Wealth Creation and Justice

This paper is a result of the Global Consultation on Wealth Creation for Transformation organized by the Lausanne Movement and BAM Global in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017.

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Permission is granted to distribute this paper for personal and educational use, free of charge. Commercial use is prohibited. Please include this acknowledgement when sharing and quoting: 2017 Global Consultation on Wealth Creation for Transformation; Lausanne Movement & BAM Global. We encourage the dissemination of this paper and also the various translations of the Wealth Creation Manifesto. 


Contents

1. Foreword
2. Wealth Creation Manifesto
3. Executive Summary: Wealth Creation and Justice
4. Wealth Creation and Justice
4.1. Identifying justice
4.2. Righteous business
4.3. Justice and human trafficking
Appendix
Endnotes


Foreword

‘Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth’ (Deut 8:18).

The Bible talks about wealth in three ways; one is bad and two are good. Hoarding of wealth is condemned. Sharing of wealth is encouraged. Creation of wealth is both a godly gift and a command, and there is no wealth to be shared unless it has first been created. But all too often the issue of wealth creation is misunderstood, neglected, or even rejected. The same thing applies to wealth creators.

The Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation aimed at addressing that. We were about 30 people from 20 nations, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. During the Consultation process 2016 – 2017 we discussed various aspects of wealth creation, including justice, poverty, biblical foundations, culture, wealth creators, stewardship of creation and the role of the church. The findings have been summarized in the Wealth Creation Manifesto, and will also be published in several reports and a book, as well as an educational video.

All these contain a wealth of knowledge and insights, based on the Scriptures, rooted in history and informed by present-day conversations and examples.

Gold in the ground has no particular value until it is discovered, extracted, and traded. Using the metaphor of mining let me mention three ‘goldmines’ that we have sought to dig into during our Consultation process.

The biblical goldmine

From the Manifesto: ‘Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with him and for him, to create products and services for the common good. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.’ There is a lot more gold to be found in the biblical goldmine.

The historical goldmine

Wealth creation leading to transformation is not new. From the Manifesto: ‘Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.’ There are many stories of holistic transformation through wealth creation throughout history, and some are still untold. Wealth creation has a history and we need to explore it further. Through our reports you can dig into historical gold mines.

The global goldmine

Wealth creation is not a Western or rich-world phenomenon. Many men and women are making a difference through businesses on all continents. From the Manifesto: ‘Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.’ We need to learn from them and others and to extract the global gold, also found in these reports.

Discover and extract the intellectual wealth in the Manifesto, the reports and books as well as the video, and let them add value to your life and work. Share with others.

Please start by reading the Wealth Creation Manifesto. It will give you a context and a framework to better understand each report. Please also see the appendix Consultation on Wealth Creation: Background and Context.

Mats Tunehag
Chairman of the Convening Team


Wealth Creation Manifesto

Background

The Lausanne Movement and BAM Global organized a Global Consultation on The Role of Wealth Creation for Holistic Transformation, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in March 2017. About 30 people from 20 nations participated, primarily from the business world, and also from church, missions and academia. The findings will be published in several papers and a book, as well as an educational video. This Manifesto conveys the essentials of our deliberations before and during the Consultation.

Affirmations

  1. Wealth creation is rooted in God the Creator, who created a world that flourishes with abundance and diversity.
  2. We are created in God’s image, to co-create with him and for him, to create products and services for the common good.
  3. Wealth creation is a holy calling, and a God-given gift, which is commended in the Bible.
  4. Wealth creators should be affirmed by the Church, and equipped and deployed to serve in the marketplace among all peoples and nations.
  5. Wealth hoarding is wrong, and wealth sharing should be encouraged, but there is no wealth to be shared unless it has been created.
  6. There is a universal call to generosity, and contentment is a virtue, but material simplicity is a personal choice, and involuntary poverty should be alleviated.
  7. The purpose of wealth creation through business goes beyond giving generously, although that is to be commended; good business has intrinsic value as a means of material provision and can be an agent of positive transformation in society.
  8. Business has a special capacity to create financial wealth, but also has the potential to create different kinds of wealth for many stakeholders, including social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wealth.
  9. Wealth creation through business has proven power to lift people and nations out of poverty.
  10. Wealth creation must always be pursued with justice and a concern for the poor, and should be sensitive to each unique cultural context.
  11. Creation care is not optional. Stewardship of creation and business solutions to environmental challenges should be an integral part of wealth creation through business.

Appeal

We present these affirmations to the Church worldwide, and especially to leaders in business, church, government, and academia.[1]

  • We call the church to embrace wealth creation as central to our mission of holistic transformation of peoples and societies.
  • We call for fresh, ongoing efforts to equip and launch wealth creators to that very end.
  • We call wealth creators to perseverance, diligently using their God-given gifts to serve God and people.

Ad maiorem Dei gloriam—For the greater glory of God


Executive Summary: Wealth Creation and Justice

 

 

[Quotes in italics are excerpts from the report, unless otherwise stated.]

This paper examines ‘wealth creation and justice’ through three different lenses. In section one, Paul Miller investigates the claim that the basis for the Christian’s duty of helping the poor, the widow, and the oppressed, is a duty rooted in justice rather than in mercy/charity. Section two, by Tim Weinhold, examines the biblical mandates to employers and business owners: what it means to act both justly and righteously in the economic realm. Section three, by Mats Tunehag,[2] then examines how biblical wealth creation is essential for effective strategies to combat human trafficking. Businesses are key to both prevention and restoration of human trafficking survivors.

In section one, Miller claims to see a dangerous tendency today dismissing ‘charity’—mercy-based actions—as sub-biblical, with justice-based action urged as the proper replacement. The paper critiques the alleged biblical basis for this tendency as argued in selected writings of Jim Wallis, Tim Keller, and Greg Forster, and it critiques it chiefly for its ‘interchangeability’ argument.

That is, Wallis, Keller, and Forster argue that helping the weak and vulnerable is not ‘charity’ but always an act of ‘justice’, basing their argument on the fact that two chief Hebrew words for ‘justice’ (mishpat) and ‘righteousness’ (tsedakah)—terms often connected with the biblical commands to help the vulnerable— are so constantly ‘associated’ and ‘brought together’ that this shows they are actually ‘interchangeable’, interchangeable to the degree that what is ‘just’ and what is ‘right’ are essentially the same. The danger here is that included in ‘what is right’—tsedakah, ‘righteousness’—are all the acts of kindness, generosity, and mercy, which are usually categorized as ‘charity’. But if these acts are ‘essentially the same’ as justice, then the line between mercy/grace and justice has been obliterated, and mercy swallowed up by justice. Indeed, Keller comments that Micah 6:8’s command to ‘‘do justice and love mercy,’ which seem at first glance to be two different things…are not.’ This is dangerous.

It is dangerous both in our relationship with God and man: With God, because the distinction between justice and mercy/grace is absolutely fundamental (grace, not justice, is the entire basis of our relationship). With man, subsuming mercy into justice is equally destructive as it encourages a victimization mentality—our needs become others’ problems that they, in justice, must meet. Our own responsibility is obliterated. Wallis, Keller, and Forster are right to insist on the Christian’s duty to help the vulnerable, but to turn that into a duty of justice is not the way forward.

Tim Weinhold’s second section focuses on three areas. First, he lays out God’s justice requirements which condemn businesspeople who take advantage of their workers, particularly through exploitive compensation. Second, he moves beyond simple justice to spell out an even higher biblical duty laid upon employers—the duty of shared rewards. Extrapolating from the biblical command of ‘do not muzzle the ox’, Weinhold notes that God wants something more even beyond the ‘livable wage’ for employees—that they should be allowed to enjoy bonus feedings over and above the normal feedings (wages) provided by the farmer. They are to enjoy the shared rewards of the business’s success.

Third, Weinhold unpacks God’s Old Testament commands concerning ‘gleanings’—farmers allowing the poor to pick ‘gleanings’ from their field. He explains its intention to forge a direct connection between the needs of the poor and the predominant wealth-generating businesses of the day, then puzzling out the reason God left the specifics of this gleaning command so vague—to effect a transformation of the heart of the businessperson in the process. It was meant to solve both parties’s mutual poverty—both the rich businessperson’s propensity to selfishness and the larger community’s physical lack.

In section three, Mats Tunehag examines how biblical wealth creation is critical for liberation of those crushed by economic injustice. As an example, it considers business solutions to human trafficking. A root cause to this modern-day slavery is unemployment. This makes people vulnerable to traffickers and creates high-risk areas where people are tricked and trapped.

Millions of people are held as slaves today; more than were shipped across the Atlantic during the legal slave trade. Today human-trafficking is illegal. While there is room for improvements of laws and law enforcement, we recognize that today, the systemic issue is lack of jobs. Thus wealth creators—businesspeople—are needed. This section shows how businesses are coming to the forefront to bring hope and restoration through jobs with dignity. It describes businesses that exist to fight human-trafficking, called freedom businesses. This section highlights the Freedom Business Alliance, a global trade association, which exists to help freedom business succeed.


Wealth Creation and Justice

Paul Miller, Tim Weinhold & Mats Tunehag

1.0 Identifying justice

1.1 Introduction

More than ever, justice is a hot button item. Whether in the secular world or in the church, if you want to engage the passions of young people, then tie your cause to a perceived injustice. This instinct is rooted in our Creator. God himself is outraged at injustice. The Bible reminds us that ‘the anger of the Lord . . . [is] kindled against his people’ when they ‘call evil good and good evil . . . acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right’ (Isa 5: 20, 23, 25)—not surprising, given that ‘the Lord is a God of justice’ (Isa 30:18).

