Tuesday, August 19, 2003

A couple friends and I were out and about late one evening, about to head home. One of my friends asked if we could stop somewhere to could pick up some condoms – he had run out. I frowned. My friend was unmarried, and therefore, as far as the Bible is concerned, should not be having sex at all. So, I said no. With a similar frown, my friend spied a gas station behind us at the corner, and asked if I would at least wait for him if he got some there. Succumbing to decency, I nodded. A moment after my friend had left to fetch condoms, my other friend who was along asked about what had just happened. “He’s just going to get them anyway,” he noted.

I was ready for this. It’s an excuse I hear often. It seemed to be true enough in this situation: even in my refusal to help, my friend was on his way to getting what he was after. My refusal, it seemed, had been at best a futile attempt to delay the inevitable. So what was the difference?

The difference was me. I explained to my inquisitive friend that I would not support my sexually active friend, and so involve myself. I would not bear the burden for any part of his sin. Similarly, I had previously declined to take another dear friend of mine to get cigarettes. I loved him too much to help him do anything to hurt himself. The situation was much the same.

My friend returned quickly from the gas station. “They’re out,” he reported. At that, I took them both home.

If you ask me to help you do something that I think is wrong, no matter how passive my part may seem, I should refuse. It is not at all necessary, and not in the least justified for me to take part in another’s sin. I have enough of my own to worry about.

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