A gathering of over 40,000 students who raise over $3 million to stop human trafficking creates quite a buzz. That’s exactly what happened with the recent Passion conference in Atlanta, GA. Thousands upon thousands flocked to the Georgia Dome for a week of intense worship, led by some of the most popular Christian musicians and preachers of our day. (You can check out CNN’s coverage of Passion here.)
Let me begin by saying that I attended Passion several years ago, and it was great. This post is not meant to bash the conference in any way. I hope the Lord continues to use that gathering to ignite lives with the inextinguishable flame of living for the glory of God.
Neither is this post meant to rail against the effort of those students who raised the money to fight human trafficking. I’m sure many sacrificially gave throughout the week, and I never want to discourage someone who desires to selflessly give for the sake of another. After all, that’s the essence of Christ’s sacrificial death for us.
What I do desire is to give a word of caution. On the report by CNN, one man said that he believed this younger generation could end human trafficking. While human trafficking may be brought to an end in my lifetime, it won’t happen through the collection of money, though the cause will require money.
Education and protection won’t end human trafficking and slavery. Only when the hearts of those slave owners are changed by the power of the gospel will slavery end. Only when slaves of sin are freed from their bondage will they free their own bondservants. It will take the gospel.
Again, I am not denying that we should give money to lessen the effects of slavery around the world. That is a noble cause, and Christians should put their resources behind the effort.
But, more importantly, we need that younger generation to go to the strongholds of Satan where this injustice is taking place and boldly proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need people who are willing to risk their lives for the sake of Christ. This is our true hope for the end of slavery. It’s a battle that can only be won by the power of Christ, which is good news for us. This battle does not depend on our ability to rally the troops to write the big checks. We are utterly dependent upon the sovereignty of God to shine the light of His glory into those cold, dead hearts.
If you were one of the many who gave money to fight injustice around the globe, I thank God for you. But I encourage you to remember that the battle is a spiritual one, where money and physical resources cannot reach. If one slave is bought out of bondage, there’s a billion others who are waiting to be exploited.
Continue to freely give which God has given you, but especially give the greatest of all gifts, the gospel of Jesus Christ.