The “Sound of Freedom” is a movie currently playing in theatres. Based on the true story of Tim Ballard, the former Homeland Security Special Agent who has devoted himself to fighting child sex trafficking, a grim, real-life evil that Christians need to take seriously. The movie is about how Tim Ballard founded Operation Underground Railroad. The reason he did so? “Because God’s children are not for sale.”
Our church supported missionaries in Thailand who likewise attempted to help the sex-trade workers to get out of that life. Their stories were horrific and filled with hope. In the same way, the “Sound of Freedom” movie tells horror and hope stories about children being kidnapped and then used in the sex-trafficking trade. In the United States alone, there are an estimated 1.5 million underage children in the sex trade, according to estimates (though most have been placed in it through their relatives, as a way to earn money). Worldwide, the numbers are staggering; in the millions. The harsh reality is that though child sex trafficking isn’t a subject that lends itself to Hollywood movies “entertainment”, it is the fastest growing international criminal network the world has ever seen. A closing title in the movie states — accurately — that there are more people enslaved now, by sex trafficking, than there were when slavery was legal. Think about that fact! And the nightmare lived by captured children is unspeakable, unimaginable…and all too real.
This issue should not be ignored by Christians or the church. We need to support those courageous men and women who are fighting against this evil. One of the purposes of a movie like “Sound of Freedom” is to sound the alarm, in the way that a dramatic feature film can do. This movie takes us to a conversation and topic that we don’t like to have, but we need to. Why? Because every child kidnapped or sold (often by their impoverished families who don’t know what they are really doing, and who are lied to about what is going to happen to their children) is made in the image of God. Every child matters to God. They matter to their loved ones, as well, and they should matter to us, as well. Thankfully, there are many Christians who are involved in the fight against this evil. Point of fact, if it weren’t for Christians opposing this evil, there would be precious few people doing so. We are thankful to those on the frontlines of this fight.
We need to remember that Jesus spoke strongly about children when he said, “Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:5,6) So much for the false milquetoast portrait of Jesus as “gentle, meek, and mild” that so many try to present him to be! If Jesus takes this issue seriously, so must we.