(Ephesians 5:12) “For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”
“Shame” is defined by one source as “A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.” For something to cause “shame” there must be a conscience that considers it to be morally wrong. Therefore, in order to avoid shame, the one who is committing the act commits it in a secret place.
In our society, fornication, uncleanness, covetousness and all the other sins listed in Ephesians 5:3-5 have always been in our culture. From the politician to the ordinary person, these sins have been committed throughout history. However, there has been a common moral belief, in American culture until recently, that these sins listed were in fact wrong. Therefore, the one committing the act committed it in secret. Though the person may not have had a conscience against it, they knew it was unacceptable to society. The majority of the population considered it shameful.
We live in a new paradigm today. Our society does not consider the Biblical definition of sin to be sin. We’ve been conditioned to accept the concept of moral relativity. We’ve been acclimated to believe as long as no one is physically hurt, anything is acceptable. Therefore, there are no longer moral absolutes and therefore there is no real concept of shame except in the most extreme cases. It is no longer considered shameful to talk about doing these things or even admitting to participating in them. In fact, advertisers pay money for television programs that promote them. We live in a society where the morality of the Bible is no longer considered the baseline of acceptability for someone’s actions. Politicians who are caught committing a wrong are counseled to get it out in the open and admit it in order to retain their current position. Or they confess publicly as a method of seeking to preserve the opportunity to lead again sometime in the future when the news cycles have exhausted their story.
It may seem old-fashioned and a throwback to a previous era to believe in the Biblical definition of sin. But the Bible is a book that transcends time. Throughout history, it has been proven over and over again that it is not repressive to believe and act on a moral absolute. We worship a God who settles the definition of morality and we have a Savior who died for all those who defy and violate that definition. In Christ we are aligned with the personification of all that is good and right. We are indwelt by Him. Therefore, why would we take pride or live as if everything is acceptable as long as it “ doesn’t hurt anyone?” Why would we accept leaders who cannot live according to a moral conscience? Why would we allow openly what God said is shameful? We’ve been conditioned to segment our “church life” from our “private life.” Is this really progress?
Renewed Thought – Are we embarrassed about being caught or embarrassed about being wrong?