Employed or Enslaved?

My huz is a fab preacher.  I know that I am probably a bit biased, but it is the truth.  He is in the midst of a series on 1Corinthians and a section of the series (right now) titled “You Are Not Your Own.”

Today’s sermon’s text was 1Corinthians 6:12-20, “Honoring God with Our Sexuality,” and was explicit enough that the children’s minister took out student from 6th grade and under.   While I could highlight the sermon, it would be best if readers would wait until Tuesday and listen themselves.  All of his sermons are posted online: http://faithmpls.org/Site.Worship.Sermons.go.

The thoughts for this blog post came from one line in his sermon.  Kerry described the city of Corinth as one filled with sin and fornication.  The line that made me think really hard, though, was this: “There were about 1,000 prostitutes employed at one of the temples.”

In recent years, our family and our church has had the opportunity to learn about and to partner with organizations in raising awareness about human trafficking.  One of the most interesting things that has come out of this for me is the truth of something that I had always felt in my gut: for the most part, women do not choose to be prostitutes, strippers, etc.  There is something soul-stripping about these acts…I have always felt that these “careers” must be ones out of desperation or a complete and totally distorted image of oneself.

Over my years of teaching, I have had students who were strippers; none of them felt they had any other way of supporting themselves.  They weren’t “good” at anything else. They have felt trapped and unable to get out of this form of employment.  Many of them started out in abusive homes, were runaways, found someone who would “take care of them,” often became addicted to drugs, and became enslaved to this line of work by their dependence on this person because going home after what they “had become” was too overwhelming for them to imagine.

As Kerry preached this morning, I wondered to myself, “Had these women chosen to be temple prostitutes or was this an early form of what we now call trafficking?”

So – were they employed or enslaved?  And if they were enslaved, does this not add even more meaning to the text itself?

I think it does…but just what…I’m still pondering….

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