For “Scripture Sunday”:
A World Where “MeToo” Couldn’t Exist
“For weeks now, victims of sexual harassment have been sharing their “MeToo” stories. The Bible promises a world where those stories will never happen again.
Sometimes I like to play a game called “What If We Just …?”
It’s a pretty simple game. Here’s how it works: Sometimes, when I come across a passage in the Bible where God tells us to do something, I ask, “How would the world be different if we all just did that one thing?”
The answer is almost always, “It wouldn’t fix everything, but things sure would be a whole lot better than they are now.”
Take the Eighth Commandment. How would the world change if no one stole anything ever again? A lot of insurance salesmen would be out of a job, for starters. We’d be less worried if belongings went missing—in a world with no thefts, things would only be misplaced. We’d be a little more trusting and a little less worried about being defrauded or scammed by a con artist.
You can do the same mental exercise with the other commandments. What if we lived in a world where no one lied? Where no one murdered? Where everyone honored his or her parents? Where everyone kept the Sabbath day holy? Imagine a world where any one of those things is true, and you’ll see how one little rule, universally obeyed, could really change things.
Weinstein and #MeToo
“What If We Just…?” is a fun game, but it’s also a sad one—because at the end of it, you have to come back to a world that frequently ignores all of God’s commandments (and not just the 10 big ones). You have to wade through depressing news story after depressing news story of things that never would have happened if people would just do the thing God said to do.
Consider the millions of stories reflected in the #MeToo hashtag.
Millions upon millions of women have made it clear that sexual harassment is pandemic.Last month, as allegation after allegation of sexual assault came out against movie producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano suggested on Twitter, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.”
Within hours, #MeToo was everywhere. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram—over the next few weeks, women around the world took to social media to identify themselves as victims of sexual assault and harassment. Overnight, #MeToo offered a staggering sense of scale:
Weinstein is not an anomaly. Millions upon millions of women have made it clear that sexual harassment is pandemic. It’s a serious problem in the workplace, in universities and even at home. For so many women, it’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “how often.”
Missing the point
How did we get here? How did we end up in a world where so many women (and even some men) have to deal with being degraded or violated—a world where the victims are often too afraid or too embarrassed to speak out?
Whenever this topic comes up, a lot of well-meaning people have asked a lot of well-meaning questions that have entirely missed the point. These questions tend to put the blame at the feet of the victims: What was she wearing? How was she acting? What part of town was she in?
If we’re trying to get to the heart of the problem, then those are the wrong questions. Is there a discussion worth having about how God expects His people to dress and behave? Yes, absolutely. But are those the real reasons men assault or harass women?
Men who mistreat and abuse women do so because something in their mind is sick and twisted. That’s the reason.
The heart of the problem
Let’s play a quick round of “What If We Just …?” This time we’ll plug in the Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).
How would obeying that verse change the world?
At first glance, the scope seems limited—at least until we consider the true depth of that commandment.
Jesus explained to His disciples, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
The Seventh Commandment isn’t just about what we do with our bodies; it’s about what we do with our hearts. It’s about where we’re looking and why. It’s about the places we let our minds go.
Now imagine a world where no one lusted after anyone. Where both men and women looked at each other with respect for their value as human beings and not as objects to be desired, used and discarded.
Would the #MeToo campaign have a reason to exist in a world like that? Would stories like the Harvey Weinstein scandal exist in a world like that?
No, they wouldn’t. They couldn’t. If we just obeyed that one single commandment, there would be no need for anyone to post their #MeToo stories. There would be no need for women to fear being violated or humiliated by strangers and coworkers. We wouldn’t need to be having this discussion at all.” Continued at: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/prophecy/blog/a-world-where-metoo-couldnt-exist/
There’s a Proverb for That: Liar, Liar, Plants for Hire*
“The research into how much we all lie to one another is as prevalent as it is condemning. When it comes to lying, the book of Proverbs is not impressed.
People have been lying to each other for thousands of years. Evidence? A wisdom book written nearly 3,000 years ago addresses the consequences of, and God’s disgust with, lying.
“That’s pants on fire, Patrick*”
In the sophisticated and biting social commentary found within an episode of the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants, the humorously dim-witted Patrick Star skewers the familiar rhyme about dishonesty by instead saying, “Liar, liar, plants for hire.” When corrected by the momentarily uppity SpongeBob, Patrick then retorts, “Well, you would know, liar.”
It’s easy to slip up and lie occasionally for a variety of reasons, even when we strive to be truthful. There are the so-called “little white lies” to make sure we don’t hurt someone’s feelings. We also have the whoppers to get us out of trouble when scared. Then there are the lies that have just enough truth in them for us to justify them as not actually being lies. The common thread? Our nose and seared conscience grow with each one we let slide.
It’s very hard for the truth to set us free when we twist, abuse, distort, neglect and run away from it (John 8:32). If those who love and practice a lie are not welcome inside the gates of the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:14-15), there must be a pretty good reason to stay truthful. And, yes, there is a proverb for that.
Proverbs and implications
1. Proverbs 12:22: “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.”
“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
The apostle Paul, after describing in Romans 5 the incredible sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay the penalty of our sins and make possible the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life, saw the need to explain more fully.
We can do nothing to “earn” forgiveness or eternal life, but that doesn’t mean that God wants us to continue sinning. Obviously if God hates sin so much that He requires the death penalty for sin, He does not want us to go back to doing it. Sin causes pain and suffering and death. Obeying God’s law produces right relationships and life.
Paul points out that humans must choose whom they will serve: either sin leading to death or obedience to God’s good and righteous law, which leads to being right with God. Those are the only two choices; and as God said long before, He wants us to choose obedience and “choose life” (Deuteronomy 30:16-19).
For more about sin and God’s law, see The 10 Commandments for Today”
My little timid shy foster cat, Puddin’, came home for the holidays, so the other cat that I am taking care of, “Flower”, whose house drowned in Harvey, had to spend the week in my grooming room because she doesn’t like other cats. She took it like a trooper, but was so glad when she could come back into the main part of the house and sleep on my bed when Puddin” went back to the Cat Habitat at Petco.
Puddin’ was so happy to be here at home, and I loved having her. I cried when it was time for her to go, but she doesn’t belong to me, she is an SPCA foster cat and they paid for her medical bills and everything. Anyway, at my age, how can I offer her a “forever” home? She doesn’t show well in the Habitat, and won’t come out of the little ‘cave’ to entertain potential adopters, so she will probably be back home when her time is up at the Habitat. We were hoping that being there would help her get over her shyness. The Petco employees and customers love to play with the Habitat cats through the plexiglass.
The chiropractor worked on my back twice, but it has been out for such a long time, and now that I am getting older it is more difficult for it to snap back into place. My back is a little less sore after they massaged it, and my knee doesn’t hurt as much, so we are making progress.
For the Sabbath church potluck I made Angus Ground Beef and Brown Rice. Then it took most of one afternoon to peel, dice and roast all kinds of veggies, zucchini, celery, carrots, onions, bell peppers, sweet and white potatoes, but they are soooo good roasted, that it was worth it. Then because of the time of the year I took some seasoned black-eyed peas.
The pastor’s wife was sick again, and the elder who usually helps with the kitchen wasn’t there either, so I had to do everything myself, but it went OK, and everyone was happy with the spread. There was also lasagne, chicken bites and veggies. Several folks took the left-overs home with them, so they must have liked it.
The Bible reading were Gen. 44:18-47:27, about Joseph’s kin coming to him in Egypt, Eze. 37:15-37:28 and Eph 2:1-10. The Teaching was “The Nature of the Messiah”, but as usual it was difficult to concentrate on it as I was trying to get the pot luck together in the kitchen.
Now I have acquired a lovely 6 months old spayed Siamese kitten who needs a good home. It was heart wrenching to see the little girl give up her kitten due to allergies.
We are expecting a batch of freezing weather, so I have been going around checking the covers on the long trough of aloe Vera plants, pipes, etc. getting ready for the next few days.