There is no need to reiterate the statistics on sexual immorality among clergy. We all know them. And we also know that addiction to pornography is at epidemic levels even within the church. But do we know how many gifted young leaders never answer their call into ministry because of the guilt they feel over past sexual sins?
John Piper has written an article for Christianity Today addressing this problem. He says:
?so many young people are being lost to the cause of Christ's mission because they are not taught how to deal with the guilt of sexual failure. The problem is not just how not to fail. The problem is how to deal with failure so that it doesn't sweep away your whole life into wasted mediocrity with no impact for Christ. The great tragedy is not masturbation or fornication or pornography. The tragedy is that Satan uses guilt from these failures to strip you of every radical dream you ever had or might have. In their place, he gives you a happy, safe, secure, American life of superficial pleasures, until you die in your lakeside rocking chair.
It's no surprise that Dr. Piper's prescription for overcoming a guilty conscience is a heavy dose of Reformed theology. "Take two doctrines and call me in the morning," seems to be his answer:
With this passionately embraced theology - the magnificent doctrines of substitutionary atonement and justification by faith (even if you don't remember the names) - you can conquer the Devil tomorrow morning when he lies to you about your hopelessness.
Agree or disagree with Piper's solution, the problem he is addressing is important. As our culture becomes increasingly sexually charged Christians will need the tools to not only fight temptation but also the means to recover from failure. ...