Wednesday, October 3, 2018
As I prepared to write this column, there were continuing news stories related to the devastating report about the 1,000 children whom were sexually abused by Catholic priests in some Pennsylvania dioceses. One article highlighted the Catholic church’s own report from 2004, which found more than, “4,000 US Roman Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations in the last 50 years involving more than 10,000 children . . .” Wow! And that was in just the United States. There were also reports in Austria, Chile, and others.
What is happening that children do not appear to be safe in a church with a clergy person? When I considered that, I slowly began to see how the Catholic church scandal is a devastating picture of a larger problem.
In protestant churches, pastors have resigned after admitting to adulterous affairs with someone in their own congregation. In the business world, executives have been fired for sexually preying on members of their staff. On school campuses, teachers have gone to jail for taking sexual advantage of their students. In politics, well-known elected officials have stepped down because of sexual harassment. In the home, family members have been arrested for sexually abusing their own children. In neighborhoods, young men and women have been picked up and sold into the global sex trafficking industry.
What is the common thread in all of this? Sexual immorality. God our Creator has given us instructions. We are to walk in purity and restrict our sexual activity within the bonds of marriage. Abusers and the immoral have total disregard for this. They engage in adultery, pornography, incest, rape, homosexuality, prostitution, molestation, pedophilia, fornication. All these and more are condemned by God and have devastating consequences for ourselves and others.
What can we do? Fight against these evils in our culture by committing to your own purity. It is written, “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Corinthians 6:18). When you commit to purity you are helping to protect your home, church, workplace, school, neighborhood and your own life. It is not easy. Temptation is all around us. That is why it so wide spread and sometimes we fail. We cannot do it on our own. We need help. We need Jesus!
He died and rose again to defeat the power of sin, which is at the root of our immorality. He rose from the grave to make us holy and beautiful before Him. When we turn to Him He comes to dwell within us by His Spirit. And that Spirit gives us the ability to be pure. No matter who you are or what you have done, Jesus can wash you clean and empower you to live a pure life.
A prayer for you to pray– “Lord God, I want to be clean. I admit I have done things with my body I should not have. I regret it and confess my impurity. Please, oh Lord, wash me. Remove my immorality. Forgive me and make me a new person today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”