senator and Secretary of State-to-be to do something about the problem.

My question is-- where is the Church? Kristof points to the Wilberforce Act, named after William Wilberforce, a famous Christian who got England to abandon the slave trade (confession: I haven't seen Amazing Grace yet). So, maybe the Church is quietly lobbying.

I'll just say I'm sick of hearing about raising more money for professional missionaries, church buildings, programs, money for "God's" political candidate, etc. When the money could be used to give everyone in Africa clean water, liberate women and children in slavery and build schools where they can be educated, and the list goes on.

I'm sick of giving my own time and energy to professional sports or to entertain myself while people suffer. Fantastic distractions only lead us straight into judgment:

Matthew 25:41-46

Kristof, by writing for the world's most-read newspaper, has essentially left all of us without excuse.

1 comment:

Keith Walters said...

Thanks for this sobering post. I have spent the past week reading a commentary on Revelation and this is one of the things that set heavy on my heart as he explained 18:11-13. I don't think this is something we think about and it is not a fun thing to think about which is why I think the church needs to think about it a lot more.

I don't think the solution is to lobby the government untill they take action. I think the church needs to start getting dirty and spending its time, resources, and members to see these individuals liberated from both their earthly captors and the bonds of sin. I think this is one of the travesties of American "christianity" we love bi government and we want that big government to solve problems that the church should be addressing.