Justice is central to the Bible. References to it are sprinkled from beginning to end—whether in the books of the law (only see Leviticus 6:1-6’s concern not only for heavenly atonement but equally for earthly restitution), the prophets (see Hosea 5 wherein God ‘despises’ his people’s religious ‘solemn assemblies’, calling instead for ‘justice to roll down like waters’), or in the New Testament (where Jesus condemns the Pharisees for having ‘neglected the weightier matters of the laws’, which he identifies as ‘justice and mercy, and faithfulness’).

The centrality of justice, then, is the assumed foundation for all that follows in this paper. And what follows is an attempt to distinguish proper justice claims—which need to be pursued vigorously—from its improper imitators, which need to be abandoned. Such discernment is necessary in order to secure that ‘true justice’ that Zechariah 7:9 exhorts us to administer.

So, justice is central, but it is also problematic. If the fact of justice is clear, its exact contents are not always so. While many of justice’s demands are straightforward and clear,[3] in the economic sphere particularly evangelicals have long wrestled with what justice demands. This was all too evident in the three-part Oxford Conference on Christian Faith and Economics (1987 – 1993), an international gathering sparked by the emergence of the so-called ‘radical evangelicals’[4] out of the Billy Graham-sponsored Lausanne Congress of 1974. Ronald Sider described this conference as having ‘gathered together an enormously diverse group of over 100 evangelical leaders from all the continents and backgrounds—bankers, theologians, economists, ethicists, business leaders, and development practitioners.’[5] Focusing uniquely on economic subjects, it found agreement on many points except for one: On ‘economic justice’ it stuttered to a dead-end.[6]

One participant, E. Calvin Beisner, Associate Professor of Social Ethics at Knox Theological Seminary (Florida), summarized the disagreement:

The Oxford Declaration . . . tells us that ‘Biblical justice means impartially rendering to everyone their due in conformity with the standards of God’s moral law’. . . . Immediately following . . . the Declaration offers another view of justice . . . [that] there is a sense in which ‘justice is partial’ because it ‘requires special attention to the weak members of the community because of their greater vulnerability’. . . . The thesis of this chapter is that the Declaration thus presents two mutually inconsistent views of justice and that the former is biblical and the latter unbiblical.[7]

Justice—partial or impartial—here was the issue. Or, putting it less abstractly, the issue as expressed by Tim Keller was whether justice should be ‘generous’, with ‘generous’ meaning giving ‘something more than is strictly necessary’.[8] Keller says,

Some Christians believe that justice is strictly mishpat. . . . This does not mean they think believers should be indifferent to the plight of the poor, but they would insist that helping the needy through generous giving should be called mercy, compassion or charity—not justice. . . . Justice includes generosity. . . . To not ‘share his bread’ [here referencing Job 31:23, 28] and his assets with the poor would be unrighteous, a sin against God, and therefore by definition a violation of God’s justice.[9]

Relating this somewhat abstract discussion on linguistics and the precise meaning of Old Testament terms to current hot-topic discussions on ‘justice’, we actually see it being played out in the general retreat all around us from ‘charity’ as a basis for action, with aid to Africa being a typical example. As far back as 1976, Dr. Julius Nyerere, when President of Tanzania, rejected ‘charity’ for Africa, calling it a matter of ‘justice’ instead. It was something ‘owed’ them, their ‘right’:

In one world, as in one state, when I am rich because you are poor, and I am poor because you are rich, the transfer of wealth from the rich to the poor is a matter of right; it is not an appropriate matter for charity. . . . If the rich nations go on getting richer and richer at the expense of the poor, the poor must demand a change.[10]

This ‘justice-not-charity’ motif also motivated the debt cancellation movements in 2004 – 2005 which led to the cancellation of USD 116 billion of African countries’ debt.[11] Everywhere, charity has been assailed as, at best, insufficient and, at worst, morally undignified and degrading. It is an assault resonating with many.

Tim Keller, Jim Wallis, and Greg Forster—all highly serious and weighty figures within evangelicalism[12]—have revived the Oxford Consultation’s debate, advocating that ‘justice is bigger than you think,’ or, in Tim Keller’s phrase, more ‘generous’ than you think.[13] Helping the poor, the weak, and the helpless is not for them an expression of grace and charity; rather, it is a requirement of strict justice. This is the debate this first section will engage, with this writer challenging the view of Wallis, Keller, and Forster.

1.2 The central argument: mishpat and tsedakah interchangeable

Wallis and Keller base their central argument[14] on the meanings of two key Old Testament Hebrew words, mishpat (justice) and tsedakah (righteousness). They argue that these have been misunderstood, with especially the term mishpat being badly served—too often restricted in its meaning to a very narrow, constricted, and almost legalistic concept of ‘justice’. Wallis asserts that, ‘Our understanding of biblical justice has been diminished by how the Greek and Hebrew words [mishpat and tsedeq] that were originally used have been translated,’[15] and Keller follows suit, devoting the entire first chapter of his book Generous Justice to a word study of these two terms, mishpat and tsedakah. Essentially, their arguments can be summarized into four main points, detailed below.

First, is their ‘interchangeability’ argument, Wallis states:

The biblical words for ‘justice’ are interchangeable with and interrelated with the words for ‘righteousness’. What is ‘just’ and what is ‘right’ are essentially the same. . . . And in about half the cases in where ‘just’ or ‘justice’ are used in the King James Version and the American Standard Revised Version, the words have been changed to ‘right’, ‘righteous’, or ‘righteousness’ in later versions.[16]

His point is that if mishpat and tsedakah (or tsedeq) are in fact ‘interchangeable’, then restricting mishpat to a sort of ‘strict justice’ which only punishes evil and repays a narrow set of rights, completely misses its wider sense of a general ‘righteousness’ that requires generous help to the weak. Keller does not use the word ‘interchangeable’ but makes exactly the same point when, citing Micah 6:8, he then writes, ‘The text says to ‘do justice and love mercy,’ which seem at first glance to be two different things, but they are not.’[17]

Second is their ‘obligatory’ argument: to restrict generous giving and merciful service to the realm of ‘charity’ or ‘compassion’ is less than biblical because where ‘justice’ is obligatory, ‘charity’ conveys a sense of voluntariness, of goodness above and beyond the call of duty. This is far too weak, they assert, given that helping the oppressed, the widow, and the orphan is actually a biblical obligation, something required.

Third is their ‘internality’ argument: they argue that tsedakah—‘righteousness’—is limited to internal piety only. Biblical righteousness is also social; it involves external relationships, the way we deal with people. And this social realm is the realm of justice par excellence.

Fourth is their ‘inseparability’ argument: they sum up their arguments by concluding that tsedakah (righteousness) cannot be separated from mishpat (justice). Keller says they are ‘brought together’, while Forster says they are ‘associated’, and Wallis says they are ‘interrelated’. The fact that mishpat is associated with tsedakah means, they argue, ‘Any neglect shown to the needs of the members of this quartet [of widows, orphans, immigrants, and the poor] is not called merely a lack of mercy or charity but a violation of justice, of mishpat.[18] In other words, the sort of righteousness that formerly was considered acts of mercy and gracious charity (attention to the weak) is actually always acts of justice; it is a subset of justice rather than a virtue altogether separate and distinct.[19] In essence, their ‘inseparability’ argument is a variation of their ‘interchangeability’ argument.

1.3 Agreement with Wallis, Keller, and Forster

There are important points they make with which we agree:

1. Tsedakah (righteousness) concerns not just our private acts, our inner piety, but our outward social behavior as well. Absolutely! God is concerned not just with our thoughts but with our actions in the concrete world and how we impact others.

2. Mishpat (justice) includes both a negative sense (judging and punishing wrongdoing) and a positive sense (giving people their due). Absolutely.

3. Generosity is not merely optional; it is required of us by God. Much is agreeable of Wallis, Keller, and Forster’s exhortation to the church to identify with God’s heart, a heart reaching out to the poor and needy. Keller is absolutely correct when he writes, ‘He [the God of the Bible] identifies with the powerless, he takes up their cause. It is hard for us to understand how revolutionary this was in the ancient world . . . [where] the gods . . . identified with the elites.’[20] The disagreement is simply with categorizing these as inevitably acts of ‘justice’.

1.4 Disagreement

Then there are important points with which we disagree[21]:

1.4.1 The association argument

Wallis, Keller, and Forster are right to claim that these two terms mishpat and tsedakah are ‘brought together scores of times’[22] and often ‘associated’ [23] with one another. What they have not successfully demonstrated is the nature of this association. Are they brought together as equivalents—two ways of saying the same thing—or as different though inseparable partners? Wallis, Keller, and Forster argue, essentially, that their ‘association’ is in the nature of identical twins; they are interchangeable, such that ‘generosity’ and ‘charity’ (all aspects of tsedakah) can be equated with ‘justice’. They argue that when mishpat and tsedakah are continually linked —Scripture repeatedly using the phrase ‘mishpat and tsedakah’—that Scripture is thus showing that these are two different terms for exactly the same concept—the concept of ‘justice’.

Here we disagree. That these terms are repeatedly joined together simply shows—not that they mean the same thing—that, biblically, they belong together and should never be separated. It is rather like Jesus pointing out on divorce that, ‘Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female. . . . What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate’ (Matt 19:4-6). The married couple were never to be separated, but they were always distinct—always male and female. Vive la différence! The fact they were always together, or ‘associated’, never implied they were anything but two separate partners with their own independent, distinct realities.

