BodEquip Ministries - Equipping the Body of Christ to Live Abundantly.

#MeToo, Gun Violence, and Big Ol' Giant Elephants

(By Christopher Long, BodEquip Ministries)

In the last few years, stories of men that have sexually abused women or otherwise had improper behavior have become common news stories and spurred on movements such as #MeToo. While I do think the spotlight being shined on this issue is overall a positive thing for society, I'll be honest in that I tire of reading and hearing all the reaction to the stories of sexual misconduct in the media about as much as I tire of the same relating to gun violence and school shootings. Because these discussions are always way superficial and never deal with core issues. It's always about "men should just treat women better" or "we should ban more guns" and so forth.

If we as a society REALLY want to deal with these big issues, then we've got to be willing to look at things that many don't want to look at.

We want to be able to talk about how terrible gun violence is while at the same time letting our 11-year-old boys go around mass killing people for hours on end virtually in high-tech video games.

We want to be able to talk about how terrible it is for men to take advantage of women or speak sexually inappropriate to or about them, while being totally okay with porn and the increased sexuality shown in movies and TV.

We can't have it both ways. But these things are like the giant taboo elephants in the room. We just don't speak of them. It's SO MUCH easier to just blame guns or say that some men are just stupid pigs.

Many people seem to have this great disconnect in their brains where they don't connect point A to point B. It's not really all that complicated. If guys spend hours a week scouring porn sites constantly fueling lust, they are going to be more prone to seeing women as sexual objects for their gratification and that's likely to get expressed one way or the other. If guys spend hours virtually killing people (with all the blood and gore and so forth etc), they are going to be prone to not only be desensitized to violence in general, but to even potentially see killing as something "fun" that gives them a "rush".

I'm not saying that all people who play violent video games will be mass murderers. And I'm not saying that all people that view porn are going to rape women. Obviously neither is true. But what I am saying is that what we consume affects us and right now we have a major disconnect in our society where people think that they can play with fire and not have it affect them. And it does affect them one way or another. Constantly playing violent video games might not make one decide to be a mass murderer, but it will on some level affect them negatively. You can't go around virtually killing people for hours on end and not have it affect you. Nor can you continually have your mind in a place of lusting without having that affect how you view others.

And while on this point, just as a sidenote, but both of these things are ULTRA COMMON addictions among boys, with many parents not paying any mind to, and even encouraging, by buying them such video games or making available tablets and smartphones with free-reign to browse the 'net.

Then we act all surprised when we see behavior in society that we say is reprehensible to us, when all the while we've been practically begging for that behavior. We pay to watch that behavior. We pay to play games with that behavior.

None of this is anything new. But it is different (since the mid 90's with the rise of the Internet). Back in the day, if one wanted to look at porn, one had to somehow get a physical magazine or video (i.e. putting on the trenchcoat and going to the adult store and buying such things - all the while with lots of time for your conscience screaming at you that you were a pervert or whatever, or you had to have someone that left some magazines around). These days, in less than a second from the time the brain thinks "hey maybe I'd like to see a naked lady", one has instant access to an inexhaustable supply of the most graphic (and perverse) stuff around. Did you know that according to 2016 data for just one major porn site (I'm withholding the name of the site but it's very well known), that humanity spent over 4.5 BILLION HOURS watching porn on that one site alone in 2016, with over 90 BILLION video views (that's billion with a "B"). Again, that's just one site in one year and there's lots of porn sites around... You don't think all that porn viewing isn't affecting our society in some fashion?

Back in the day, kids played cops and robbers and pretended to shoot each other falling down. Then when I was a kid, there were a few shooter video games on the Nintendo where you saw your 8-bit character shoot a bullet at another character and they fell down. Not that that was particularly good mind you. But now days, we have these games with incredible realistic graphics where people in first-person-shooter style go around killing and maiming people in every way possible hours at a time, watching character's guts spill out that you just killed and earning points and "experience" (that's literally what it's called in the games) for how many people you kill and maim. Not only that, but in many of these games you do it in concert with other players. You even can choose which side you want to be on (good or evil) so not only do some people get a thrill of killing people virtually, but sometimes it's not even on the side of "good" (i.e. you can choose to be a Nazi and kill people as a Nazi etc), which just further blurs any remaining morality lines. Also in many of these games the players all talk and chat to each other and there's plenty of inappropriate talk that goes on in the games. Even many of the popular non-shooter games have that stuff go on.

