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Christ Restoring a Male/Female Identity in a Sexually Confused World

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The issue is hot.  Transgender people want to use the bathroom of the sex they “identify” with, not the one that they actually belong to physically.

CWA has a multi-pronged approach to solving these issues.  There has been state legislation that mandates using the bathroom of your born sex.  We are boycotting Target for its policy that anyone can use anyone’s bathroom policy. We are fighting the LGBT community’s attacks on religious freedom.

CWA is about prayer, education, and action. So along with all the important action we are taking above, we should also take a step back to look at root causes – and root solutions – from a need for a better education regarding gender identity and its theological implications.

But how do we pray and educate about an issue so sensitive and nuanced?

With the grace and truth of a Christian.

CWA implores all people – transgender and otherwise – to find true identity in Christ. Transgenderism is a form of broken sexuality – which every human faces in one form or another.

God created us male and female.  That’s it. Just those two genders.  Both of them are required to complete the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

Adam and Eve lost their sexual identity back in the Garden of Eden.  Adam’s body – the man’s body – is literally designed to give of itself, and the woman’s to actively receive that gift in committed marital union. The man’s body functions as a reminder of the giving love of God, and the woman’s body functions as a reminder that we all must receive love from God.

But Adam and Eve fell out of their identity.  Adam forgot to help Eve remember God’s love, instead standing silent at the tree while she was told lies by Satan. And Eve forgot to receive God’s love, instead displaying openness to deception. Adam showed the worst of man – first passive and then abusive – blaming Eve for what happened.  Eve showed the worst of woman – manipulative and disregarding of her role to “help” (meaning “rescue”) Adam – instead deeply hurting him.

It was through Christ that the masculine and feminine identity was restored.  In Christ, women like Mary Magdalene were freed from seven demons and the woman at the well found her perfect lover.  In Christ, men like Peter were forgiven of betrayal, and men like Thomas were forgiven for doubt.  What Christians are is a testimony to the fact that brokenness can be opened to the unconditional and healing love of God.  Instead of hiding in our shame as Adam and Eve did, we open our nakedness to God – in all its ugliness.

When Jesus gives the command to remove the stone from the grave of Lazarus, He was warned that there would be a stench.  But that didn’t deter Jesus!  He replied: “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

Do we believe that the glory of God is able to rescue us from all our broken pieces?  Do we believe that He will restore our identity?  Do we look to Him as the example of perfect manhood Who came born of woman to restore male and female identity?

A transgender person is likely unready to hear theology and learn about Adam and Eve.  But understanding the origins of where things went wrong is a start for believers who want to submit their own sin to God, who wish to gain testimonies of how God has worked in their lives. Aligning ourselves with God’s plan for man and woman is the solution side of the problem.  Let us pray deeply for the ability to live into our male and female identity with more fullness, that we might offer a restorative picture for all of the world.

Chaney Mullins serves as Concerned Women for America’s Special Projects Writer.

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Christopher West who extrapolates these ideas in his teaching as a lay theologian.  Learn more at corproject.com

Sex-Trafficking Basics – Harsh Reality and Hopeful Rescues

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“It’s the oldest profession,” a sportsman said in a video we watched at a recent training sponsored by the National Center for Sexual Exploitation.  He was referring, of course, to prostitution, defending himself for having been recently caught buying sex.  No, our trainers told us, “It’s the world’s oldest abuse story.”NCSELOGO

How true.  I sat there thinking about women in the Bible – even Sarah being given over by her own husband Abraham to be Pharaoh’s concubine, Rahab the prostitute, Tamar, the woman at the well – the sad stories of sexual brokenness even in Scripture.

This ancient abuse is fresh again today – always there – and closer than you think.

It’s important to remember these important points when striving to understand sex-trafficking:

  1. LOCAL: This problem is not just something that takes place far away in Europe and Asia; it is a local problem.  The United States is a serious offender, and it’s a huge money-making industry. Some mistakenly believe that to qualify as “trafficking” there has to be transportation across state lines, but this isn’t true. Legally, any act of recruitment, harboring, transportation, provisioning, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting; by the means of force, fraud, or coercion; that results in serious harm for the purpose of exploitation, can qualify as sex-trafficking.
  2. NOT CONSENSUAL: Some defend prostitution, saying that it is a matter of consent – that these women are offering it and totally fine with it. In reality, most of these women don’t know if they have other options, are often facing serious physical, emotional, and mental trauma, and are being pimped out – these pimps being the real financial benefiters in the industry who draw women in with serious manipulation.  Sometimes women can be beaten for not bringing in enough, or branded with their pimp’s name.  Despite these horrors, they are rarely literally chained to the bed.  Instead, the coercive methods of desperation for basic food, shelter, and money, combined with a twisted view of love compounded by childhood abuse and trauma bonding, keeps them in “the life.”  They are often blinded to this, however, and it can take a while before they recognize themselves as victims of abuse.
  3. THESE ARE CHILDREN: I was shocked to learn that there are so many prostitutes who are not adults at all.  Seventy to ninety percent of adult victims started as children!  The average age to begin in the sex trafficking industry is about 13.  Girls are often abused long before that – by uncles or stepfathers for example.  The good news is that the law was very recently changed to proclaim that buying a prostitute who is a minor is automatically illegal because she is below the age of consent.  This helps protect minor girls, who can be taken to a department of children and family services and not be arrested.
  4.  THE PORNOGRAPHY LINK: Let’s call it like it is.  Porn is evil and at the root of sex-trafficking.  In our technological age, children are being exposed to porn at age five, and have moved on to harder and more violent porn by age eight – meaning that props and weapons and violent acts are becoming commonplace in order to achieve arousal. After a while, they want to act out what they see – so they find a prostitute on backpage.com, for example, which is sometimes filmed to make more porn.  One particularly poignant line from the training was: “Porn is … prostitution as long as someone gets to take the pictures,” and “Porn – prostitution for mass consumption.”

Once we grasp the problem a bit more, we can take hope that there is a way forward towards reducing this exploitation:

  1. BETTER POLICY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT NEEDED: I was shocked to learn that sometimes cops promise not to arrest the girls in exchange for sex themselves.  There is a better way.  We were introduced to a Florida police force that advocates for better cop training to avoid corruption and ensure effective rehabilitation.  Cops, for instance, often have to learn to patiently give women multiple chances to join a “Turn Your Life Around” (TYLA) program, be accompanied by trained civilian counselors, and stop using an accusatory aura.  The program in Florida has begun a four-pronged approach, away from only the single-pronged, harsh stigmatization and criminalization of the girls themselves that occurred in days past.  Now the four prongs include: the girls – but using less punitive efforts, the “Johns” or buyers – including sending letters home  and confiscating vehicles used to sex-traffic, the businesses – including keeping an eye on hotels and whether they abate or aid in trafficking, and finally the pimps – trying to get at the men behind the scenes.
  2. COLLABORATIVE SOLUTIONS WORK: The training highlighted that TYLA is a new and successful partnership between the Sarasota police department and Selah Freedom, a NGO.  The two joined forces to find common ground and work against sex-trafficking together.  TYLA has brought many women out of the trade, and now they have succeeded in getting the courts on board with a specialized court room, so that these women are given special treatment oriented towards rehabilitation.
  3. SAFE HOUSES AND REHABILITATION EFFORTS: We learned that the girls need somewhere to go in order to get out.  In the TYLA program, there are several houses where the women live as the readjust to real life.  Without being safely housed in single-gender, supervised housing, the women won’t leave their traffickers – for fear of being punished and on the street.  Even some “shelters” end up being recruiting grounds if not really a permanent home. One of the women training us – a survivor herself – even recounted that she keeps girls in her own home at times.
  4. FAMILY MATTERS:  When you look closely at this issue, broken families are at the heart of it.  The women often started into the sex industry after being abused by family members.  Can you imagine your own family member selling you for sex?  Fatherlessness is at the root of so much of this.  Then there is the issue of the buyers – themselves often from fatherless or broken families, sometimes cheating on their wives, lonely and depressed and then addicted to pornography, becoming a player in more and more of the same vicious cycles.  Fighting this at the root means valuing and supporting positive family life.
  5. PRAY A LOT: There are so many factors in the effort against sex trafficking outside our control.  Will the woman be in the right position to leave?  Will she be safe?  Will she succeed at the detox center and safe house?  Will the cops be able to crack down on that massage parlor?  Will the court be merciful?  Will a good law pass?  There are things we can do – and then there are times when all we can do is pray and pray more.

It is hard not to simply weep.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed or depressed learning the full extent of the brokenness of the world.  There is deep pain, but there is also deep joy.  To be healed – in that is joy that abounds even more than having never been in need of it.

And the women can heal.  I fear we will never end poverty, prostitution, and pornography this side of heaven.  But we can try; we can reduce it – and give people a way out of it.  And that is a worthy cause.  As Christian women, we celebrate that God is the great deliverer. Amen, Come Lord Jesus.

Chaney Mullins serves as Concerned Women for America’s Special Projects Writer.

Why I Support Snooping on our Kids

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Editor’s note: The following oped is excerpted from “Feisty & Feminine” (Zondervan, April 12, 2016) by Penny Young Nance.

When my daughter Claire was around eighth or ninth grade, she came home one day in a bad mood. Granted, at that point in her life being moody was not that odd, so I didn’t question her, but when she came to me to talk, I realized something was wrong. Claire told me that a girl one year younger than she, whom I’ll call Jane, had come to her for help. Apparently a boy had asked Jane to send him a naked picture of herself.

Jane is a smart, cute young woman, but insecure. Her parents are divorced, her dad was never around, and her family life has always been unstable. Sadly, on impulse Jane sent this boy the picture he requested. What happened next is typical. The young man, finding this salacious picture too interesting to keep private, shared it with his friends on his sports team. Some of his teammates were horrified, but none of them told an adult. They did, however, let Jane know what they had seen, and others too. Jane was humiliated and reached out to Claire for help. Inside, I was frantic, but outwardly I kept calm. Not only was Jane’s reputation and emotional state in tatters, but the young man had potentially committed a felony by possessing and distributing child porn.

Thank God I took a deep breath and kept my face sympathetic. I asked my daughter a few questions, ending with “May I share this with the proper adults?” She was torn between not wanting to breach a confidence and knowing she was in over her head. Together we prayed for Jane and decided that I should let the school know so they could intervene.

Click here to read the rest of this article on FoxNews.com.

Let Ohio Vote on Court Nominee

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Growing up in Cincinnati, you realize the region features two types of people: chili junkies and political junkies. Cincinnati is a hotbed for party debate and often a wild card when it comes to elections – which can be a positive as it gives Ohioans an influential voice in national decisions. We might disagree on the issues, but one topic Ohioans seem to agree on is “We the People” are distrustful of the current administration.

Not long ago, Ohio voters broke records for having the lowest job approval rating of President Obama in Quinnipiac poll history, nationally or in any state. At the time, 61 percent of Ohio voters disapproved of how he was handling his job. Fifty-seven percent of Ohio voters believe Obama is not trustworthy.

Given that, the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has created a constitutional minefield. Scalia was one of the most logical, clearheaded advocates for judicial restraint and adherence to the text of the Constitution. He represented the opposite of the liberal ideology ascribing to a “living, breathing” Constitution that can be molded to fit the times – times like today, when our relativistic society allows feelings to trump fact.

Obama has the constitutional authority to nominate a candidate. But the Senate’s role is pivotal, too.

Click here to read the rest of this article on Cincinnati.com.