Therapy, Sin, and Shame

Shame is a message from our conscience, that built-in witness to the divinely established moral law.

In this life we will always have some shame. That is part of living in a fallen world. Christians do not have to be dominated by it—our feelings are not the ultimate measure of truth—because our Father accepts us for the sake of Christ by his free favor alone. That’s the other factor here: grace.

 

For most of world history, until quite recently, most of the world thought about the most basic questions in life categories of right and wrong or in legal categories. God was thought to be what he is thus we humans need to adjust to him. The world was thought to be what it is and it is up to us to adjust to it. When it comes to gravity it does not matter how one feels. Gravity is what it is. We either adapt to the laws of gravity or we suffer the consequences. In the Judeo-Christian understanding of the world, God simply is. Scripture simply begins with God: “In the beginning God…” (Gen 1:1). We humans are creatures. We are born and we die but God has no beginning and no end. He does not change. We humans change. We learn. We age. We sin. By grace alone, through faith alone in Christ we are saved from the consequences of sin and we sanctified into the image of Christ. Those are all changes. God simply is utterly holy. He is omniscient. He is not learning new things. He does not move about. He fill all things with himself (but all things are not God). The world is what it is and the way it is because God made it so. For a very long time that is more or less how people saw the world.

A Brief History Of The Revolution

Beginning in the Modern period, however, there was a revolution and a lot of clever people turned that understanding of the world on its head. They declared that we are gods and that God, as we knew him, was nothing but a projection of our fears and hopes onto the unknown. We are at the tail end of that revolution, which, like most revolutions, has turned on itself. At the beginning of the revolution, there was consensus that there is such a thing as objective reality (even if there was disagreement about how we know what it is). By the end of the revolution, many had concluded that reality is whatever we say it is. This is the logical consequence of regarding humans as gods. If we are gods, we are a funny lot of gods since I have been in the room when they were born and I have been in the room when they died. Who is projecting what here?

The late revolutionaries tell us that the main thing that matters is not what is objectively true, i.e., what is true outside of us but only what is subjectively true really matters, i.e., what is true “for me.” This is why one sees people talking about “my truth” (as if there are multiple competing truths). This is why a small percentage of humans now believe that their biological sex does not determine their gender. To our shame (more on this below) the rest of us apparently go along with this insanity (see The Emperor’s New Clothes).

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