NOT all Salvationists would be comfortable sharing information at an event such as Sexpo but officers and volunteers from The Salvation Army's Southern Africa Territory believe that if Jesus Christ was on earth today he would be 'standing beside' them when they take a stall among the hundreds of exhibitors at the Sexuality and Adult Lifestyle Exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa, in late September.
The main focus of The Salvation Army's involvement will be to promote a Christian understanding of sexuality and to raise awareness of slavery and trafficking issues in South Africa and around the world.
Public Relations Secretary Major Carin Holmes says: 'We're not going there to condemn anyone. We aren't going to lecture people. We trust that we will have many meaningful conversations with exhibitors and the public and that many relationships with an eternal value will be built.' She adds that The Salvation Army wants to 'leave judgment aside and ask God for a way to communicate with grace and truth that liberates and sets all people free', adding that other exhibitors at Sexpo seem genuinely pleased to know there will be a Salvation Army presence at the event.
The organisers of Sexpo describe the gathering as 'the world's largest event of its kind focusing on a broad spectrum of adult-related topics' which aims to 'educate, inform, entertain and celebrate our sexuality'.
Apart from handing out Salvation Army promotional material, officers and volunteers will distribute material on human trafficking, the sexualisation of girls, and an account of how a porn star found God. Visitors will also be invited to sign petitions to stop human trafficking.
'Sex trafficking is the truly grim, tragic and hidden aspect of a glamourised industry,' says Major Holmes. 'We believe that it's not good enough for the Church to sit inside its four walls and expect the community to come to us. We have to get out and be the Church in the community.'
Adapted from a media release published by the Southern Africa Territory