What the Bible Teaches About Sex Addiction
(Quotes in this article are from “Tiger Woods, Sex Addict?” found online at http://www.sphere.com/nation/article/tiger-woods-sex-addict-experts-are-parsing-the-evidence/19274018, accessed December 15, 2009)
A week after the Tiger Woods scandal broke many folks began saying that Mr. Woods is a sex addict.
As reported recently, “Manhattan author and therapist Bonnie Eaker Weil said of Woods’ situation that repetitive cheating is an addiction. ‘What begins with a desire to relieve stress or mute depression easily progresses to a preoccupation with where their next ‘fix’ will come from.’….Pro athletes, accustomed to the rush of celebrity, often look to sex for a similar high.”
The article continues: “Dr. Drew Pinsky, host of VH1’s ‘Sex Rehab With Dr. Drew,’ told CBS News that addiction ‘has people doing things that don’t make sense.’ [Jaimie] Grubbs claims to have more than 300 text messages from Woods saved on her phone and has released a voicemail she says is from Woods, asking her to change the name on her caller ID, saying that ‘my wife may be calling you.’”
What is the reason many caught in adultery claim sex addiction? “A sex addiction diagnosis might prove to be Woods’ get-out-of-jail card; it’s a defense that’s allowed celebs like David Duchovny and Michael Douglas to maintain both their careers and their famous wives. ‘Once you medicalize it…then the guy has an excuse,’ Columbia University psychologist Judy Kuriansky told ABC.”
While it may be true that Tiger Woods is addicted to sex, this is not a reason to say that he is not culpable for his infidelity. It is popular in today’s society to call drug and alcohol abuse a disease instead of a sin because using terms like “addiction” and “disease” turns the perpetrator into a victim since these terms imply that a person is on the passive end of an outside force invading and imposing itself on their will.
Jesus said in John 8:34, “Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin.” Scripture teaches that a person becomes an addict not because of some genetic predisposition to an enslaving habit but because of an (initial) intentional choice to commit a transgression. In addition to this, some theologians believe that once a person engages in sinful behavior spiritual beings called demons oppress them causing enslavement to the sin.
(Mark 5:1-13 shows how a demonized person can act aberrantly with uncontrollable, demonic habit patterns.)
Proverbs 5:22 teaches that when we sin we are held fast in the cords of our sin. Hence, the Bible puts the responsibility of an addiction squarely on the addict since the initial act was not the result of bondage but a choice.
The fact is, every human being is wired with a predilection to systemic habit patterns based on neurological functions of the mind, emotions, body, and will. Addiction then comes because these neurological functions adjust chemically and conceptually to the feeling experienced when indulging in the addictive activity. This is why it also says in Proverbs 4:23 to “keep our heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs (or habits) of life.”
The truth is that all of us are born into sin at birth (Psalm 51:5) and have activated the sin principle (or law of sin as spoken of in Romans 8:2) by sins of choice after birth and are capable of committing any and all sins of the flesh. Galatians 5:19-21 teaches that the possibility for all sins, including all sexual sins, orgies, drunkenness, envy, jealousy, anger, wrath, fits of rage, witchcraft, murder, etc. are in every human. Romans 3:23 says that all of us have sinned and fallen short of God.
For example, when proponents of the gay lifestyle say that Christians don’t want homosexuality in society because we are homophobic (that is, we are afraid of facing our own latent homosexuality) there is some truth to this regarding our potential to be homosexual since the potential for homosexuality and all sins of the mind and flesh reside in each of us. This is why we have to oppose the public legalization of forms of sexual immorality like pornography and the teaching and affirming of homosexual relationships in public school curriculum. It will confuse and entice the unredeemed emotions and flesh of impressionable children who do not yet understand their own sexuality and gender.
In conclusion, the only hope for Tiger Woods and all of us to escape the power of “original sin” and its propensity to hold us in bondage to harmful lifestyles is to allow the vicarious power of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ to be applied to our lives so we can be freed from sin and become slaves to righteousness (Romans 6:4-11)! Jesus said in John 8:36, “If the Son will set you free, you are free indeed.”