“Where is our Moral Outrage?” -- By: Wyndy Corbin Reuschling

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 41:0 (NA 2009)
Article: “Where is our Moral Outrage?”
Author: Wyndy Corbin Reuschling

“Where is our Moral Outrage?”

Wyndy Corbin Reuschling*

It is often customary, and perhaps somewhat perfunctory, when invited to speak in Chapel, or other such venues, to start with something like this: “I’m thrilled, or delighted, or excited, at the opportunity to be here today and share with you.” The topic that draws our attention is human trafficking. Therefore it would be more honest for me to start by stating that I’m not so thrilled or delighted or excited to address this issue because wouldn’t it be better if there was no such thing as human trafficking to address? This is not a topic that should thrill us, delight us or excite us. But it is an important and dire topic that draws our attention during this Global Christianity Conference and the focus on human trafficking.

As Christians, what are we to think of this issue and how are we to respond? As I think about human trafficking, I am drawn to a story in Scripture that may be familiar to us but contains a twist that we tend not to see, or one that we sadly ignore or overlook. The story is recorded for us in Genesis 19:1–11. It is the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. This particular story in Genesis 19 is part of the larger narrative of Abraham and his nephew, Lot, who parted ways back in Genesis 13. They had returned from Egypt and began to settle in the land the Lord had promised to Abram and his offspring. The accumulation of wealth and occupation of the land created tension between Abram and Lot, and their herdsmen. Eventually they parted ways and Lot “pitched his tents” near Sodom (Gen. 13:13). After a bloody battle, the goods of Sodom were carried away, along with Lot and his possessions since he was living in Sodom (14:12). After battle, the King of Sodom came to Abram, suggesting that Abram keep the goods as spoils of war. Instead he asked that Abram offer the people to him, including Lot (14:21–24) and offer which Abram declines. It might be interesting at this point to speculate what it might have been like for Lot to be treated as a possession, a spoil of war, a commodity to be traded, especially when we confront Lot’s later behavior in this larger narrative.

Later Abraham and Sarah are visited by “three men.” It is in this narrative that Abraham and Sarah are promised a son. It is also in this narrative that Abraham learns of the pending destruction of Sodom (Gen. ...

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