Welcome back to Defender’s Voice. This is Paul Kattupalli. The past few weeks our news headlines are dominated by sex scandals. Roy Moore is the Republican nominee in the 2017 special election for the United States Senate. For the secular media, he has been controversial over the years is an understatement. He consistently took positions antithetical to the secular mainstream. He opposed abortion, he opposed same-sex marriage, he opposed removing Ten Commandments from public places, he opposed removing prayer from public gatherings, he opposed sharia law, he opposed transgender bathrooms. He is the kind of person the secular mainstream does not tolerate anywhere in the Washington. Their worst fear is Christian values becoming public and mainstream.
I was day dreaming Senator Roy Moore giving a passionate speech in the Congress defending Christian faith. Then came the terrible news: At least four women described an unwanted sexual advance or assault by Moore. One of them claimed that she was 14, another was 16, when Roy Moore flirted with them in his 30s. One woman said Moore touched her inappropriately. Moore denied these allegations: ‘I never had any contact with her’, ‘I don’t even know the woman’, ‘I never date a girl without her mom’s permission’, ‘As I recall, she was 19 or older’ etc, etc.
Who is telling the truth? I don’t know. Moore’s campaign issued a statement: ‘If you are a liberal and hate Judge Moore, apparently he groped you…if you are conservative and love Judge Moore, you know these allegations are a political farce’. This statement reflects the toxic atmosphere who have created in our politics. Why can’t you be a conservative and yet believe these allegations? Sadly, our moral anger is dampened by political sewage. It has been said, politics is the downstream of the culture. But we made the politics the source of all things. If he belongs to your political group, it does not matter how many women he abused. As Christians, we should come out of this mindset. Now, I am not implicating Mr.Roy Moore. He, in his own conscience, knew the truth behind these allegations. He should tell the truth to his supporters and others and face the consequences.
Then we got, Senator Al Franken. A woman alleged Senator Al Franken that he aggressively grabbed her and kissed her without her consent. She released the photos: Al Franken was grabbing her breasts while she was sleeping. In this photo, the senator is smiling to the camera while violating her body. There is no shame. Secularism takes away shame. Gone are the days when you kiss your bride only after the pastor says, ‘Now, you can kiss the bride’.
Whatever worldview we espouse in real life, we are all bound by the moral law. Mr.Roy Moore is the founder and president of the Foundation for Moral Law. The curious thing about moral law is it will follow you wherever you go. There is a pay day someday. If you are a lost person, you will stand before Great White Throne to give an account of how you dealt with the moral law all your life. If you are a saved person, you will stand before judgment seat of Christ to give an account of your life. There is no punishment for the sins of the Christian because God put all our penalties on Christ on the cross. Jesus paid it all. So, God has forgiven us. But, our society is not that forgiving. If Roy Moore did those things which they are alleging him with, he should ask God for forgiveness, tell the truth to the world and face the consequences, even if it means losing a senate race. There is a foundation for moral law as the name of his organization suggests. And that foundation is God himself, the moral law giver.
From Paganism to Christian morality to Post-Christian moral relativism
Now, let us spend some time looking at our current climate from a Christian perspective. Wherever we see these days, we see sexual abuse. Sports: where team coaches and doctors abusing athletes, Congress: Congressmen abusing interns, Hollywood: directors, producers and actors abusing actresses and models, News media: media moguls abusing their female staff, Church: Pastors and bishops abusing female staff and church goers. Schools: teachers sexually abusing children; Universities: professors sexually harassing students; Families: children are sexually abused. Sadly, sex abuse is everywhere.
Film producer Harvey Weinstein: by now over 50 women accused him of sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape. Kevin Spacey: dozens of men alleged that Spacey sexually harassed or assaulted them. You can see the moral depravity of our society: even men have to face sexual harassment from men like Kevin Spacey. His series House of Cards was suspended. You see, for the last few decades, when it comes to sexual norms, we are erecting a house of cards. Anything goes. But, we cannot escape the consequences. Sooner or later, it is destined to collapse.
It’s not sin, It’s just sickness
After the revelations, Harvey Weinstein said, ‘I need treatment, I need treatment’ and joined a rehab. Kevin Spacey also said, ‘I need treatment’. That’s interesting. Both men did not apologize to their victims. They saw themselves as victims. They did not see it as a moral problem: their violations of other persons’ privacy, sanctity of body and sanctity of space. They saw it as a mental health problem, which need counseling, therapy and medication.
