5 Stars Out Of 5
The Gospel Makes the Difference
February 4, 2015
Sex slavery is a phrase that would probably make a lot of us giggle even today.
Thats my tag line. Thats how I want to get you interested in reading this article and Im not sure it was the right way because sex slavery and sex trafficking is destroying the lives of children.
In America we have perfected the art of sexual tension. Weve coined the phrase sex sells even though we constantly argue the definition of sex. We are so confused when it comes to sex that we will at the same time tell women you are worth more than your body while putting up billboards with images of sexy women in their underwear or less. We will praise men who are strong leaders and then mock them as idiot fathers.
And sex is the wedge used to separates us.
By the way, this is supposed to be a review of David Platts new book Counter Culture and it is, just hang with me because a lot of what Im putting into my words is what Platt talks about in the book.
Sex is Christianity 101. God tells Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28). Thats right, the first thing God tells this one man and one woman to do is have sex. Ever since then our sin nature has been making a mess of things from adultery, fornication, polygamy, divorce, homosexuality, nudity in print and in movies, pornography, incest, rape, sex slavery, and a number of perversions that I dont even want to say. We have so sub-defined sex that we have robbed the good thing God gave us of its beautiful simplicity; a way for husband and wife to come together in the most intimate way; and weve turned it into something utterly perverse.
What is the end result?
Platt covers the result in his book Counter Culture.
Counter Culture is about more than just the devastating impact of human trafficking and sex slavery. He covers poverty, same-sex marriage, immigration, and racism to name a few. All for the purpose of drawing Christians out of our lethargy into doing something about each one of these things.
Whats amazing is that Platt has this compassionate way of throwing cold water in your face and making you take stock of your Christianity. He does not make the claim, or the promise, that doing something about any of these things will make you a better Christian, or earn favor with God, or wipe away your sin. Rather, he makes it clear from page one that if we are going to claim Christ as our Savior then shouldnt we do those things that Christ called us to do?
The primary task of any Christian is to spread the Gospel the good news that Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and this is what I appreciate about Platts book. Platt makes it clear that no human plan is going to put an end to any of these problems; the Gospel is what makes the difference.
Our culture has lead us to believe wrongly about sex. As Christians we need to think and respond counter to the culture in the way that Christ has taught us. In the time I had I was not able to read the entire book, but the chapter on sex slavery caught my attention and thats what Im reviewing.
According to Platts book, sex trafficking has brought us to the devastating statistic that there are more slaves in the world today than there were during the years of transatlantic slave trade. Girls are purchased, or kidnapped, and rented out until they are no longer profitable. They are trapped and enslaved. That should be an outrage to all of us. But maybe thats too far removed for us to see in America.
Pornography is multi-billion dollar a year industry in America. Platt writes, Research continually demonstrates a clear link between sex trafficking and the production of pornography. Want to bring it even closer to home? Platt continues, Men and women who indulge in pornography are creating the demand for more prostitutes, and in turn they are fueling the sex trafficking industry.
Consider for a moment the possibility that as we in America enjoy movies and books like 50 Shades of Gray, young girls, as early as nine years old, are being trafficked in the sex industry.
How can this happen?
Once a woman is seen as less important, less dignified, or less worthy than a man, she is more easily discarded as an object to be used, or abused, says Platt and I agree.
How does the Gospel of Jesus Christ resolve this?
Platt writes, Fighting slavery begins with believing the gospel with seeing that the good, holy and loving Creator God alone is the Owner of all people. Fighting slavery continues with applying the gospel with living the truth that all people have been made in Gods image and thus are to be esteemed and never enslaved. And fighting slavery requires that we proclaim the gospel that we do all that we can to tell the utterly hopeless that ultimate hope is found in Jesus Christ.
Jesus called us to proclaim repentance and the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47) that He won for us on the cross and to declare that eternal life is found in Christ alone (John 17:3) because he rose from the dead. We still reach out and meet basic needs of food, shelter, and companionship, but the gospel is the foundation that must be the prominent driving component of our efforts. Platt offers from his experience, ways to accomplish this both.
Platts book brings this all together, not with criticism and shaming, but with sobriety and hope. We must get involved.
I highly recommend this book and while I have no qualms about recommending Platts writing even when I couldnt finish the whole thing in time to meet the requirements of the publisher, Ill be coming back to this book to talk about those other topics.
I received a free copy of Counter Culture from Tyndale publishing, but was not required to write a positive review. It just turned out that way.