|Is this really "hard" time?|
Consequences of Sin seem less clear in the modern world
About 1/3 of Americans have a sexually transmitted disease, and about 6% will be infected with one this year. This according to the CDC. With modern medicine, most don't seem deterred from casual sex by the threat of contracting a sexual disease.
Grossly obese adults represent 6.3% of the population. 9.3% of us have type 2 diabetes. While it seems that everyone is on a diet, the population seems to be getting fatter and fatter.
It is unsurprising to me that 10% of adults are addicted to either drugs or alcohol. I have personally witnessed devastating consequences for the addicted and for all those around them, but there is very little stigma and society seems bent on increasing the availability of addictive substances.
About 75% of high school and college students admit to cheating. There is no outcry.
Today's post is not intended to bore you with statistics or to shock you with the state of American society. Though it would be hard to read those numbers and not be shocked. Or would it!
We are numb to the depravity of our culture. It is so pervasive that we are not terrible interested. Moreover, the consequences of sin are not as harsh and getting less so.
8.6% of the adult population has had a felony conviction. Close to 1% of the population is in jail or prison.
Child rape, and by child rape I'm not talking about a 16 year old girl who didn't give consent to her 19 year old boyfriend, will get you an average of 11 years in prison. Not that long ago you would have been hanged.
1st degree, premeditated murder theoretically still means death or life without parole. The truth is that almost no one, regardless of how horrific the crime, gets executed, and only a very few get life without parole. In fact, many go free within a very short time. One statistic I saw said that the average is 18 years...for murder!!
What about life in prison? Many argue that conditions are harsh, but if it were not for the sexual assaults in prison, it would be hard to argue that prisoners have it that tough. In fact many prisoners find life in the pen to be preferable to life on the outside, committing crimes so that they can return to 3 squares and a bed.
If you choose to drop out of school, have children out of wedlock, use drugs, not work, or prefer a permanent vacation, the only consequence is $16,000 per person of free food, lodging, and healthcare. In fact, once in that system, it is extremely hard to even make a decision to work your way out of it.
Is it any wonder that most folks don't seem themselves as sinners needing a savior? If child rape gets a slap on the hand, but spanking an unruly child is stigmatized, we tell the world that you can do anything you want and there will be no consequence, except if you choose to impose a consequence. Then you will face persecution.
Secular society's concept of judgement and justice is turned completely on its head compared to the Biblical approach. But secular thinking has invaded the church. We no longer call out our brothers and sisters when they sin. There is no consequence within the congregation. Like the Corinthian church, there is little difference between how we deal with the sinners among us and how the larger society deals with it.