NASHVILLE—Tony Merida, the founding pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, spoke on the topic of human sexuality during the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission's annual leadership summit that was held in Nashville last week.
Following his discussion on "the Gospel and human trafficking," Merida, an associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, spoke with The Christian Post about the relationship between pornography and sex trafficking, explained why awareness is insufficient, and laid out how Christians can do more to fight "the darkest of sins."
The following is an edited transcript of the interview. more >>
Morality in Media, an anti-pornography organization which is part of the Coalition to End Sex Exploitation, is hosting a summit in Washington, D.C. to train people on how to combat pornography and sexual exploitation in their communities.
"We are not going to let the pornographers and pop media continue to push the lies that pornography is victimless, and because of the 'ubiquity' of porn, there is nothing we can do to stop sexual exploitation. There is a strong movement forming and all are encouraged to join us," Dawn Hawkins, executive director for Morality in Media, told The Christian Post Friday.
The event will be held at the Tyson's Corner Marriott in Virginia on May 16-17 and is billed as the conference that will officially kick-start the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation. Hawkins noted that this will be "the coalition's first event, as well as the first national conference on the harms of pornography in 27 years." more >>
President Jimmy Carter has publicly denounced sex-selective abortion, considering it part of the global oppression of women.
In an interview with David Letterman on Monday, the 89-year-old former president said that sex-selective abortion and infanticide of female babies was the "worst human rights abuse on earth."
"160 million girls are now missing from the face of the earth because they were murdered at birth by their parents or either selectively aborted when their parents find out that the fetus is a girl," said Carter. more >>
First Lady Michelle Obama has been criticized by a women's rights group for failing to speak out during her week-long visit to China against forced abortions and human rights abuses.
"I am extremely disappointed that Mrs. Obama has deliberately ignored egregious women's rights abuses while in China," said Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers, on Wednesday. "Mrs. Obama has positioned herself as an international women's leader. She could have done so much good if she had been willing to use her position to advance women's rights in a nation that tramples them.
"Mrs. Obama has chosen to ignore the intense suffering of hundreds of millions of women who have been victims of forced abortion, involuntary sterilization, gendercide and sexual slavery." more >>
"Veil of Tears," a riveting documentary from Gospel for Asia that is yet to be released, tells the untold stories of millions of women in South Asia who face oppression simply because of their gender. Dr. K. P. Yohannan, founder and international director of GFA, said the film not only shows the intense suffering, but the hope these women can find when they understand that they are valued in the eyes of God.
"One of the most obvious problems in this area is that the most unreached, untouched, neglected, suffering humanity in our world is women in Asian nations," Yohannan told The Christian Post. "For example, India alone has 46 million widows. That means a girl could be 18, 19, 20 or 30, and when her husband dies, in many places that's the end of their life. Many of them end up in despair."
He talked about an island off of the coast of West Bengal known as the "Widow's Island." Seventy-five percent of the people that live on that island are women who don't have husbands and they have no hope – they have been rejected and abused, Yohannan said. more >>
While applauding young evangelicals who have taken up causes such as opposition to injustice regarding the poor, the orphaned, and the enslaved, and who have helped increased awareness of such issues as sex trafficking and world starvation, Pastor David Platt said he is concerned about the lack of enthusiasm among some Christians on other issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
"I'm concerned for lack of zeal, not exclusively, but particularly among young evangelicals on social issues that are just as, if not in some ways much more important like abortion and sexual immorality, and so-called same-sex marriage," Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., preached at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on Thursday. "On some of these issues, younger evangelical Christians [and] prominent church leaders are often strangely quiet."
Platt observed, "We live in a day that we can be passionate in our stand against poverty and slavery, injustice that we need to stay passionately against, but issues that don't bring us into conflict with the culture around us." more >>