Similarly, mishpat and tsedakah are not—changing here the metaphor slightly— identical twins but rather siblings in the same family. They are clearly related and closely connected; at the same time they are as independent and different from one another as are actual siblings in a natural family. Taking yet another angle, they are ‘associated’ and connected in the same way the fruits of the Spirit are—they are part of a family of distinct virtues which nevertheless belong together. Galatians 5:22’s ‘joy’, for instance, is certainly ‘associated’ with the other virtues of ‘peace, patience’ etc., but it makes no sense to argue that ‘joy’ is the same thing as ‘peace’ etc. Similarly Jeremiah 9:24 associates three virtues, ‘kindness, justice and righteousness,’[24] but that does not mean that ‘justice’ is the same thing as ‘kindness’. Indeed, so different are they that not infrequently justice actually requires the stifling of kindness; it is one or the other.[25]

So individual and distinct are these virtues that Peter writes, ‘make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge. . .’ (2 Pet 1:3f). His clear assumption is that one virtue, while good, is insufficient; it lacks another virtue which needs adding. But this makes no sense if each virtue is in fact identical with the next, just with another name. Yes, the virtues are always ‘brought together’ and ‘associated’ but they always retain their individual and special characteristics.

So it is with mishpat and tsedakah. Wallis, Keller, and Forster have successfully argued that these two are always associated, that God is always concerned with both general ‘righteousness’ and with one of righteousness’ subsets, that of ‘justice’. Agreed! However, regarding Wallis, Keller, and Forster’s additional (and central) argument that this constant ‘association’ proves their interchangeability (ie kindness and generosity equal justice), this runs them into both an exegetical problem and a theological problem. Exegetically, as argued above, the continual listing of certain virtues together only shows they belong together; it does not show they are identical. Moreover, asserting they are identical renders non-sensical a host of biblical statements, some of which are listed above. Therein is the exegetical problem. The theological problem is equally significant: claiming mishpat and tsedakah are identical compromises our grace-based salvation.

1.4.2 The interchangeability argument: Confusing grace with justice

Were we to accept Wallis, Keller, and Forster’s position on the strict interchangeability of mishpat and tsedakah and on the ‘broader’ meaning of ‘justice’—such that gracious giving, helping the weak, going the extra mile all become necessarily acts of ‘justice’—then God’s own gracious acts (his righteous acts of tsedakah) would be equally acts of justice. After all, our virtues are only pale imitations of his. What is true for us is even truer for him. His own righteous acts would also be categorized as ‘justice’.

But in this case—if they are truly ‘interchangeable’—then mercy and grace would lose their unique status, being subsumed into ‘justice’. Justice is mercy and mercy is justice. But this cannot be; it would contradict a central biblical theme regarding the grace-based nature of our salvation. A Christian’s foundation is not justice. Our salvation-basis goes far beyond strict justice in its rootedness in both mercy (not getting what we deserve) and grace (getting what we ill deserve). This is the polar opposite of justice (or it is way beyond justice), which, as Keller correctly observes, entails ‘giving people what they are due’.[26] Christ gave us far more than what we are due (as surely Wallis, Keller, and Forster would agree). Blurring the important distinction between mercy/grace and justice is fatal. This blurring (at the salvation level) is not what they intend, but it is inevitable in their approach. This is not helpful.

1.4.3 ‘Mere’ charity?

‘Charity’ is out of favor with the non-Christian world. It is seen as demeaning. Justice-rooted benefits—those claims seen as ‘my right’—are deemed more dignifying. No mere beggars, coming humbly cap in hand; rather, we fight, demonstrate, and demand with heads lifted high that which is rightfully ours.[27] Playing into this sentiment might have been accidental for Ron Sider when he wrote, ‘God wills justice, not mere charity’,[28] but perhaps not. Perhaps he meant ‘merely’ in the sense of ‘only/alone’ rather than ‘mere’ in the sense of ‘insignificant/paltry’. But the tone is dangerous. For the Christian, charity can never be ‘mere’. It is the basis for all God does. Admittedly, mercy and grace can never dismiss justice as unimportant; nevertheless, the very basis all God’s actions in both creation and redemption is grace. Nobody ‘deserved’ either their creation or their redemption as an act of justice. None of this was our right; all of it is an undeserved gift. This is neither demeaning nor undignified; it is simply a fact of our dependent natures. Receiving help, then, when rooted in true charity which is graciously expressed, can never be demeaning.

1.4.4 Charity optional—yes/no

Keller is correct in arguing that charity is not optional,[29] but he errs in identifying the nature of its requirement. While neither charity nor justice are optional—both are commanded by God—they differ radically on a crucial point: in the sorts of ‘claim-rights’ each trigger. With a justice claim, a duty is triggered which can be called upon by the wronged party as his or her ‘right’. He has an actual ‘claim’. The wronged party not only ‘requests’ satisfaction, but legitimately can ‘demand’ it—either for a piece of property (or its equivalent), some money, an act restoring a relationship or carrying out a promise—which the other party must honor. It is otherwise with grace/charity/generosity. Charity/kindness/generosity may be requested by the receiving party but the specific thing requested—whether property, money, some restorative act—cannot itself be claimed or demanded as a ‘right’; it is a ‘wish’ or a ‘request’. This is very unlike justice-claims.

This is perhaps clearest in the realm of ‘forgiveness’. We cannot claim forgiveness as a ‘right’ from anyone—whether God or human—when we have wronged them. We can ask, request, plead and hope for it, but it is not ours by right. Justice-style claims for our ‘rights’ are simply irrelevant at this point. Only think of the Christian’s redemption-relationship with Christ: It is a freely-given, grace-based forgiveness which is the polar opposite of ‘justice right’ which we can demand as something ‘owed’.

And yet, Wallis, Keller, and Forster are right in pointing out that for the Christian acting beyond justice—whether forgiving, being generous, and charitable—is not just optional; it is a duty. The Christian philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff puzzled over this duty-that-triggers-no-rights aspect of forgiveness in his book Justice. This aspect of forgiveness was especially puzzling to Wolterstorff given his book’s general thesis that ‘to every claim-right there is a correlative duty’;[30] that is, that you cannot have objective ‘rights’ if you do not equally have objective ‘duties’ from which the rights stem in the first place.[31] They belong inseparably together. Accordingly, Wolterstorff confessed himself puzzled by the act of forgiveness. Here there seemed to be a duty on the one side (the forgiver’s) unattended by the reciprocating right on the other (the forgiven’s). Wolterstorff writes:

It appears that our theory commits us to denying the existence of duties of charity, paradigmatic of such duties being the duty to forgive. A malefactor does not have a right against his victim to being forgiven by the victim. The victim would not wrong the malefactor if, instead of forgiving him, he subjected him to anger, blame, and appropriate hard treatment. It appears to follow that there can be no duty to forgive and, more generally, no duties of charity—a duty of charity being a duty to treat someone a certain way when that person does not have a right against one to one’s treating him that way.[32]

This puzzles Wolterstorff because, his basic thesis being the inseparability of rights and duties, if there is no actual right to forgiveness—as he concedes—then equally there can be no duty to forgive. But, the problem is, Wolterstorff knows that there is such a Christian duty; both a duty of forgiveness in particular and charity in general. Here is how he solves his dilemma:

The solution to the puzzle is right in front of us. The duty to forgive, when one has such a duty, is a third-party duty. When someone validly commands me to forgive someone who has wronged me, it is not the malefactor but the one issuing the command who has a right against me to my forgiving the malefactor; correspondingly, my duty to forgive is not a duty toward the malefactor but a duty toward the one who validly commanded me to forgive. Neither before nor after the command does the malefactor have a right against me to my forgiveness; neither before nor after do I have a duty toward him to forgive him. On the assumption that Jesus was speaking on behalf of God, it is toward God that his disciples have a duty to forgive those who wrong them, not toward those who wrong them. And it is God who has a right against them, not the malefactors, to their forgiving the malefactors. I suggest that duties of charity in general are third-party duties.[33]

In contrast to Wolstertorff, Wallis, Keller, and Forster seem to think that only if an act can be categorized as ‘justice’—duties to which the other parties have a right—then only is it a duty for Christians. This is one of the reasons they seek to categorize helping activities for the weak and vulnerable as ‘justice’. But surely this is to allow justice to swallow up all the other virtues. Christians have many other duties of equal weight besides those of justice: charity, generous giving, forgiving—all are duties we owe God, even if our fellow man cannot claim them as their just ‘right’.

This is evident in the parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable does certainly encompass justice issues and justice claims, but the relevant point here is that the duty Jesus focuses on is not a justice duty. Jesus tells this parable to illustrate our duty to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Luke 9:27). It is a non-optional command of the law: ‘Do this and you will live,’ Jesus says (v 28). But it is far more than a justice command. The robbed man did indeed have a justice claim, but only against his robbers. The Samaritan was not constrained by justice; rather it was ‘pity’—‘when he saw him, he took pity on him’ (v 34). The injustice remained: neither were the Samaritan’s goods returned nor were his persecutors punished. But the consequences of the injustice—the pain and suffering he endured—were alleviated. This was not justice at work; this was God’s compassion on display. ‘Go and do likewise’, we are told (v 37).

1.4.5 The ‘so what’ question: Victimization and legalism

Properly categorizing the biblical call to help the weak as either justice or mercy is no mere theoretical and academic argument about arcane dictionary definitions of words. It makes a practical difference. There is a temptation today to turn all ‘needs’ into ‘justice rights’, rights which are ‘owed’ to the needy. But the biblical picture of justice claims seems quite different, involving not all needs but only certain kinds of needs.

So, for instance, in Deuteronomy 16:18-20 and 17:8-9, along with Leviticus 19:15, we read:

You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you (Deut 16:18-20).