We literally are training our boys to be killers and sex addicts and our girls to want to flaunt themselves and be sexually submissive and permissive for said boys. And society doesn't even bat an eye.

Given all this, raising a child the way God would have with society being the way it is, is a challenging task at best. Sadly my observation is that even many Christian parents, rather than do that hard work of bucking societal pressures (i.e. having their kid whine because they want to play the same games all their friends are playing), they just acquiesce and float along.

This all in concert with a tremendous downward trend in TV show and movie content (particularly since the early 90's) where now many think nothing of watching movies like "Deadpool" (with its like 60 F-bombs, extreme graphic violence, and perverse sex - all in a 1.5 hour movie) or "Fifty Shades of Grey" (where women are basically told to see themselves as sexual objects of men...) or watching shows like "Game of Thrones" where nudity and sex are a regular part of the show, and we just think it's all great.

Then we act all surprised when people in real-life treat women as sexual objects or someone uses a gun to hurt people... PUH-LEASE!!!

And society wants to be able to say: "if we just limit guns, or guys just know they can't cross certain boundaries with women in the workplace, then all will be okay." No, it won't. The real reason people yap all about guns or just some stupid men being a problem and don't address real issues, is because the real issues are an indictment against us as a society and reveal that we have something very very serious wrong with us.

If we really looked at the reality, we would be forced to have to answer WHY we have gone down the paths we have as a society. And that, dare I say it, might lead us to the REAL CORE ISSUE. (Hint: it involves God).

I read this quote recently from online blogger Michael Newnham that I thought was right on the money: "It is amazing to me that after all the sex abuse scandals (and all the other scandals that we seem to get on an average of one per hour), that nobody in the media has yet come to the conclusion that humans have a sin problem. If you don't understand the problem, you'll never find a solution...All these scandals should serve to remind us of our own depravity...but it's more fun to deal with the depravity of others..."

I've had my issues with stuff and so have you. It's a "human problem" and that's why we ALL need a Savior and need His help in our lives. The problem is society has been rejecting that Savior and run headlong into doing all these other things that are contrary to Scripture (and many not even caring) and therefore people just harden their hearts more and more, and then they act all surprised at the results we see around us. It isn't that hard to figure out really.

Society right now is having to see some of the fruit of darkness being exposed that had long been suppressed. And they seem all confused and baffled by it all and just want to point fingers at those that got caught in judgment and make scapegoats without either dealing with the underlying issues or looking at themselves.

The good news for us as believers in Jesus Christ is that no matter how dark the world is or gets, the light of Jesus does not dim. He is still our hope personally. And He is still our hope for society at large if people will embrace Him. My HOPE is that the Church will wake up and start really portraying a clear difference from the world while also lavishing the love of Jesus on everyone we meet. Talking angrilly at people in sin isn't the solution - we have ALL sinned - and we ALL need Jesus. Jesus' arms are extended to all who will run into them and look to Him and that's the message we want to portray. I still make mistakes on stuff in my life and need Jesus and you do too. I don't want to come at people in a "I'm so much better than you - you terrible heathen" approach but in a "Look friend, come take the same lifeline that I'm hanging onto!"

I believe it is possible we could see a time of great revival and I sure hope we do. As the world does its darkness thing, may we all keep our eyes on Jesus and His glorious light, and seek to reflect that light to all around us.

With love,
Christopher Long
BodEquip Ministries

This article is Copyright by Christopher Long 2017-2019. All rights reserved. You may quote/reprint this article for any non-commercial purpose without obtaining permission as long as you use the entire text and that all text, including this and all following notices, is not modified or removed in any fashion. For any other usage, you must obtain written permission from the author.

This is version 1.1 of this document (September 25, 2019). Any personal references relating to timing or specific events are likely from when the article was first written for the first version and may or may not currently be accurate.
Previous versions: 1.0 (December 6, 2017)
This document is provided as a ministry outreach of BodEquip Ministries.

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