Here’s the initial event: Pastor Jack Schapp, a pastor at First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana was fired because he was having an adulterous affair with a young woman member of the church. Here’s the initial story – as far as I can tell.
Jack Schapp gets canned.
None of this should come as any surprise. One of the ‘hot buttons’ of Christianity is adultery – doing the deed with a person other than one’s spouse. One of the Ten Commandments. Jesus talked about it in less than happy tones. A sin about which even Roman Catholics and Protestants agree.
How here’s the goofy twist. Cafe Mom (www.cafemom.com) doesn’t understand the action. Cafe Mom agrees Schapp should be fired, but not for adultery. He should be fired because he is fifty-four years of age and the woman involved was only seventeen!
Okay, there’s some confusion in the age of the woman. The initial news report lists her age as seventeen, the follow up does not have her age and reports it as ‘not provided’ and Cafe Mom claims the young woman was sixteen. For the record, everyone agrees the age of consent in Indiana is sixteen, so there’s no ‘statutory rape’ element here.
Cafe Mom just cannot understand why the church – the people who are members of the congregation of First Baptist Church – are not more upset about the difference in ages than the fact of adultery.
Here’s the problem: Perspective.
The church group is looking through the perspective of the Bible. Adultery is not allowed. No contest, no excuses, no explanations, no do-overs, no nothing. It is forbidden. The age of the partners is not material to the fact of adultery. Nor does it matter who is married and who isn’t, or if the male or female is older; and the prohibition on adultery was enacted long before the state of Indiana defined the age of consent.
Cafe Mom is looking through the perspective of political correctness. Fooling around on one’s spouse is – tacky but not such a big deal. But! A fifty-something year old male scoring with a teenaged girl? Who cares about ‘sin’? This is just disgusting!
Which is not to say I’m in favor of such an age difference. I think it’s silly to consider such a union. In the first place, as a Christian, one has sexual relations with one’s one and only spouse. Only while one and one’s spouse are officially married – to each other. Just having recreational sex is in the same category as adultery, by the way, so that’s out. I cannot see a fifty-four year old man marrying a seventeen year old girl and expecting much success. I cannot see attending my child’s High School graduation when I’m 72. Gads.
Still, the point I’m trying to make is this: Why do people who know nothing about Christianity attempt to make value judgements of the people involved? That’s much like a person ignorant of spelling and grammar demanding to edit a manuscript.
There’s something overcoming about ignorance I think.