Thursday, November 10, 2011

One Person's Sexual Sin has Tentacles that Ruin Many LIves

As I have watched the events unfold at Penn State University over the last three days I cannot help but reflect on the destruction that comes with sexual sin.  While it is true that all sin is sin, and whenever we sin we act in defiance of a holy God, there is something uniquely powerful and devastating about sexual sin.

Sexual sin is not a solo sin.  The shame, guilt, secrecy, addictive tendency, and rippling consequences of sexual sin are like tentacles that stretch out and stealthy latch on to the lives of many people who are often not involved with the sexual sin at all.

Look at the damage that Jerry Sandusky's sexual sin and perversion has done at Penn State.
- Little boys have been emotionally scarred, some whose lives are harmed forever.
- A university President has been fired.  And now his family must work through that.
- One of the greatest college football coaches of all time has been fired and his legacy tarnished by scandal.
- Sandusky's wife, children and grandchildren must all now life with their name tied to a pedophile.
- Current Penn State students have this event stamped on their college experience.   
The list could go on and on.

Yes, Jerry Sandusky's specific sexual sin was horrific, but the same principle applies for all sexual sin.  Imagine a man who has given over his life to a relationship with his computer and an addiction to pornography late at night.  Every night he stares at the screen and feels shame in his soul, but he rationalizes that he isn't hurting anyone else with his sins.  But that's not true.  His wife is being cheated and he is not the "one woman" husband he pledged to be.  His kids are being harmed because their father is in the grip of sin and is not free to love them fully.  His daughter is harmed because her father is participating in the cultural exploration and objectification of woman, and someday some other sexually addicted man is going to want to use her as the object of his fantasies.  If the man does finally admit his sin and get help than there will be many more consequences, all involving the lives of other people - family, friends, possibly a job.

Sexual sin is a deeply serious issue.  The Bible speaks against sexual sin again and again, in all its forms (fornication, homosexuality, perversion, lust, improper desire, incest, adultery), and the Bible warns about the devastation caused by sexual behavior that is outside of the plan of God.  Satan has used sexuality to pull many men and women away from God, and he masks his evil work by highlighting the enjoyment and pleasure that sex gives a person, while blinding them to the consequences sexual immorality has.

People rightly should grieve for the situation at Penn State University, but they must also look at their own lives and examine their own temptations and proximity to sexual sin.  If nothing else Coach Joe Paterno was guilty of omission, of not acting when he had the power to do so.  As Christians we are also guilty of omission when we don't stand on the Word of God as the source of rightly ordered sexuality and when we don't speak against the work of Satan in the myriad of ways he has perverted sex and noramlized sexually deviant desires and behaviors in our world.
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