Bill Cosby and the enemy within

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Bill Cosby and the enemy within

July 8, 2015 - Jim Denison, PhD

Entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during a news conference, November 6, 2014 (Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Bill Cosby was America’s dad.  The comedian, actor, musician and author began his career in show business more than 50 years ago.  He earned a Doctor of Education degree in 1976.  From 1984 to 1992 he produced and starred in The Cosby Show; for five years, it was the number one show in America.  He was famous for homespun wisdom and his support for family values.  He and his wife have been married for 51 years.

In July 1997, Cosby testified that he made private payments to a woman with whom he had an affair in the early 1970s.  In recent years, he has dealt with ongoing allegations of sexual assault.  More than 40 women have made such accusations spanning from 1965 to 2008.  Cosby has consistently denied all wrongdoing and has never been charged with a crime.

Now the actor is back in the news after the Associated Press recently won a court order to obtain a deposition from 2005.  That year, a woman named Amanda Constand sued the comedian, accusing him of giving her three pills before sexually assaulting her in 2004.  In the now-opened deposition, Cosby said he gave Constand three half-pills of Benadryl.

However, he also admitted to getting seven prescriptions for Quaaludes, a common sedative, in the 1970s.  He also admitted that he met one woman after a Las Vegas performance and offering her the drug.  “I give her Quaaludes.  We then have sex,” he said.  Constand’s attorney asked if it was “in your mind that you were going to use these Quaaludes for young women that you wanted to have sex with?”  “Yes,” Cosby replied.

Charles Spurgeon warned: “Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”

In Finishing Strong, Steve Farrar identifies the characteristic that separates those who finish well from those who do not: endurance.  More specifically, their ability to survive moral ambushes.  According to Farrar, those who survive ambushes are usually those who anticipate them.

If you seek to follow Jesus faithfully, his enemy is your enemy. (Tweet this) “Satan” in Hebrew means “adversary.”  “Devil” translates the Greek diabolos, meaning “accuser” or “slanderer.”  Our adversary seeks to accuse and slander God’s people, knowing that our failures grieve our Father’s heart and harm his Kingdom.  It’s no surprise that Satan would tempt Bill Cosby morally, given Cosby’s moral example in our culture.  Or that he would ambush you wherever your fall could damage your witness and God’s glory the most.

Our culture has never needed strong, consistent moral examples more than it does today.  So expect Satan to do all he can to undermine Christian witness.  If you’re a pastor, redouble your commitment to personal morality in the power of God’s Spirit.  If you have a pastor, pray daily for your minister’s spiritual health and public witness.  If you follow Jesus, anticipate moral ambushes today.  Take your temptations to God immediately, asking him for the wisdom and strength you need to win the victory.

And remember with St. Augustine that “wrong is wrong, even if everybody is doing it, and right is right, even if nobody is doing it.”

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV®️ Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®️), copyright ©️ 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.

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