Commemoration of Jeremiah
June 26, 2010
The Lord be with you
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod will be meeting in convention July 10-17 in Houston, TX. It has as its theme: One People Forgiven. The book “Today’s Business,” already sent out to every LC-MS congregation, contains all the proposed resolutions. As I have mentioned in earlier posts on this blog, there was an overture sent to the Synod from the Southeastern District which had its beginnings in our adult Sunday school class. As these things wind through the process changes are inevitable made. One change I really like is the second “resolved.” The resolution I’m writing about is titled “To Support Efforts to End Human Trafficking/Slavery,” resolution 6-07, on page 116 of Today’s Business. I truly hope this resolution passes and I think it stands by itself without me giving a big long argument for it. Therefore I am reproducing the resolution below for you to see its current form.
WHEREAS, The United Nations reports that human trafficking is a thriving business today with a total annual market value of 32 billion dollars; and
WHEREAS, The United Nations reports that at any given time 2.5-2.7 million people throughout the world are “recruited, entrapped, transported, and exploited” in a “process called human trafficking”; and
WHEREAS, The United Nations reports that persons from 127 countries become exploited in 137 nations; and
WHEREAS, trading in “bodies and souls of human beings” is specifically condemned by the Bible (Rev. 18:13); and
WHEREAS, Saint Paul lists slave traders in 1 Timothy 1:10 (“enslavers” in the ESV) in his list of heinous sinners who oppose God’s Law and act contrary to the sound doctrine of the Gospel (1 Tim. 1:8-11); and
WHEREAS, Saint Paul in his letter to Philemon urged Philemon to free the slave Onesimus, not under compulsion but as a free act of Christian charity (Philemon 12-16, 21); and
WHEREAS, Saint Paul urges us, as we have opportunity, to “do good to all” (Gal. 6:10); and
WHEREAS, As Christians living in the United States we have a history that enables us to understand the horrors and degradation involved in human trafficking/slafery; therefore be it
Resolved, That the Synod in convention direct the President of the Synod to write a letter to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime expressing the Synod’s prayerful support of that office’s efforts to end the ongoing practice of human trafficking/slave trade; and be it further
Resolved, That the Synod in convention direct the Board for Human Care Ministries to provide the Synod’s pastors and congregations with information about this practice and to assist in efforts to end the ongoing practice of human trafficking/slave trade; and be it finally
Resolved, That the Synod encourage its pastors and lay people to become educated regarding this issue and to be proactive in their response, including, but not limited to, sending letters to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime expressing their prayerful support of that office’s efforts to end human trafficking/slavery.
One final note: The United States of America is one of the 137 nations in the world today where you can find slaves. This is not just a problem "over there" or in Muslim nations. It is in our own backyard.
Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert