SHAME: The Most Destructive Force to the Human Soul

SHAME: THE most destructive force to the Human Soul.

I inquired in my Contemporary Moral Issues class what the students believe to be the number one moral issue of the day.  I did not anticipate their answer.  The eleven students responded unanimously, “sex before marriage”.  I was expecting to hear homosexuality, abortion, gun control, or immigration to be the issue they believed to be most influential on their world. 

The class explored and examined the idea of sex before marriage and slowly arrived at the definition, benefits, and consequences of the issue.  As to definition, the students concluded that sex before marriage is just a small portion of the larger category of illicit sex.  The students quickly realized that homosexuality, transgenderism, polymorphous perversity, adultery, pornography, and sex before marriage exist under a larger umbrella of illicit sexuality.  They agreed to amend their original response of sex before marriage to one larger category; Sexual Immorality.

The students then proceeded to examine the benefits and consequences of Sexual Immorality to the culture at large.  After a time of discussion, the students concluded that there are only a few benefits from sexual immorality.  They listed three, pleasure, stronger relationships, and stress relief.

When they turned to the consequences the list grew quickly including, sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, addictions, broken relationships as long term physical harm. Then they identified numerous emotional issues caused by illicit sexual behavior including, anger, mistrust, depression, long term memories, depression, and helplessness.  One more emotional issue emerged from the discussion that places illicit sexuality under the umbrella that covers everything: SHAME.

Shame is the most destructive force to the human soul.  And the examples and consequences under the umbrella of shame seem endless.  Substance abuse and addictions, workaholism, divorce, abuse of all kinds, (I personally believe sexual abuse to be the number one destroyer of the soul), illicit sexuality,  failure, and there are many more.  In each of these categories is the emotion that Adam and Eve felt the moment they were exposed.  Shame.  They hid themselves because they realized they were naked.  Exposure to the eyes of another immediately produces the deep sense inadequacy.  “I am a failure, I am worthless, I will never be loved, I let someone down, I will never amount to anything, I am a loser, I deserve nothing, I am unattractive, I can’t parent, I can’t measure up” and the examples go on and on.

Shame is not limited to illicit sexuality.  It is the consequence of rebellion against God.  The curse in every human to strive to be something we were never meant to be, our own god.  Every time man fails to pursue his design there is an indwelling understanding of shame.  This isn’t a religious concept or idea.  Inside everyone is the voice that knows that we can’t not know what is wrong and when we fail and are exposed to others and ultimately God, we succumb to the rivers of shame that slowly drown out our value.

Individually I believe every person alive deals with some aspect of shame regularly in their lives.  The lie that I have no value, no worth, and no hope because of it drives us all to pursue relief.  Whether the shame is of our own choosing, or as the result of being harmed by others, there is the constant struggle to find worth.  In the end surrender is the only remedy.  Surrender to the truth that I must let go and allow a greater force to carry the load of shame for me.

My students are right and I am in agreement with them.  Sexual Immorality is the number one contemporary moral issue.  Sex is God’s ultimate design and gift to all humanity to know and feel a measure of the Glory of God. Every time it is expressed outside of God’s design it is marked with shame and when it is exposed to others the shame is overwhelming.  The culture as a whole has chosen to believe and behave in rebellion to God’s design and the corporate shame is surfacing in alarming ways.

There is only one remedy.  Surrendering to the truth.  We are not in charge or our lives.  We have great value in the eyes of our creator.  Our Lord desires us to put our hand in his and let him walk with us.  Shame will not go away in this life.  There is no escaping it.  There is relief, there is joy, their is hope and there is a promise that one day I will know and feel, and believe that I am His beloved.  I look forward to that day.  Hold onto Hope.

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It IS Getting Worse?

I am now living in the 10th Presidential administration in my lifetime. I have not seen anything like this in all the previous years. Once upon a time there was an understanding in the country that the people in authority deserved respect for the position they held as leaders and protectors of our safety and well-being. The respect was unquestioned and the product of the long history of shared ideas and values. At the very core was the agreement that there is an absolute authority that has final say on all matters of morality. It was the foundation of every community.

