Many of the women we serve have only ever heard and considered how God hates them because of their job. They have been called horrible names, including “homewreckers” and “unworthy.” They find it extremely hard to hear the message that God loves them simply because they are his creation, not because of what they do or do not do. But these are the first steps to help them find meaning in their lives. When they understand and take to heart that God IS love and sees them with grace and mercy, not hellfire and brimstone, this begins to open doors in their hearts to begin move forward and be hungry for something more.
Free2BMe cultivates the idea of community. The women we meet are invited into our lives to do life with us. We invite them into our homes, into our everyday experiences, including outreach, church, family life. We express our understanding of God and his love through his kingdom. He is building a community in which we are accountable to in love. Often times exotic dancers have a very limited group of friends. Many have ostracized them because of their behaviors. Others who cling to them are often untrustworthy and unstable themselves. Having an open theology in which God is concerned more about the persons wholeness than their profession, gives us the opportunity to love unconditionally, allow these women the space to belong before we ever ask them to believe. We believe that we are the straight line for these women to observe and learn from and that can only be done in community.
Community allows for discipleship (sometimes without our acknowledgement). When we live in such a way that is faithful to scriptures ideas of communities, people are drawn to it because it is often the only real, straight line that they have in their life. That straight line is observed and often imitated. It becomes discipleship as they begin to reach out for the things they do not have in their own lives. Pinnock says “Unlike the animals, we are unfinished beings, created with potential that is not yet actualized. Our identity lies in front of us, not behind us.” There’s no easy model for the discipleship of women who are broken and hurt in the ways that women in the industry often are. Our sexuality is part of our spirits and the wounds that we afflict there or others afflicted there for us are more difficult to heal than any other wounds we experience.
All of this slow and sometimes painful for us, but we know that God is faithful. Without an open theology, we begin to put our timelines, our expectations, and our requirements for success with these women and we fail in our mission as Christians to make disciples, but just as important we fail in our mission to love one another as we love ourselves. The Free2BMe Project is working on long-term transformation. We are interested in seeing women truly experience and encounter and knowing the real love of Christ. This love draws us out of our pits; we know it to be true. We have experienced it. As we journey with women in the sex industry teaching a theology that gives them freedom to be the women they were created to be, we are able to begin to teach them they are not unworthy, they are not horrible labels, but instead they are loved by God, worthy and able of great things, even greater things than Jesus himself. Spiritual formation through Open theology empowers captives to become free and in return free others!