I meet a lot of people who are interested in The MST Project. We meet, we share good meals and then I am usually asked to share about the history of how we started. Before I begin to share, I like to ask people what they think of the ministry. Invariably they will say our purpose is to “eliminate the demand”, “bring justice to the oppressor”, “remind men of the harms of pornography”, “to share about the injustice that is the sex-industry” and on and on it goes. I think you get the picture. It is almost as if people expect us to do ministry a certain way, to think a certain way, and to jump on another bandwagon with well-worn seat covers but that isn’t who we are. You see, people think that if men could just control their lustful desires then the industry would just go away. I take the time to explain to people that in my opinion there are so many issues that need to be addressed beyond men simply keeping their pants on. The industry is too huge and the issues facing us are so enormous and often overwhelming that it is simply naïve to lay the majority of blame squarely at the feet of one group of people.
What if there is government corruption that allows an “illegal” activity to thrive? Do poverty and illiteracy not play a part as well? Do families not bear some responsibility for applying pressure to provide through whatever means necessary, even when it means degrading oneself? What do we make of those who place more value on materialistic possessions than on their own body? Sadly, the list goes on and on. I am in no way making an excuse for any one particular individual’s choice. We must all bear the weight of responsibility and choice, and the consequences that may follow those choices. I just ask that as we look at this issue, we must see the industry like a huge wheel with many spokes. Men who visit red-light districts are but one of many spokes that make up that wheel. So, who we are? Simply put, we are men of faith committed to walking life alongside other men seeking wholeness. We desire to extend grace, not hate, for it is possible to transform a heart when we look beyond the stereotypes that are all too common. We see men not as a ‘John’ nor a perpetrator but rather a man just like us with a life story consisting of high’s and low’s – a story that we want to hear and perhaps help define how it will end.
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