If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to the place that the Lord your God will choose. And you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and they shall declare to you the decision (Deut 17:8-9).

You shall do no injustice in court. You shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great, but in righteousness shall you judge your neighbor (Lev 19:15).

Quite clearly, general ‘needs’—however real—do not automatically equal justice claims. The Scripture here actually rejects a person’s poverty—which by definition is the state of being in need—as being the central issue of a justice claim. It even forbids a judge to take that into consideration. Justice claims were far narrower than general needs; they involved issues such as homicide. An Israelite could not go to a judge and demand that his neighbor hand over a cow or a goat as a justice-right.

The practical problem with inflating justice by turning all our needs into ‘rights’, is two-fold: spreading ‘victimization’ in others and legalism in ourselves. When all our needs become others’ responsibility which we must demand in justice, then we have turned ourselves into victims. Victims are dominated by the sense of powerlessness, helplessness, and the view that others are both the fault and the solution.[34] Personal responsibility is abandoned; society ‘out there’ is responsible. And when and if society responds, rather than it being met with profound gratefulness, it is instead dismissed with a shrug of the shoulders which says, ‘Of course, this is only my due.’ This is poisonous.

Moreover, the problem is not simply what a rights-mentality produces in society, but what it triggers in ourselves: legalism. The grace-nature of God—which gladly gives where there are no rights—is obscured. Our relationship both with God and one another becomes a tit-for-tat justice equation, rather than one of generous giving and thankful receiving. In our relationship with each other, all our claims become ‘demands’ rather than ‘appeals’. This too is poisonous. A justice-orientation is a wonderful thing. But let it overrun its bounds—whether generally in life or more particularly in the economic realm (Wallis, Keller, and Forster’s focus)—and it distorts a more holistic view of life.

A more holistic view is laid out by Jesus in Matthew 20:1-16, a parable describing what ‘the kingdom of heaven is like’. Its entire point is that the kingdom concerns far more than justice, generosity playing a leading role. Now, from a justice-viewpoint, one can have much sympathy with the laborers in their complaint: They had worked since 9:00 in the morning, had ‘borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day’ (v 12) and yet had received exactly the same pay as those hired much later at 5:00 in the evening. That does not sound just, at first glance. Jesus answer was three-fold: first, that from a justice-viewpoint he was ‘not being unfair’ because he was acting in strict accord with their agreement (v 13). Secondly, he warned them to beware, on viewing the inequality of God’s distribution of largesse, of mistaking their apparently righteous indignation for the envy it really was (v 15). Lastly—and here was the heart of his answer—he responded that he ‘had a right to do what I want’, and that what he wanted was to act generously (v 15). Generosity, going beyond the limits of strict justice, was what the kingdom of heaven was all about. This is what the kingdom ‘is like’.

Generosity, not merely strict justice, marks how God deals with us and how we should deal with one another. When Wallis, Keller, and Forster seek, albeit with the best of motives, to replace this grace-based generosity with an emphasis on justice as the basic driver in social ethics, they end up inadvertently distorting a kingdom-of-heaven ethic. They are right, of course, in insisting that God is a God of justice and that justice must play a huge part in the way we deal with people. They are also right to insist on the importance of helping the weak and on this being an actual duty for Christians. However, it is a duty found not simply in strict justice, but in the broader sort of righteousness that makes up the kingdom of God.

Christians need, in our acts, to pursue both righteousness-as-justice and righteousness-as-grace/generosity while, in our theology, resisting confusing the one with the other.

2.0 Righteous business

2.1 Introduction

Justice. Righteousness. Scripture often treats these as synonyms. Yet each is distinct. To be just means one has avoided breaking the law, and has fulfilled the law. It conveys an absence of culpability. Righteousness, by contrast, implies a larger, fuller standard of behavior. It subsumes justice, but adds the love-motivated behaviors that represent the very heart of God’s kingdom. Righteousness is a higher standard than justice, applicable to those with ‘ears to hear’. We see this distinction play out quite clearly in Scripture’s guidance to business people.

The Bible has quite serious things to say to employers regarding just compensation of workers. God frequently and emphatically condemns businesspeople who take advantage of their workers, particularly through exploitive compensation:

‘Why have we fasted’, they say, ‘and you have not seen it? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you have not noticed?’ Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please and exploit all your workers (Isa 58:3, NIV; emphasis added).

Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty (James 5:4, NIV; emphasis added).

Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts’ (Mal 3:5, ESV; emphasis added).

God plainly considers oppressively low wages an egregious violation of his moral order, right up there with sorcery and adultery. In fact, the verses that follow Malachi 3:5 make clear that employers paying inadequate wages are, in God’s view, stealing from their workers just as much as those who don’t fulfill their tithe requirements are stealing from him. This means that paying one’s workers poorly is something God takes very seriously—as a matter of justice. It is worth noting, as well, that in all the places where God excoriates business people for exploitive wages there is not the slightest hint that he considers ‘but that’s what the market allows’ an exculpatory excuse.

That all said, nowhere in Scripture does God offer clear guidance as to what he considers an appropriate ‘minimum wage’. Why? In part the answer is that asking ‘What is the minimum wage I can pay and not be guilty of exploitation?’ is simply the wrong question. It’s like asking ‘How little can I do and still have a good marriage?’ or ‘What is the least I can do and still get into heaven?’ All these imply that one has missed the underlying message.

2.2 Shared rewards

But there is another reason, and it is here that we move from the arena of justice — applying to all employers—into that of righteousness for those with ‘ears to hear’. In 1 Corinthians 9:9-10, the Apostle Paul speaks (in part) directly to business owners:

For it is written in the Law of Moses: ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.’ Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.

For purposes of this passage, it is helpful to understand that oxen were viewed as simply a particular kind of farm worker. Oxen performed a variety of tasks on behalf of their owner/employer who, in turn, made sure they were fed and watered daily. Which means the default compensation for oxen farm workers was a ‘livable wage’ in exchange for their labor.

But God considers this insufficient. Instead, he commands that when oxen are treading out the grain at harvest, they be allowed to eat whatever supplemental grain they want. In other words, God says they must be allowed to enjoy ‘bonus’ feedings over and above the normal feedings (wages) provided by the farmer. Paul then makes clear that God’s real reason for this command is to instruct employers—employers of oxen, yes, but primarily of human workers, those hired to plow and thresh—that all who help produce a harvest are meant to share in the upside rewards of that harvest. In fact the thrust of Paul’s teaching is that God considers this shared-rewards principle so important, and means its application to be so pervasive, that for emphasis he extends its reach even to lowly oxen.

And because farming was the primary business activity of the day, God and Paul were not instructing farmers uniquely. Rather, they were providing a foundational principle for every business owner: All those who contribute to business success should share in its rewards, ie, they should share in the upside of business wealth creation.

To God, it is simple justice that employers avoid the low wages that exploit workers. But righteousness requires more. Righteousness—the true behavioral standard for God’s kingdom—requires that all who labor share appropriately in the upside rewards of their work, meaning that generous profit and/or equity-sharing is the standard for all those employers with ‘ears to hear’.

2.3 Gleanings

Gleanings is a second arena in which God counsels business owners in righteousness, not mere justice. At the establishment of the nation of Israel, God gave this command to the agricultural business owners of the day:

When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the foreigner. I am the Lord your God (Lev 19:9-10, NIV).

Then for emphasis, God repeats the same command in Leviticus 22.

But unlocking the fuller significance of gleanings requires two further understandings. First, commercial farms were the chief means of wealth creation in ancient Israel. Landed farmers were not merely farmers, they were privileged owners of the primary business (wealth-creation) engines of their day. Understood more broadly, therefore, God brought the gleanings mandate not simply to farmers, but to those who controlled the engines of wealth creation. He was forging a direct connection between the needs of the poor and the predominant wealth-generating businesses of the day.

Secondly, and most importantly, there is a giant loophole at the center of gleanings. In both places where God establishes gleanings, he carefully requires farmers to leave the edges of their fields unharvested—and never specifies the size of the unharvested border. Should it be six inches? Six feet? Sixty feet? This most critical detail seems to have entirely escaped God’s attention.

It is as if God went to all the trouble of establishing tithing for his people, but forgot to specify a percentage. Or established the Sabbath, but failed to mention that work was forbidden. Those would be equivalent oversights. So why this particular omission? What is going on here? Let’s take a closer look.

Gleanings was not simply about redistribution. It wasn’t simply about taxing businesses, or businesspeople, to provide for the poor. Rather, with gleanings God forged a direct, experiential connection between businesspeople and the poor. Let us picture how this played out:

A farmer/businessperson stands in one of his fields, overseeing the harvesting effort of his employees. He thinks back to the risk and effort in acquiring this field, plowing, planting, tending, all the while not knowing whether the rains would come or the locusts would stay away, now though a rich harvest is being gathered.

This is a pregnant moment. The business engine is producing its rewards, and there is an invisible question on the table: Who should rightfully share in these rewards? To the businessperson, all too often, the question is implicit because the answer is obvious: the rewards are mine! I had the vision. I took the risk. I labored long and hard. Of course, I now deserve the rewards.

And then the farmer glances over to the edge of the field and sees several of the poorest members of the community gathering the gleanings. He thinks to himself, without the gleanings from my field, these people would probably be forced to beg. They might even starve. And very often, a heart softening and even a heart and vision recalibration begins.

The farmer/businessperson thinks: you know, that makes me feel good. In fact, it makes me feel proud to see that all the risk and effort of running my business is doing more than fattening my purse. Via gleanings, my business is doing something important and good for the neediest members of my community. As a result, my entire community is strengthened and blessed.

