What a contrast of cultures. Last week Debbie and I returned from 3 great weeks with family and friends in the US. We found ourselves totally engaged with our parents, children, grandchildren and long-time friends. There were so many wonderful things going on that I cannot describe them all here but suffice it to say, we enjoyed the gift of rest and renewal. We are now back in Cambodia and fully engaged in the tasks the Lord has set our hearts to here. The contrasts are enormous but there is one thing that is obviously the same. Here, as in America, people struggle with believing God has a design and a plan and it is for the eternal good of His creation – us, all of us.
This is a blog about our mission work here to rescue, restore, reintegrate victims of sex trafficking and prevention of new cases. This entire atrocity stems from people not understanding God’s design for mankind including children. Reject God’s design and anything can be made to look acceptable. As we closed our final time in America the Supreme Court presented their ruling on the issue of legal marriage. Reject God’s design and anything can be made to look acceptable.
It is not a Cambodian perspective that results in child trafficking or an American perspective that results in legalizing same sex marriage. This is a rejection of God’s design problem and it is the reason the church exists to tell the world of God’s design. It is the reason Debbie and I are in Cambodia.
Set aside the issues of child sex trafficking and same sex marriage, some will say I am judgmental when I express that certain behaviors are wrong. These things are issues only because the underlying issue of God’s design is not widely accepted. Some might say that I am seeking to force my values on others. No, that is not the case. I am not establishing a behavior as right or wrong I am merely speaking of God’s design. Actually, the most loving thing I can do (or that someone can do for me) is to show me the error of my behavior that I would know to repent and seek God’s forgiveness. It is like pointing to the life raft when a ship is sinking. To know where the life raft is and point someone to another way is not very loving.
An honest look at the Bible reveals that the Old Testament is filled with predictions of the future. Those predictions, particularly those about the birth, life, death and resurrection of the Messiah (over 350 specific predictions) all came true. Note, ALL. That is a pretty clear statement of the reliability of the rest of what the Bible says including the design of God for the life of man. Any belief system takes a measure of faith. The Christian belief system offers proof. Verified truth.
Last week we had a fire in Svay Pak, our focal community for our work in Cambodia. The national and in some cases international media took up the story. Thirteen homes completely destroyed. Families homeless and possession-less. What did not get widespread coverage was that this was not an accidental fire. A sex trafficker, mad at a former victim, dowsed a young woman in fuel and set her on fire. That fire caused the rest. The trafficker was after the 4 year old daughter of the victim for purposes I can only care not to imagine.
Was this wrong? By what standard would it be or not be? Is it wrong today but maybe OK in a few years? Was this man wrong in 2015 but perhaps he could be right in 2040? Does right and wrong really change or do we just become more comfortable with wrong as it becomes widespread?
Since it is a generally accepted thought that no one is perfect, how can we accept the wisdom of man over the wisdom of God that is constant? I think we dare not make that trade, yet we do every day when we choose differently than God designs. The trafficker sees nothing wrong with trafficking women and children. Really, he thinks everyone else is judgmental.
The problems in the world are not governments, courts, leaders or even perpetrators. The problems of the world exist because mankind does not want to accept the authority and design of God for all creation.
Cultures and contexts change. Behaviors change. The minds of man change. The wisdom of God does not. There is no cultural contrast for God’s wisdom. It is the same throughout creation. Only man’s points of contention with God vary by culture.
You will be glad to know that we are engaged with helping to rebuild all 13 homes not for the people but with the people who lost all their worldly possessions in Svay Pak. Re-establishing themselves and seeing the Gospel lived out in community is how people come to know God is at work and God does have a design. That is why our primary work in Cambodia, our primary work in America, our primary work anywhere is to make the Truth of the Bible known to sex traffickers, gays and lesbians, families, marriages, church goers, judges, rulers and leaders as well as victims of fires, floods and tornados. When individuals understand the Truth and do not reject it, then we will see the end of man inflicted atrocities.
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