In light of the Ashley Madison adultery website scandal and my own past struggle with pornography, Iâ€™m reminded of how destructive sexual sin is. The level of shame that Josh Duggar has brought to his family and himself is devastating.
Notwithstanding, Troy Newman of Operation Rescue brought some clarity to the issue on a recent Facebook post:
â€œI’m so sick of the â€˜I’m addicted to pornâ€™ baloney. If you are a man, and you are looking at nasty pictures, STOP IT!!! Itâ€™s that simple. You are not addicted. You are an idiot. Just knock it off. Just man up and stop being a perv. End of rant.â€
Hear, hear! While the temptation of pornography can be strong, no man is addicted to it nor is there no escape from it. A man is equipped with the tools to fight it:
â€œFlee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.â€ (1 Corinthians 6:18)
The word flee in the Greek means the same thing in English. It means run for your life, escape danger, elude capture, or just plain run away. My nephew Bernie once shared at a menâ€™s breakfast in Germany that when you see porn you have to physically turn your eyes away. It is such a simple solution and yet a profound statement because so many men do not.
Sexual immorality is the opposite of purity. It is lasciviousness, which is simply impurity and filthiness. In his first letter to the Corinthian church, Paul calls out the brethren for allowing such conduct to be present among them:
â€œIt is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentilesâ€”that a man has his fatherâ€™s wife! And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you.â€ (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)
The acceptance of the sexually immoral among the church is spreading across America like wildfire. Just recently at the First United Methodist Church in Austin, a homosexual man proposed to his homosexual partner while giving their faith testimony. They had been together for nine years and this church not only allowed them to worship in their church; they encouraged them to share their testimony. See verse 2 above.
As Christians we too often focus on the sinners and not the shepherds. It is the pastors and clergy across America who are allowing sexual immorality in their churches. Furthermore, the flock is willingly following these false prophets and teachers. They are not following the true Shepherd:
â€œI am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.â€ (John 10:14-16)
The argument for loving the sinner and not the sin is valid, however it does not give the body of Christ the freedom to allow open sin amongst itself. Sin must be dealt with or the body will be destroyed. 1 Corinthians 5 gives instruction on how to deal with unrepentant sin and Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians also added this:
â€œFor I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.â€ (2 Corinthians 12:20-21)
The Road to Repentance is always open. However, all roads do not lead to restoration. The Bible is clear on how we are to deal with sexual immorality and unrepentant sin.
I have seen this work. I have also seen too many cases where Christians decide they know best and either invite and embrace lasciviousness among them, or they refuse pastoral authority and leave the church.
Fighting by fleeing is the way we defeat sexual immorality from among the flock: not fighting with and fleeing from Godâ€™s Word.
May we be found faithful to it.
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