Idol Chatter

Philip Yancey, author of “Where Is God When It Hurts?”, once said that if the church was more present in this world and attending to its pain, people would be asking the question that is the title of his book with much less frequency.

Love God. Love your neighbor. Both the Old and New Testaments proclaim this simple frame work in which all of humanity was intended to live. In the United States we have hundreds of thousands of people who profess to hold these scriptures as the holy text of their life. And yet a film like Trade is made and it isn’t fiction.

Trade is a film about the sex trafficking that is happening between Mexico and the US. It is a gut-wrenching look at the horror of what happens when people let evil go unchecked. Abduction, deception, rape, greed, hate, murder – these are the fruit of the sex trade. Trade expertly depicts the hell of this world with out making the film unwatchable.

While the whole of the biblical text makes it clear that the term neighbor is be to applied to all of humanity, not just those who are physically living next to us, this is a moment where neighbor should be taken very literally. What is more of our neighbor than Mexico? While our country works hard to build a wall between itself and this neighbor, people of faith need to be asking if this wall is doing more than keeping Mexicans out. A horrible consequence of this wall could be further insulating us from the lives of those who need us the most. As Trade shows, this business is being done on the Internet. While a wall might make it harder for people to be smuggled into our country, the Internet will make this a very low hurdle for these evil people to jump.

People looking to God through prayer for deliverance fill this film. Many of these prayers are answered when people – normal people just like you – take the dangerous step to love. And as we have been shown through the life of Jesus, love that saves is a love that will cost us our life.

The producer, Rosilyn Heller, said in a Q&A session with the Windrider Forum, that the topic of sex trade is not a religious issue – and I would agree with her. But, I would add that this is a deeply spiritual issue. If we, as people of faith do not stand apposed to this evil, I am not sure what we are standing for.

After His resurrection Jesus appeared to those who were His followers and said, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Thanks to Marco Kreuzpaintner (director) and Jose Rivera (screenwriter) for showing us how we have closed our ears to those words of Jesus. It is time for the body of believers around this world to demand that this evil be banished for this earth. It is time for us to not just pray, but be the answer to the prayers of those being devastated by the sex trade. Isn’t this exactly what Jesus was talking about when He taught us to pray, “on earth as it is in heaven?”

– Eric Kuiper

Eric Kuiper is a Fuller Theological Student and a Windrider participant.

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