A November 7, 2015, Associate Press story out of Canon City High School in Denver describes how a large number of athletes on the football team are apparently involved in a sexting (that is, sending pornographic text messages through mobile phones) scandal that has caused the school to forfeit at least one game while the investigation of illegal activity is underway. Law enforcement is involved, as sending of nude photos of minor children constitutes child pornography—a felony. When school district administrators discovered the illegal activity, apparently centered in the football team, they asked the coach to do a fast, preliminary investigation to determine how many players were involved. The Friday night game would proceed if reasonable assurances could be made that enough players were not involved that they could field a team. Stunningly, no such assurances could be made. It appears the vast majority of the team is involved in what the law will view as felonious actions. High school students may enter adulthood as felons and be required to register as sexual offenders.
Three immediate thoughts:
1. Teens are openly, without shame or sense of inappropriateness, engaging in self-made porn. This seems a logical step forward for those who have (A) been told that there are no moral absolutes and you are free to determine what is right in your own mind and heart, (B) have seen unrestrained sexual behavior from their parents, politicians, and purveyors of entertainment, and (C) believed porn use is normal, acceptable, and productive. Welcome to post-Christian America.
2. There is a moral crisis occurring on the side of those who promote sexual rights and freedom (that is, the idea that any sexual behavior is acceptable if any individual says it is). It is evident that certain sexual behaviors and ethics are destructive. I’m speaking beyond the obvious biology of disease and physical injury of violent actions—I’m talking about real damage to the human soul that has long-lasting consequences. It further impacts the ability to lead a productive life. I have no thought that this evidence will lead to corrective behavior or change in thinking. These deadly consequences will either be ignored, covered up, or accepted as the cost of doing business in the new market of sexual freedom–or simply denied by the morally blind, as a physically blind man might deny the sun’s light. But as the sun’s heat can be felt and experienced regardless of one’s capacity to see, so the consequences of sexual expression outside of the Creator’s framework will be experienced for a very long time.
3. The sexual ethic (or lack thereof) embraced by the post-Christian west in general, and the United States in particular, must run afoul of the law, which itself must be rooted in an objective standard fixed in time, however transient that standard may ultimately prove to be. Legislatures simply can’t meet, debate, and amend laws fast enough to keep up with the speed of our moral freefall. That means teens and younger children are going to find themselves in the juvenile justice system and will be confused about why they are there since they are simply practicing what their parents, politicians, and entertainers are doing with apparent impunity. Further, because of the moral insanity of our culture, there will be no coherent way to explain why they are being punished. This will soon leave the country ripe for open revolt against law enforcement, courts, and government that punishes people without being able to justify why it does so.
This deadly moral morass is exactly the target of the Gospel: Jesus came to save morally blind, depraved hearts, spiritually bankrupt dead souls from their sin and give them life in Christ in exchange for eternal death and condemnation. Grace restores and heals those who flee to Jesus in faith and repentance. There is a balm in Gilead that makes the wounded whole. The church is given the joyful, satisfying assignment of calling people from death to life in him.
The parents of these children desperately need Christ. These children desperately need Christ. Our nation desperately needs Christ. This is our watch, and it is no time to fail in fulfilling our assignment. If you are a follower of Christ and your life, heart, finances, schedule, affections, and intellect are not adjusting to proclaim the glories of Christ in our dying world–to broken children, broken parents, broken families, broken society—you’re not following very closely.