by Bill Nugent
What if I told you that there was a vast epidemic sweeping across America and it was under-reported because it’s an embarrassment to some of our cultural leaders? Such is the case with the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). When was the last time you switched on the TV and saw a Sixty Minutes or Dateline NBC or 20/20 segment on the life altering or even fatal outcomes of STDs?
Most of the secular people who rule America are children of the sixties. Their young adult years were guided by the free love, casual sex culture of the social revolution of the 1960s. Some of them tried to repeal the Seventh Commandment which is: “Thou shalt not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14). They tend to ignore the immense consequences of the repudiation of God’s morals of which the STD epidemic is only a part.
In a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) press release titled “Reported STDs at Unprecedented High in the U.S.” (10/19/16) Dr. Jonathan Mermin, Director of the CDC’s national center for STD prevention said “We have reached a decisive moment for the nation.” It’s a decisive moment indeed when you consider that the CDC reports nearly 20 million new STD infections in the U.S. each year. Tragically, half of the new infections occur among 15 to 24 year olds.
The American Sexual Health Association (founded in New York in 1914) on their website lays out some alarming statistics regarding the “incurable” viral STDs such as Herpes, HIV and Human Papillomavirus (HPV). The hepatitis B virus is also often transmitted sexually. Viruses can’t be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics only treat bacterial STDs including Gonorrhea, though there is a drug resistant Gonorrhea going around.
About one in five adults (50 million) in the U.S. have genital herpes virus infection. The medical establishment considers it incurable. I hate to call it incurable, because God can heal anything. Genital Herpes causes hideous, painful symptoms in some vulnerable people. However, up to 90 percent of people with it have mild or no symptoms. This means they could be spreading it unawares.
Human Papillomavirus can cause cancer of the cervix in women and also mouth or throat cancer. It’s sexually transmitted cancer. There’s a vaccine for HPV 16 and HPV 18 which are the cancer causing varieties but there are risks with vaccines. I don’t need to remind you of the devastation caused by HIV/AIDS. HIV is still causing deaths but at lower numbers (6,721 in 2014) because of a cocktail of toxic and expensive drugs. Even HIV hasn’t been getting much press in recent years.
STDs are biologically sexist. They transmit easier from male to female than female to male. STDs are harder to diagnose in women and there are more severe complications in women. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), caused by Chlamydia and Gonorrhea bacteria, causes damage to the uterus, tubes and ovaries. It’s hard to diagnose because no simple test will do it. If it becomes severe, PID can cause infertility. One million American women report PID each year and 100,000 women a year are left infertile. PID causes ectopic pregnancies which require emergency surgery or can result in death. It can also cause lifelong abdominal pain from the huge amount of scar tissue. Women under 25 are most likely to get PID.
What’s the answer to this ongoing and unnecessary tragedy? Let’s return to God’s moral laws which require marriage before sex. When was the last time you heard a sermon warning the young people (and all people) against the dangers of fornication? I’ve spoken to young adult Christians who were not even aware that the Bible prohibits sex before marriage!
“Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body” (I Corinthians 6:18 NASB). Let’s also consider the following verse: “Fornicators and adulterers God will judge” (Heb. 13:4 NASB).
We speak out against abortion but seldom denounce fornication which is the cause of the unintended pregnancies. Fornication is the driving force behind single motherhood. We appreciate the young women who carry their babies to term rather than abort. They raise them alone or place them for adoption.
We must also point out that having a child out of wedlock reduces a woman’s likelihood of marriage. I know of several women who had their babies out of wedlock. Their children have little or no contact with their biological fathers. Child abandonment by fathers in our society is appalling. Many of the women go through life alone without the companionship of a husband and are deprived of romance and marital intimacy. Many raise their children alone in poverty.
Fornication is a driving force behind fatherlessness and fatherlessness is a driver of a host of social ills. The Bible in Malachi 4:6 speaks of the necessity of the father’s hearts being turned to the children and the children’s hearts being turned to the fathers lest the earth be smitten “with a curse.”
We must boldly and plainly speak out against the sin of fornication and all extramarital sexual deviance. STDs are just one consequence of violating the time honored biblical wisdom regarding marriage and sex. God’s laws against fornication and adultery are not arbitrary or needlessly burdensome. God’s laws are meant to protect people from painful consequences. Women are especially vulnerable to being hurt by STDs and single parenting burdens.
God forgives those who repent and turn to Him. God has sent Jesus Christ, His Son, the promised Messiah of Israel. Jesus came in fulfillment of over 300 Old Testament Bible prophecies. No other figure in all of world history can match that claim! The prophets foretold that Christ would suffer and die and rise from the dead. In His suffering, Christ took the penalty of our sins upon Himself, thus making atonement. On the basis of Christ’s atonement we repent of our sins and ask God for forgiveness. Turn to Christ today to receive forgiveness of sins!
Steps to salvation:
Jesus said “Ye must be born again” (John 3:7).
Prayer to receive salvation:
“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
To receive the salvation that Jesus purchased for us at the terrible cost of His suffering and death on our behalf I invite you to pray this simple prayer:
“Dear heavenly Father, I thank you for sending Jesus, the promised Messiah, to die for my sins. I admit that I am a sinner. I repent of my sins and I ask for your forgiveness on the basis of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I ask you to fill me with your Holy Spirit to empower me to serve you under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, Amen.”
If you prayed this prayer in the humble sincerity of your heart then you have received everlasting life, which includes power to live right in this life and entrance into heaven in the afterlife!