To put today’s burning issue into perspective, consider King David.
- David put himself into a place of temptation by staying home “at the time when kings go out to battle.”
- He summoned Bathsheba and seduced her.
- When she became pregnant, he tried to make Uriah her husband believe he was the father, by getting Uriah to come home from battle on leave (believing he would spend that time with Bathsheba).
- When that failed (Uriah refused to go home during his leave, while his men were fighting in the field), David conceived an evil plan to have Uriah killed.
- Uriah was ordered to the front of the battle and left exposed, and was killed.
- David then married Bathsheba when Uriah was dead.
- All of the above displeased the Lord.
The prophet Nathan learned from God what David had done and proclaimed God’s judgment against him.
And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed to his house. (2 Samuel 12.)
What followed in David’s life and reign was the fruit of his evil deed.
- The child conceived in sin died, as Nathan had prophesied.
- David’s son Ammon raped his half-sister Tamar.
- Tamar’s brother Absolom killed Ammon.
- Absolom plotted successfully to overthrow David.
- Absolom was killed after a civil war-style battle by David's general Joab.
- David was left grieving for his children.
- Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba, was anointed King.
Yet God said David was “a man after his own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). Does this mean God was okay with a molester and adulterer, who inflicted on his own family such dysfunction as to tear them apart in rape and murder?
The question strikes at the heart of the discussion on politics, governance, leadership and sin. Is Roy Moore someone we can trust on governance despite the accusations? Can Al Franken represent his party (like Ted Kennedy) despite documented evidence of groping?
Monsters behind masks
I believe the answer is that we all have monsters behind masks.
I’m not talking specifically about sexual sins and crimes here. For some, it’s ambition. For some, it’s fame. For some, it’s money. For some, it’s power over others. For some, it’s influence. For some, it’s pleasure.
We’re all put together a bit differently, but we all share the same building blocks. The ambitious defend the pleasure-seekers because a child molestation scandal would bring down the organization the ambitious have built. The rich defend the famous because they have much to lose when the famous fall. The pleasure-seekers bow to the rich and ambitious because it gives them cover for their sins.
And sometimes, we have all three in the same person, like David.
The main thing God desires in our hearts is repentance and abandonment of pride. Nathan said to David:
Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, before the sun.’” (2 Samuel 13:11).
What is sinned in private will be made public, and repentance is required. The mask must be removed. For the world to see people as we really are, as God sees us, the mask must come off, and the monster must be revealed.
Every evil work of man will eventually be exposed. It doesn’t matter whether the evil was done in the church, in the name of God, or in fervent opposition to God and His law. God is not a respecter of persons.
God's moral law is superior to man's law
This is why God’s moral law is superior to man’s law. God’s law protects, while man’s law does nothing.
We segregate convicted sex offenders so they can’t be around children. Judges sign restraining orders to keep stalkers and molesters away from targets. Yet, feminists are angry when we suggest that men in a position of power should keep themselves accountable and not place themselves into potentially compromising situations with women.
To get a role, parents allow teenagers to hobnob without supervision with casting directors, other child actors, and adults. We should not be surprised when the one monster takes whoever they please.
In schools, we encourage sexual experimentation from eighth graders. We begin teaching 10-year-olds about condoms and STDs. We give kids smart phones with unfiltered Internet access and Snapchat. We normalize gender dysphoria. But we are surprised when hundreds of women teachers are found to have had sexual relations with teenage boys.
We graduate little sex-obsessed and sex-immersed high-schoolers to college, then expect them to magically adhere to strict consent rules when they’ve never done their own laundry or lived on their own.
We feed the monsters, protect the monsters, nourish the monsters, then we are shocked when we find the monsters hiding behind the very masks we’ve given them.
We are fallen
God is seeking hearts willing to live without masks. Mankind is fallen. The monster is there in each of us. God gives his common grace—unmerited favor and mercy—to each of us. That means we don’t automatically die because we’ve got monsters.
But He gives special grace to those who remove the masks.
That’s the difference between man’s law, which assumes we should be able to act perfectly, and defends those who don’t based on our own petty interests, and God’s law, which begins at the fact we’re all monsters, and rewards those willing to be searched and tested.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.
This present blaze of cleansing for sex offenders will burn out. The only answer to sin is God, who made our hearts to receive His mercy and His love. This is true for Roy Moore, for Al Franken, for Bill Clinton, as it is for you and me.
Can we stop talking politics and talk about repentance? Can we remove the masks and let God deal with the monsters?