THE TAKE AWAY
Virtual Child Sex Trafficking
Is it Wrong?
By Kersley Fitzgerald
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A military chaplain once told me that the government is tying the hands of the chaplain corps; religious leaders are no longer allowed to teach ethics, only lawyers can.
This is what happens when the law attempts to define ethics. Freedom of thought and action take precedence unless there is clear, incontrovertible proof that the act in question leads directly to harm. It is difficult to substantiate real harm directly caused by virtual child pornography. No living child is involved. No real child is facing an invasion of privacy. Child pornography is only one of many ways predators groom children for abuse. Studies aimed at giving statistical proof of a link between pornography and sexual violence have mixed results. Others have mentioned the slippery slope of legislating controls over actions that may or may not encourage someone to break the law. And outlawing the method by which someone fantasizes about an act that causes harm and breaks the law would require the immediate illegalization of the vast majority of video games.
All of this to say, the world, relying on human logic and concern, cannot give a solid answer as to why virtual child pornography is wrong — as American law reflects. A law relying on human logic won't stand. Will virtual child pornography change the way the culture sees children? Yes. Will virtual child pornography incite the sexual abuse of children? Most likely. Will virtual child pornography lessen the stigma of pedophilia? You bet. But by the time the research hands us the cold, hard numbers to prove these hypotheses to the point that a stricter law will be justified, our fickle attention will be drawn elsewhere — our culture will already be too inured to care.
So if culture and law can't save us, what can? The situation shows that not only our struggle, but our solutions must be spiritual. Ephesians 6:12 says, "For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." That being the case, we cannot rely on legislation designed by flesh and blood to tell us what is right.
But that also means we have to look beyond flesh and blood to find our enemy. The illegality of virtual child porn is being chipped away daily. It's possible that before long, there will be no legal condemnation of virtual child porn in the U.S.
If the supply of virtual child porn can't be stopped, we have to look at the demand.
How do we reach people who seek out child pornography? How do we lead them to healing so that their sexual desires are in line with biblical principle? Consider this hard fact: every user of child pornography is a victim of Satan's hold over the world and their lives. How do we rescue them?
Jesus not only gave us the answer, He gave us the mandate. Go, teach, make disciples (Matthew 28:19-20). Knowing, loving, and following Jesus is the answer. Legislating ethics is a good and noble fight, but it's very likely a battle we will ultimately lose. Fortunately, the war has more than one front. Rescuing people to the grace and love of God will have a more lasting (eternal!) effect.
In a very real and scary way, we have to love our enemies.
There are millions of children in sexual slavery around the world. We should do what we can to rescue them in Jesus' name and show them the love of God. There are untold numbers of people who use child pornography and prostitution. As hard as it is and as much as we don't want to, we should also do what we can to rescue them in Jesus' name and show them the love of God.
Absolutely, we should push for the criminalization of virtual child pornography. But law follows the culture, and the culture never stands still. It is the word of God, not the flesh-and-blood ethics of man, that will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8).
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