It has become so popular to call out famous entertainers and politicians for their sins in recent days, it’s becoming difficult to keep up with all the #MeToo accusations. The avalanche of righteous anger first buried Harvey Weinstein, the disgraced film producer who apparently was a creep to nearly every woman in Hollywood.
The others who’ve been accused of uninvited touches, rude comments and out-right assault range from sports stars to presidents, from business owners to actors, from congressmen to comedians. As the comedians would tell us, there’s nothing funny about the charges or the fallout of exposure. As the Bible promised, their sins have found them out!
The #MeToo movement has led to millions of posts on social media. Early on, Facebook reports the hashtag was used by 4.7 million people in 12 million posts during a single 24-hour period! Almost every #MeToo story told the tale of an inappropriate action taken by an older man against a younger woman. Sometimes the women were girls, which moves the inappropriate actions into the realm of child abuse. The movement quickly swept around the world, with #MeToo hashtags popping up in every language. Sexual misconduct, it seems, is a universal crime.
As the father of three daughters and three granddaughters, my prayer is that all the negative attention focused on those who’ve acted inappropriately will somehow give the women in our lives a safer future filled with the respect they deserve. Who knows? Perhaps the fear of being exposed will finally cause men in power to think before they touch.
Perhaps the politicians in Congress will learn from the mistakes of their disgraced brethren and transform into men of righteousness. From this day forth, perhaps, they’ll enact laws that promote biblical morality and abide by that same standard. If the men in Washington had followed the Bible’s teaching on sexuality, none of them would be serving prison sentences right now. Are you finally listening, Anthony Weiner?
Perhaps the filmmakers will finally stop hitting on their actresses. Who knows? Maybe they’ll also stop putting all those actresses into scene after titillating scene in TV shows and movies that have led millions of men to think of women as willing sex objects. Perhaps the bosses, managers and CEO’s of American commerce will use their power, money and influence for good, no matter what happens to their profit margins.
Perhaps those who’ve gotten rich off of pornography will repent of their sins, shut down the web sites and campaign for an end to sex-trafficking.
Or sadly, perhaps this wave of rock-throwing in a glass-house nation will only be a short-lived fad that disappears as quickly as it appeared. Maybe we should add another element to the #MeToo movement. Haven’t we all been guilty of doing things we knew were wrong?
One of the Bible’s most important messages is this one: “We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” You can find those words neatly packaged in #Romans3:23, a hashtag with an embarrassingly small following. But the truth is, we’ve all messed up. We’ve all committed atrocious sins. If someone out there needs to say this out loud, then I’ll start.
#MeToo. Meaning, I’m a sinner, too. If the sins I’ve committed were suddenly exposed on a national news broadcast, I’d have a really bad day. If every wrong thought I’ve nurtured was suddenly exposed, the fallout would be devastating. Even I would unfriend me on Facebook. Who would like the creep inside any of us?
This is why the message of God’s grace is so attractive to sinners. Sin is repulsive, whether anyone else ever knows about it or not. God, of course, knows everything. Every thought. Every action. Every attitude. Why God would love wretches like #MeToo is beyond our understanding. And yet he does love us. He continually offers a second chance. His mercies are new every morning, said one #MeToo writer in the Bible, in part because the same old sins seemed to follow him every day.
It doesn’t have to be this way, of course. At any time we like, any of us can actually change his or her ways. We can recognize the horrible consequences of sinful activity and avoid the sinful action before it takes us down the dark alley of shame. When we make the right-action choices. There’s no regret later. There’s no remorse. There’s no shame.
Instead, there is joy. There’s a deep satisfaction that comes from knowing you made a difference in the lives of other people. There’s a peace that can’t be described and an ability to sleep at night with a clean conscious. There is the amazing thrill of knowing you did your best to live in a way that would please our grace-giving God.
You want this kind of life?
Andy Cook is the founder of Experience Israel Now and a resident of Peach County.