A Facebook friend posted,
This would be a great time for someone close to Harvey Weinstein to share the gospel with him.
Some will flame up, and probably from all kinds of hot spots. For some, sexual harassment will be a kind of unforgivable sin and the idea of hearing about mercy in Jesus will be pious treacle.
Others will call the Christian notion of forgiveness through Jesus too easy, and insist that Mr. Weinstein “balance the scales” by giving gazillions to virtue signaling causes.
Some will take the cynical tack – He just did what everybody does in that vile business. Repentance is meaningless because… well, it isn’t necessary when you accept the idea that everybody is trashy so we don’t need to change. Or something like that.
I think that my friend’s post is deceptively deep. Because he is announcing that we need saving and that only the Savior can accomplish it.
Think about Mr. Weinstein’s behavior and maybe your own. We all set in motion ripples of evil that keep going out in the world. We have no metrics for how many people are impacted when we abuse another person. If you have two minutes of life experience, you know that wounded people go out and wound others, who wound others, who wound others.
If a lover dumps you, you go out and look for any easy mark to use and discard to restore your ego. Or you put up walls and deny affection to those who do love and need you later, when you pretend that things are “normal” again.
How do we “make restitution” or atone on our own? Sure, we can seek out those we recognize that we hurt and apologize or, in the case of some offenses, make material restitution. And that’s good and right. But by the time we get to that our victims have probably worked out some of their hurt on others. We have no way to catch up with it all.
And just how does one atone for Mr. Weinstein’s particular behaviors? How do you “ungrope” someone? How do you remove the image after you unzip and expose yourself to unwilling eyes, minds and hearts?
The answer is, You don’t. You can’t. Because even your most sincere apology can’t undo all the damage.
If it is some kind of moral balancing act, we are all headed for a fall. Our rebellion against God is such that we traipse through life inflicting all kinds of hurt, most trivial, some significant, all enough to send ripples of evil through the world.
Because when we are hurting, we go out and hurt others.
And so the gospel says that God was willing to be hurt to save us. The perfectly innocent victim suffered the greatest cosmic injustice and indignity on behalf of all of us, who justly deserve wrath – not only from our human victims but from the Creator whose order we deface with our evil antics. We can’t clean up the mess, but we can be made clean in the midst of it.
We need saving, and we can’t save ourselves. No Savior, no saves.
But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. (Romans 5:8-9)