Most of us will likely avoid ever having our names listed on the National Sex Offense Registry, but virtually none of us is without sin in this area. Whether in word, deed or in X-rated imagination, we have compiled our own record of secret (or not so secret) wrongdoing we’d rather not have exposed.
And we are not alone. In the Bible, even the patriarch Abraham shamelessly lies about Sarai being his wife and makes her available to another man in order to save his own life. His nephew Lot offers his virgin daughters in the same inexcusable way. But still God forgave even these sexual sins.
King David is guilty of both voyeurism and outright adultery with Bathsheba, then arranges to have her husband die undefended in battle in order to cover up his reprehensible behavior. And both he and his heir to the throne, King Solomon, used their power to gain and to dominate multiple wives and mistresses. These are dark and troubling stories.
The other side of the Biblical narrative is about God’s mercy and forgiveness. Thank God that whenever there is genuine repentance there is also amazing grace, grace not only to erase sexual and other sins from our record but to keep us from repeating them.
Our legal system is never so forgiving, and in the case of people not turning away from their wrongdoing, it shouldn’t be.
But can people committing even sexual wrongdoing get the help they need to experience genuine change? Does the 19 year-old who has sex with an underage 15 year-old girl friend need to be branded a terrible person for the rest of his life? Must everyone who sexually misuses or abuses another be forever considered unable to return to some kind of normal life if they do everything necessary to become transformed into decent human beings?
Or are sexual sins in a category totally different from others, out of the reach of God’s grace and others’ help?
I vote for grace. I support real forgiveness. True forgiveness as God’s kind of forgiveness when we repent and make a 180 degree about face and remain offense free for the rest of our lives.
If forgiveness is never possible, there is no hope for any of us.
We know that more than 97% of those listed on the public registry will never commit another sexual offense. More than 95% of sexual offense arrests are of people that have never before been arrested or convicted of sexual wrongdoing, and so are not listed on the public registry. We must end the inhuman, cruel, and unusual public registry and end the inhuman, cruel, and unusual way that we treat everyone who is listed there.
See Matthew 18:21-35
3 thoughts on “We Are All Sex Offenders”
I am glad that Woman against the registry is taking another look at this article. Yes I am glad that their committee is looking in deep on this. Do we not sin in thought and deed daily? Well the answer would have to be yes and that includes government also.
Sure we all try not to sin but when trust goes over board such as in government matters than who you going to believe, a government show and tell or divine providence or even spiritual understanding. Sure the devil has many faces to deceive one and yes that’s when discernment comes in.
The old saying what do you do to a drunken sailor or you just toss him overboard to the sharks in a lot of this registry mishap. Even Paul said he was the chief sinner and now we have an advocate with the father.
Yes Vicki and her team and many of the other advocates are doing good and most of this thing should end on a soft note as doesn’t America have to much violence today. One can look at the local paper daily and see that. Hey are not we all gonna be judged or is this Covid-19 here for a reason and this mask wearing.
I’ve known Vicki Henry since the time I got mixed up in all this and that was back in and yes I’m sure mothers do not like to see their boys and girls in Jails or prisons. Both of my parents are deceased but understanding a bit of biblical understanding goes a long ways as no mother wants to see their son’s or daughters in jail or prison.
This made me very happy to read. I don’t consider myself a religious man, but I feel turning to god might help me find myself again. I was recently put on the registry for an internet offense. I have to register for the next 25 years of my life. I have never been convicted of anything prior. I’ve never had contact with police aside from the 2 speeding tickets I’ve amassed in my life so far. I’m 27 years old, I will remain on the registry until I’m 52. I haven’t forgiven myself for what I have done, not a day goes by where I don’t think about my offense or my status on the registry, it kills me daily. I feel for my family, I have shamed them and myself. But thank you very much for showing me that god does indeed forgive everyone.
Leo, at times one can get down in the dumps over these registry issues. The classes and all the other issues involved such as meeting with one’s probation officer or the house checks at times. Even if you have parents it can be a bit shaming also.
While we can all talk about religion but its true faith, believing, understanding, that will carry one thru.
Look at it this way. The sword of Justice swings two ways and much of this registry is a bit callous to some. Sin is Sin and we are not suppose to judge one another.
While I am not the most religious man in the world, Proverbs 16:8 says:
“Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right”
I will be 67 this coming July and believe me we all have our ups and downs at times. I was sort of lucky that I had grandparents that were more in tuned with biblical understanding and taught me a bit as I was growing up.
I even took some criminal justice courses in college. While I know this registry can be a bit embarrassing even with the lose of jobs, etc., family distancing and other issues but just remember if we can all help each other that is what any good advocate group is all about.
Sure we can all get mixed up in a lot of this registry but letting it eat at one is dangerous, and than all of a sudden one is thinking about suing, taking them to court, etc. It all depends on how you see all this as biblical right or worldly wrong. Now I happened to have been caught up in a sex sting via the internet. Others can get caught up in the he-said-she-said ordeal. Remember none of us is without sin that’s why biblical issues and bible learning can go a long ways. Was not Paul the chief sinner as I remember from the bible?