Pastor Doug Stull

Pastor Doug Stull

Derek thought his secret would never be found out. He had covered his tracks meticulously. Foolproof, or so he thought. Lust and porn had become a regular foray. He was driven by the relentless pursuit of the forbidden.

It was as if his secret was the most invigorating adventure no one knew about, nor could he tell anyone. On the one hand, he portrayed himself as this moral, upright guy among his peers, while there was a dark side to his character he tried to mask.

Then, it happened. His laptop picked up a virus. Derek left it for a few days at a computer shop on the other side of town, where no one knew him. What he didn’t realize was the manager of that store was a good friend of his dad’s. Picking up his repaired laptop, the manager asked to have a word with him. Aren’t you Ron’s son? Derek quietly acknowledged the connection.

Well, In repairing your computer we discovered where you picked up the virus; one of the porn sites you frequently visit. Derek was mortified. You aren’t going to tell my dad, are you? I’ll leave that up to you. He happened to be in here the other day and I mentioned you stopped by and thought you were his son.

That next weekend, Derek saw his dad. I heard you had your laptop fixed. All working ok now? What was the problem? Derek muttered something incoherent, hoping his dad would ignore the answer. Was it porn? Derek’s face said it all. His dad knew.

How could you, son? Dad, I’m sorry I did it. There was something in me that made me do it. I promise I’ll stop. I just don’t know what got into me. Derek grabbed his clean laundry and left as fast as he could. His secret was out and the one man in his life he never wanted to disappoint now knows his dark side.

Fortunately, Derek had a Christian father who had the fortitude to avoid pornography . Some young men have fathers who would overlook their son’s addiction to pornography as faceless entertainment. Then, the son develops a twisted view of women and his expectations of them through the fantasies of pornographic images.

The lure of naked images and violent sex has filtered its way down to junior high. One mother told how junior high boys asked her daughter to post naked pictures of herself on their internet. Imagine how that kind of lewd behavior could affect what she thinks boys expect of her.

Like Derek, our sinful nature hates getting caught. When our backs are against the wall, confronted over stupid choices, all we want to do is turn invisible and disappear? Instead, we’re expected to explain our actions. What were we thinking? That’s our problem. We weren’t.

Famed psychiatrist, Karl Menninger, wrote a book titled Whatever Became of Sin. Menninger found himself dealing with patients whose mental problems were the direct result of sin. Sin, of course, is anything that’s done in direct violation of God’s will. What kind of therapeutic regimen should be offered to a sinner whose mental anguish of anxiety, depression, fear, or anger is directly related to living a sinful life?

Of course, it would be to repent of his or her sin and receive Jesus as savior. Saved from what? Saved from the punishment that his or her sins as well as the guilt and shame caused by their sins. Instead, a person receives God’s forgiveness. Saved with what?

Saved with the power of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual rebirth comes with the gift of indwelling Holy Spirit that lives within to empower the believer to overcome the sin that has kept him or her from a relationship with God.

God’s cure for the destructive power of sin is clearly stated in Acts 3:19: Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Yet, there are people who love their sin and deny that their sinful lifestyle could create their mental and emotional problems. And this judgment is based on this fact: God’s light has come into the world, but people love the darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil (John 3:19).

Emotionally, mentally, physically sick sinners simply would like to have medical treatment to continue to be functional in the darkness of their sins. Yet, the best medicine for the confused, problematic, guilty, empty, meaningless, sick sinful life is to have the broken pieces of life mended by the love, mercy, and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. He’s waiting for you to open your heart to Him.

Doug Stull is the pastor of the Shepherd of the Valley United Brethren in Christ Church located at 297 Riff Ave.

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