That is Sigmund Freud ruling our world from his grave. Freud told us: there is no God, everything is material, distinction between moral and immoral is just an illusion, difference between good and bad is just arbitrary, right and wrong is just preference. You are dancing to your DNA. This godless, reductionistic, hedonistic, materialistic philosophy of life became rampant in our society.
Once upon a time, Christian view of sex and marriage was the mainstream: God created sex to be confined in a committed, life long relationship between a man and a woman united in a marriage. Sex before marriage is fornication, sex outside marriage is adultery. Marriage is the only route to have sex, procreate and raise a family. But our culture rejected God’s order for marriage, sex and family. It embraced an atheistic, materialistic Freudian worldview: To have sex, all you need is a consent, to procreate all you need is to have sex. The genie of sex was confined to the bottle called marriage. We let the genie out of the bottle and it has been wreaking havoc across our society: from sex abuse in college campuses, the rise of STI, the rise of HIV, the rise of teen pregnancy, the millions of children born out of wedlock, the plight of single women, the decline of marriage, the rise of a plethora of mental disorders and now an epidemic of sex abuse.
Cheap Sex and Transformation of Men:
Why do so many men in our culture treat women nothing more than sex objects? Mark Regnerus is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas, Austin. He wrote the book, Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy. In this book he describes how the availability of cheap sex transformed men over the last few decades. Once upon a time Christian religion limited to sex to marriage. But secularism and modernity changed our view of sexuality. After abandoning God’s commandments to restrict all sexual activity to marriage, we’ve created a secular, technology driven, hedonistic culture. He wrote, ‘Cheaper sex has been facilitated by three distinctive technological achievements:
- the wide uptake of the Pill as well as a mentality stemming from it that sex is ‘naturally’ infertile
- mass-produced high-quality pornography
- the advent and evolution of online dating/meeting services.
Three things: Birth control pill, pornography and casual sex: the trinity of illegitimacy. Birth control pill separated sex from procreation. Pornography separated sex from intimacy. The only condition still on the books is consent. What qualifies as consent? A smile? a nod? a funny joke? a word? an action? an email? a text message? a phone call? The lines have been blurred. So, in all matters related to sex, we have abandoned God’s mandate and embraced human opinion. God warned us clearly. We read in Galatians chapter 6, verses 7 and 8, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting”. We cannot mock God, we only deceive ourselves – we have been sowing a carnal, flesh oriented worldview in our churches, denominations and families and we are reaping the consequences. We are seeing a decline in marriage, decline in moral decency and a rise in sex abuse.
Interestingly, even secular writers warned us of the grave consequences of following a materialistic worldview. Hollywood promoted a worldview that sex is only for our pleasure, it does not have to be confined within marriage, it shamelessly purveyed frontal nudity and graphic sexual violence. Now, when the sexual violence hits it, it is complaining, ‘#Metoo, #Metoo, #Metoo’. Solomon asked in Proverbs chapter 6, verse 27, ‘Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not burned?’. Hollywood has been playing with uncontrolled sexual appetites and now it is burning in those flames.
Do you know many of the Hollywood elites follow Michel Foucault’s philosophy of sex? Michel Foucault was a French philosopher. His life was between 1926 and 1984. In 1976, he wrote his famous book The History of Sexuality. This book has changed the way our culture had been thinking about the sex. Foucault says, sexuality is ‘an especially dense transfer point for relations of power’. Sex is about power, how power relations work out across individuals. When we see the men exerting their power over others sexually harassing or assaulting others, we are seeing Foucault’s worldview being played out.
I can also see some parallels in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Long before Professor Mark Regnerus, Huxley warned us about throwing our sexuality to the winds of technological change. Aldous Huxley was an English author. He published his dystopian novel Brave New World in 1932. The story is set in London in 632 AF, 600 years after 1932. Note the year, it is not 632 AD, in the year of our Lord Jesus Christ, it is 632 AF, After Ford, after Henry Ford, the father of modern technology. Our culture has removed AD and replaced it with CE, the common era. It does not want to stand in the shade of Christ.
