Human Beings Are Not For Sale

The liberating gospel of Jesus Christ addresses the human condition in every age. Lutherans are not stuck in the 16th century. Our theology, which emphasizes the liberating grace of God, is for today.

So, we declare that “Human beings are not for sale.” We know that in some countries, foreign workers must labor under appalling conditions. We ask: is slavery really over? Or did it find other, more subtle ways to continue with the unacceptable practice of exploiting work forces, human organs, children and women? For hundreds of thousands of people, human trafficking—the selling of human beings for profit—continues to be a nightmare standing in stark contrast to God’s liberating love.

For we also know that God’s love for us, which has been made real through the life, death on the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ, offers values which affirm that human beings, their rights and dignity, are not commodities to be to be traded on the open market. They are not for sale.

As we mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Reformation, when Luther highlighted God’s gracious love for us as key to our salvation, we dare to proclaim, “Human beings are not for sale.”

Read the booklet: Human Beings - Not for Sale

Commentary: Why Human Beings Are Not for Sale

“Human beings not for sale” brings to mind the strange and sad history that accompanied humanity from early times; the broken condition in which one took power from the other by degrading their living conditions and denying them the same rights and opportunities as others. Failure to respect the dignity of other human beings makes them appear as objects; as something that has a value, but a value related to financial and commercial purposes, which might result in exploitation. With this view of other human beings the community is no longer complete.

Read More
Upholding the Rights of the Poor and Opressed

The LWF Department for World Service has been working for and with people in need for over 5 decades. A core principle of the work is upholding the dignity of the people we serve.