I begin to see that this business engine I run, and this business vocation I pursue, is capable of more than merely giving me and my family a good life. It is capable of giving a good life to my community, even my society. And, as I think about it, that is the way it should be.

After all, I did not cause the rains to come, the locusts to stay away, or the seeds to bear fruit. God did all that. So this harvest is really the fruit of a partnership between my efforts and the goodness of God. It is only right, therefore, that those God wants to bless—the poor and marginalized especially, and my community generally—share in the rewards of his and my partnership.

This transformation of heart for the businessperson gives insight into God’s deeper wisdom and intent for gleanings. God was addressing two very different poverty problems for two very different groups of people. One group was the economically impoverished—those who had been pushed to the margins of the socio-economic system. They needed an opportunity to provide for themselves, an opportunity not available through the normal workings of the economic system. Gleanings connected their need directly to the business engines of the day. In doing so, gleanings effected a resource and opportunity reallocation that was considerably more potent and scalable, and dignity-preserving, than personal charity.

But that was not the only poverty God targeted. Businesspeople face a different poverty problem. The very risk and hard work inherent in starting and running a business incline them toward selfishness regarding its rewards. And God knows that selfishness, left unchecked, inevitably impoverishes the soul. Like a cancer, it chokes the life out of relationships, and eventually chokes the very life out of life.

But God also knew that many businesspeople, seeing firsthand the poor being blessed through the fruits of their business, would begin to experience a transformation of heart and vision. They would learn just how good it feels to have their hard work serve a purpose greater than self-interest. Ideally, they would begin to see their businesses as capable of bringing about not merely the good life for themselves, but the good society.

But—and this is critical—if God had specified the size of the unharvested portion of one’s fields, most businesspeople would have simply treated gleanings like a tax. It would have felt like simply one more onerous levy—a ‘cost of doing business’ best paid and forgotten. Instead, by making each landowner decide what portion of his harvest to allocate to the poor, God made explicit the choice to be generous (or not). Each businessperson had to come to grips with just how much, or how little, of the rewards of his business would help care for the most vulnerable members of the community.

No doubt for some, each year the amount left for the poor was trivial—a mere foot or two at the edge of the field. Greed had already worked its hardening effect. But for others, the yearly gleanings decision played out differently. It may also have started small, just a couple of feet. But as they saw the most vulnerable members of their community helped, their hearts expanded. Next year the border was larger, and larger again the following year. Eventually, as they gained a vision for their business blessing many, the border may have been twenty, or thirty, or even fifty feet wide.

One form of poverty required resource reallocation; the other required heart realignment. Gleanings targeted both. It was, and remains, God’s radical plan to bring the rich (and their business engines) and the poor together to solve each other’s mutual poverty—and prosper the human community in the process.

God intentionally forged a direct connection between business engines and the poor.

Businesses are the creators of economic wealth and opportunity—precisely the resources of which the poor are in desperate need. Via gleanings, God made business engines the primary means (economic and opportunity) of provision for the poor.

It is easy to miss the essence here. God did not say to the business owners, ‘Once you have harvested the economic rewards of your business efforts, I want you to pass a portion of those rewards along to the poor.’ Rather, God did something more pointed, more radical. He says instead to the farmer/businesspeople of Israel, ‘I want to make a direct link between your business engine itself—your commercial farming operation—and meeting the economic and opportunity neediness of the poor.’

Note, again, that God could easily have found a less direct way to leverage the wealth generation of businesses to assist the poor. But he did not. Rather, via gleanings, God brought the poor and the business person into direct contact.

3.0 Justice and human trafficking

‘Charity’ is the generosity that alleviates needs that are immediate. ‘Justice’ is the process by which generosity configures our ways of providing education, delivering health care, doing business, and creating laws that lessen the need for charity. There will always be immediate needs even in the most just of worlds. Charity is the more attractive generosity. We see immediate results for the better and we enjoy—here and now—the gratification that comes from doing good. Justice is less attractive because it usually calls for personal and communal change, and we are creatures of habit.[35]

3.1 Wilberforce and the abolitionists

In the 1700s the slave trade was widely accepted and legal. It was, in fact, a major backbone of the economy of the British Empire. It was big, organized, and transnational.

Indeed, ‘This Slave Trade was the richest part of Britain’s trade in the 18th century. . . . Between 1750 and 1780, about 70% of the government’s total income came from taxes on goods from its colonies.’[36] Everyone was at the trough, profiting—the ship owners, the plantation owners, the factory owners who had a market for their goods, and the West African leaders who were involved in the trade.

William Wilberforce and the Clapham group decided to fight this evil trade. They chose to attack the systemic issue—the legality of the slave trade and slavery. To that end they organized a decades-long campaign focusing on justice, aiming at a root cause. They worked politically to change unjust and ungodly laws that permitted the dehumanizing trade.

They could have chosen an easier route of awareness campaigns and a boycott of sugar from plantations in Jamaica, but they knew such initiatives in themselves would not free the slaves or bring about lasting change. The feel-good factor may have been higher, but the long-term outcomes would have been meager.

Today the slave trade and slavery are illegal, but not dead. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery, and it is a lucrative and evil business. Just like Wilberforce and his colleagues, we need to ask what the systemic issue is today—and we need to fight for justice for those caught within this evil trade. But first, what is human trafficking?

3.2 What is human trafficking?

Human trafficking finds its legal definition in the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2000).[37] This definition highlights three primary characteristics of the crime: act, means, and purpose. The ‘act’ of trafficking may include recruiting, transporting, or harboring people, by coercion or inappropriate means, for the purpose of exploitation (gaining and keeping the money for their labor).

Although the most prevalent form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation, human beings are also trafficked for their labor and for their organs. Women and children are most vulnerable to every type of exploitation. Although the phenomenon of exploitation sees regional variations, poverty, sexism, and racism create vulnerability across the globe.

The Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people were enslaved globally in 2016. According to the report:

Those countries with the highest absolute numbers of people in modern slavery are India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Uzbekistan. Several of these countries provide the low-cost labour that produces consumer goods for markets in Western Europe, Japan, North America and Australia.[38]

Sex trafficking in particular rakes in enormous profits. The Institute for Faith, Work, and Economics points out:

The reason why sex trafficking persists is straightforward: immense profitability with minimal risk. A net profit margin of over 70 percent makes sex trafficking one of the most profitable businesses in the world. It is becoming increasingly easy and inexpensive to procure, move and exploit vulnerable girls.[39]

Indeed, sex trafficking ‘is one of the most flourishing and profitable businesses worldwide, often quoted as the third most profitable business for organized crime after drugs and the arms trade.’[40]

This is a wrong that cannot be ignored. God commands his people to ‘seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow’ (Isa 1:17-18), calling us to be his agents, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to demonstrate Christ’s love for the entire world.

3.3 Fighting human trafficking—the roots and the gap

Human Trafficking is complex and survivors need a bridge to freedom. That entails governments, NGOs, and business working together.

For many years the anti-trafficking movement has primarily engaged policy makers, legislators, advocacy groups, and NGOs, including Christian non-profits. We acknowledge that there are still some issues of legislation and law enforcement that must be improved. But that is not the systemic issue, nor the major missing piece today.

We need to identify root causes to human trafficking. One answer is unemployment. Places with high unemployment and under-employment become high-risk areas, where traffickers trick and trap vulnerable people looking for jobs. Thus there can be no adequate prevention of human trafficking unless jobs with dignity are created.

Likewise, no sustainable solution with dignity has been achieved unless jobs with dignity can be provided for survivors of human trafficking. Effective prevention and restoration require jobs. Who can create jobs with dignity? Businesspeople. Thus we must engage the business community to develop all kinds of business solution to fight this injustice.

That unemployment and poverty creates the vulnerability to sex trafficking is clear from the true stories documented on the US State Department’s site on sex-trafficking:

[KUWAIT]: Nicole left her impoverished family to work as a maid in Kuwait with the intention of sending her earnings back home. For nine months she worked constantly, suffered physical and verbal abuse, and received no pay. When her work visa expired, her employer took Nicole to the police and falsely accused her of a petty crime. Nicole tried to explain her innocence and reported that she had not been paid and had been abused over the past nine months. The police did not listen and instead jailed Nicole for six months. After her time in jail, Nicole was deported and returned home without any compensation.

[VENEZUELA—TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO]: Working with a recruiter in Venezuela, Sarah accepted a job in a nursing home in Trinidad and Tobago. She was thrilled by the chance to earn more money, yet nervous that she had to leave her home and did not have enough experience in elder care. When Maria arrived in Trinidad and Tobago, she realized she had been deceived. The recruiter informed her she owed a large debt, and instead of working at a nursing home, she was forced into prostitution at a local hotel bar. Her recruiter confiscated most of her earnings each night.

[CAMBODIA]: After Lai’s family fell into debt to loan sharks, her mother asked her to help the family earn more money. Lai, just 12 years old, was examined by a doctor and issued a certificate of virginity. Her mother then delivered her to a hotel where a man raped her repeatedly. For nearly two years, Lai’s mother continued to sell her to make money to pay off their debts. After learning her mother was planning to sell her again, this time for a six-month stretch, Lai fled her home and found sanctuary in a residence for sex trafficking victims.[41]

Both sex-trafficking and the poverty which creates a vulnerability to it need to concern Christians because God is concerned with both aspects of the injustice.

