Is anything a sin?
The Harvey Weinstein scandal has brought an issue into the public light. Sexual predators are scurrying like cockroaches on the floor, running from the light of exposure. Does this mean they have repented of their evil ways? Not necessarily. They are running because they fear getting caught. They feel the heat of scrutiny and public shaming, whereas before, they had no shame or remorse. They got away with it until now.
Men at the peak of power who practiced preying upon women are being forced to face their accusers. Before so many women joined the campaign to “out” them, their predator’s money, fame or power gave them cover for ugly behavior. We’re now sensitive to how frequently women at work (especially in Hollywood) are harassed or abused. Perhaps the days of Bill Clinton getting a pass because he was a Democrat are over. Even the liberal media is on the bandwagon to expose predators.
The issue isn’t who is in the news or who is being sued. The bigger issue is the absence of personal moral standards among so many men in high places. The disrespect for females by unregenerate men is appalling. Has morality disappeared? It seems that the wealthy or superstars can use their privilege and fame to cast off restraint. Anything goes. Nothing is counted as a sin. No moral standard applies to them, except, “Don’t get caught.” Is there anything wrong anymore?
For those of us who grew up in the South and were influenced by the church, community standards were taught to all of us men. Respect younger women as though they were sisters. Treat older women as though they were mothers. Be a gentleman. Don’t lie, cheat or steal. Raise your kids to know right from wrong. Be faithful to your wife. Yes, abusers existed, but they didn’t seem as common. Women have a right to be angry for being mistreated for so long. They deserve better.
News reporters call what Weinstein and others are accused of doing misbehavior, an illegal act, an ethical violation. Or, perhaps it was an addiction. Maybe the abusers are the victims rather than the women they victimized? Call it what you will, the fact is that what sexual predators, serial rapists and abusers of power have been secretly doing to women is not only sick, it is a sin. It is a sin because it is a trespass against another person. It crosses the line, goes beyond the boundary of what is decent and right, and is wicked.
Sin is defined in the Bible as a transgression of God’s law. It is falling short of the mark — the divine image in which we were created. God created humans with a free will, allowing for brilliance or depravity, limitless potential or rebellion and ruin. It’s your choice. We have a conscience — unless it is seared.
The opposite of sin is godliness. When we reflect the character, nature and behavior of our Heavenly Father, we display virtues that resemble heaven’s highest Being. Why sink to the level of animals — without affection, dignity or nobility? The good news of what Jesus did for us is that sinners can be saved and forgiveness can be received. God’s grace teaches us to turn away from ungodly conduct.
— Ron Wood is a writer and minister. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.touchedbygrace.org. The opinions expressed are those of the author.