The fate of the sex worker

May 1, 2011

Enjoying going back through some old books tonight and looking at the pieces I’ve highlighted. This is from A. Herbert Gray’s Men, Women and God; A discussion of sex questions from the Christian point of view (21st edn, First published 1923).

It’s a wonderful, prophetic call to love the prostitute, and to recognise our own part in her situation. Though he writes regarding the prostitute, it equally refers to all sex workers, including porns ‘stars’

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‘It is not the prostitute who is unthinkable. She is only the tragic figure in the centre of a devil’s drama. It is society’s attitude to her that is unthinkable. By men she is used for their pleasure then despised and scorned. By women, she is held an outcast, and yet she is the main buttress of the immunity of ordinary women from danger and temptation. She is the creation of men who traffic in lust and yet is held shameless by her patrons. She is the product of the social sins for which we are all ‘responsible, and yet is considered the most sinful of us all.

‘And she exists because men say they must indulge their passions and women believe it. She is the incarnation not of her own but of society’s shame. She is the scapegoat for thousands who live on in careless comfort. Every man who touches her pushes her farther down, and our hollow pretence of social morality is built upon her quivering body.

‘Will you men who read this please think about her? Think till you are horrified, disgusted and ashamed. Think till you realise this unthinkable thing. And then remember that she exists only because of us. We as a sex have created this infamy. We as a sex still continue to condone it.

And there is only one cure for it. It is that we should stop uttering or even believing the lie that we must indulge our passions, and should act upon the truth that continence outside marriage is perfectly possible, and that we owe it to women, to ourselves, and to God to achieve it.’


What should the missionary approach be? Musings from a 1950s missionary in Korea

May 1, 2011

From Arch Campbell’s ‘The Christ of the Korean Heart’ (1957)

Much has been written and said concerning the ‘missionary message for today’. Varied opinions have been expressed as to what ‘approach’ should be made to win the non-Christian world to Christ. Some of the opinions have been offered by swivel-chair missionaries in offices in New York, or professors in American theological seminaries. Sometimes we are told that the approach must be through social uplift, sometime through agricultural improvement, sometimes by cultural exchange, sometimes by loving service. All these efforts have their values and their influences. But nearly forty years of close acquaintance with the Christians of Korea, living in their mud-walled homes, eating at their tables, often wearing their style of clothing, worshipping with them, praying with them, conducting thousands of ‘examinations’ for baptism, teaching them the Word in their own tongue and watching their faces, hearing them sing their favourite hymns, hearing them pour out their souls in their daybreak prayer meetings, have convinced me that the message that really grips the heart, that sends them to prisons, to beatings with joyfulness, to death or to witness to their fellow countrymen, to build their thatched-roofed and beer-can-roofed churches, is the message that gripped Suh, the same message that gripped the great heart of Paul. ‘He loved me, and gave Himself for me.’