Contend Earnestly: 17 Year Old Gets 10 Years

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

17 Year Old Gets 10 Years

This is a story of finger pointing by the secular media and secular mind set that "everyone is doing it" or "he is such a good boy." If you haven't heard of the story of the 17 year old in Georgia who has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, with no parole and also has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life, then you can read here. But, understand that the story is explicit in description of what happened so please only for adults.

The explanation that I have heard of why this young man should not be put into prison is because: Every youth in America is doing the same thing, or the young man was a good student, good athlete, and just all around, a good boy.

This, again, shows how much people don't like, nor will they own up for their own sins without pointing to seemingly other "worse" sins or "worse" criminals. If only they saw their sin the way that God and the Scriptures sees their sin and their "good" works.

James 2:10 tells us that if you break the law in one point you have broken the whole law. Romans 3:10-18 tells us that none are good and that without the Spirit there is no fear of God in their eyes. Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our righteous deeds are like filthy rags, Genesis 6:5; 8:21 states that our thoughts and hearts are continually evil from our youth; Jeremiah 17:9 says that the heart is desperately sick. And what happens when we sin? Romans 6:23 states: Death forever in hell. So, with all this how can anyone plead to this young man's goodness?

Simple...what you see is what you get in America. This is why post modernism has been such a widely taught and accepted practice these days. Whatever feels true to you is true and there are no absolute truths. The thought that all people have some good in them and to always see the good in each other (secular humanism). I have yet to hear that this boy should have been put into prison because he broke the law and that he had premarital sex, or that he should take the punishment for his sin, that he should own up to what he did instead of pointing to the rest of America.

How many will be doing the same at Christ's judgment? When Christ separates the sheep and the goats, how many goats will be saying, "I wasn't as bad as that person!" The problem that the unregenerate apparently don't understand is that even the smallest sin in our eyes, separates us forever from a holy God.

I am not trying to be cold here, nor pretend that I am some righteous "standard" for anyone to follow. The difference is that I know that I am a wretched sinner saved only by God's grace and know that any righteousness in me is because of Christ imputing it unto me by His death on the cross.

When I see this kind of public outcry for the goodness of this young man I wish that someone in that community would stand up and preach the gospel so that even if this young man spends the next 10 years in prison, he will hear the truth of the ugliness of that sin and to know that 10 years is nothing in comparison to hell for eternity.

May God's glory be seen in this event and may we as God's people stand up against sin.


David Shaw said...

I had the same feelings when I read this article online. Most people today will compare themselves horizontally and not vertically. They will make the case as you have said that “I am not as bad as someone else.” This is justifying themselves horizontally. They should instead be concerned with what Holy Scripture about their life and whether their acts are sinful. This is justifying themselves vertically. This philosophy is not only the philosophy of the world but unfortunately it is making its way into the church.

I am reminded of Romans 1:28-32. There Paul tells us about sins that “deserve death.” They are sins of total depravity. This young mans sin falls into the sins listed in this passage. Most striking about what Paul wrote is that not only those that commit the sin(s) deserve death but also those who give approval of those who practice them.

Josh said...

I actually thought just the opposite. Who in the world gets jail time for oral sex? If we as Christians, want to stand on principal so much, why do we not just all go turn ourselves in for our sins.

Oh, wait. Thats to close to home :-) How many of US should be in jail or deserve the punishment of death for our approval of sin?

I think the charge is extreme, and recognize that young man needs Christ.

At the same time, God is in charge. Who is to say, jail wasn't the only way he would seek Christ?

God's wisdom is beyond our own. I trust his judgment. Even when I do not understand our own

David Shaw said...


The next to last paragraph of your comment is right on. I read the story on ESPN's site and the kid says that as he looks back on that situation and others he was involved and is "embarrased." Prison did help him see the errors of his life; whether that means a conversion to Christ is yet to be seen.

About the first part of your comment, there was actually sexual intercourse that took place between him and the girl. Others there were involved in the same acts which make it an orgy (sorry for being so graphic).

