I am a “me too.” My first job was at a movie theater when I was 14. I was sweeping the sidewalk in front of the theater when an older man came up and grabbed me inappropriately. I was beyond shocked, but I learned later what happened.
Further into my years as a teenager I discovered pornography. It would be considered mild today, but it impacted me like going on drugs. I wound up with cravings that I knew were nasty. I realized the man who molested me had cravings that led to his repulsive behavior.
The “me too” movement is about outing repulsive behavior, and I’m glad the movement is growing, but just exposing the wrongs is not enough. Whether it’s a studio head or a mega-church pastor, repulsive behavior comes from somewhere. If you wish to reduce the level of repulsive behavior the place to start is with what creates it.
In the 1960s, when I was a teenager, Hugh Hefner made that case that it’s natural to lust. He opposed religion’s attempt to suppress it, claiming such suppression is unhealthy. He was touted as a champion of liberty. For me he was a purveyor of slavery. His magazines fed my lusts — which I admit were natural. It’s just that what’s natural is not necessarily healthy.
I was brought up in a family where I was taught, “You don’t take things that belong to others.” A baby doesn’t come out of the womb knowing that. A baby will grab anything that attracts it. At home and at school, I was taught, “You certainly don’t force your sexual desires on others no matter how attractive someone might look.” The “me too” movement is all about people who have been victims of those who violated this common instruction.
So, while I never forced myself on anyone, I can understand the cravings that lead someone else to do it.
If you wish to reduce the amount of sexual misconduct you need to reduce cravings. Stopping use of pornography is a vital first step. It’s a step I took with the help of God.
Here’s how it worked. I was born to lust. It is natural. I was raised not to let that lust lead to rape or inappropriate behavior, but even being taught good values will not stop lust. Lust grows like an addiction if you constantly feed it pornography. When lust gets uncontrollable, you can do things you know are bad.
The way to control lust is to give your life to Jesus Christ. Baptism is a symbolic act for a much more important spiritual reality. You are to die to your old nature driven by lust, greed, anger, and the rest and be “born again” with a whole new nature. The Holy Spirit comes to live in your being and lead you to be all God would like you to be.
While this event is transformative, the reality is that you do not become a zombie run by God. The Holy Spirit will lead you, but He does not drag you. You have to listen and obey every moment to experience the freedom God wants you to experience.
It’s amazing how wonderful freedom feels now, but my experience was that I failed time and again for a while. The Spirit would gently remind me, “We can do better. I want to help you.”
Now, I live with tremendous freedom. I’m repulsed by any glimpse of pornography I see in public, and I absolutely stay away from it in private. My heart goes out to all those in the “me too” movement who have been abused in any way, but it also goes out to the abusers. I remember the cravings. I could see where they were taking me, and I didn’t want to go there.
If you’re a victim or a victimizer God wants to help you. As a victim I have long ago forgiven my victimizer. I doubt he’s alive today. He was elderly in the 1960s, but I could almost write his story. I imagine that at some point he was victimized by someone else. I know he was victimized by Satan. You see, Satan would love to see more and more men, women and children molested. It excites him. He loves to encourage misery.
It would bring me tremendous joy if anything I say would help deny him another “me too” victim.
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