I remember my mom and dad when I was in my twenties and thirties extolling the fear and danger of a country deteriorating at a rapid rate. I dismissed their rhetoric as the product of their conservative fundamental upbringing and advancing age. I would think to myself. “C’mon folks, things really aren’t at that bad. People have been fearing the end of the earth and the return of Jesus since the disciples were with us. It’s always appeared to be worsening for each generation”

Well, I am now my mom and dad. And I apologize to them for not respecting their life experience and understanding of the nature of the destruction of sin. I have what I believe is legitimate fear for my precious grandchildren. From my present place in life I believe the prospects for the country moving in a positive direction are at best pessimistic. Selfishness and greed have breached the dam and the flood waters are rising quickly.

For a culture and country that desires to live without God the inevitable collapse is growing imminent. Lying, hatred, immorality, disrespect, jealousy, unkindness, mistrust, apathy, and more is advancing at light speed. It is not the way it used to be. It is not the fear and rantings of an old man out of touch with the day. It is a husband, father, grandfather, and teacher that desires the best for others and this country.

Despite all the gloom and doom, there is hope. Remember these words?

“I’d rather have Jesus than silver or gold
I’d rather be his than have riches untold
I’d rather have Jesus, than houses or lands
I’d rather be led by his nail pierced hands

I’d rather have Jesus than man’s applause
I’d rather be faithful to His dear cause
I’d rather have Jesus than world wide fame
I’d rather be true to His holy name

Than to be the king of a vast domain
Or be held in sin’s dread sway
I’d rather have Jesus than anything
This world affords today.”

 

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We can’t not know that it is wrong!

January 22, 1973. Forty five and a half years ago I was a senior in high school when the Supreme Court Decided 7-2 that the law in Texas banning abortion was unconstitutional thereby legalizing the procedure across America.  I was only eighteen at the time but I knew then in my heart and soul what every person on this planet knows in their hearts and souls; no one can not know that killing another human being is wrong. That day the culture began to drift into insanity.

After years and years of attempting to defend insanity once again the issue has raced to the forefront and insanity is on display for all to see.  On television for all to see today an activist declares at the conclusion of an impassioned speech supporting abortion, “God Bless Abortion and God Bless America”.  Marches, protests, insane rhetoric declaring that the end of the right to kill is under assault.  No one cannot know that it is wrong to kill and innocent human being and yet to the streets and airwaves go those demanding the right continue.

Think what it takes to justify killing an innocent child.  Because we can’t not know that it is wrong to deliberately kill human beings, as J Budziszewski points out there are four options.  “We must deny that the act is deliberate or we must deny that it kills.  Third we must deny that its victims are human, or fourth deny that wrong must not be done.” The last option is literally nonsense.  That something must not be done is what it means for it to be wrong; to deny that wrong may not be done is merely to say “wrong is not wrong”, or “what must not be done may be done.”  The first option doesn’t work.  Abortion just doesn’t happen it must be performed.  The supporters not only admit there is a “choice,” they boast of it.  Ultrasound has eliminated option two as now you can see the baby kicking, sucking their thumbs, doing somersaults.  They are very much alive. The only option left is number three: to deny the humanity of the victims.  But that goes completely against biology which tells us that from conception onward the child is a human just like the rest of us.

For forty five years I have listened to the abortion advocates and I have yet to hear any of them answer the question they cannot not know.  Is abortion the taking of an innocent human life? They will not answer that question.  A woman has a right to her body.  There are extenuating circumstances where abortion is justified.  The government has no right telling a woman what she can or cannot do.  This is to save children from the horrible world of economic hardship.  This is to eliminate children that may be born with disabilities and not have quality of life.  On and on it goes but never the answer to the question.  Is it wrong to kill and innocent life?  Why will no-one answer this question?

Because in every human beings heart is that still small voice that says, “You can’t not know that it is wrong to kill an innocent human life.” And so one must deny that voice exists and search for some way to silence it.  The culture continues to sink into complete insanity.  As Budziszewski so wisely points out.  “The conscience will have its revenge.”  It can only be denied for so long.  In the meantime there will be more stupid statements, more nefarious justifications for murder, more clamoring for the protection of immorality.  I pray we can slow down the loss of over 70 million of our fellow citizens the last 45 years. We all know in our hearts it would be the right thing to do.

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Red for Ed…Pretty Mixed Message

If you are a teacher with over 20 years of experience and are a supporter of the Red for Ed movement here in Arizona, may I respectfully ask a few questions.

