Friday, June 29, 2012

There but for the Grace of God, Part II

The topic is child molestation not Jerry Sandusky, but as the latest public version of the problem,  he allows us a human face.

Simply put, as abhorrent as his behavior was, there is no room to cast stones at him. It is a human story of failure to recognize sin or to recognize it but fail a walk in the available grace of God. Perhaps knowing the meaning of grace is part of the problem. I contend Jerry Sandusky --no matter what he believed about God, professed about God, nor practiced in his religion -- did not understand the grace of God.

That is the end of the matter, however. Rewind to the beginning.

How did he manage to become ensnared by such vile desire? I'm guessing, but I am confident in the guess, to assert his sexual exploration began as a child with other boys, perhaps even pre-pubescent. In his teens while he acted oriented toward girls of appropriate age, he maintained some level of secret behavior involving boys. Some part of his soul driven by his fallen, flesh nature never matured beyond this. He developed heterosexually or pretended to do so, but a secret willingness to participate in homosexual behavior remained. The desire remained along with the knowledge some boys could be so coerced. With his advancing age, developing position and disposable income, he learned techniques of manipulation. This likely behavior pre-dated the start of the charity, and it is plausible he started the charity without plotting a way to groom a never-ending list of boys of the age he targeted. He may have even prayed, "God help me not use the charity this way." Such is the folly of self-denial.

I think something in him believed in doing acts of charity. This idea on my part is tied to my life experience of knowing we humans, Christian and not, are a mixed bag of good and evil decisions. How many church going folks will lie on their tax forms? How many folks would never steal anything but have very immoral sexual fantasies? How many pastors, policemen, judges, doctors, firemen, teachers, etc., went into their chosen vocation to answer some inner-drive to help fellow humans, and yet harbor feelings, desires, thoughts or out-right actions of wrong behaviors? Jerry Sandusky is not alone. He got caught because he abandoned himself to a lifestyle of self-indulgence in his prurient interest, which produced enough witnesses to incontrovertibly testify he did the acts.

Is the one who acts out a prurient desire worse than the dreamer of such? Perhaps so in most US citizen's eyes, but not when judged by the holiness of God our Father. Our actions may or may not be judged by the law. The heart is judged by God.

Next path in the Wild Wood will examine the nature of the grace of God, and Sandusky et al professing grace while living outside the same.


postmodern redneck said...

Nobody seems to want to touch this one with a ten foot pole, but I'll add a few things....
It's been common to say that sports builds character--I'm not so certain of that. I was not into sports in my younger years, although I did get recruited as a manager for my college basketball team (they were kind of desperate). The conclusion I reached is that sports reveals the character that is already there, but does not do that much to shape it. The antics of some pro athletes in recent years tends to confirm this view for me.

The second is that religious activity can help a person mask their sinful nature and keep from facing it. Humans try to balance their sins with "good deeds" and think they can offset their sins, but I'm afraid it is only in their own minds. And they are not going to be doing the judging at the end.

ded said...

Well, Phil, you have summed up my last post on this topic already. Your last paragraph is what I intended to write about stated much more succinctly than I will probably be...