During Spring Training we jumped on a great opportunity to visit Bible studies around the Phoenix area to talk to players and their wives and recruit the Free2Play team. What did I tell them when I sat with them? I said, “Look, not only is this a political situation, but I truly believe this is a Jesus situation.”
I know there are so many worthy charities coming to ballplayers and asking us for donations. And I understand that everybody probably already has a charity or a foundation they support. It could be autism, it could be diabetes, it could be cancer, and it could even be all those things. And they’re all good causes! I would not want to take away from any of them.
However, combating human trafficking is not the same kind of charity. When you fight human trafficking, you don’t tackle a situation that you have no control over. Think about this. My dad got prostate cancer. I didn’t have any control over whether he would develop prostate cancer or not. I support prostate cancer awareness because it’s my hope that we can have a little bit more control over it. If we can find out what’s going on, or how to keep it from happening, or how slow it down, or whatever, then we can get some control over this thing – cancer – that we don’t control at all.
But we have control over human trafficking. We can do something about it. And I told them, “Jesus came down and told us to take care of the widow and the orphan. I think that is a big part of the trafficking stuff.”
I’ve talked to a lot of people who tell me that the Bible says it’s okay to have slaves. It’s true that the culture of the time was a slaveholding culture. But Jewish Law regulated the treatment of slaves. Under the Bible, if you were a slave, you were treated a lot better than slaves are treated now. You had to do things, but you were brought into a home, and if you had favor with the master, he would treat you well. Slaves weren’t always property, they weren’t always kidnapped and sold, and the normal outcome of a period of slavery was freedom for the slave.
But the Bible doesn’t say it’s “okay” to have slaves! When Israel was enslaved in Egypt for 400 years, it was a punishment! That wasn’t a good thing. The Bible wasn’t “positive” about that. In the Bible, slavery was an injustice. That’s why in the Law, the children of Israel were prohibited from enslaving each other. (Leviticus 25)
And Jesus changes everything. Jesus says, “You are no longer slaves and masters. You’re friends.”
Slavery isn’t the way of God, it’s the way of man. It’s a product of a “survival of the fittest” mentality. That’s not how this world works. That’s not how Jesus works, and that’s not how we’re supposed to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we support human trafficking, we’re not doing what Jesus did. If we support slavery, we’re not doing what Jesus did.
And then I discussed some of the ways that we’re supporting slavery and human trafficking. More on this next time. See you Saturday.