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The Lifeline of Shame

December 6th, 2017

It’s Good to Feel Bad

I am having a surprisingly good day, and the events surrounding my former pastor helped make it happen. I know that sounds bad.

I am tired of calling him “former pastor,” so I will give him a phony name. I will call him Eduardo.

Eduardo’s situation is hard for me to accept. In a very short time, he went from respected pastor to homeless, penniless outcast. It may turn out that he lost his entire future. He may be given a life sentence. If he gets convicted on the worst charges he faces, he will spend 25 years in prison. No parole. No time off. Presumably very few visits.

When I found out about it, I had a strange reaction. I felt as though I were the one in jail, awaiting trial. I felt as if I were the one who had been exposed. It drove me deeper in to self-examination, and that has paid off.

A long time ago, God showed me that Holy-Spirit-filled churches were wrong to talk about money and blessings all the time. The prosperity gospel doesn’t work; it makes people poor, and it prevents them from looking for the truth about God’s desires. God showed me that we should be focusing on getting ourselves rehabilitated. We need to have our characters changed supernaturally. That comes first. The other things are relatively unimportant.

I made some effort to get correction. I pray for it every day. I encourage my friends to pray for it. I cast things out of myself. I spoke defeat to the spirits I had allowed to enslave me. It did me a lot of good. I recommend you do these things, too. But the Eduardo scandal has moved me to go further.

I was making what I thought was a pretty good effort. I was patiently waiting for the fruit to grow. Over time, I became more and more honest with God. In prayer, I confessed to everything I could think of, as sincerely as I could. But there were still nagging issues. I still had bad habits that seized me once in a while. I didn’t feel as much love for God or human beings as I wanted. I didn’t pray enough. I was putting in at least three hours a day, and that sounds like a lot, but I needed more than that. I knew it and admitted it, but I couldn’t find the determination to do it consistently.

If the good things God promises aren’t coming through, you are doing something wrong. There is no other explanation.

What Eduardo did was absolutely disgusting. I am not saying that to condemn anyone. It’s necessary for me to mention it in order to talk about what I’m going through. What he did was not sex with a teenager, which would have been bad enough. It was pedophilia. Women may get angry at me for saying this, but it’s completely normal and unavoidable for a man to be attracted to a young girl who looks like a woman. Undeveloped children are another story. That’s a sickness.

I suppose I should try to head off female outrage, so I will say something about my past. The most attractive female I ever knew may well have been a 14-year-old I knew in Israel. I was working on a kibbutz. A woman who was a journalist in Finland worked as a volunteer, and she brought her troubled daughter, Anke. Anke was completely mature, physically. She could have passed for 25. Without makeup or retouching, she looked the way models looked in Playboy magazine. Stunning. She was also promiscuous. One night she came up to me and asked me if I wanted to make out. Even at 22, I was not totally stupid. I turned her down. And I was not exactly dripping with women! I got very few opportunities for sex and romance. I was not happy.

I was not willing to touch her. Doesn’t mean I wasn’t attracted to her. She was physically magnificent. I just knew it was wrong. I knew she was messed up, and I knew people took advantage. I did not want any part of that, and I certainly did not want to be exposed. Later on, I saw a friend of mine from New Zealand, rolling around on a bed with her with his lips pressed against hers. He was older than I was. Part of me was jealous, but I was also disappointed in him.

Anyway, male sexual attraction is unrelated to morality. It’s purely physical. A man doesn’t stop being attracted to a girl the second he sees the wrong year on her driver’s license. Anyone who expects us to find beautiful teens unattractive is living in a fantasy world. If you think a man–even a moral man who behaves himself–can’t find your daughter attractive because she’s in the 8th grade, you are ignorant.

Eduardo would be somewhat less disappointing if a stunning high school junior had thrown himself at him and gotten her way, but the victim was a little girl who probably weighed 80 pounds when the whole business started. The attraction itself is outside of normal male parameters. It’s like being attracted to another man or a pet. Also, the corruption is worse. Having sex with a round-heeled cheerleader would be very bad, but an 11-year-old? You’re introducing her to types of filth and evil she shouldn’t even be aware of.

So. That’s how I see his actions. I understand lust for females who have been through puberty. I can see how someone could slip under the right circumstances. I can’t relate to lust for little kids. How can the temptation exist?