Huxley presents World State, a society devoid of love. In World State, sex and reproduction happen outside the world of marital relationship and affection. It’s a society where babies are engineered, it’s a society geared towards consumerism. It’s a society where children are conditioned by technology and medications. It’s a society where monogamy is discouraged and forbidden. It’s a society taken over by pornography, It’s a society where ‘everyone belongs to everyone’. The wear contraceptive devices and say ‘I had him’ I had her’. They travel around and have feelies. Feelies are pornographic shows. You will have eight different perfumes in his room, all food and drinks are provided, it is a world where everything belongs to everyone and everyone belongs to everyone’: People hear this phrase, every belongs to every one, 62,400 times by the time they begin their relationships. They keep their sexuality separate from procreation, they consider sexuality is all about pleasure. Sadly, our society is no different. We have men who think every woman belongs to them. They project their power over women around them. They separate sexuality from procreation and associate it with only their pleasure. In the process, they are hurting themselves. As Prof. Mark Regnerus showed in his book, Cheap Sex: The transformation of men, marriage and monogamy, this cultural transformation is only hurting men. There is decline in marriage, millions of men and women are not participating in this lovely institution God established for enjoyment, security and stability.
Is there any hope?
With all the polarization we see in our culture today, it is still comforting that we agree on at least a few things, such as: Do not abuse children, Do not abuse women, Do not abuse men. I have to add men also in this list, because this is the age of Kevin Spacey, men can attack other men for sexual pleasure. Back to Sodom and Gomorrah from Genesis chapter 19, where we see men attacking other men for sexual pleasure.
Eminent psychologist James Hillman once said ‘We are all Christians, whether we like it or not’. Don’t abuse a child. We got this from a Christian worldview. Do you know in ancient Greece, boys were courted openly and publicly. Older men sought boys at public places like gymnasium, they brought presents for the boys, they developed relationships with the boys. The Greeks looked at pedophilia as normal part of developmental process. We don’t call it pedophilia, we call it a sin, a horrible sin against a child and bring those men to justice. How did this transformation happen? Because we left Greek hedonistic paganism and adopted Christian biblical morality. We no longer follow the pagan gods of sexual pleasure like Eros or Cupid, we follow Lord Jesus Christ, the God of holiness.
Now don’t misunderstand me here. Christianity is not against sexual pleasure. God created sex. Remember that. God created sex but placed it within marriage. Many atheists complain that Christianity is against sex. That is not right. Martin Luther was a Catholic monk dedicated his life to celibacy. Then he read the Bible and realized the goodness of sexual pleasure. He got married. He and his wife had six children. Martin Luther emphasized the importance of commitment in Christian marriage.
Christianity demands Commitment
Jesus Christ is the bridegroom. Church is the bridge. Church is engaged to Christ as a holy bridge cleansed with His precious blood. Our bridegroom is committed to us. Commitment means ‘no matter what’. Christ is committed to us, no matter what. Commitment is essential to achieve success in any endeavor. We hear about MAC approach in Sports. Frank Gardner and Zella Moore developed MAC approach to enhance performance in the sports. MAC stands for Mindfulness-Acceptance-Commitment.
How can you win a gold medal in Olympics? How can you become a great soldier? MAC approach says there is a price to pay to achieve your goals. You will face difficulties, obstacles, setbacks and obstacles. So, first recognize and accept the difficulties. Then, determine your values. What values drive your life? Does your behavior reflect your values? Commitment is not a try, not a feeling, not a promise, it is a behavior. You must accept your shortcomings, your emotions and thoughts. You should have mindfulness, self-awareness and self-regulation. You should not yield to your emotions and thoughts, you should strive to behave according to your values.
They said, commitment is not motivation. Motivations are temporary, but commitment is permanent. Motivations evaporate with time, but commitment is life long. They found out that athletes with high commitment showed greater performance in sports.
Many Christians are living by motivations, not by commitments. They are driven by emotions, not by Christian values. We don’t have to go to a sports psychologist to learn these things. They are in the Bible. Apostle Paul said, ‘But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection; lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway’. For Apostle Paul, Christian faith is not just a belief. It is a behavior. He tried to bring his body under subjection, his thoughts under subjection, his emotions under subjection, because His calling was to serve Lord Jesus Christ and bring glory to God.
