Tag Archives: child

That Teddy Bear Stole Your Kid’s Identity! (…and when innocence suffers)

spying teddyTeddy…How Could You? You were a treasured member of the family! You eat, sleep, and play next to the kids all day long. But this time, you’ve gone too far, and you’ve got to go!

Actually, to be fair, Teddy is an inanimate object, incapable of doing harm to others. But, apparently, Teddy was hiding a little secret in all that techno-gizmo and gadgetry. Teddy’s interactive, web-accessible features were hack-able. And hackers did hack, as hackers will do.

The Teddy Bears in question are Fisher-Price’s Smart Toys, enabled with V-Tech chips. And due to a security breach, personal information loaded on the Teddy Bears, like, “names, birthdates, gender, language,” was accessed. Perhaps even more concerning, was the access to:

“alter the customer’s account; create, edit or delete children’s profiles; see if parents were using the toy’s accompanying mobile apps; and read other miscellaneous data, like what purchases the customer made, game scores and other items.”

Yikes! So basically, a toy…perhaps one of the oldest, and most innocuous household children’s toys, was used to infiltrate the home, invade privacy, and potentially wreak havoc on children and their families. Nice.

No one likes being hacked. And we don’t want our privacy invaded. But there is something especially sinister about violating the privacy of a child and using their beloved teddy bear to do it!

Why is it especially sinister? Because we inherently understand and value the innocence of children.

The Bible tells us that we are born pure and innocent:

  • God made man “upright” (Ecclesiastes 7:29) and in His image (Genesis 1:26, 1 Corinthians 11:7, James 3:9).
  • God fashions us in the womb (Job 31:15; Malachi 2:10).
  • God, who is sinless, gives us a perfect soul that will return to Him (Ecclesiastes 12:7).
  • Our goal is to become innocent and pure in faith, like little children (Matthew 18:3, 19:4).
  • We are born blameless until we sin & iniquity is found in us (Ezekiel 28:15).

So when we hear that a child’s toy has been used to steal information that might lead to identity theft, financial problems, and spiritual and emotional pain, we are righteously indignant. But let’s be sure to remember why we have such a visceral reaction. Godliness!

You see, even though sin is in the world, it really isn’t natural. It is an invention of mankind. As Deuteronomy 32:5-6 points out, sin corrupts and causes perverseness in those who choose it. It is utterly against our natural design (Romans 1:20,26,27, Jude 10). But time in this world dulls us to our true nature and many have chosen the perverseness of the world.

Jesus said, “It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea, than that he would cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:2).

I suppose, as long as blatant sin against innocent children still horrifies us, there is hope that people will recognize the error of their ways and repent. But there will come a time when sins against little children will be met with total indifference…and perhaps we are almost there.

Jesus tells us that destruction will come as it did in the days of Noah, with people largely unaware of just how sinful their land had become (Luke 17:26). Don’t be caught unaware! Heed the alarm. Renew the fight. Defend the innocent. Live for Him…according to your true nature, in Him, today.

Bought and Sold in a Broken World

One of my favorite songs is, “What a Wonderful World.” God has given us such indescribable beauty in His creation. But as beautiful as this world is, it is marred by the ugliness of sin. And perhaps there is nothing uglier in this world than what Niki Grover saw at a recent exhibit at Kansas State University. “It makes me feel sad, disgusted. It makes me realize how broken the world is,” said Grover, a junior in psychology.

What could cause that kind of absolute morality from a college student in a post-modern world? Grover had just been to “Empathy Week,” put on by iEmpathize, an organization that raises awareness about sex trafficking. And, as if awakening from a deep slumber, America is learning how severe this sinister profession has become. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, “human trafficking is tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest criminal industry in the world today.” And it is the fastest growing.

Worldwide, there are nearly 2 million children in the commercial sex trade according to UNICEF. According to the Department of State there are an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 people trafficked across international borders annually, and approximately 80 percent are women and girls. Perhaps the most sickening thing about this industry is that over 50 percent are minors.

In the book of Hosea, we read of Gomer, a woman who was caught up in “sex trafficking.” God instructed Hosea to buy her back, illustrating how He will “buy back” His people (Hosea 3). I used to read Hosea and ask whether I would have bought Gomer back. I see now that I am Gomer, and you probably are too. Sold into slavery by sin and Satan, each of us has been bought back from the market by the blood of Jesus. How will we respond? Will we turn a blind eye to the precious price God paid for us? If we have been redeemed, what will we do to protect Gomers being sold into sin today? He paid the price, it is up to us to go get them (MT 28:19).