Morality in America is in a death spiral, and it has been for over a generation. The fact that our society finds movies like “Fifty Shades Darker” entertaining rather than shocking shows just how far we’ve plummeted since the so-called “sexual revolution” began. Idea’s, attitudes, and actions that seemed radical in the 1960’s now permeate our culture as the norm. The problem is that our sexually-charged culture is reaping the consequences of sexual sin without shame because most people simply don’t recognize sin as sin any longer.
For the most part, the evangelical church seems to be in denial on the issue. Many preachers are so fearful of offending an already skittish congregation that they shy away from dealing with sexual sin—or with sin altogether. Sermons that focus on coping with the consequences of sin are much more appealing than sermons on dying to self or on repentance. As a matter of fact, “sin” or “consequence” would seldom be in the title of the sermon because that would be considered offensive. I know what you’re thinking—an article dealing with the consequences of sexual sin is like throwing an ice cube on a forest fire, but social acceptance is not a prerequisite for biblical truth.
There’s no better place in Scripture to find truth on sexual sin than the story of David and Bathsheba. We often turn to Psalm 51 and recall it in the context of God’s forgiveness of David’s sin—adultery and then the murder of her husband, Uriah. However, Psalm 38 offers other insights. Many scholars believe it is David’s recollection of the consequences he suffered as a result of his sin. Although he shares his hope for God’s forgiveness, he is consumed with the realization that this particular sin had impacted every area of his life with pain and agony:
- He was spiritually oppressed.
- He was physically sick.
- He was mentally and emotionally worn out.
- He was socially abandoned.
- He was politically vulnerable.
Like David, our nation and its citizens are reaping the agonizing consequences from decades of sexual sin. Consider some of the evidence. According to the World Health Organization, America ranked third in depression, anxiety, and alcohol and drug use. And 110 million Americans have a sexually transmitted diseases with 20 million cases of new STD infections reported each year.
Before Christians self-righteously judge these facts as a “them” problem, we have to also look within the church walls. A study by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy found that eighty percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18-29) said that they have had sex. Ashley Madison, the website for married people looking to cheat on their spouse, reported that forty-eight percent of their participants identified themselves as protestant or evangelicals. It seems that evangelicals have embraced the sexual revolution.
Those of us in evangelical circles have often been quick to point out the problems without offering a solution. Well, the problem is called “sin” and the only solution is full and complete repentance. Because King David dealt with his sin honestly and with God humbly, he received forgiveness and restoration. The pain and consequences of his sin were intensified by his early attempts to cover it up. However, when David was confronted he made a full and public disclosure.
Today, we’re faced with a new wave of sexual revolution. Taking a stand on what God calls sin has never been more challenging. The starting point isn’t Christians ranting on social media. Like David, those of us who claim the name of Jesus Christ must deal honestly with our own attitudes and behaviors that fall short of his righteous standards. I challenge you to take an honest look at what you consider entertainment and consider whether or not you have joined the sexual revolution. Sexual sin isn’t unpardonable, but it’s consequences are painful. If our nation is to humbly fall before God in repentance it must begin with those in the house of God.