It is not uncommon to hear Christians comment that today we are living in a “Romans 1 society.” Often this statement is made in reference to the rapidity with which we have come to not only tolerate homosexuality, but to celebrate it, and to persecute those who would be bold enough to condemn it. Now, in this tolerance, what God has labeled as immoral and unnatural is praised as the new normal. Can such a depraved society sink any lower? It can and it already has begun.
An article published last week on the Gawker website has garnered attention. Entitled, “Born This Way: Sympathy and Science for Those Who Want to Have Sex with Children,” these paragraphs ought to incite shock, sadness and urgency in every Christian.
The article itself is fairly graphic and, as such, CRN will instead direct the reader to a commentary offered by Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters. Sheppard quotes the Gawker article as stating:
But there is a growing number of researchers, many of them out of Canada, whose work suggests that pedophilia is an illness deserving of the public’s sympathy the way any brain disorder is. Some of the scientists say pedophilia is a sexual orientation, meaning that it’s unchangeable, regardless of how much jail time or beatings or therapy someone is dealt. Others have reason to believe that pedophiles are born that way, and that some of them will suffer through entire lives without hurting a single child. If this research proves to be correct, it should help shape both our public policy and our public attitude, so that we’re protecting kids while also protecting pedophiles from angry mobs, cellmates, and themselves.
Yes, this article attempts to argue that pedophilia is a sexual orientation and thus unchangeable and, dare I say, on its way to being accepted as another version of “normal.” The reader will notice some familiar thoughts in the quotation above. Namely, that pedophilia is “unchangeable” and that some people simply are “born that way.” Do we not hear these same arguments in favor of acceptance and celebration of homosexuality?
Sheppard goes on to point out that the article on Gawker further states that it is “futile” to send pedophiles to prison and that it is shameful that they do not experience appropriate tolerance from society. Perhaps most shockingly, this article claims that “if Jesus ever came to Earth, he’d embrace the poor, the blind, the lepers, and, yes, the pedophiles.”
Notice that pedophiles are listed among those whose circumstances are largely uncontrollable—those who are poor or diseased. Yet, is this the appropriate list in which to include pedophiles? Or should this grievous sexual immorality be included in a list of actual sins? Would Jesus “embrace” the pedophiles? Insomuch as He “embraced” other sinners, by revealing to them their sin against God and calling them to repentance and faith. Would He condone pedophilia as acceptable? Never. To ask such a question seems ridiculous, for Christ readily condemned all forms of sexual immorality. Pedophilia is sin.
Nevertheless, it likely will not be long before we see a push to accept and tolerate pedophilia as “just another sexual orientation.” It seems fair to speculate that those who speak out against such an abominable thought will see similar persecution as has been encountered in any protest against homosexuality. This ought to remind us of the stark reality of which the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1.
When men refuse to acknowledge God, idolizing and worshiping their sin instead, God gives “them over to [the degrading] passions” of homosexuality (Rom. 1:26–27). Notice, then, that in verse 28, Paul tells us that God further gives men over to a “depraved mind.” Other translations may render this as a debased or reprobate mind, meaning a mind that is marked by corruption or evil. Following this, men are “filled with all unrighteousness” and thus worthy of condemnation.
What is a depraved mind? Well the word literally means tested and found useless, disqualified for its intended purpose, a non-functioning mind. Reasoning is so corrupted that it is crippled. The faculty, the intellectual faculty can no longer function. The moral law of God written in the heart has been literally stomped and replaced with cultural immorality. The conscience cannot function. And so, says verse 28, they do the things which are not proper, not moral. So immorality goes in every direction and now you can’t find your way back because the mind is so corrupt. People don’t think right. People’s brains don’t follow the paths that they should. They advocate all the wretched things and depreciate all the virtuous things. And what flows out of this pornographic, homosexual, depraved culture? All evil…
John MacArthur, When God Abandons a Nation
Even in the midst of a depraved society, however, God is calling people to Himself. These cannot repent and be saved if they do not hear the Gospel. So tiptoe through the wretchedness of this world, but do so ready to share the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” Rom. 10:14–15