I’ll say something else that may surprise women. Little boys are not that pure. Something to think about when you’re undressing in front of them or saying things you should not. When I was in the second grade, my favorite teacher left to get married. She took me aside to tell me she would miss me and that I should be nice to the new teacher. The whole time, I was looking down the front of her dress. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Second grade. Be careful around boys.

What Eduardo did is shocking, but I have done bad things, too. While I was praying last night, I dredged them back up in my mind and threw them out in front of God. I had done that a lot in the past, but I hadn’t felt the same level of shame and fear. Eduardo unlocked those things for me. I was able to feel more shame, as well as the fear of God.

Eduardo is where he is because God did not protect him. He got outside the realm of protection. He didn’t protect Eduardo from the girl, her mother, or the cops. Fear of God means fearing losing his protection. You really need to be on his good side, because if you’re not, he will let extremely ugly and humiliating things happen to you.

Tongue-talking preachers like to try to make us feel better. They get so excited about refraining from condemning people, they lead us to treat our sins as though they don’t matter. That’s a big mistake. Accepting shame and fear opened doors in me. I felt good about feeling bad, if you can understand that. I felt like I was letting pus out. I stopped trying to feel good about myself. I just wanted it all out of me.

God helped me to spend an adequate amount of time praying last night, and I put in two hours of prayer in tongues this morning. I was very serious. I was intent on getting it done. I had the motivation I had been lacking. I welcomed fear and shame. I knew that walls would be breached, and things that had been inhabiting me would be exposed and driven out.

When I was young, I thought self-esteem was a panacea. I had low self-esteem, and I thought high self-esteem would make me succeed in life. We hear this all the time from educators and TV shrinks. The problem is this: sometimes low self-esteem is healthy and appropriate. High self-esteem is unjustified. We go into ghettos and teach immoral future sociopaths they’re beautiful, talented, and good…when they’re not. We put lipstick on pigs and send them out into the world. It doesn’t work. We teach pride, and what does the Bible say God does to the proud? He fights them.

Eduardo is one of the proudest people you will ever meet, and his wife and son are just like him. Pride got him where he is. He was completely unable to listen and learn.

Today I believe it’s okay to feel bad about what I am. If it brings God’s help to me, it’s great. It’s not that painful, and it takes less effort than lying to myself all the time. I really want my inner self to change. If permitting myself to be ashamed is all it takes, it’s a bargain.

One nice thing about accepting and confessing shame is that you can’t invite exposure or a fall. No one will ever say, “You held yourself out as a rotten person, but here’s what you REALLY are!” That kind of thing only happens to the proud. Pride goes before a fall. If you’re already ashamed, where can you fall to?

I believe God will help me more now. It’s consistent with scripture. He has certainly been more helpful since I found out about Eduardo.

The path of divine improvement has plateaus. It’s like peeling an onion. Every time you reach a new plateau, it’s a good thing, but you have to keep going. You can’t say, “I’ll just stay here and be satisfied.” You grow or you rot. You can’t stay still.

I am better than I used to be, but I still need lots of work. Admitting it and feeling shame and remorse will help make it happen.

To get more information, look at Psalm 32. I think it will help. It says God will help a man who confesses, when the great waters rise. The great waters are the voices of the ungodly. They control this nation. Their filth is flooding us out. When things get even worse than they are, you will need God to lift you up.

Don’t let self-righteousness pull you under. At the mercy of these people (and the spirits they serve) is not where we want to be.

One Response to “The Lifeline of Shame”

  1. Steve B Says:

    I’m experiencing many of the same things lately. Though I am not “possessed”, I have recently cast out two demons who had a “hook” or foothold in my body. I’ve dug deep into my past, and really come to understand how the “sins of the father” can literally carry forward into the third and fourth generations. I’ve felt things physically release from my body in an instant. I’ve been released from a generational curse. And there’s a lot more work still to do.

    I think it’s important to “name” things, to bring them into the light and deal with the truth of it. The Enemy cannot abide the power of the light, of the shekinah glory. Calling stuff out, refusing to give old sins refuge, and setting it at the feet of Christ is powerful, powerful stuff.

    It’s real. It works. And it’s the power of the Holy Spirit that makes it happen.

    This is a great post, and right on target across the board.