JOB: Ancient Example for Modern Manhood -- By: W. Frederick Rice
JBMW 6:1 (Spring 2001) p. 24
JOB: Ancient Example for Modern Manhood
Elder, Church of the Covenant, O.P.C. Hackettstown, New Jersey
Due to sexual misconduct biblical manhood is being seriously compromised within the evangelical church. A recent issue of World Magazine enumerated some of the most disgraceful episodes,1 and yet we hardly need to be reminded that the incidence of sexual sin among professing Christian leaders has become epidemic. Misconduct has become so common that we dread, and yet are no longer shocked, by media revelations of each successive scandal.
What is wrong in the church? We of course must face the reality that there are always some within the church, even among its leaders, that are not true believers: they profess the truth, but do not possess the truth. In addition, true believers are not perfect, and are capable of falling into gross sin, as did King David, the man after God’s own heart (II Sam. 11–12).
But why does there seem to be so much more sexual misconduct occurring in America today than in previous generations? An aggressive and hostile media is certainly reporting more of what is happening, but at the same time it is difficult to deny that such sin has in fact increased dramatically in recent years. There are at least two underlying causes contributing to the escalation of this kind of sin in the Christian community. One underlying cause is the influence of our cultural decline, and its concomitant preoccupation with illicit sex. Everywhere we turn we are confronted with sexual images or sexual conversation. Television, movies, advertising circulars, convenience store newsstands, and the Internet bombard our senses with sexual images, and talk shows and casual conversation are saturated with sexual innuendo. The other underlying cause is the truncated Gospel that has become far too common in American evangelicalism. So often, when people are invited to Christ, they are not challenged with the cost of discipleship. Thus we have large numbers of professing believers who maintain a merely casual relationship with the church, and fail to see the necessity of following Jesus as Lord as well as Savior.
And yet, even among those who have a proper understanding of salvation and the church of Jesus Christ, there remains the problem of dealing with sexual temptation because of the “remnants of corruption”2 in the believer, aggravated by our cultural setting. This category of temptation is in a peculiar sense a male problem. Of course Christian women also have to deal with sexual temptation, but not in the same way or to the same de...
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