As to the injustice of sex-trafficking, the Bible is clear. It prohibits the sale of human beings and offers severe punishment to those who offend in this way. People-stealing, the closest modern equivalent to human trafficking, was prohibited in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 24, and constitutes one of the thirteen capital crimes in Deuteronomy 12-26.[42]

The story of Maya—sold for USD 55 by her impoverished parents in Nepal, thinking she was going to do carpet work—illustrates why the Bible takes this so seriously. Maya, here, tells her own story:

Once I came to Mumbai, the dalal [trafficker] sold me to a malik [brothel boss] in Kamathipura. The malik told me I owed him thirty-five thousand rupees [USD 780], and I must have sex with any man who chooses me until this debt is repaid. I refused, and his men raped me and did not feed me. When I agreed to do sex, they gave me medicines because I had a urine infection. I was in that bungalow two years and made sex to twenty men each day. There were hundreds of girls in this bungalow, many from Nepal. One time I tried to escape. I complained to the police, but they did nothing. A few days later the malik’s men found me on the streets and took me back to the brothel. The malik put chili paste on a broomstick and pushed it inside me. Then he broke my ribs with his fist. The gharwali [house manager, madam] tended my wounds for a short time, and after this time I went with clients again. . . . [After four years] when I was strong I ran away. I went to a shelter near Falkland Road. They told me I have HIV. They helped me contact my father, but he told me not to come home. He said I can never be married and because I have HIV, I can only bring shame.[43]

Maya’s story illustrates a scenario typical to trafficking worldwide—what created the on-ramp to this injustice was a family’s poverty.

After decades combating exploitation and trafficking, Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag observes, ‘Legislation is no longer the barrier to freedom. . . . As far as rescue, the NGO community is hard at work on this part. The assistance that NGOs struggle to provide is livelihood, jobs that create options for the future and reintegration into the workplace and community. That’s why business has such a crucial role in fighting exploitation.’[44]

3.4 Use your business

Why business and not a non-profit response? Business responds to a root cause (joblessness) that creates vulnerability, and it is able to take survivors a step beyond restoration to assist in the essential task of reintegration. Rebecca Bender, trafficking survivor, says that ‘being trafficked was hard. Surviving exploitation was hard. But facing an unknown future with no resources or skills was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.’[45]

Why business?

  1. Jobs help to restore dignity—charity does not. Dr Richard Mollica has done extensive work with victims of trauma. His experience indicates that ‘work is the compass that shows the survivor the direction he or she must take to get out of a psychological dead end. Work not only gives survivors an opportunity to earn money and be productive, but [provides] an overall sense of purpose and value.’[46]
  2. Jobs offer an excellent context for deep and necessary healing that contributes to restoration.
  3. Jobs offer hope, and a future. Providing for one’s own needs, family, and even contributing to community wellbeing lays the foundation for a new life—the essence of reintegration.

Two examples out of many, Outland Denim and Nightlight Design, illustrates business’ potential.

3.4.1 Outland Denim

Outland Denim founder James Bartle traveled to Cambodia and Thailand with the Christian rescue operation, Destiny Rescue, to see the issue first-hand. Bartle recounts:

There . . . I witnessed a young girl where it looked like it may have been her first night; she was scared and intimidated. That was the turning point for me. I asked the guys that I was with what we could do for her, and there was nothing. Everywhere there were underage girls working for sex; it was pretty confronting knowing that the little girl’s life was changed forever. I have two little girls and I thought, for whatever reason, her father wasn’t there to try to save her. It was deep inside that I knew I was meant to fight for these girls.[47]

He decided that creating work was the most practical solution he could offer for trafficked women.[48] Offering employment through making jeans was the plan—even though he and his wife knew little about the denim business at the time! They started off as a not-for-profit, but he says they discovered that ‘that was not working; it was never going to be sustainable. We took the form to a “for profit” business and we call it “profit for purpose”, and it’s been the best thing we’ve ever done.’[49]

Outland Denim began in 2011 and now employs 31 Cambodian women.[50] And it is changing women’s lives:

Just by paying a living wage, even without the education element, was enough for women to build houses for their family. . . . By empowering them, they don’t become reliant on us, they actually just become staff with great work ethic and amazing skills in lots of areas, not just as a seamstress. That brings real change. We’ve only had two girls leave since we founded, and they’ve been able to get jobs in facilities with supervisors because they’ve been upskilled.

One girl bought rice fields and bought a sister back who was purchased by a man. Another story that warms my heart every time is that one of the girls helped set someone else up in a business by buying her initial fabric and things like that. So, to me, that says we are winning. It’s a pay it forward mentality these girls are getting.[51]

3.4.2 Nightlight Design

Nightlight Design is another business created to help women escape the sex trade. Annie Dieselberg went to Bangkok in 1994 with her husband and four children to work with the urban poor. Listening to exploited women turned her to a new direction in 2005—business as mission. She explains:

It started with conversations with women in bars who told me they didn’t want to be there and if there was anything else they could do they would have chosen that. . . . I started with the idea that Nightlight would be just vocational training. But when I listened to the women’s stories I realized that what they really wanted was a secure job.[52]

Annie found that another key component of creating employment for these women was not the security it provided, but also the dignity:

One of my heart stories that drives me is a woman I met when she was still in prostitution. She told me that sometimes she did not know if she was still a human being so she cut herself. She said if she saw blood and felt pain she knew she was still alive, still human. When she started making jewelry at NightLight she said to me, ‘Annie, I used to catch myself with my head low because I was so ashamed of who I was and what I was doing. Now I catch myself with my head up high because I am proud of what I am doing.’[53]

Here then is the challenge. It is not enough to take a position against human trafficking. Entrepreneurs with a heart are needed. Jobs are essential in the process of freeing slaves and restoring human dignity. According to the Trust Conference Action, ‘Without safe employment, 80% of survivors will get re-trafficked.’[54]

3.5 Freedom Business Alliance

Human trafficking is a huge and hugely profitable crime, connecting criminal organizations around the world. It is big, organized, and transnational. On the other side, most of those combatting trafficking are in the non-profit sector; and the groups responding are often small, local and poorly connected. We need to develop strategies and initiatives focused on business solutions to human trafficking, and they must have the capacity to be (or become) big, organized, and transnational.

In 2012, the Business as Mission (BAM) Global Think Tank assigned a working group to explore business solutions to human trafficking. The group’s report notes that:

Traditionally, businesses have been relegated to participating in anti-trafficking work as the funding source for the work of non-profits. However, business as mission (BAM) entrusts business with much more than simply funding non-profit work; the business itself becomes the vehicle of change. As such, both nonprofit and for-profit strategies are integral to success in anti-trafficking work. By combining the necessary components of economic productivity and holistic ministry, the staggering numbers of people caught in the trade can be reduced through the powerful response of freedom business.[55]

The group identified businesses that aim at providing solutions to human trafficking, particularly by providing jobs for prevention and restoration.[56] In 2015 the think tank’s deliberations led to the launching of the Freedom Business Alliance (FBA), a global trade association that believes business can be a powerful tool in the holistic restoration of individuals and the transformation of their communities.

FBA’s chief focus is helping freedom businesses to succeed by providing business training and mentoring, industry research, networking opportunities, information, resources, and marketplace connections. It also engages larger corporations. In January 2016, the Freedom Business Alliance was invited to address business leaders (from companies like Coca Cola, Life Shape, Oracle, Anthem, Randstad, Deloitte, SalesForce, Delta Airlines, and Infosys) who wanted to use their business experience and corporate infrastructure to combat human trafficking. FBA presented the corporations with on-ramps for engagement, including:

  • allowing employees to do pro-bono consultation with freedom businesses;
  • employing vulnerable people in every place they do business;
  • training freedom businesses in business skills; and
  • becoming financial supporters of the Freedom Business Alliance

3.6 Freedom Business Forum 2017

Businesses like Nightlight and Outland Denim (both FBA members) exist because jobs with dignity are a primary need for prevention of human trafficking. They are also necessary to bring restoration to survivors of modern-day slavery. The Freedom Business Alliance exists to help freedom businesses—these and others—to succeed.

To that end the Freedom Business Forum was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in late August 2017. FBA hosted 138 people from 28 countries to network with other freedom business leaders and access business training and expert consultants. The event was designed as a ‘one stop shop’ for strategic solutions to the challenges facing freedom business, and an opportunity to build community for the freedom journey.

3.7 Movements of societal transformation[57]

Fighting human trafficking through business solutions is necessary but it is not a quick fix. Groups such as the Freedom Business Alliance are seeking a good and lasting change, a holistic transformation on a macro scale.

Throughout history there has been movements of societal transformation. We can mention the Protestant reformation, Wilberforce and the abolitionists, the suffragettes, and the Civil Rights Movement in the US.

Looking at these movements, one can observe some common themes. The groups often started as a small minority with a shared vision and common values. They connected with one another, built a critical mass, and had a commendable tenacity.

The freedom business movement has the potential to become a movement of societal transformation. The vision is clear and the values are shared.

Pursuing justice through business and wealth creation, and growing freedom businesses to bring freedom and achieve societal transformation is not instant coffee: take a few bits of BAM thinking and a desire for freedom, stir into a business and voilà—transformation. No, societal transformation takes time. We want to set a stage and serve our generation in such a way that it will be a blessing for many generations to come.


