By Jeff Goins, Editor
I just saw a moving news piece called “Children for Sale” on CNBC. It broached the issue of human trafficking, as reporters went undercover to expose the sex trade in Cambodia, where adults are selling young children as sex slaves.
It turns your stomach as you come face-to-face with the reality that affects millions of children every year. And yet, as you see these reporters liberating some children and breaking into this despicable industry, your heart cries out as some semblance of justice is accomplished in the world.
As I was watching these images unfold, hearing personal testimonies of rescued children and listening to interviews with anti-trafficking advocates, I said to my wife, “I’ll bet that these people are Christians.”
While I’m not insisting that anyone who stands up for a social justice or human rights issue necessarily has to be a Christian, I could sense in the level of compassion that these people were evoking that there was something spiritual to why they were doing what they were doing.
Dateline reporter Chris Hansen didn’t mention anything about God or faith; I merely had a feeling that their love for these children was in some way based in Christian faith, or at least the dependence of a higher moral authority. Sure enough, it was.
I Googled “Hagar International,” one of the organizations interviewed and found out this description on the website:
Hagar International is a Swiss-based Christian organization that is committed to individualized and long-term assistance to its beneficiaries, advocating the strategic use of the social enterprise model as a tool for social rehabilitation and economic empowerment. Hagar works with women and children from devastating backgrounds of violence, abuse and trafficking and supports them in their recovery, rehabilitation, job readiness and ultimately community reintegration.
The terms “human trafficking” and “sex trade” have almost become passe, it seems. Thanks to the diligent efforts of guys like Zach Hunter and organizations like Word Made Flesh, these issues have become the “cool causes” that young people have adopted in word, but sometimes not in deed.
However, regardless of the trendiness of such issues, there are some people who are working hard to give their all for the sake of rescuing young girls in East Asia (and other areas of the world), like the folks at Hagar International and other organizations.
I wonder if someone can have this kind of compassion without a belief in God. What do you think: Can true compassion come from a heart that isn’t committed to Christ? Can it be any god, or must true empathy come from faith in Jesus?
Jeff graduated from Illinois College, a small liberal arts school, with a degree in Spanish and Religion. He lives in Nashville, TN. He works for Adventures in Missions, edits this silly little magazine, and loves to do new things. He just got married in January. Check out his blog: Pilgrimage of the Heart.