Passivity’s Devastation

…So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. (Genesis 3:6, 7 NLT)

I don’t often blog about current events, mostly because I think there are plenty of folks already doing that, but there is something that has been eating at me so profoundly; I am making somewhat of an exception today.

As many others, I have felt impacted by the tragic scandal surrounding the Penn State football program. I first heard of the events as I was driving to work one morning, and I found myself in tears. I read the grand jury indictment of Jerry Sandusky, and I found myself awake the following night, thinking about it.

A great deal of the rhetoric swirling around this topic has to do with assistant coach Mike McQueary, who testified that he witnessed Sandusky raping a young boy in the shower 9 years ago, and though he brought it to the attention of university officials, he neither stopped the action when he witnessed it, nor did he do anything to follow up to make sure that Sandusky was stopped from doing it again. These facts have provoked a ton of venom toward McQueary, particularly on the part of muscle flexing men who claim that, were they to have witnessed an assault as he did, that they would have beat Sandusky to a pulp and rescued the poor kid. One radio host said that, if you were to line up 500 people and ask them what they’d do in such a situation, 500 would put a stop to it. I might tend to agree with that statistic, if all 500 people happened to be women. We men all carry a bit too much of Adam in us to assume we’d do the right thing every time.

When Satan set about bringing the Fall of mankind, he had two things he had to accomplish: he had to tempt Eve into disobeying God, and he had to tempt Adam into not stopping her. Many of us overlook the fact that Adam was standing RIGHT THERE with Eve when she took the fruit. Why didn’t he save her? Why didn’t McQueary save that boy? Damn the inherent passivity!

Myself, I have chosen not to villianize McQueary for his inaction, especially because I could not possibly know what I would do if faced with the same circumstances – to see an older friend and mentor doing something so unthinkable – I don’t believe any of us could guess what we’d do. Instead, I am choosing to channel my emotions over the tragedy to steel myself for the inevitable; for a day will come for me, as it will for all men, when I will be faced with the unthinkable, and I must be prepared to push back against the temptation of Satan, who has accomplished much evil, done not only through the crimes of men, but moreso through the passivity of others. I pray with earnest that other men will do the same – knowing each day that we will be faced with events where every bone in our body screams against action, and those moments are when it is most critical that we act.

If you have a minute, go to shawnmanley.com and read about Rooftop 519 – the fruit that results when God uses a man who chooses action.


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