Friends, I’ve been overwhelmed in the best way by the response to my original blog, Bunnies, Virgins and Real Men. You all are amazing!! I can’t tell you how many have asked how they can help. We’ve had suggestions of other ways of raising money to help Katherine Stone’s family. One pastor and his wife offered their own home for however long it takes. Others have committed to pray for both Katherine and Dennis. We actually sent the blog to them separately. We haven’t gotten any response, but we wanted to make sure we did everything we could to get it in front of them.
What can we do now? I’ve been pondering this question because it has come up quite a bit. First of all, each one of us can pray for Katherine and Dennis and the other women that may be considering entering this contest. We need to shake the foundations of Heaven itself with our prayers on this issue. The sex industry and all its facets have infiltrated every aspect of life. You can’t even drive down the highway without seeing a salacious billboard anymore. Pornography is literally one click away for everyone no matter the age or gender. According to the Internet Filter Review Website, $3,075.64 is spent per second on internet pornography and 28,258 people per second are viewing pornography. Do those numbers shock you? Those were sobering for me to see.
We need to pray and we need to begin to have honest conversations in the Church at large about this issue. The time for embarrassment or being squeamish when talking about the sex industry has got to be over! The Church has to deal with this issue head on. This is Satan’s favorite playground and he will continue to wreak havoc in this area as long as the Church buries its head in the sand fearful of offending its members by tackling this. We need to talk openly about pornography, sex trafficking, sexual addiction, the strip industry, prostitution and everything else included in the “adult entertainment” industry. God created sex, it’s His and we’ve allowed Satan to rule in this area long enough.
We’ve got to begin open dialogue with no fear of judgment, creating a safe environment for true vulnerability. I once heard trafficking defined as the exploitation of vulnerability. Right now the Church is the last place people dealing with these issues want to run, when it should be the first. Katherine should have felt free to run to the Church, not Dennis Hof, a brothel owner. Some of the responsibility for that decision lies at the feet of Katherine herself, but I can’t help thinking much of it also lies at the feet of the Church. Jesus is the only One who can begin the breakthrough process with these strong footholds. Healing has to begin with Him and the Church has to find a way to open its arms to the most broken and wounded in our society so they can find Him!
After we’ve begun to pray and talk honestly about these issues, then we need to ACT. We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus pouring out His love on those working in this industry and those who are addicted to this industry. And trust me, whether you want to admit it or not, you know someone affected by the sex industry. We all do. That’s just the harsh reality today.
When I first read the article about Katherine Stone and the horrific idea of a virgin competition, the same questions kept running through my mind. Wasn’t there anyone in Katherine’s life willing to help her and her family? Where were all the Jesus followers? Surely her path had crossed with someone who knew Jesus at some point after the fire destroyed her family’s home. Did no one offer to help? Did no one offer a hotel room or a guest room in their home? Maybe they did and the family wasn’t willing to take the help, I don’t know. All I do know is that Christ followers standing up and actually doing something is critical, but unfortunately it’s most often the piece that is lacking in the overall game plan. After we’ve been on our knees in prayer, God will almost always call us to action. That’s where many of us get stuck because doing something will always cost us something. It will cost us time, money, energy, resources, pride and the potential list goes on and on. We will have to sacrifice something and the truth is many in the Church aren’t willing to make a sacrifice. I have seen this even in my own life. Sacrifice is hard and there have been times when I just didn’t want to do it. That’s why the response to my original blog overwhelmed me. All the people willing to stand up and ask what they can do in a tangible way to respond was inspiring! Wow! Fantastic!
So how about this? What if we each ask God today what He wants us to do to make an impact for Him? How does He want us to use our hands, feet, time and resources? How can we make Him famous? What if we make sure the Katherines in our lives never have to look for another place to go for answers because we, “Christ’s Church,” are showing her The Answer and helping to supply her needs in a tangible way?
In my two years of meeting women working in the adult entertainment industry through Stripped Free, I can tell you one of the biggest things I’ve learned is that women are driven to this industry because they didn’t see any other option. They didn’t have anyone in the beginning willing to reach out and give them a hand-up, not a hand-out, but a hand-up. They needed someone willing to walk beside them and befriend them and say, “I’ll take this journey with you and we’ll figure this out together with God’s help.”
Let’s get in our prayer closets and call on God to bring miraculous healing to those working in and affected by the sex industry. May He start a revival in this industry the likes of which has never been seen before! May we be quick to listen, showing love and compassion while striving to create environments where people can be vulnerable opening up the most tender and terrified pieces of their hearts to find true freedom and healing. And may we make sure we’re doing what we can each day to take care of those around us, loving our neighbors as ourselves. God, help us to have the courage to run into the darkest places for battle knowing we are fully equipped by YOU, the God of the Angel Armies! It’s time to reclaim this ground in Jesus’ Name!