Appendix

  • Consultation on Wealth Creation (CWC): Background and Context

    The CWC was not just an event. The Consultation held in Thailand, in March 2017, was a part of a consultative process, which in turn is part of broader, longer, and on-going conversations related to issues like the church, business, poverty, wealth creation, and missions.Therefore, it is important to understand the background and context of each CWC report. They are important pieces of a bigger puzzle. To understand the picture that is emerging, as we put the pieces together, one needs to see some of the other key pieces.The CWC is yet another outcome of the historic commitments adopted in the Lausanne Covenant of 1974. Here, while committing themselves to the importance of evangelism, evangelicals also expressed repentance for ‘having sometimes regarded evangelism and social concern as mutually exclusive’. Wealth creation for the economic betterment of our world is one of those neglected social concerns; and it is this that the CWC addresses.All CWC participants were presented with a list of required reading. These readings all related to the CWC assignment of exploring the Role of Wealth Creation in Holistic Transformation of People and Societies.The CWC was partly a follow up of the Lausanne Global Consultation on Prosperity Theology, Poverty and the Gospel held in April 2014. Thus, all needed to be familiar with the Atibaia Statementhttps://www.lausanne.org/content/statement/atibaia-statement (more information below).

    The Lausanne Global Consultation on Wealth Creation was in collaboration with BAM Global, and thus some of its work and reports were included in the required reading.

    ‘Why Bother with Business as Mission’, by Mats Tunehag

    http://matstunehag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Why-Bother-with-Business-as-Mission-v-18-April-2017.pdf

    The executive summaries of three BAM Think Tank Reports

    CWC is linked with three other global consultations that dealt with similar issues, held 2004, 2009, and 2014.

    The Lausanne BAM Issue Group

    The first BAM Global Think Tank was held under the auspices of Lausanne. The Business as Mission Issue Group worked for a year, addressing issues relating to God’s purposes for work and business, the role of business people in church and missions, the needs of the world and the potential response of business. It summarized its findings in the BAM Manifesto (2004). Here are a few excerpts, to illustrate a growing consensus among leaders that wealth creators are called by God to serve in business.

    • We believe that God has created all men & women in His image with the ability to be creative, creating good things for themselves and for others—this includes business.
    • We believe in following in the footsteps of Jesus, who constantly and consistently met the needs of the people he encountered, thus demonstrating the love of God and the rule of His kingdom.
    • We believe that the Holy Spirit empowers all members of the Body of Christ to serve, to meet the real spiritual and physical needs of others, demonstrating the kingdom of God.
    • We believe that God has called and equipped business people to make a Kingdom difference in and through their businesses.
    • We believe that the Gospel has the power to transform individuals, communities and societies. Christians in business should therefore be a part of this holistic transformation through business.
    • We recognise the fact that poverty and unemployment are often rampant in areas where the name of Jesus is rarely heard and understood.
    • We recognise that there is a need for job creation and for multiplication of businesses all over the world, aiming at the quadruple bottom line: spiritual, economical, social and environmental transformation.
    • We recognise the fact that the church has a huge and largely untapped resource in the Christian business community to meet needs of the world—in and through business—and bring glory to God in the market place and beyond.
    • See also BAM Manifestohttp://matstunehag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/BAM-MANIFESTO-2.pdf 

     

    Wheaton Consultation

    A global consultation on Business as Integral Calling was held in Wheaton, Illinois in October 2009. It brought together leaders from the realms of business, non-profit organizations, and Christian ministry with theologians and academic leaders in business, economics, and missions. Excerpts from the Declaration:

    Lamentation

    • We lament that the church and business itself have undervalued business as a vehicle for living out Christ’s calling, and have relied excessively on non-profit approaches that have resulted in dependence, waste, and an unnecessary loss of human dignity.

    Celebration of Faith and Hope

    • We celebrate the growing movement of people seeking to be used by God and to deploy business economic activity for God’s Kingdom. 
    • Business can create value, provide the dignity of work, and transform communities by improving livelihoods.
    • Business can be an integral calling to proclaim and demonstrate the Kingdom of God by honoring God, loving people, and serving the world.
    • Business can also provide a powerful opportunity for the transformation of individuals to achieve their full potential for creativity and productivity and to flourish and experience a life of abundance as envisioned by the Kingdom of God.
    • Business can be used to help restore God’s creation from its degraded state.
    • It is our deep conviction that businesses that function in alignment with the core values of the Kingdom of God are playing and increasingly should play an important role in holistic transformation of individuals, communities and societies.
    • See also Wheaton Declarationhttp://matstunehag.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Wheaton-Declaration.pdf

    Atibaia Consultation

    Wealth creation and distribution were discussed as part of the Lausanne Global Consultation on Prosperity Theology, Poverty and the Gospel held in Atibaia, Brazil in 2014. The consultation affirmed that sharing wealth is good and biblical, but wealth distribution is too often our main response to meeting peoples’ needs. It identified the need to seek increasingly to understand how businesses can bring solutions to global issues, including poverty and human trafficking. The notion of simplicity as a universal value was also challenged, and needed to be addressed further.

    The Atibaia Statement is quite long, but here are a few excerpts related to wealth creation, business and the poor.

    • Christians are called not only to give and share generously, but to work for the alleviation of poverty. This should include offering alternative, ethical ways, for the creation of wealth and the maintenance of socially-responsible businesses that empower the poor and provide material benefit, and individual and communal dignity. This must always be done with the understanding that all wealth and all creation belong first and foremost to God.
    • We acknowledge that, in the global market economy, one of the most effective tools for the elimination of poverty is economic development, and yet evangelicals have often failed to promote value-driven business solutions to poverty.
    • How can we more effectively work for the establishment of creative, ethical, and sustainable business endeavors in the fight against poverty?
    • See also Atibaia Statementhttps://www.lausanne.org/content/statement/atibaia-statement

