The connection between sins...

In two different posts (here and here) the connection was drawn between homosexual sin and another sexual sin--sexually abusing little boys. There have been a number of people who have asked good questions about this, and some have raised reasonable-sounding objections. One major point needs to be made that goes a long way towards answering the questions.

It is always our temptation to think that we have our sin under control. We think we are the master. In reality, if we are not serving God, we are serving another master (Matthew 6:24). If we are sinning, we are not in control of where we are going. Satan wants us to believe the lie that we can control how far we go into sin. He wants us to think that we can stop whenever we want. Sin leads to death, but we think we can pursue sin without dying. We think we wouldn't ever take our sin to the point where it kills us. But the point is that we aren't the one taking our sin somewhere. Our sin is taking us somewhere. Romans 6:16 says, "Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?" We are being led inevitably and inexorably toward the destination determined by whatever master we serve. If that master is God, the destination is life. If that master is sin, the destination is death.

With that in mind, let's return to thinking about the connection between sins. No sin is static. It is always leading towards more sin and greater sin. Those who give themselves to sins of greed grow in greediness and sins connected to greed. Those who lie and cheat a little bit soon find themselves lying and cheating a lot. A person who knowingly wears fake brand-name items like Gucci sunglasses or a Rolex watch is more likely to cheat on a test. As our sin progresses, it brings a variety of other sins into our life, but the general progression of sin is actually fairly predictable.

So let's make the offending statement more general: Those who give themselves to sexual sin grow in sexual sin. Or even simpler, those who sin sexually fall into sexual sin.

This ought to be as obvious to us as the nose on the end of our face. How many men today can describe the trajectory of their descent down the path of sexual sin as follows: Ogling women led to soft-core porn, led to hard-core porn, led to video sex chatting, led to meeting up for sex, led to rape, led to murder, led to death row? How far along that path are you currently?

When we tell people that pornography leads to real live at the nasty by-the-hour motel adultery, nobody believes it. They might agree in theory that sin leads to death, but they are thinking, "I would never, could never do that! How dare he! What does he think I am, some sort of sick pervert? Does he think I'm stupid? I would have to be retarded to throw away my happy marriage and lovely wife and wonderful children! I'm too smart to ride sin all the way to death."

Does everybody who looks at pornography end up murdering somebody? No. Nor is the path described above the only way to get from ogling women to death. But the closer you get to the end of sin, the more extreme sins of all sorts will be a part of your life. We shouldn't be surprised when a rapist is also a murderer. And once a man has gone so far as to attempt to physically act out his wicked sexual desires, there's a lot of truth to the statement that "you need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband, 'cause they're raping everybody out here."

Gay men who are already abusing other men sexually are not far from committing any number of other terrible sins, only one of which is raping little boys. Do all of them do that? No. But neither are they a good judge of whether they are capable of even desiring it. Our perversions are perverse. Who knows where they will lead us? We aren't the one leading so we don't know which path we will take to death  (Proverbs 5:22).

Do we keep kids away from known sex offenders? Yes. What are gay men? They are sex offenders--people who have become so enslaved to their perverse desires that they act them out.

It's a tiny step from acting on one perverted desire to having a new perverted desire. The step from perverted desire to perverted action is also small (James 1:14-15).

Pornography perverts our desires. That's why, if I'm picking between two men to care for my children, I want to know which of them is a sex offender. If neither of them is, I want to know which of them has perverted desires. If neither of them does, I want to know which of them is looking at pornography.

There's a connection between sins, and sexual sin begets sexual sin.

Joseph and his wife, Heidi, have two children, Tate and Eliza Jane. Joseph graduated from Vanderbilt University and Clearnote Pastors College. Joseph serves as pastor of Clearnote Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Comments

I read this, and realized that in my life, I think of sin that way- "how much am I a slave to sin?"  Well, if I'm a SLAVE to sin, then sin is my master, and there's no choice on my part for how much to be it's slave, any more than I could be half a slave to a human slaveowner- he either owns me or he doesn't.  So unless I'm constantly going about the business of mortifying sin, I'm in serious trouble.  Thank you, brother, for this teaching.

