What’s The Problem?

abortion, addictive behavior, alcohol, morals, sin No Comments

A recent letter to the editor of the Columbus Dispatch touched on a word missing from our every day vocabulary.  Can you guess what it is?  The title of the letter was, “‘Sin’ disappeared from lexicon long ago.”  The letter pointed out that the high priests of journalism have “outlawed” the word “sin” from the common vernacular.  This prompts the question, “why?”
I would like to offer two reasons.   One reason lies in the psychological coping mechanism we call “denial.”  Denial is a psychological defense where we will not face reality, instead, we deny reality so that we will not have to deal with it or the pain that it brings.  Another reason is redefinition of truth.  When we define truth subjectively rather than objectively, everything is permissible.  The ideology called postmodernism does this.  If everything is permissible, then sin vanishes.
The Problem.
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”  Rom. 3:23.  And, “the wages of sin is death…” Rom. 6:23.  Sin is a universal experience of mankind.  The consequences are serious both now and for eternity.  While some may deny the reality of sin, and others have redefined truth to make it disappear, the reality of sin keeps confronting us.  One way to force a realization of this is to look at the numbers. The price we pay for sin is enormous. Consider the following:
Internet Gambling.  The estimated social cost of internet gambling is 25 billion dollars per year. (Does God Exist, Jan./Feb. 2013, p. 27).
Alcoholism.  The cost of alcoholism to the American taxpayer is 43 billion dollars per year.  (Does God Exist, Jan./Feb. 2013, p. 29).
50% of all fatal accidents involve alcohol.
80% of all fire deaths.
65% of all drowning deaths.
40% of all assaults.
77% of falls.
55% of arrests.
Unwanted Pregnancies.  The annual cost to the American taxpayer of unwanted pregnancies is $11 billion dollars.  (Guttmacher Institute, Huffington Post.com, 5/24/2011).  Two-thirds of unintended pregnancies–a million births-are publicly funded by Medicaid and other government programs.
Addicted gamblers.  The costs associated with addicted gamblers in the U.S. is between 32.4 billion and 53.8 billion dollars a year.  This amounts to about $274 per adult annually.  Gambling in America, Baylor University professor Earl Grinols from dailyfinance.com., July 22, 2011).
Drug Abuse.  Substance abuse and addiction breaks down as follows:
Illegal drugs–118 billion a year.
Alcohol:  185 billion a year.
Tobacco:   193 billion a year.
Totals:   559 billion a year  (Drugabuse.gov  National Institute on Drug Abuse, 4/9/2013.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases.  Sexually transmitted diseases for Ages 15-24 costs $6.5 billion a year in 2000 dollars.  Among all age groups the cost go up to between $9.3 billion to $15.5 billion (includes HIV).  Guttmacher.org. Guttmacher Institute (Jan./Feb. 2004, vol. 36, no. 1).
Crime.  The annual cost of crime in the U.S. is $1.7 trillion dollars.  David A. Anderson, “The Aggregate Burden of Crime.”  This amounts to $4,118.00 per person in the U.S.  (David Anderson is professor of economics at Davidson College, North of Charlotte, North Carolina).
Divorce.  Family fragmentation costs:  $112 billion a year.  Benjamin Scafidi, J. Whitney Bunting School of Business at Georgia College and State University.  Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia.  “The Taxpayer Costs of Divorce and Unwed Childbearing” c. 2008 www.americavalues.org.
Pornography.  The financial costs to businesses productivity in the U.S. alone is estimated at $16.9 billion annually.  The human toll is far greater.  Webroot.com “Internet Pornography by the numbers; a significant threat to society.”  Consider some stats:
Every second 28,258 users are watching pornography on the internet.
Every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography on the internet.
40 million people in America regularly visit porn sites.
35% of all internet downloads are related to pornography.
One-third of porn viewers are women.
2.5 billion emails sent or received every day contain porn.
Abortion.  The normal cost of a first-trimester abortion runs between $350 to $550.  Guttmacher Institute www.guttmacher.org.  “In 2009, the median charge for a surgical abortion at 10 weeks gestation was $470.  The median cost of  a medication abortion was $490.  In 2008, 20% of all abortions were covered by Medicaid (State funded).  In 2008, there were about 1.2 million abortions performed in the U.S.  Total costs:  $112 million dollars.
The total costs exceed 2 trillion, 35 billion dollars!  And, these are just the financial costs.  May we add the emotional, psychological, social, and spiritual costs?
How can we deny the reality of sin when it is costing so much?  Why not let God define sin?  Sin is a transgression of the law of God (I John 3:4).
The Solution.
The first step is to face reality.  We must admit to ourselves and to God, “I am a sinner.”  This confession will produce guilt and shame if prompted by godly sorrow and move us to repent and turn to God.
The second step is to pursue the pathway of redemption and righteousness.  We must say, “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.”  We must seek forgiveness from God who is the only source that has the power to remit sins.  We must yield to God’s Will for our lives.  We must repent.  Repentance involves a turning away from sin.  It involves a cessation of the practice of sin.  We must be baptized to “wash away our sins” (Acts 22:16; Acts 2:38).  And, we must pursue righteousness.  The way of righteousness is the strait and narrow way that leads to eternal life (Matt. 7:13-14).  The problem is sin.   The solution is “Christ in you and you in Christ.”

Next Entries »