Friday, August 21, 2015

The Impropriety of Reality

         By Daniel Shultz 
            Perhaps there is no special way to start an article about this subject, or perhaps instead I should quote some bible verses about sexual purity, or maybe still some about gossip. I’m not really sure I know what I want to say as I begin to write today. One thing is very clear to me, and that is that I am saddened. 
            There has been yet another scandal involving reality TV personality Joshua Duggar. This time his sexual sins are recently committed having been outed in the big Ashley Madison hacking dilemma. When the first scandal broke a few months ago, I thought about writing an article, I even started one, but ultimately I decided to remain relatively silent on the issue. I had seen others say what I wanted to say and some did so more eloquently than I was perhaps able to at the time.
            I trusted the Duggars when they said that Josh had received some form of help, and that the molestation that he was committing stopped. No one should have been naïve enough to think that the end of such a sin would be the end of all sexual sins for Mr. Duggar. When one has a propensity to certain sin, it sometimes can take a lifetime of sanctification to rid the person of that sin. Sure sometimes a person changes and leaves behind a particular sin and loses all desire to do it, it has even happened to me, but some sins, especially secret sins, linger and fester and try to grab a foothold in a person’s life.
            This paragraph marks the end of my comments on Josh Duggar. Why? Because I do not know Mr. Duggar, we do not attend the same church, I am not his church Elder. My job should be to seek his restoration and repentance, and since I don’t know him personally I should endeavor to pray for him.
 So often I see people use a sexual sin in order to trounce an individual who holds to possibly incorrect theology. They hold up the sin as the smoking gun that disproves the theology of the individual, as if somehow it is only the people with correct theology that cannot fall. It happened recently when Tullian Tchividjian admitted to having an affair. Those who disagreed with his theological positions used it as an example of how his theology leads to such things, despite the fact that there are plenty of people who share his views who haven’t had affairs.
            Having “perfect” theology doesn’t produce perfect obedience. One only has to look at the history of the church to see how true this is. In fact one only has to look at the bible to see just how true it is. King David certainly didn’t have major aberrant theology, he was called “a man after God’s own heart” and yet he murdered a man in order to cover up his affair with that man’s wife. Paul rebuked Peter because he was not living in light of the truth that he knew and taught.
            As I sit writing this I think of my own battles and struggles with sin, some of it sexual. I cannot remember a single sexual sin I committed in which I did not cry out to God for help afterwards. I abhorred the things I was doing and yet I continued falling into temptation. I am reminded of the painful and truthful confession of Paul in Romans chapter 7. “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”
Sin does not come only to those who love it, but also to those who hate it. We can hate sin all we want, but ultimately it will linger on until we are completely sanctified and glorified with Christ. For the apostle Paul spoke the truth when he said “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” and also when he said “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.”
            I’m not excusing sin, the bible is clear that we are to seek to put to death the sin that lingers in us and we are to put those who remain unrepentant out of our churches. However we as Christians should not relish in the sin of others. We should not use the sinful moral failings of professed brothers as a dagger to slay the theological Julius Ceaser before us. Let us not be like the senate, let us not resolve ourselves to sin in order to satisfy our desire to see the republic restored. Instead let us remember the end of Roman’s chapter 7.
            “but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
            Praise be to Christ Jesus our Lord indeed.

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