The increasing tendency to reclassify moral failures as “mental disorders” is troubling. Here’s why Christians must resist the pressure to diminish moral guilt.
When students confess pornography addiction to me, I point them to the necessity of accountability, the importance of counseling, and other strategies that can help them overcome this bondage. But I also encourage them to repent, to confess their deeper bondage to sin—a bondage that started with a moral failure, the choice to click and to click again, and to click again. Their hope, I want them to know, is ultimately found in the grace of God, as proven in Christ Jesus, that God will forgive our sin and deliver us from it.
Few people today still think like this. There’s a growing trend to describe sex addiction not as a sin, but as a sickness, like chicken pox or cancer or depression. And that trend has just became more official.
Recently, the USA Today reported that the World Health Organization has added “sex addiction” to its list of mental disorders. Many experts hope the new classification “will help change the disorder’s perception from a moral failing to simply a medical issue.” One addiction specialist even praised the World Health Organization for removing sex addiction from the realm of “morality” and “religion,” and placing it in the realm of medicine.
The shift, according to the article, “resembles previous changes to how doctors viewed other addictive disorders, such as alcoholism, drug addiction or gambling.” Which makes me wonder, are these things now outside the realm of morality and religion, too?
Even more interesting is the list of criteria the World Health Organization used to diagnose this new class of disorder. Clinical sex addicts must exhibit repetitive sexual activities that become the focus of their lives. They must also have made repeated and unsuccessful efforts to stop the behavior, while deriving little satisfaction from it.
But of course anyone addicted to pornography would say at least two of these things. Compulsive behavior, trouble getting free of the habit, lack of lasting satisfaction—those are not only signs of addiction, they’re signs of chronic sin. None of these things prove that what we’re dealing with is merely a sickness.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris