Oh man, not again…
If you had asked me who I thought would be the next person to emerge in the media accused of sexual harassment, I can assure you Matt Lauer would not have been on my radar. After hearing the news about Matt’s sexual harassment controversy, I thought, “What is going on?” Whether it’s Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Ben Affleck, John Besh, or the handful of others in the last few months accused of sexual harassment, one thing is clear: the ugly underbelly of Hollywood's elite has been turned over for all to see.
What is intriguing to me is why we find this so shocking. Why are we surprised to see sexual abuse in Hollywood? Okay, let's state the obvious reasons:
The downfall of powerful people makes great news. ✓ CHECK
Sexual abuse, or the abuse of power in any form, is completely wrong and for some reason when it is done at the hands of our “heroes” it seems even more wrong? ✓ CHECK
Truth be told, sexual abuse tragically happens in every sphere of life, schools, churches (#ChurchToo), retirement homes, Hollywood, everywhere. This shows us something very real and very compelling about the human condition: We are all sexually broken and our sexuality comes out of a nature that is antithetical to God’s design for us and our sexuality.
Stories of any abuse, sexual or not, is erroneous and wicked. These tragic testimonies we are reading presently in the media break our hearts, and in a powerful way, shine a light on a greater problem of sexual brokenness.
It is time for us to address more than the fruit of our brokenness and look to the root of our brokenness. Our sexual brokenness comes from a deeper place than our actions. Sexual brokenness comes from our nature; it is part of our very core or nature of who we are.
The first time we see humans appear in the Bible, they appear and are created "in the image of God" (Genesis 1:27), and God creates humans as His pinnacle of creation and calls them “very good.”
This “very good” part of God’s creation, our original parents Adam and Eve, were created to reflect their Maker. Sin has transformed human nature. Sin is rebellion against the creator God where creation has sought to be God rather than submitting to the creator God Himself. Sin created brokenness in the God-given mandate for all humankind to reflect the divine life. As a result, humans were forced to leave the Garden of Eden, the perfect home that had been created for them, and go out into the world, broken and cursed, to suffer and labour as not originally intended.
Original sin, as it is called, can be defined as, “that sin and its guilt that we all possess in God’s eyes as a direct result of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden.” The doctrine of original sin focuses particularly on its effects on our nature and our standing before God, even before we are old enough to commit conscious sin (Psalm 51:5).
Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) saw original sin as the inherited tendency of the soul to choose a lesser good rather than the greater good of obedience to God. Therefore, humans are flawed images of God, but the goodness of their original creation remains.
The result of original sin is that inheriting a sin nature was so wicked that Jeremiah 17:9 describes the human heart as “deceitful above all things and beyond cure.”
Any sexual brokenness comes from a deeper nature that is in rebellion against God's good design for our sexuality. We are all affected. For example, as a man, I have a proclivity to want to live outside of my sexual design and covenant of marriage, and look to pornography to appease a rebellious sin nature. For some women, there may be a proclivity to fantasize (i.e. the enormous success of “50 Shades of Grey”). What is that proclivity for you?
With this reality in mind, it ought not to surprise us when we see sexual sin exposed in the news. Those exposed abuses are only the tip of the iceberg of a deeper sin nature.
As grievous as these public sexual abuses are, they show us the importance of bringing sexual sin into the light. One can’t imagine how long the sexual abuses would continue had they not been brought into the light. Sin done in secret creates a fertile breeding ground for further sin and rebellion. Sin done in secret creates a petrie dish for the growth of greater and deeper sin in our lives. Sin must be brought into the light for a turning to truly happen.
Consider Ephesians 5:11-14,
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
'Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.'
It is imperative for us to drag our sin into the light, so that God can set us free from it.
Luke 12:2 says,
Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.
This will either bring fear or comfort in your life. When our sins are brought into the light, we experience freedom.
The Gospel, the saving work of Jesus on the cross on our behalf, means that as a Christian, when God looks at you, He sees you through the blood of His Son. This is how you are washed, sanctified, and justified (as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 6). So do not carry around the guilt that Christ came to set you free from.
There is hope for the sexually broken, because Jesus’ death on the cross answers the problem of our guilt. There is hope for the sexually broken, because when we trust in Christ as our Lord and Saviour, He gives us a new identity.
We are made a new creation — the old is gone, the new has come. In this new identity, Jesus gives us a new heart, removing a heart of stone and giving us a heart of flesh. He gives us new desires and eyes to begin to drill the deep, deep well of His grace — only to discover that as we drill into His grace, we are left in awe because it feels like we have barley begun.
Instead of dirty, you are clean.
Instead of God’s enemy, you are His child.
Instead of guilty, you are pardoned.
Instead of unholy, you are holy.
Not only that, but you are chosen and wanted and dearly loved by God (Col. 3:12), and He delights in you (Zeph. 3:17).
This is the Gospel, and it is why there is hope for the sexually broken. This is why there is hope for you and for me. Because we are all sexually broken.
Standing in awe...