Endnotes

  1. Editor’s Note: In the Manifesto, ‘Church’ (with uppercase) and ‘church’ (with lowercase) are used intentionally, the former denoting the global Church and the latter the local church.
  2. With significant input from Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag.
  3. Tim Weinhold and Mats Tunehag address some of these later in this chapter.
  4. They were called the ‘radical evangelicals’ because . . . that is what they called themselves. Even at the Lausanne Congress itself in 1974, there was a group calling itself the ‘Radical Discipleship Group’ concerned to overcome the dualism between preaching and service—or, as they said, ‘divorce between the kerygma and the diakonia’—and the ‘superficial equation of the Christian mission with the multiplication of Christians and churches’, thus ‘getting over the “Church Growth’ syndrome”’ Rene Padilla, ed., The New Face of Evangelicalism (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1976), 12. Puerto Rico-born evangelical theologian Orlando Costas captures something of the spirit of this movement when he described ‘radical evangelicals’ as those who ‘call into question the accommodation of today’s culture and churches to affluence, militarism, and unjust social and economic structures.’ Al Tizon, Transformation after Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission in Global-Local Perspective (Oxford: Regnum, 2008), 3.
  5. Herbert Schlossberg, Vinay Samuel, and Ronald Sider, Christianity and Economics in the Post-Cold War Era: The Oxford Declaration and Beyond (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 3. Among the participants were Miroslav Volf, Herbert Schlossberg, Rene Padilla, Doug Bandow, Michael Cromartie, all who added to the contributions made in the first 1987 gathering by Nicholas Wolterstorff and Samuel Escobar among others.
  6. One participant, P.J. Hill, a University of Chicago-trained economist teaching at Wheaton College, commented, ‘It became clear at Oxford II that there were fundamental differences among the participants as to what justice is, and these differences were left largely unresolved.’ Schlossberg, et al, Christianity and Economics, 102, and n.1.
  7. Schlossberg, et al, Christianity and Economics, 57-58. Emphasis in the original.
  8. See the Oxford Living Dictionary, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/generous.
  9. Timothy Keller, Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just (London: Penguin Books, 2012), 15-16.
  10. ‘Royal Commonwealth Society Speech, 21 November 1975 —The Economic Challenge: Dialogue or Confrontation’, Julius Nyerere, Speeches and Statements, http://www.juliusnyerere.org/resources/view/the_economic_challenge_1975. Of course, Nyerere’s whole argument rests on his zero-sum view of economics where wealth is not so much ‘produced’ and increased; rather, it is a fixed given which simply must be divided up, with the winners’ shares reducing the losers’ share. As he says, ‘There is a certain amount of wealth produced in the world. If one group of people grab an unfair share of it, there is less for the others.’ See Nyerere, ‘The Economic Challenge’. The escape in the last decades of large segments of India and China from subsidence and poverty would seem to demonstrate the falsity of Nyerere’s foundational assumption. 
  11. See R. Dixon, ‘Cancel Iraqi Debt? What About Africa?’, L.A. Times (26 January 2004). Available at http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jan/26/world/fg-africadebt26; A. Forrest, ‘Did Live 8 Work? 10 Years On, the Debt Burden Returns,’ Forbes (13 July 2015). Available at https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamforrest/2015/07/13/did-live-8-work-10-years-on-the-debt-burden-returns/#7558a9d837cb.
  12. Jim Wallis is founder of the Sojourners magazine, long-time critic (from an evangelical basis) of the Religious Right, and energetic advocate of social justice. Tim Keller, after serving with InterVarsity, founded the Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and is author of several New York Times best-selling books. Greg Forster is the director of the Oikonomia Network and visiting assistant professor of faith and culture at Trinity International University.
  13. Greg Forster, ‘How Should We Talk about Justice and the Gospel?’, The Gospel Coalition, accessed 30 July 2017, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/how-should-we-talk-about-justice-and-the-gospel. The disagreement with Wallis, Keller, and Forster reflects a far more ancient debate within the church. Fourth century church leaders such as Basil, Bishop of Caesarea, and Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, struck stances very similar to Wallis, Keller, and Forster when they portrayed the rich holding onto their property as violating justice and thereby actually ‘stealing’ from the poor. So Basil, preaching to his congregation from Luke 12:16-21 on the duty of alms-giving, imagines the rich’s objection of ‘To whom am I doing an injustice . . . by keeping what is mine?’ just because they happened to possess their goods before the poor man did. Basil responds: ‘That’s the rich for you. They get first hands on common property and make it theirs because they got it first. . . . If each person would only take for themselves what would meet their own needs and then relinquish what is left to someone in need, no one would be rich, no one poor, no one in need. . . . Where do your present belongings come from? Say it is an accident of fate and you are an atheist. . . . Admit . . . it comes from God, tell us the reason why you got them. . . . Aren’t you a robber? Making your own private property what you took to administer? . . . And does the man who refuses to clothe the naked, when he is capable of doing so, deserve any other name? The bread you hold belongs to the hungry person.’ Peter Garnsey, Thinking About Property: From Antiquity to the Age of Revolution (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007), 217. Chrysostom took a similar line; so did Gratian, the twelfth-century compiler of Catholic Europe’s developing new law code, the Decretum: ‘A man who keeps more for himself than he needs is guilty of theft.’ Gratian, Decretum Dist. C. 21; 47 c. 8, cited in Garnsey, Thinking about Property, 217. In what became the majority view, however, Thomas Aquinas wrote up his magisterial Summa Theologiae (thirteenth century) which ‘qualified the radical line in earlier Church thinking which, in the writing of St. Basil . . . had denied that it was legitimate to preclude others from the use of common property.’ Istvan Hont, Jealousy of Trade: International Competition and the Nation-State in Historical Perspective (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2005), 420. The earlier views had largely been based on the view that God, in creation, had given all men common property and that, therefore, private property was illegitimate. Aquinas, on the other hand, argued that while ‘natural law’ had indeed granted ‘common property’ to all at creation, subsequent human ‘positive law’, in ‘decreeing private property ownership of possessions is not contrary to the natural law, but an addition thereto devised by human reason.’ Thomas Acquinas, Question 66 of Summa Theologiae, 2a2a, http://www.newadvent.org/summa/3066.htm.
  14. See Jim Wallis, The (Un)Common Good: How the Gospel Brings Hope to a World Divided (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2014), 243-46; see also Timothy Keller, Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just (London: Penguin Books, 2012), 1-15.
  15. Wallis, The (Un)Common Good, 243.
  16. Wallis, The (Un)Common Good, 244.
  17. Keller, Generous Justice, 3.
  18. Keller, Generous Justice, 5.
  19. In arguing that mercy is interchangeable with justice and is a subset of justice, this is not to assert that they argue that justice always requires mercy. Justice is the larger set of which mercy is its subset, not vice versa. Thus, there are times, even in Wallis, Keller, and Forster’s thinking, when justice may dispense with mercy and find that judgment and punishment are appropriate. This is not where my disagreement with their position lies. My disagreement merely lies with their making mercy justice’s subset.
  20. Keller, Generous Justice, 6.
  21. I, Paul Miller, do not deal, in the main text above, with Keller’s claim that, ‘Some Christians believe that justice is strictly mishpat—the punishment of wrongdoing, period’ (Keller, Generous Justice, 10), because I believe it to be a mere straw-man argument not deserving detailed treatment. That is, I do not know any who contend for this purely negative meaning. There are many, on the other hand, who advocate a far narrower, indeed almost legalistic, definition of justice, but even this far narrower version always includes numerous positive duties such as honoring your promises, paying your debts, faithfulness to your family, safekeeping of matters entrusted to you, honest weights, etc.
  22. Keller, Generous Justice, 10
  23. Forster writes, ‘Scripture . . . associates justice with a broader set of duties, including generosity.’ Forster, ‘How Should We Talk about Justice and the Gospel?’
  24. ‘I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth’ (Jer 9:24),
  25. See Deuteronomy 19:21 (God commands, ‘Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life’), or Exodus 10:2 (judging Pharaoh, God tells Moses, ‘that you may tell . . . how I have dealt harshly with the Egyptians’), or Jeremiah 13:14 (describing his coming judgment of Israel, God declares, ‘I will not pity nor spare nor have compassion’).
  26. Keller, Generous Justice, 4.
  27. See K. Lynch, ‘Charity No Substitute for Action’, Irish Times, 24 November 2012, http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/charity-no-substitute-for-action-on-inequality-1.556405; and see E. Gibbs, ‘We Want Rights and Respect, Not Charity or Pity’, Junkee, 15 September 2015, http://junkee.com/disability-activists-are-calling-for-an-end-to-steptember-2/64306.
  28. Ron Sider, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 1997), 81.
  29. God commands we love our fellow man. Love is not optional. In Matthew 25:25-30 Jesus observes the greatest commandments, upon which all the others hang, are to love God and love one another. And while love includes justice, it goes beyond strict justice.
  30. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Justice: Rights and Wrongs (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 252.
  31. Wolterstorff would not say that rights ‘stem from’ duties as his position is that they are both primary, being simply the flip-side of each other: ‘Neither . . . does it follow that rights have been grounded in obligations. . . . In using the language of rights, we bring to speech the patient-or recipient-dimension. . . . In using the language of obligation, we bring to speech the agent-dimension.’ Wolterstorff, Justice, 382.
  32. Wolterstorff, Justice, 383.
  33. Wolterstorff, Justice, 384.
  34. Héctor Tobar, son of immigrant parents, tells of the shock of a ‘well-meaning liberal’ photographer whom he accused of pandering in ‘Immigration as a popular type of porn’ through his stock photographs hitting the ‘same pathetic and melodramatic note over and over’ by his pictures of ‘detained immigrants’ and ‘brown-skinned innocents being led away with cuffs’ with ‘the startled expressions of children caught misbehaving’. Far too much victimization for Tobar’s taste: It denied their proud and ‘full humanity’. ‘“Dude, this isn’t who they are,” I said.’ Tobar would far rather see depictions of the ‘Tenacity and stubbornness [that] are the defining qualities of undocumented America. . . . His dignity and his burdens would be plain to see, but perhaps also a certain raffish quality—the lively brown eyes of a man who has found his way through adversity with wit and wiles.’ Héctor Tobar, ‘Immigration as a Popular Type of Porn’, New York Times (International Edition, 9 August 2017), 3: 13.
  35. Mats Tunehag, ‘Business Solutions to Human Trafficking’, The BAM Review, December 8, 2017, http://businessasmission.com/business-solutions-to-human-trafficking/. 
  36. The Abolition Project, http://abolition.e2bn.org/slavery_45.html
  37. The UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2000) defines sex trafficking as: ‘recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.’ Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, United Nations Treaty Series (15 November 2000), 2237: 319; available from https://www.osce.org/odihr/19223?download=true.
  38. See https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/findings/.
  39. See https://tifwe.org/the-economics-of-human-trafficking/.
  40. United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, ‘Human Trafficking’, http://www.unric.org/en/human-trafficking.
  41. US Department of State, Victims’ Stories/Trafficking in Persons Report 2017, accessed 18 November 2017, https://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2017/271107.htm.
  42. Myrto Theocharous, ‘Stealing Souls: Human Trafficking and Deuteronomy 24:7’, in For Our Good Always, Studies on the Message and Influence of Deuteronomy, eds Jason S. DeRouchie, Jason Gile, and Kenneth J. Turner (Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns, 2013).
  43. Kara, Sex Trafficking, 2.
  44. Jennifer Roemhildt Tunehag, email of 14 November 2017.
  45. European Freedom Network conference, http://www.rebeccabender.org/, accessed 16 – 20 October 2017.
  46. Quoted in Kristin Brown, ‘The Market Project: Healing for Trafficked and Traumatized People through Work’, Institute for Faith, Work, & Economics (26 September 2017), https://tifwe.org/the-market-project-healing-for-trafficked-and-traumatized-people-through-work/.
  47. Teresa Miller Archer, ‘The “Zero Exploitation” Company You Need to Hear About’, Darling, 21 November 2017, http://darlingmagazine.org/outland-denim-interview/ .
  48. Brittany Steward, ‘The Aussie Denim Brand Making a Difference’, Mamamia (28 September 2016), https://www.mamamia.com.au/outland-denim/, and ‘Destiny Rescue: Who We are’, accessed 27 November 2017, https://www.destinyrescue.org/aus/who-we-are/about-us/.
  49. Archer, ‘Zero Exploitation’.
  50. Steward, ‘The Aussie Denim Brand’.
  51. Archer, ‘Zero Exploitation’.
  52. ‘Our Story’, NightLight, http://store.nightlightinternational.com/ourstory_s/135.htm, video 48 second to the 1:08 minute mark.
  53. Annie Dieselberg, ‘Hold Fast to Your Dream’, Keynote address at the Freedom Business Forum, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 23 August 2017, http://matstunehag.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Keynote-address-Freedom-Business-Forum-2017-Annie-Dieselberg.pdf.
  54. ‘2016 Trust Conference’, Thomson Reuters Foundation, http://www.trustconference.com/actions/i/?id=0598c1c2-c724-410d-a5e0-ac60fa9d7b8c . Here the conference was speaking not just of sex-trafficking but every variety of modern-day slavery.
  55. BAM and Human Trafficking Issue Group Report: ‘A Business Take-over: Combating the business of the Sex Trade with Business as Mission’, Executive Summary.http://businessasmission.com/resources/bam-human-trafficking-report/.
  56. Jennifer Tunehag describes the development of the Freedom Business Alliance in an interview; see http://businessasmission.com/fba-interview/.
  57. See also Mats Tunehag’s article on BAM, the olive tree, and movements of societal transformation from 2013: http://matstunehag.com/2013/05/08/bam-the-olive-tree/.
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