Money quote- Gay men who are already abusing other men sexually are not far from committing any number of other terrible sins, only one of which is raping little boys. Great, insightful, convicting pastoral wisdom here brother.  Solomon himself, who had the wisdom to pen these words, "Entering her house leads to death; it is the road to the grave" (Proverbs 2:18) fell. Who are we to think we are better?

Thank you for the clarification. I think what bothered me about the previous post was the insinuation that those who experience and struggle with same-sex attractions also are tempted by pedophilia. That's what I reacted against, especially since so many men who struggle silently with same-sex attractions are adolescents themselves. I fully understand and agree with the notion that sin has a downward trajectory. In fact, I think you've written a post very similar to this one before. It was true then, and it's true now. Thank you for the post.

Dear Jay,

First, this post, and this comment are both me (Joseph) responding on behalf of my father Tim. He simply doesn't have the time at the moment to respond further right now. However, he wanted more to be said, so he asked me to respond for him.

Please allow me gently to point out that the man tempted to lust after other men already has a perverted desire. Thus in truth he is closer to falling into other sexual perversions of his perversion. And those tempted by the sodomite male perversion thus need to be particularly on guard (and guarded against) seducing little boys into their perversion. In other words, perversion begets perversion and we need to recognize our own temptations for what they are in all their horror and take steps (and welcome others exhorting us to take steps) to guard against them, particularly where we are blind to where they have a tendency to metastasize. 

Think about it this way: the man tempted by same-sex fornication and adultery who is resisting his desire for pornography is further away from sexually abusing children than the man tempted by opposite sex fornication and adultery who is giving himself to his lust through pornography. But let me push it further. The man tempted by same-sex fornication and adultery who is giving himself to his lust through pornography is closer to sexually abusing children than the man tempted by opposite sex fornication and adultery who is giving himself to his lust through pornography. Why?

Because heterosexual desires are in conformity with God's Order of Creation and homosexual desires are a perversion of God's Order of Creation. Thus Jesus said: "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE." (Matthew 19:4) 

Everyone agrees with this. What they need to understand, though, is that sin begets sin and perversion begets perversion.

Think on this, and I think you will find it helpful in understanding why "Not fair!" comes to your mind. I think there are two parts to it.

First, we are always tempted to be angry at God for "making me this way" or "allowing me to be tempted this way" or something along those lines. Thus, a feeling of unfairness creeps in anytime we discover something more about the consequences of our sin and temptations. This is not godly. It is an accusation that God is unjust.

Claiming "this is the way God made me" comes dangerously close to saying that God tempts me, and we must not say that:

(James 1:13) Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.

Second, we look at the church and realize not only that many people are hiding their sin who are much more dangerous to children than us, but also that the church is often more accepting of their sin if it becomes known than our sin if it becomes known. Thus, they will put children in the care of those known to be in serious sexual sin without a thought, while looking at you like you're a monster. This is indeed "unfair". But it is better to protect children from 1 out of 4 dangers than 0 out of 4.

Love in Christ,

-Joseph

I notice you've changed the post several times. Don't worry, I agreed with you the first time, and I'm appreciative of the comment. 

Yes, both the post and the comment went through some revising. :)

God bless,

-Joseph

By your reasoning, then, men who are attracted to women will also molest girls.  This makes no sense.  Pedophiles are attracted to children, some to boys, some to girls.  

Healthy adult straight men are attracted to women.  Healthy adult gay men are attracted to men.

What you think is sinful has really nothing to do with it.

Actually, by my reasoning, the man who gives himself over to his heterosexual lust, whether by pornography or some other way, will be liable to fall into the sin of molesting little girls.

And the man who gives himself over to his homosexual lust, whether by pornography or by committing sodomy with another man, or some other way, is liable to fall into the sin of molesting little boys.

Healthy adult straight men are attracted to women. Healthy adult gay men don't exist. 

To self-identify as gay is to self-identify as sick.

-Joseph

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