Lord Sewel, Sewers and Salvation

The news is out that Lord Sewel - Lords deputy speaker and chairman of the Lords privileges and conduct committee – was caught on film snorting drugs off the breasts of prostitutes with a £5 note. Sewel’s been caught in moral sewage.

(For my American readers, this is roughly the equivalent of the head of the Senate ethics committee – but with a bit more British pomp and circumstance.)

As Christians, how should we react?

Repent and Pray. Throughout the Bible, people not only repented for their own sins, but for the transgressions of their nation as well. God deals with humanity - not only as individuals - but also as collective units. In any democratic society, the man in the pub must accept some responsibility for what happens in Whitehall.  ‘God, forgive us for our immorality. Change us. Make us Pure.’

We must pray for our leaders. Paul writes to Timothy, ‘I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority.’ I see Christians commenting, criticising and blogging on politics, but I rarely see Christians praying earnestly for their leaders. Yes, I didn’t vote for Theresa May to be Home Secretary. Yes, I don’t agree with some of the laws she wants to pass… and God calls me to pray for her. Let’s pray for Lord Sewel personally, he is man with a family. It would be a great victory for the Kingdom of God if he were to find redemption in Christ.

Secondly, let’s take stock of our own lives. A good man doesn’t wake up one day and decide he’s going to blow lots of money on prostitutes and cocaine. Sin starts out small but it grows. It takes us farther than we ever expected to go and has us pay prices we never thought we’d have to dish out. What sins do we need to bring before God? I wonder if in the early days of Lord Sewel’s lechery, he ever thought about sharing his moral struggles with someone and getting help? Pride keeps us from confessing and getting support from a friend in regards to sin –especially sexual sin. So it grows in the privacy of darkness where we are too weak to contain it on our own. We accept the sin over time and it begins to pervert us. 

We can make no peace treaties with the sin inside us. We give it no leases. We allow it no accommodations. Our attitude towards sin - within and without - must always be adversarial. In this life, we are continually at war.

Most people will be making jokes about Sewel’s tragic downfall. I feel it within myself - it's too easy in this situation. There’s certainly plenty of material. Let's not be that person. The New Testament say, ‘Take heed when you think you stand, lest you fall.’ Our goal for everyone is to be saved from the sewers, not to laugh at them while they’re in it.

Is there a trusted friend that you need to confess a sinful struggle to? Someone who will pray for you in Jesus’ name and help you find moral victory? If we do not voluntarily bring these things out into the light, we – like Lord Sewel – will find them brought into the light for us in ways we would never want.

‘If anyone is caught any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore a person like that humbly and gently – thinking about your own soul – so that you won’t also be tempted.’ – Paul, Galatians 6.1

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