This committed Christian behavior is not easy. Famous Christian philosopher Augustine of Hippo. He lived between 354 to 430 AD. He wrote Confessions, a work of 13 books. Imagine writing an autobiography in 13 volumes! That’s what Augustine did. He wrote Confessions, the first Western autobiography ever written and one of the great masterpieces of Western literature.
In Book VIII of Confessions, Augustine wrote about his addiction to sex. He described lust as a slavery: as chains of lust that bind his will. Let me read a passage from Book VIII of Confessions. “The enemy had my power of willing in his clutches, and from it had forged a chain to bind me. The truth is that disordered lust springs from a perverted will; when lust is pandered to, a habit is formed; when habit is not checked, it hardens into compulsion. These were like interlinking rings forming what I have described as a chain, and my harsh servitude used it to keep me under duress. A new will had begun to emerge in me, the will to worship you disinterestedly and enjoy you, O God, our only sure felicity; but it was not yet capable of surmounting that earlier will strengthened by inveterate custom. And so the two wills fought it out – the old and the new, the one carnal, the other spiritual – and in their struggle tore my soul apart”
Please note those words: ‘Disordered lust springs from a perverted will, when lust is pandered to, a habit is formed, when habit is not checked, it hardens into compulsion’. The church I used to attend in Florida has a very good pastor. His name is Mickey Carter. Pastor Mickey Carter told me, ‘I never meet any woman without my wife present’. He adopted that standard because he wants to have a scandal free ministry.
New York Times reported that Bill O’Reilly, former Fox News anchor settled a sexual harassment claim for $32 million – 32 million dollars, think of that. O’Reilly said, ‘Am I mad at God? Yes, I’m mad, at God’. Why are you mad at God? What happened to your ‘no-spin zone’? As someone preaching family values to whole America from your no-spin zone, you should have disciplined your body, you should have taken some measures to protect your reputation like Pastor Mickey Carter. We fail to discipline our body, and when we face consequences of our actions, we get mad at God.
Pick it up and Read
God does not want to us to live a life of defeat. Augustine titled Book VIII, Pick it up and read, and, Book IX: The New Man. He was imprisoned to sex. Lust became an obstacle, preventing him from surrendering his will to God. He was lying to himself that he had intellectual uncertainties about God. But the real problem was his addiction to sex. He famously said, ‘Grant me chastity and self-control, but please, not yet’. Then Augustine started to read Romans chapter 13. Augustine heard a voice saying, ‘Pick it up and read, pick it up and read’.
Augustine of Hippo
“11.And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.13. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13)
How can we prevent sex scandals: Wake up, Clean Up, Grow Up
Those verses are from Romans chapter 13. Apostle Paul wrote this chapter to inform us our duties towards the state, the government. How can a Christian be the best citizen? How can Christian live a life free of sex scandals? How can a Christian running for public office show a life of integrity to the world?
Apostle Paul gave us three things in this passage of scripture: Wake up, Clean up and Grow up.
First, wake up: The Lord is coming soon, don’t spend your time in slumber.
Then, clean up: Remove the works of darkness from your life, put on the armour of light.
Don’t spend your life in rioting, drunkenness, strife, envy and carnal deeds.
Finally, Grow up: Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, don’t feed your flesh, feed the inner spiritual man on the Word of God. Augustine’s his search for God and God’s search for him have come together when he submitted his will to Lord Jesus Christ.
When you wake up, clean up and grow up, you can live a life of victory, a life free of sex scandals. Apostle Paul wanted to pay any price to put on the character of Christ. Augustine wanted to pay any price to put on the character of Christ. Recently I heard on the news that someone paid 450 million dollars for a painting of Christ. The most expensive painting ever sold! At Christie’s auction in New York City, this painting of Christ attributed to Leonardo da Vinci was sold for 450 million dollars. What price are we willing to pay to embrace the real Christ God painted before us in His Word?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we bring dishonor to your name when we fail to put your holy nature on our sinful nature. Please forgive us. We pray that you encourage us with your Word so that we can live a life that brings honor and glory to your precious name. Amen.
Augustine’s Confessions By St. Augustine
Holy Bible, King James Version
Your article raises a host of serious questions about the impeccability in public life. Anand Bose from Kerala