The Sound of Freedom
by Mike Herrnstein
“But if anyone who causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea.” –Matthew 18:6
This verse from Matthew was used as a line in the recent film, The Sound of Freedom; quoted by the Homeland Security agent before arresting a pedophile who was facilitating child sex trafficking across the border between Mexico and the United States. I went to see this movie with my daughter two weeks ago. Upon reflection, it seemed appropriate considering God had entrusted her mother and me to raise her as one of His children 22 years ago. We were called to protect her and assure her she was loved.
The film had a powerful emotional effect on me and still does 14 days later. Knowing what the movie was about, I expected to have tears throughout. What I felt instead was a stomachache to the point where I just wanted to vomit. It was as if I wanted to purge whatever was deep inside of me that shared anything in common with the human traffickers who were also human beings and thus image bearers.
What leads us to a place where we could use and abuse children? As individuals you and I are innocent, no doubt. However, the Bible often speaks of corporate sin, and sometimes that gets lost in our Post-Enlightenment Western culture that celebrates the rights of individuals. I can’t help but to feel personally responsible for this reprehensible evil practice that thrives in the dark places of our world. Later after leaving the movie theater I found myself alone in bed with nobody home, feeling the presence of our Lord. It was then the tears flowed as I cried for the lost innocence of millions of children from sex abuse.
So, what do we do? This is a spiritual war, so we pray. This is the worst of crimes, so we support our law enforcement and any organization that’s out to fight this. We support the agencies and organizations that bring healing to these victims’ lives, and we become aware of the problem, making others aware as well.
The church has been fighting this and other issues like it since its beginning. In the Roman Empire, it was common practice for unwanted children to be left out to exposure. That led the Church to create the first orphanages. Taking his lead from the Old Testament’s call to care for widows and orphans, Jesus often made a point to include the care of the most vulnerable in His Gospel message.
So our calling is clear. It’s a big problem, so we need to pray in order to help God’s angels fight this spiritual war. And we need to help in that war by taking whatever opportunity or influence we have to bring about awareness and change where it is needed.
Father God, this problem is so big, but You are bigger. Please help us and show us how we can purge this evil from our world. Help us rescue and heal those in bondage. Change the hearts and minds of those who are profiting from this evil practice so that they can become a part of the solution instead of the problem. Keep our eyes open for any opportunity in which we can help You in this fight. In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.