What does it take to prevent abuse?

Last week Red Light Rebellion had the honor of conducting a presentation at Arizona’s annual Child Abuse Prevention Conference. It is a two-day event that attracts nearly 700 people from child welfare agencies, service providers, law enforcement, parents, and concerned community members. National speakers are flown in to present the latest research and newest best practices.We were grateful to be accepted for a second year in a row to conduct a workshop on how to prevent sex trafficking.

Sitting through other workshops and getting training ourselves, there is usually a point where I have an overwhelming feeling that it is all for naught. That all this effort will prove pointless, that we will never really make a dent fighting injustice.  Yeah, we can make a difference in a couple lives (which is totally worth fighting for!), but in the grand scheme of things there is only so much we can do in the face of each person’s depravity.

You see, for those of us who know and follow Christ, we have to come to accept that reality. We live in a broken world. Sin and all the horrible things that we do to one another is part of our curse. People say that we are going to end sex trafficking, or that we can end child abuse. I disagree with them. For as long as we live in a broken world, those things will continue to exist.

A depressing thought for sure, but one I think that Believers need to embrace. Those used by God are oftentimes burdened and broken by the evils we see in this world: sex trafficking, child abuse, poverty, domestic violence, war, greed, corruption. What makes these injustices even more devastating is that we are each capable of them. The same things that cause massive injustice are the fleshly thoughts and desires we all have. I think about how hard it is for me to work through the strongholds sin has in my life and all the privilege I’ve had in just learning how to begin tackling those things. How much harder is it for the majority of people who have not had the same things invested in them? When there are 7 billion people who are part of the problem, things get a bit overwhelming!

But there is hope from the suffering we see, and that hope can only be found in Christ. His sacrifice took care of our flesh and when He comes back to rule, when we all face judgement, that is when injustice will meet its demise once and for all.

Christ says that what we do for the least of these, we do for Him. We are called to advocate, protect, defend, and fight for those suffering. We are called to be examples of justice, grace, and love; but only He will bring an ultimate end to injustice. He is the answer to every problem in this world. So we should be doing everything we can to stop injustice within the anointing God has given us, while knowing that He is the ultimate answer.

We should be fighting for what’s best for every person we can, while knowing that the real problem, the problem that we all have that is our corrupt flesh, will only ever be reckoned through Christ. In the face of such a heinous crime as sex trafficking, sometimes that is my only hope.

So I believe that prevention conferences are wonderful (and it is an amazing honor to be able to present at them!) but we must remind themselves that they are not the answer, just a tool. A tool to learn how to display Christ better as we await His second coming.

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