From a recent Q&A I did with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission:
Why is the issue of human trafficking important for evangelical churches to consider?
It’s an important question culturally because it’s so widespread. Every person should be concerned about his or her abused neighbors. But it’s also an important question theologically. When thinking about sex trafficking, we need to answer questions like these: (1) Who is God? (2) What is a person? (3) How powerful is the gospel? If we believe that God is a God of justice, then we should desire to reflect his character by seeking justice on behalf of the oppressed. If we believe that people are actually created in the image of God, then we must conclude that they are worthy of respect, dignity and basic human rights. We should value all people because we value their maker.
In addition to basic human rights, I also believe that it’s not right for someone not to hear the gospel, and in many cases, those trapped in slavery may never be exposed to the Good News, which promises them new life, and a kingdom where lions and lambs play together. Jesus is the life-changer – he can change the hearts of not only those enslaved, but even the hearts of wicked enslavers. By his grace, God causes the dead come to life; the enslaved to go free; the unrighteous to become righteous; and the broken to dance with joy. That’s the ultimate hope that we have to offer the world, but we may never have that privilege if we don’t first engage on the physical, economical, judicial, and societal front. We can’t live with our heads in the sand on this issue; we need to be alert, wise, compassionate, and gospel-driven in order to love our enslaved neighbor, and to reflect the nature of our merciful and just God.