  1. Do you believe that classroom experience is valuable for colleague that desires a leadership position in the arena of education?
  2. What characteristics do you believe would qualify a credible, and capable spokesperson for the education arena?

As a teacher with 40 years of experience I find it sad that veteran teachers would allow a small minority of pretend educators be the spokespersons of the profession. I offer that the best measure of a qualified educator, the ones that are truly in it “for the children”, if the number of years of sacrificial commitment possessed.

One of the self-proclaimed leaders of the Red for Ed movement has a couple of years of teaching experience as a 5th grade music instructor. How in the world, can a movement expect to garner respect from anyone, when the recognized leader has nothing to offer but a few college theory classes and a recommendation from Bernie Sanders as an average volunteer.

Years and years of commitment, perseverance, integrity and more are what motivates a true teacher.  We all knew going into this work that compensation would never be adequate or even fair.  At the core of every called teacher is a desire to make an impact on children for the betterment of the future.  Only the individual teacher can measure their true motive.  A pretty good indicator is a veteran that goes to work every day regardless of all the limitations because he or she respects the calling, understands the stakes, and cares little about getting any credit or notoriety.

Educators are overworked, underpaid, and unappreciated.  The class sizes are too large, the resources inadequate.  All and more are valid and worth attention.  Has been forever. Education is about the message we send to children.  The message the chosen leaders wish to impart to this generation is that walking out on your responsibility is more important than the responsibility.  A twenty three year old who has no sense of responsibility, no experience in the field, and most assuredly no calling is leading thousands, and they are following.  That’s sad. 

When the students do return.  How do we explain our behavior?  How will it help mold them into the responsible leaders of the future?  Maybe this is the future.

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Conyers, Franken, Franks all resign. Who will replace them?

In the last two weeks John Conyers, Michigan House Representative, Al Franken, Minnesota Senator, and Trent Franks my representative in Arizona have all resigned their positions citing moral failure as the cause.

Just one day after Representative Franks announced his departure the radio and newspaper experts here in Phoenix starting throwing out names of possible replacements.  Every single name mentioned far is that of a lifelong politician.  Apparently the election of Donald Trump went right over the heads of the local pundits. The people out here in the fields really would like to see the status quo replaced and people heading to Washington with different skill sets. Instead, the names put forth are nothing more than the same old schmoozers ready and willing to keep the status quo.

I would love to run for Trent Franks position.  I have no money, no name recognition.  I have no political affiliations and not a single minute of political experience.  I have no desire to move and live inWashington for life and I am not a lawyer.

I do have 62 years of life experience in the greatest country on earth and I live life based on one and only one principle.  I fear God more than I fear man.  If all 535 members of Congress had the same guiding value there would be no need for ethics committees or oversight panels.  Trust would rule the day between representative and constituent. How refreshing would that be?

A man named Daniel made it pretty clear once long ago that he feared God more than he feared men.  It worked out quite well.  Oh that there were many more Daniels out there.

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Sexual Harassment Training for Congressmen…Really?

