To add to the chaos I mentioned in an earlier post--enter the Jerry Sandusky scandal! As if I needed one more thing to sort out in my already swirling brain! The third safest city in the USA, no police officer ever killed in the line of duty, academic utopia, "Penn State Proud" community has been rocked by perhaps the most heinous crimes against children ever reported. It appears that it's not all that safe. After all that has transpired the term "Penn State Proud" does not mean so much anymore.
I'm just one of the millions who are weighing in on this situation on the web, but being that my husband is a PSU grad, we were campus pastors on the main campus where the heinous acts occured and I've spent the last 20 years of my life living here, I felt that I ought to say something. After weighing all the things I know and don't know and feel I ought to know to come to a sensible conclusion about the situation, the people who did or didn't do what they should or shouldn't have done, what they could or couldn't have done, the consequences that have been or should have been or will be handed down in the future, I have come to only one conclusion.
PEOPLE NEED JESUS!
Was I shocked by the events? Yes, in a way. That's just not something you hear everyday. It always seems to be worse when children are the innocent victims. But in a way, as a Christian, I should not be shocked at all. Sinners do what sinners do. They sin! Why are Christians sometimes the most surprised by the depths of sin a person can reach? We, above all others, having been redeemed, delivered and set free from sin should know the ferocity and heinousness of sin. We, more than any, should know the fee that sin requires, the toll it takes of every life.
Sin is sin. Sin is ugly. Sin knows no limits, has no conscience and takes all that it can possibly get. Sinners sin. Scripture tells us that "a little leaven leaven's the whole lump." All Satan needs is just one open window, one crack in the door of your heart and he will come streaming in and take over whatever he is allowed to take. And sin will not cease nor desist until it has completed it's mission-to kill, to steal, and to destroy.
After examining all of this and observing the reactions of "church people" to this travesty, I've concluded that the institution that has the most to learn from these events is the church.
The church needs to learn once again the definition of sin. I find many who think that there is such a thing as "little white lies", "okay gossip"-usually coming disguised as prayer requests, situational obedience-usually meaning that we set standards for others that we lower when faced with them ourselves, and what it really means to "love" with the God-kind of love. When it's our sin, it's little. When it's other's sin, it's BIG.
The church needs to stop accepting "little sins" and deeming them as not serious. Gossiping, worldliness or greed will send you the same place as child molestation will. We need to be just as appalled at their presence in our personal lives as we are at the presence of more "culturally unacceptable" sins in the lives of the unsaved.
The church needs to stop and look first in the mirror. With all the indignation over the alleged and seemingly incomprehensible acts done to the innocent kids by this predator, the church needs to stop and examine it's own business. Without one "guilty" from the judicial system, one man in Happy Valley has lost his job, his untarnished reputation, and much, much more and 4 others have been placed on administrative leave. Yet in many mega churches around the country where the same kinds of accusations have been brought against Pastors, those Pastors continue on in the pulpit, their congregational numbers the same and or more than before. Pastors who have publicly beaten their wives, who have been caught in adulterous affairs, who have been found out to be drunkards, who have found to be fraudulent in their "demonstrations" of miracles working power, who have involved their congregations in questionable or illegal money schemes for their own benefit continue to pontificate from their pulpits every Sunday as if nothing has happened. And "the church" of America continues to attend their services without even so much as a blink of the eye. Some self-proclaimed "Apostles" now travel to churches who allow or condone sinful living styles to preach the love of God, having been swayed from sound doctrine by the constant bombardment of tolerance teaching of a culture that is fast approaching the same state reached by every major civilization just before it imploded. America needs no enemies. We are our own worst enemy. And the church stands idly by afraid to take a stand for holiness, afraid to run counter culture. Instead, we "Christianize" everything in our culture to make Christianity more palatable to our culture when we are truly called to permeate and CHANGE our culture!
We need to stop living just to get by, or get "in", which ultimately is not about Jesus at all, but what He can do for us to keep us from burning in a devil's hell, and find out exactly what pleases God and start living it! I find so many who are more interested in knowing only those things about God that please them instead of really being concerned about what pleases Him, and yes, there are preachers for that as well.
Do we really understand the depravity of the sinful nature of human flesh?
Do we understand that we are under a death sentence unless we have been truly born again, CHANGED by the power of God, living holy lives fully dedicated and consecrated to the Lord?
Do we really even care or is it still all about us?
What are we doing about sin--in our own lives, in the lives of those we see everyday? Do we see it's destructiveness in them? Do we see it's destructiveness in us? Do we see that it renders us totally ineffective for the Kingdom of God that we claim to serve? Does it move us to action? Does it put us on our knees? Does it cause us to weep and lament and cry before the Lord? It should!
Concerning Jerry Sandusky and his alleged crimes, the jury is still out. I am waiting to see what the trial reveals because in America, a person is innocent until proven guilty.
If he is guilty, I hope that he is punished to the fullest extent the law allows. I hope he is locked up tight away from children for the rest of his life. I pray that he finds the God who will take those sins, wash them in His own blood, and produce a Jerry Sandusky who is whiter than snow. I pray that his victims will also find that same God who can heal any wound no matter how deep, can change any mind no matter how scarred, and who loves all that He loves with a love that is perfect.
As for the church, we had better get busy! It's obvious that we have a lot of work to do. Judgement day is coming for us as well. If that day were today, what would God say to us, as the church? What would God say to me as His servant?
PEOPLE NEED JESUS!