The “New Morality”—Reaping What It Has Sown?
“GOD has replaced fire and brimstone with AIDS,” wrote one indignant reader to the New York Post. Many similarly feel that the epidemic growth of AIDS, herpes and other STD’s is more than a product of the so-called sexual revolution. They see it as the divine punishment for promiscuity.
The STD epidemic is, to be sure, a frightening specter. But the Bible does not indicate that God today uses disease as punishment for wayward conduct. Sickness and disease are the inescapable results of inherited sin afflicting all mankind. (Romans 5:12) Thus even God-fearing, right-living people at times find themselves the victims of devastating illness.
Nevertheless, one often can improve one’s lot in life—including one’s health—by adhering to godly standards. For example, the Bible condemns overindulgence in alcoholic beverages. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 1 Timothy 3:8) Proverbs 23:29-34 points to some of the reasons why this position is a sound one:
“Who has woe? Who has uneasiness? Who has contentions? Who has concern? Who has wounds for no reason? Who has dullness of eyes? Those staying a long time with the wine . . . At its end it bites just like a serpent, and it secretes poison just like a viper. Your own eyes will see strange things, and your own heart will speak perverse things. And you will certainly become like one lying down in the heart of the sea, even like one lying down at the top of a mast.”
Injuries, wrecked health, hallucinations—all nasty effects of drunkenness. God, though, cannot be blamed for these ailments. The individual, by ignoring God’s standards, brings them upon himself. At Galatians 6:7, 8 the Bible says: “Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap; because he who is sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh.”
The same principle holds true when it comes to sexual morality. At 1 Corinthians 6:18 the Bible warns: “Flee from fornication. . . . He that practices fornication is sinning against his own body.” “Fornication” covers an array of sexual sins, including premarital sex and homosexuality. Note that it is a sin against one’s own body. “Now the body is not for fornication,” states Paul. (1 Corinthians 6:13) Man’s procreative powers were designed for a sacred purpose: to populate the earth with righteous children. (Genesis 1:28) Sex relations were to serve also as a source of mutual pleasure for married couples.—1 Corinthians 7:3-5; Proverbs 5:18-20.
Promiscuous sex makes a mockery of this blessed arrangement. Hence it is morally degrading, making one unclean in God’s eyes. Ultimately it leads to the judgment spelled out at 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10: “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men kept for unnatural purposes, nor men who lie with men . . . will inherit God’s kingdom.” One who ‘sins against his body,’ though, may also ‘reap what he has sown’ in a physical and emotional sense. Sexually transmitted diseases are just a part of a constellation of problems the promiscuous may encounter: broken or insecure marriages, repeated heartbreak, fear of pregnancy, distrust of others. Homosexuals, too, ‘receive in themselves the full recompense, which was due for their error,’ says the Bible. (Romans 1:27) Their grossly obscene sexual acts—whether done with multiple partners or “monogamously”—are “contrary to nature.” (Romans 1:26) Should it surprise us, then, that a host of physical problems accompany their life-style?
No Free Ride
The STD plague has therefore done more than cause a few people physical discomfort. It has cast a shadow upon a way of life that promised freedom, but that for many has delivered nothing but heartache and misery. The notion that with “the pill” and penicillin one can enjoy illicit sex without consequences has been proved a naive absurdity. Of course, Christians do not at all delight in the sufferings of others. They do, however, hope that those trapped in the “fast lane” of promiscuity will seriously reflect on their way of life and what it can result in. It is not too late—or too difficult—for such ones to make needed changes. Christians in ancient times succeeded in escaping the trap of sexual immorality. And in modern times Jehovah’s Witnesses have helped thousands more do likewise.—1 Corinthians 6:9-11.
Sad to say, however, the majority seem determined to continue their selfish course. Fear of contracting an STD is no more likely in the long run to promote chastity than fear of nuclear bombs, peace. Observed one college student: “I suppose AIDS and herpes are definitely on people’s minds. But I don’t think they have in any way curtailed the sexual revolution among most people my age.”
So whether AIDS, herpes or their other lethal companions will continue their epidemic growth or sneak off into oblivion is irrelevant. Either way the damage to the “new morality’s” gleaming facade has been irrevocably done. It has been exposed as a fruitless, unproductive and dangerous way of life. ‘Free love’ advocates thus find, to their dismay, that illicit “love” isn’t so “free” after all.
Indeed, the price is just too high.