SOUND OF FREEDOM – FACING EVIL FOR THE SAKE OF GOD’S CHILDREN

Can we love God’s children more than we fear evil?
Can we love Jesus more than we fear the Cross?

(Jim Caviezel, on the need for Christians to fight trafficking)

If anyone has a right to challenge his fellow Christians about loving God’s children more than fearing evil, or loving Jesus more than fearing the Cross, it is actor Jim Caviezel!

When Caviezel was filming The Passion of the Christ, he almost died. The actor lost 45 lbs. during the filming. He dislocated his shoulder. He suffered from hypothermia and pneumonia from hours and hours of hanging almost naked on a cross for hours. He was struck by lightning while filming the Sermon on the Mount scene! There was more, but that is sufficient to make the point! Caviezel even said that the injuries he suffered on set made the movie “beautiful.”

Now Caviezel is portraying former DHS agent/child rescuer Tim Ballard in the film Sound of Freedom. Ballard, who left his federal government position to begin Operation Underground Railroad (OUR) to fight against global child trafficking and sexual exploitation, confronts evil on a regular basis. The people of OUR and other such anti-trafficking groups descend into the heart of darkness populated by traffickers, corrupt government and law enforcement officials to rescue children. And in a different, but just as real way, Jim Caviezel, film director Alejandro Monteverde, film producer Eduardo Verastegui, and others connected with Sound of Freedom, are challenging and threatening the heart of darkness and its dark denizens as well.

But Sound of Freedom, opening in just a few days — in tandem with our own Independence Day — is a weapon against the darkness. Producer Verastegui, the Mexican actor who starred in the great pro-life film Bella, calls his film “a weapon of mass instruction.” Sound of Freedom is both a weapon and a light. It shines a light on this evil trade, enlightening everyone who sees the film.

In 1999 and 2000 I was part of a team that drafted the first Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) signed into law by President Bill Clinton in October 2000. The law has been reauthorized several times since. Formerly trafficked women and scholars on the issue like Dr. Laura Lederer and Dr. Donna Hughes enlightened our legislation coalition to the reality of what most of us had dimly identified as prostitution.

I wrote about this experience earlier this week in an article in The Stream. Our coalition became increasingly aware that there was no protection specifically designed for trafficked women and children. We saw that any prosecution focused on them, the victims, arresting women for “solicitation” and such. It dawned on us that what we thought we knew about “prostitution” was strangely similar to what we saw in movies and television: glamorous call girls such as in Pretty Woman or an object of comedy like the prostitutes and madam in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. As we became more enlightened to reality, we understood that the trafficking bill should focus on the real criminals, on pimps and the johns, on supply and demand.

With everything that we learned, though, we could never have imagined the depth of evil perpetrated by all of those involved in the more recently exposed trafficking and sexual exploitation of children. At least two million children trafficked for sex and another two million used for trafficking in body parts. Without Verastegui’s weapon of mass instruction, few people would be aware of this evil — and for the most part, they who do would be accused of believing in conspiracy theories.

But now Sound of Freedom is bringing enlightenment. And for those of us in the Body of Christ, with enlightenment must come action. Proverbs 24:12 tells us, “If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work?”

We must enlighten others, encouraging them to see the film and help make it a movement to save children. We must challenge the darkness, not looking away, but looking directly into it, regardless of the disillusionment and disappointment to ourselves in realizing who might be part of that darkness. We must push for justice. And we most of all, we must wage spiritual warfare, in the power of the Holy Spirit against the principalities and powers working to destroy children.

Returning to Mr. Caviezel’s words, can we love God’s children more than we fear evil? If we are God’s people, the answer must be yes.

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