Harassment and Abuse Scandals
This article appeared in the December 29, 2017 Sword of the Lord Newspaper.
Over the last quarter of 2017 there has been one shocking report and then another about sexual misdeeds in the workplace. Primarily centered on politicians, network anchors and Hollywood power players, there are now several dozen major stories in the news. So let’s take note and let’s take care on this. Let’s not be silent when such despicable events are transpiring all across the country. Let’s make clear the issues. Let’s speak up to give proper voice to this very disturbing, shameful scenario.
1. Such Behavior Is Predictable!
For decades now the sexual revolution has been promoted and flaunted. Old-fashioned biblical codes of conduct have been ridiculed as puritanical and mocked as paternalistic and passé. Hollywood, the television networks, the government, the public educational system and the Internet have all been major players in creating a sexualized culture. With their advocacy pushing an agenda of self-centeredness and wholesale gratification, the consequences should have been very predictable.
Rape and other violence against women and children have escalated. All the while pornography has become a multi-billion dollar business. As a result, harassment of both women and men in the workplace has become commonplace.
Pushing the sexualization of our culture, as has been done, necessitated the downgrading and denigrating of Christian influence. With God, the Bible and the church pushed aside, the atheists and secularists have felt at liberty to do whatever they please.
Now the seeds the liberal eggheads have sown are producing a very logical harvest. Predictable behavior? Yes, indeed!
2. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Abuse Are Never Acceptable and Should Never Be Tolerated!
Let me state this pointedly and without equivocation. Sexual harassment and sexual abuse are totally unacceptable by anybody, anywhere, in any circumstance, at any time. It is never permissible and should never be tolerated.
The leadership in any organization (including church staff) should set an example of clean living. They also should advise new hires of what is expected of them when they come to work. The culture of your workplace should be free of “dirty jokes” and flirtations. If the lines of propriety are crossed by anyone—male or female—it should be reported and dealt with promptly and firmly.
3. Biblical Values Should Still Be the Standard!
Everybody has “rules” of some kind. Nobody can function without “rules.” If the “rules” get tossed, then the stage is set for garbage issues like those that have been in the news in recent weeks.
The Ten Commandments are “rules.” They are good “rules” which are good for all of us. The Book of Proverbs is a book of “rules.” Yes, those thirty-one chapters have more than a thousand basic principles that are solid “rules” for life.
The Sermon on the Mount and the New Testament Epistles have numerous other “rules” to which we should give heed.
And let’s not give in to the pressure of “we don’t like all those dos and don’ts.” Strange, isn’t it, that when a person says that, he has just added a “don’t” of his own. Everybody has “dos and don’ts.” The question is, “Whose dos and don’ts are we going to follow?”
I’m saying the values found in the Bible should be the standard.
4. Accusation and Guilt Are Not the Same Thing!
So often now an accusation is given the weight of proven guilt whether or not there is evidence. The rule of law in America has always been “innocent until proven guilty.” That is a good premise that needs to be held firmly.
People in the public eye are especially vulnerable to the accusations of their enemies. An accusation may be nothing more than getting even when someone is harboring a grudge. Is it possible that some accusations come from hired accusers? Is it possible that these hired accusers totally fabricate their charges? Is it probable that this happens? Yes, yes and yes are the answers!
As horrible as it is when an actual incident has occurred, we must be careful in every situation that we do not leap to conclusions until the credibility of the accusation has been established. In other words, an accusation does not automatically equate to guilt. In some cases guilt can be determined quickly; in others it may take time, or it may not be possible to determine at all.
5. If an Incident Occurs, Charges Should Be Leveled Quickly! Staying silent for thirty-eight years—as in the Roy Moore case—and then coming forth four weeks before a big election is not the way to do things. Whether or not the accused is guilty, when you wait so long and then make a splash when the media is present, you should simply have no expectation to be believed.
You obviously can do damage to the accused, but you really have no legitimate credibility in doing so. If you have been harassed or abused, you should not suffer in silence. Step up and work the proper channels in your organization, but don’t just give in or remain quiet.
6. The Liberals Play Loose in Reality, Then Act Holy in Front of the TV Cameras!
The liberals famously advocate all the wrong things, disparage the right things and then act like the guardians of morality when their house of cards crashes down around them. It is the essence of stupidity and the epitome of hypocrisy. But they do it frequently because they are trying to cover their tracks. As in other things where evil is running amok, the media exacerbates the trauma by giving it so
much airtime. They are, in effect, creating copy incidents by exploiting the situation in pursuit of ratings.
7. Christians Are Not Exempt From Either Accusation or Guilt!
If you are into any of this illicit behavior, you can expect it to boomerang on you. So just don’t do that which is even borderline. Guilt ought not to be the label which is pinned on any Christian. Accusations may come whether or not you are guilty. In such cases, you should seek counsel from trusted advisors and legal help as well.
In these volatile times, dear friend, do not leave yourself vulnerable. If you do, you are very likely to get hurt.
8. Christians Must Support the Accuser and the Accused!
If you are in a position of leadership and you learn of an incident, you may very well need to provide guidance for both the accuser and the accused. Unless the evidence of guilt is in your possession, you should not take sides until you are sure of the facts. Nonetheless, both parties will need your support, your understanding and your encouragement.
9. Pastors and Others Are Legally Obligated to Report Sexual Abuse!
If you know of a situation in which an adult or a child is being sexualized or treated in an inappropriate way, you are legally responsible to report it to your local authorities. If you know and do not come forward with the information, you are a part of the problem. In such cases you can yourself be blamed.
10. Pastors, Teachers, Parents Should Teach Bible Principles on This!
The subject of sex is not taboo. Sex is a good thing when it is set in the right context (Heb. 13:4).
Our young people need to be taught early in their lives to respect other people. They must be trained in the scriptural dynamics of morality. In the years of their immaturity, they should learn from the mature ones to discipline their eyes, their mouths and their hands. They will not learn how to behave unless they are taught. That is a big job, a never ending job and a very important one. If we take such care to establish character early in life, there will be far less worry over harassment and abuse issues.
Let’s pray for this mess across the country to get straightened up and soon.
Let’s not let the liberal talking heads at the TV microphones fool us.
Let’s not fail to help anyone who has been a victim.
Let’s not fail to bring the guilty to justice.
Let’s keep declaring the Word of God on all related matters.
Let’s keep standing and taking a stand.
Let’s pray for wisdom as we do all we can to make the difference in our world.