Whatever happened to indwelling sin?

The Point gives a link to an article on a study of teen sexuality from CBS News (“Study Links Sex On TV To Teen Pregnancy: Girls Who Avidly Watch Racy Programs Have Higher Pregnancy Rates, Research Claims” CHICAGO, Nov. 3, 2008). The study:

…suggests that pregnancy rates are much higher among teens who watch a lot of TV with sexual dialogue and behavior than among those who have tamer viewing tastes…[It] is the first to link those viewing habits with teen pregnancy, said lead author Anita Chandra, a Rand Corp. behavioral scientist. Teens who watched the raciest shows were twice as likely to become pregnant over the next three years as those who watched few such programs.

Previous research by some of the same scientists had already found that watching lots of sex on TV can influence teens to have sex at earlier ages.

The conclusion reached: “Shows that highlight only the positive aspects of sexual behavior without the risks can lead teens to have unprotected sex "before they're ready to make responsible and informed decisions.”

The study only shows a correlation. Those who watch racy TV shows are more sexually active as per the study outcomes. But which comes first? Does TV watching lead to sex, or does having the mental attitudes which lead one to engage in sex also lead one to watch TV shows that are racy? Which comes first, the TV or the sexual behavior?

I propose that the same heart condition causes both racy TV watching and risqué sexual behavior. The problem is not outside the heart, but inside it. We sin because of the condition of our hearts, not because of the conditions we find ourselves in. As R. C. Sproul is somewhat famous for saying, “We are not sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.” Jesus teaches the same thing (Matthew 15:10-20).

Our problem is not out there in society. Our problem is in here in our hearts. We are the ones who are so sinful that the raunchy stuff is attractive to us. We are the ones in need of a new heart. We are the ones hopelessly dependent on God to provide us with one.

Is there help for us? Yes. With the Apostle Paul, we can say “Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross takes away the guilt of my sin (Galatians 3:13-14), and Christ’s Spirit gives us a new heart and new desires to change our behavior (2 Cor. 5:17).

Let’s stop blaming the porn and get in the business of sharing the good news of what Jesus has done for us. That’s the only way to improve society, one heart at a time.


ginaburch said...

you going to let E watch whatever she wants? :) i definitely agree that sin is a heart condition, but i also think that exposure to racy culture desensitizes us to right and wrong. the challenge as parents is to find the middle ground for our children...between protecting their innocence and preparing them for our fallen world and their own sinfulness and need for the Savior. happy thanksgiving! see you all later:)

J. K. Jones said...


Good to hear from you.

I re-read my original post after our conversation Friday night. I have overstated my case. You are right.

The idea is not that we can watch whatever we want. The idea is that we watch bad things because our sinful hearts are attracted to them. Of course, when we sin, we reinforce our sinful natures; we feed our sinful natures. In that sense watching bad things leads to more sin.

But the real problem to be solved is to change our hearts from the inside out. That’s something only Christ can do.


Search This Blog