Tuesday, August 11, 2020

800,000 Missing Children? A Deep Dive Into The Numbers

Human trafficking is a blight on the world, with a reported 5 million adults and children around the world trafficked for sex each year – and that doesn’t include those trafficked for labor.  I find it encouraging that news outlets everywhere are covering this moral pandemic. (When I google “human trafficking United States," I get 108,000,000 hits. AP news is the top hit in my feed.) 

I decided to look more deeply at this issue after seeing numerous memes stating that 800,000 children go missing or disappear every year, and many then insinuating these children were trafficked. This struck me as a) horrifying if it were true, and b) a really high number, since that would mean 1 out of 5 kids born each year in the United States eventually go missing/"disappear" and apparently end up in the sex trade. So, I took a dive into the numbers, because as stomach-churning as this topic is, I don't want to be blind to even the harsh realities of the world. 

The bad news is that the disappearance, sexual abuse, prostitution and trafficking of children are real and terrible things. The good news is that the situation, while devastating in terms of the depth of impact to every individual involved, does not have the breadth of impact so often portrayed. 

Thursday, August 6, 2020


It's frustratingly tense for evangelical Christians to talk about justice issues.

The Social Gospel movement in the 1920s became mostly social with little gospel pretty quickly; Social Justice Warriors have turned the discussion of justice into a vehicle for Identity Politics and Marxist ideology. Perhaps it is understandable why, to many evangelicals, "social" and "justice" have become dog whistles signaling leftist, neo-marxist radicals to storm the doors of their local church.

There is a danger that we Christians will disengage from the cultural conversation about justice because the empire is redefining kingdom words, or because empire ideologies have coopted biblical principles.  Why do I call this a danger? Because we are at risk of giving up land God established for us to inhabit. After all, justice was a just God's idea. 

God rolled out a vision for a just society through biblical revelation, starting with the Israelites in the Old Testament and moving into the church in the New Testament. Being the people of God was not just a personal covenant; it was a corporate commitment. A just society reflects just people who image a just God. And the foundation built in the Old Testament era found eager builders in the New Testament to continue the work God started.