In the past week another sex tape hit the Nigerian social media space. A young couple can be seen in the video in what is best called compromised positions.
It happens that the two of them are students of Babcock University. Almost immediately after the tape was published, the university issues a statement saying that the boy in the tape had since been rusticated from the school; while the university has now taken the decision to also expel the lady.
In a bid to get more information on the story I thought I should view the tape myself. So I searched on YouTube and saw this seven minute video of a young man saying something like this:
“Eh, so what are you looking for? Sex tape abi? I don’t have any sex tape here o. I just want you to subscribe to my channel. You know, you people come here and watch me tell jokes all the time but you don’t follow my YouTube videos. Is it good? Now sex tape has been released and you are all running around looking for it. It is not here… Just subscribe to my channel; abeg…”
While his message was meant to be cheeky and a creative way to get people to follow his videos on YouTube, it turned out to be a rebuke on my own heart. What exactly did I need a sex scene for? The facts of the story were already in the public. So why was I looking for the video to validate the story? I realized that my own depraved mind was looking for something which was clearly pornographic but couched in the guise of a breaking news. It did not take long to see my heart. I repented.
The fact of this story is simply this: all of us are in one way or the other culpable in this matter. I would use the rest of this essay to describe our sins to us with the hope that we all can find repentance and possibly that kind of faith in Jesus Christ that would spur a holiness that can prevent partaking in the next sex tape will hit the Nigerian social media sphere.
First, the couple are guilty. Their guilt is not in the fact that they had sex. If these young people are above the age of eighteen, they are adults and they have the right to do whatever they wish with their bodies. And since they are clearly not professing Christians I cannot use the standard of God’s law to judge to them here. Their sins are in recording their actions on tape. No one knows yet who published that tape but it appears that the very filming was done by the duo themselves and possibly preserved for each other’s viewing pleasure – in private. But with time, things could have happened. There may have been a fallen out between them. One of them may have given the tape to a friend, who eventually began to use it to blackmail them. The possibilities are endless. So the foremost mistake they made was in putting a private act, a precious and sacred act, on recording. I hold the theory that 100% of nude photos and sex tapes will come to the public – sooner or later. It is better those things are never recorded. A naked human body is a sacred picture that should be preserved for that person alone; or for their spouses within the boundaries of a marriage. The moment it goes beyond those boundaries, anything can go wrong. In these days of recording videos on phones, people should realize that it is wrong to make nude recording. It is a sin against human nature that has the potential to destroy one’s life.
Second, Babcock University is guilty. I am hoping that the young girl and her family would realize that there is no law in Nigeria that forbids anyone from having sex – whether or not it is recorded on tape. I hope that they can find lawyers that will sue that university blind and collect damages. Babcock University, an institution owned by the Seventh Day Adventist Churches in Nigeria, are being hypocritical in sending away a student all because her sex tapes were published. Of course they would say that they are both a university and a religious organization and such acts contravene their moral code. But they forget that there are hundreds of other acts like these going on right under their noses. The difference is that those ones are yet to be caught. If Adventist’s Christianity is genuinely redemptive, restoring that girl to a relationship with Jesus Christ should be higher in their agenda than separating themselves from her failures. This situation reminds one of Jesus’ words to the Pharisee: “…he that is without sin should cast the first stone…” (John 8:7). Babcock University will expel that young girl because they have failed to bring their own children and wards up in the way of the Lord. And the moment an act that will tarnish their reputation is published, they now do everything to distance themselves from it. They remind me of Foursquare Churches Nigeria, who quickly distanced themselves from the Mr. “Lecturer” of University of Lagos, following the BBC publishing of sex for marks in that school. If these institutions are genuinely intent on instilling morals in their wards, they would not be casting them out the very minute they discover they fail.
Third, the viewers of the sex tapes are all guilty. That is you and me. Has anyone ever wondered why sex-tapes go viral? Viral means that something has gone everywhere – like the spread of a virus. The reason such videos go viral is because certain people are watching them. If you do not watch a video and choose not to pass it on to the next person, the video will stop right there on it tracks. But there is a depravity in all of us that loves to see nudity. Many of us do not watch pornography but we enjoy the sight of others being exposed while doing what people should be doing in private. It is sin in us that makes us crave to see sex tapes and this is where repentance is required of us all. We are all guilty.
There is this scripture that has helped me to deal with my own heart depravity regarding sex. It is the words of Apostle Paul:
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his body in holiness and honor…” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4.
While the command to abstain from sexual immorality is clear in the whole of the Bible, the latter instruction is very helpful: it says to know how to control one’s body. Now that is the key to dealing with sexual immorality: know your triggers and separate yourself from them. It may be a look; it may be a touch; it may be a gist-partner; it may be friends; or it may be movies or recorded videos. The trigger points for sexual immorality are abundant and if we are intent on pleasing God with our bodies as Christians, we must know these things and separate ourselves from them. The very act of separation is what sanctification entails.
But even much more than these: we would realize that these admonition was not to everyone. The letter was written to Christians in Thessalonica. It means therefore that anyone who is not a Christian does not have anything in himself to control his body against sexual sin, besides will power; and the moment your will power is compromised, you are done. Thus the very next admonition is to call all who wish to know victory over their sexual appetites to believe in Jesus Christ and find the help of his Holy Spirit to overcome their inner depravity.
The words of Paul puts the Babcock students’ scandal to perspective: separation from sexual sin is holding the human body in honor. Humanities’ use of sex may either lead to glory and honor, or to shame and disgrace. Sex is a sacred act that God has created within the boundaries of marriage alone. Anything outside of these boundaries will lead to shame, dishonor and sometimes even death. This is the story of Babcock and her students; and it will be the story of all who choose to dishonor God in their bodies with sexual immorality. The next victim can be you if you choose to continue in your way of sin and dishonor.
© Deji Yesufu
Deji Yesufu is the author of the books of Victor Banjo and Half a Millennium. He teaches a Reformed Bible Study group every Saturday morning at the University of Ibadan. He can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.