Christians do tend to look the other way about the sins in their life and condemn others for the same offenses. That doesn't mean that if someone is caught in the act that they should go unpunished. In saying that I will agree that ten years is harsh and the legislature of Georgia and the DA of the county the acts took place in can lower the time in jail but for some reason refuse to do so.

If he never repents of his sin(s) before he passes from this life then jail will be the least of his worries. Keep in mind that God instituted governments to regulate society and punish criminals. The acts that took place are criminal. What I am curious about is why the girl is not in jail for sex acts with a minor?

Josh said...

Good points, I agree with you. While the punishment isn't wrong, I do think it is extreme.

Girls always get away with murder :-)

Keith said...

This is a very intresting (and sad) story; I think I may have first heard about it here on your blog.

My first thought was after reading the article was: "Why is hardly anyone talking about the sin and the need of repentance?" If I recall correctly, most of the commentors on the story were lamenting the length or severity of the punishment, but very little was being said of the immoral behavior of ALL the parties involved. Someone is always worse than we are--that's the American battle cry these days.

Jake said...

Here's the thing though- as the people of God in the world today, aren't we called to speak out against injustice? Maybe this is just my emergent bend coming out a little bit, but I do think what has happened to this young man is horribly unjust and as Christians we should be protesting it.

I don't approve of his behavior, however if he is receiving 10 years in jail for that offense, than everyone else in Georgia who violates that law should get a similar sentence, and the fact that they aren't, makes this unjust and means the law either needs to be enforced more consistently or eliminated.

And finally, I know you're not trying to sound cold, but this kid, who by all accounts was a good kid, is losing out on 10 years of his life b/c he's the one Georgia decided to punish for breaking a law that is also being broken by many of his peers, whom are not punished in any way whatsoever. That is the essence of injustice and it is not what God had in mind when he created this world. Therefore, it is right that we protest this. If we simply talk theology, people will think we don't understand the problem or care about the person. I realize the importance of that theology, but beating him up with the Romans Road isn't going to help him now.

What he needs is someone to lovingly come alongside him, show him how God is able to redeem anything, and how there is nothing beyond God's ability to renew, restore, and redeem. That will give him hope by reminding him that his time in prison doesn't need to be a waste and he can rejoice in serving God, even from a prison cell.

Man... I feel like I'm so argumentative in all my posts... I hate that. It's not my goal, I assure you, I'm just trying to bring a reformergent (hey, I just made up a word) perspective to the conversation.

It is a wonderful thing that we're able to have these conversations and I pray that my voice isn't a voice solely of dissension but rather one that contributes to the one note we should all be singing, centered on the supremacy of Christ over all peoples in all times and places for the glory of God alone.


natamllc said...


you wrote this: [[ I am not trying to be cold here, nor pretend that I am some righteous "standard" for anyone to follow. The difference is that I know that I am a wretched sinner saved only by God's grace and know that any righteousness in me is because of Christ imputing it unto me by His death on the cross. ]]

My question is why would you say that?

To the contrary, I believe you miss the point of the Gospel and the power of the Gospel for one's salvation if you cannot with boldness speak the way Paul the Apostle had written about the Faith he received by the hand of Tertius when we read this from Romans 15:

Rom 15:14 I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.
Rom 15:15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God
Rom 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15:17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God.
Rom 15:18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience--by word and deed,
Rom 15:19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God--so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ;
Rom 15:20 and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation,
Rom 15:21 but as it is written, "Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand."
Rom 15:22 This is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you.

In fact I would assert that your words are a sure indication you have to deal with your own pride! Your words, in my judgment, undermine the very "power of the Gospel" and weaken the Faith once delivered to the Saints. The Gospel is the power of God unto Salvation to everyone who believes.

The Gospel we preach brings all who "hear" out of the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

God is calling for Sons of LIGHT not indications to the LIGHT.

Seth McBee said...

romans 15:18 that you quoted is exaclty what I was trying to get across...I will not venture to speak anything accept what Christ has accomplished through me.

that is what I was saying by saying that is nothing of me and all of is that weakening the Gospel to the sinner?

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