Saturday, January 14, 2012

Indifference Is Not an Option

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

Freedom. It's a word that Americans and Christians alike can both understand. Yet, it's a word that, through the ages, seems to have lost its meaning as we've started to take it for granted. I don't mean take it for granted in the sense that we don't appreciate it. We do. What I mean, is that we take it for granted that everyone has freedom. Those who don't have freedom, we typically think of them as living in a foreign country under a government that doesn't allow such liberty. 

In the 19th century, freedom took on a different meaning for many people. With the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation, thousands of people and families experienced, for the first time, what it means to truly be free. 

Looking back on history today, we often wonder how such a thing could have ever happened. With that, we think no further on the issue. Slavery is outlawed in the United States of America, and we leave it there.

Yet slavery still exists today. Many of the products we use are a result of forced labor. Aside from factory workers, there are other types of workers as well. What type of slavery am I talking about? Sexual slavery. It exists in other countries, and it exists in America, as well. 

Yes, that woman you see walking down the street in skimpy clothing who is obviously a prostitute, may very well have been forced into that lifestyle, and nearby, a pimp may be lurking, making sure she doesn't tell anyone what is truly happening. 

When Jesus began his ministry, he visited a synagogue in Nazareth. Luke tells us that Jesus picked up a scroll and read the following passage from Isaiah (I like to imagine He read it boldly): "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release oppressed, to proclaim the  year of the Lord's favor." Then Jesus boldly proclaimed, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Luke 4:16-21. 

As Christians, we are to display the heart of Christ. We are to be his hands and feet on this earth. And our ministry is the same. We too, must proclaim freedom for the prisoners, release the oppressed, and proclaim the year of the Lord's favor (Year of Jubilee). We must set the captives free. 

This year in Atlanta, at the Georgia Dome, 44K college students who attended the Passion Conference, vowed to end slavery in their lifetime. They donated over $3.3 million dollars to provide freedom for slaves--freedom from not only their captors, but from the ultimate captor, Satan. 

My Challenge to You

Right now I'd like to show you the Freedom Film created by the Passion Conferences, and shown to those 44,000 students. The film follows three stories of former slaves, tells how they became enslaved, and how they managed to escape slavery.

After you've watched the Freedom Film, I'd like to encourage you to view the CNN footage on the students' vow. I've embedded the Youtube video. 

After you've viewed the CNN footage, I encourage you to take the Slavery Footprint. The slavery footprint is an interactive, personalized quiz, which tallies the products you use and shows you how much forced labor is behind it. Then, you can download the app and participate in other things to help raise your voice (it's all explained once you complete the quiz).

Once you've done this, I encourage you to research the products you use. Pray about what God would have you do in your own life. It might be something as simple as re-adjusting a comfortable lifestyle that enables us to constantly update to the latest technology. It might be cutting back on coffee. Do whatever God is telling you to do. 

Then, I encourage you to research human trafficking, sexual slavery, and organizations that help free women and children from this horrid lifestyle they are forced to live. The Passion site has some great info on the organizations they've sponsored. 

Then I encourage you to give. Passion is still accepting donations for the FREEDOM CAUSE. The money for the freedom cause goes to various organizations working to free slaves. If you'd like to learn what the students at Passion accomplished already to free slaves, you can read it.   

My sister, who felt a conviction to do something, chose to give to World Vision to free slaves. It doesn't matter who you give to, just do something. Now.

Then, I encourage you to go one step further. Pick an organization, like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. Then share their accomplishments, prayer requests, and information updates with those handy "Share" and "Re-tweet" buttons. 

Then pray for the organization. Add it to your prayer list. I encourage you to pray for them every day for one entire year.  


The time to rise up and do something is now. Christ freed us from the chains that sin wrapped around us. The sad truth is that the slavery that exists now is still a result of sin. Yet, Christ has conquered sin. We must not only pray that the lessening demand for these services will not just set slaves free, but that Christ will change the hearts of the captors, as well. How many slaves would go free if we did that? We must remember their captors are just as much slaves (2 Peter 2:19).

Because Christ has set us free, we now have a responsibility to set others free. We must rise up and take a stand. We must be the voice and the Church that desires to see these lives transformed by Jesus. Once that transformation takes place, only then will we truly see slavery come to a complete end.   

Indifference is not an option. 

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