As I left, I had to think, what is happening in our current times in which people will say, "They were on the wrong side of history." Current estimates of modern day slavery indicate a higher number of slaves today than at any other time in world history. The two driving forces are economic and sexual slavery. We've found a way to better hide it's existence, but much of our current wealth and access to the cheap trinkets that clutter our lives is because we benefit from slavery or slave-like conditions in other countries. As a church, we need to put forth tremendous prayer and action to dismantle this.
This leads into the second type of slavery, sex slavery. The wealth disparity between the western world and developing countries is part of what drives the economic side of sex slavery. But another factor is at work, the western world's decision to change the meaning of sex. Wendell Berry describes it well:
“In this cult of liberated sexuality, ‘free’ of courtesy, ceremony, responsibility, and restraint, dependent on litigation and expert advice, there is much that is human, sad to say, but there is no sense or sanity. Trying to draw the line where we are trying to draw it, between carelessness and brutality, is like insisting that falling is flying—until you hit the ground—and then trying to outlaw hitting the ground.”
God clearly gave humanity the gift of sexuality in the context of a man and woman coming together as one flesh for the purpose of procreation. That is the clear story throughout all of scripture, not just in a few passages that tell us what not to do. The Bible is a hetero-normative and should be celebrated as such. When we deviate from this design, we unleash the hounds of hell. When we decide an ethic of sexuality begins with what we feel rather than what we are called to be, it has very real and devastating effects on our world. It is time for the church to stand up again, and claim the mantle of abolitionists. Amazing grace and amazing fortitude go hand in hand. We may be shunned, misunderstand by society, and called out as fearful and hateful. But we are not afraid, we are people of moral strength who see the real and devastating effects of licentiousness on our children and adults. We care for and love all people who are injured by this new ethic, including those in our midst who are growing up confused, mistreated and harmed as they struggle to make sense of their own sexuality and gender identity.
The new ethic of sexuality is not an issue where we agree to disagree, where we preach tolerance and diversity as people are crashing into the ground all around us. We are called to love, care, and speak the clear truth of God's transforming love. We are on the right side of history, and history will judge us severely if we stay silent. Speaking up is worth the cost, whatever costs may come. The virtuous path is to be kind and clear, not just to fade into the comfort of silence or being nice. May the church awake and speak and act for the truth that needs to be proclaimed.
-John M Troyer
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