It is awfully hard to deny there is a sexual abuse crisis in this country given what is unfolding in both Washington DC and the media. The truth that this is an epidemic being ignored and kept silent is being exposed.
The immediate response to exposure is shame.  Remember the garden when God came looking for the couple that had just disobeyed.  The first response was to hide themselves because they had been exposed.  Shame breeds silence and cover up.  Whether it is a child that has been molested by a more powerful adult, or a powerful Congressman that has covered the behavior for years.  It is shame that destroys.
In these present cases the responses are quite telling.  The first response is to deny; “I don’t recall that at all…the accuser is lying…the facts are being misrepresented.” In the garden the man pointed to the idea that his wife made him do it.  We have all been there when the moment of exposure turns our stomach in knots and hiding feels like the best response.  
After exposure the Pharisees rush to judgment extolling the necessity to “fix” the problem.  Quite the hypocrisy.  The loud cries come from those that either haven’t been caught or have some delusion they are without sin.  
The leaders in Congress are calling for mandatory Sexual Harassment training for all congressmen and senators.  Really?  Men thirty-five to eighty years old don’t know what it means to take advantage of others yet?  They do not know what is right, honorable, respectful behavior so much so that they need training?  Did they have parents?  Did they go to school?  Have they never heard the ten commandments or the golden rule?  And what exactly will the training do?  Will it address the matter of the evil, wicked, heart that lies silent in every human being?
As the leader of a ministry that attempts to shed light on the truth of this plague, I have to admit that I am encouraged with this moment of awareness on the public stage. However, this ongoing epidemic begins in childhood and is so pervasive across this country that this recent round of examples only scratches the surface.  I hope the exposure continues and real attention is paid to the truth of what is out there. Sexual sin has been with us forever and the shame it generates destroys people and cultures in silence and fear of exposure.
It is one thing to sound the alarm, parade around the perpetrators, and call for training. It is quite another to walk into the issue with hope. Healing is not achieved in training programs.  Healing isn’t accomplished in seminars and self help books.  Healing can never be achieved in silence and solitude.  Exposure causes shame.  Deep, deep, deep hurt in the soul.  Shining a bright light on it without also offering hope is a futile exercise. Sometimes even hope doesn’t break through.
God has walked with me for fifty years with the shame and hurt of childhood sexual abuse.  God has been faithful all those years through my wife, children, and those that sincerely desire to walk with me to keep the light of hope glowing.  God’s still small voice speaks to my heart every day about the many that are walking the same roadway and I try every day to shed light on the issue, to be available to listen, and to share the pain with others.
Healing happens when one walks with another.  I believe it is the best approach.  It takes a lot of time, an army of willing walkers, and it is not accomplished in the media or on a stage. It takes place in coffee shops, on long walks, and in quiet gardens where the Savior of our souls  whispers into our hearts, that we are His beloved.  I pray for those that are still in silence, and I pray for those that will seek to begin the journey with another broken heart.
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Is Harvey Sorry?

WeinsteinHarvey Weinstein is not the first example of mass hypocrisy by the secular progressives.  He is just so over the top that even now the movement cannot come to his defense, although, watch them try. The examples are numerous already, but how about this one for laughs and giggles.

The defenders are applauding all the brave women that are coming forward to pile on the heap of contempt for Weinstein’s behavior and character.  Never mind that only one came forward in the last thirty years to expose what any of the victims or witnesses could have done at the time.  All the shock and surprise that no one saw this coming as Jane Fonda so bravely shared on behalf of all the other shocked and uniformed observers.  The grandstanding, fake outrage and denial is contemptible.

I do not expect to see any of the brave women that are coming forward now to be treated with similar conviction as was demonstrated toward Joe Paterno. It is alleged that Paterno knew about Jerry Sandusky’s behavior prior to the story coming to the surface.  For that, Paterno was vilified and ostracized to the point where a statue commemorating all his years of service as a coach and teacher were eliminated from existence. His life and career left shrouded in shame because he failed to speak out.  One cannot defend Paterno’s choice to remain quiet and the consequences of his silence were justified.  That said, I fear in Weinstein’s case there will be nothing more than more hypocrisy.  Will any of the men and women who have known about Weinstein’s behavior from the beginning be treated with the same contempt as was Paterno?  It remains to be seen.

This is a case of a whole lot of people rebelling against the truth that there are consequences for unwise behaviors and choices. Weinstein for his choices of selfish, arrogant, and evil behaviors knowing full well the choices were wrong. The Brave victims who kept silent for fear that selfish motives of fame, and fortune would end. The hundreds of “uniformed” who allowed Weinstein’s  behaviors to continue in order to maintain the facade. It just got so outrageous the only choice was to shine the light and take the hit.

Is there a desire to see this kind of behavior end?  Will there be a concerted effort on the part of Hollywood to put in place safeguards and enforcement practices that will prevent this in the future?  It will die down quickly and there will not be an attitude of surrender or repentance, but rather just disappointment that so many were exposed.

Weinstein is headed to Arizona where he will camp out at a $2000 a night rehab center.  Harvey has a sexual addiction. A little therapy will help him change his future behavior.  Never mind he has left a tsunami of brokenness in his wake that will most likely not be addressed. Never mind that in a few weeks it will all be forgotten, the brave whistle blowers will return to Hollywood, and hypocrisy will reign once more. As for Harvey, I imagine there is not a lot of remorse going on at the resort.

 

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