By Danny Graham
On Monday, January 9, 1989, the Florence Times Daily ran an Ann Landers column which contained a letter from a lady in Chicago. What she had to say about herself and her situation are very enlightening. Her letter reveals very well what most people in the world think about such topics as morality and wisdom. It can serve as a vivid reminder to those of us who endeavor to serve Christ that we must always follow the wisdom of God’s word and forsake the wisdom of this world. Consider what she said.
She described herself as a heterosexual woman, divorced, mid-40’s, white, upper middle class, living a modestly fast lifestyle not unlike many of her friends. She claims that she carefully screened the 4 or 5 bed partners that she might have each year because she wants nothing to do “with drugs or drug users or men I think are promiscuous or bisexual.” Although she sometimes insisted on her partners using condoms, she just found out the previous week that she had tested positive for the AIDS virus. She goes on to say that she was stunned, and that other people better pay attention. However, the conclusions she drew from her experience are worth discussing.
First, consider that she lived a “modestly fast lifestyle not unlike many of my friends.” It shows how times have changed when a woman who has 4 or 5 sexual partners a year is considered modestly fast. Thirty years ago such a woman would have been considered in the same class with a prostitute. We know this is not the case today because many of her friends do the same thing, and indeed many of us know of people who do the same thing. Times might have changed, but God’s law has certainly not changed. Sex outside of marriage is still fornication or adultery, and it is always wrong. It is never right under any circumstances, no matter what society happens to believe at the moment. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and Galatians 5:19-21. It is almost laughable that she did not want to be with”Promiscuous” men as if she were not herself promiscuous. Even sinners have their scruples. They just aren’t the right ones.
Second, let us consider the lesson she learned from her experience on how such can be prevented or at least the likelihood lessened. She immediately urges all of Ann’s readers to use condoms 100 percent of the time. She realizes they are not 100 percent protection, but she says 90 percent is better than zero. At the same time, she will not take a chance at infecting anyone. It seems to me that the self-control she is now willing to practice should have been practiced sometime ago. Rather than urge the readers simply to continue their promiscuous lifestyles and simply be a little more careful, why didn’t she urge them to practice the same self-control she was about to start practicing? When a child touches a hot stove, we tell him to stop doing it so he won’t get burned; we don’t give him a glove and tell him to use it every time. He can still get burned! Exactly the same is true with the case she describes. We don’t give alcoholics smaller glasses; they must quit!
Third, consider that she also encourages the readers to be tested themselves and donate money to further research. We live in an age when many who are filled with the pride so encouraged by Humanism seem to think that all we have to do to solve any and every problem is to pour money into research and science will be our savior. Such is not the case. Yes, AIDS does kill a lot of people, and yes, if a cure or preventative is going to be found, it must be done through research, but there is a much greater problem than a syndrome that is taking human lives. It is the problem of sin which is destroying even more souls. Not one word is mentioned in her letter about living lives on a higher moral plane. Not one word of regret is found about her promiscuous ways. Sin separates from God (Isa. 59:1-2). The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23), which many will find out in the day of judgment. A cure for AIDS will not help anyone get to heaven. The emphasis in her letter is on the physical and earthly, but we must emphasize the heavenly and spiritual (Col. 3:1-2).
Finally, consider this letter in terms of what it shows about earthly wisdom and heavenly wisdom. Wisdom is defined as the power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action, based on knowledge, experience, understanding, etc. Earthly wisdom, then, is in a limited sense wisdom. People find a course of action that works in a given situation and then follow it. That is why so many think that the use of condoms is a wise thing. In terms of earthly wisdom, it is the proven method. However, James 3:13-18 reminds us, this wisdom is earthly, for it is not from God when men say that adultery and fornication are all right as long as you prevent anyone from getting AIDS. It is certainly sensual, for it encourages the fulfillment of natural desires without any constraint whatsoever except the spread of disease. It certainly is devilish, for such a plot was concocted by the devil. As he has done throughout time, he has shifted’ our focus from what is right and wrong to something else. As he did with Eve, he has people thinking only about not spreading the diseV6n the other hand, the wisdom from above is first pure. The primary concern of the child of God who is using the wisdom God gave is to do right. Therefore, he does not have to worry about contracting AIDS from promiscuity because he will not engage in such. It is also without hypocrisy, so he won’t pretend he is not engaging in it when he really is if he is following heavenly wisdom. Finally, he will be sowing and reaping the fruit of righteousness because he will be busy doing the Lord’s will and will not become involved in such sinful activities as these. If on occasion he does sin, he will quickly repent and resume serving the Lord. Let us not be led astray by the world’s wisdom. Yes, the use of condoms might work, but so will biblical morality. In fact, it will prevent a lot more than just a disease. Using heavenly wisdom will eventually help us obtain eternal life.
Guardian of Truth XXXIII: 11, p. 334
June 1, 1989