No Fear, No Shame, No Guilt
” But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you? And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:9-10) Sin has consequences. When the first couple violated God’s commandment; they were afraid, ashamed (felt naked) and felt guily (went away from God’s presence). People are concerned about fear, shame and guilt and not the root; the sin, disobedience and rebellion against God.
However, as we look around, we find ourselves in a dangerous world. The consequence of sin: Fear, Shame and Guilt is disappearing in the individual conscience and collective conscience of the society. Today, young people deny the moral laws or redefine and reinterpret the moral laws. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” (Psalm 2:3)
A young woman misbehaves with an elderly woman. The elderly woman asks the young woman to behave and leaves the place. After few hours the mother of young woman comes and pushes the elderly woman stating: The elderly woman cursed the young woman and her day in office was not pleasant. Instead of being remorseful, the whole family is brazen.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” (Proverbs 9:10) The ‘fear of the Lord’ is a missing element in society today. Small and great, children and adults, men and women, rich and poor, educated and illiterate; do not have the fear of God. In fact, the name of god is used as a credible partner for their misdeeds. In their worldview, God is not Holy, but could be bribed or appeased. There are others who think, there is no God; even if he is there, he could be ignored or marginalized or sidelined.
There is no fear of society. Stigma for certain behaviour in society was a restraint for individuals. For example, a rapist or murderer was looked down. Fearing society disapproval, individuals did not commit certain crimes. But, today youtube had videos of gang-rape and one of the rapists smiles at camera and gives a pride aura of power over hapless woman. Corrupt officials and politicians are not afraid of social disapproval, rather esteemed and elected to power.
There is no fear of consequences. The Law and Order in the country seems to be crumbling. The judiciary system is an object of mockery along with the police and politicians. The Law has been made powerless or misused by the rich and mighty.
Adam and Eve were ashamed when they committed sin. They could not tolerate one another. Shame is an emotion that emerged from sin and rebellion against God. Sin makes a person ashamed in the eyes of others and before the creator. Instead of shame, there is glamour and even badge of honour. ‘Honour and shame’ culture has been merciless in ‘honour killing’. To retain the imagined or perceived honour of a community, individual deviants are murdered or lynched. Value judgment of every act is determined by the perception in the eyes of public, what it brings – honour or shame for a particular community.
A person snatches a chain of a woman in the early morning just in front of her house. However, the chain was not gold just a gold imitation chain. The shameless man came again on his bike and hit the woman for not wearing gold and made his labour vain.
Adam and Eve were guilty of violating God’s commandment. How can this emotion be dealt? There are two ways: positive or negative. The positive way is to acknowledge they were guilty of rebellion and seek forgiveness. The negative way is to justify the action or blame somebody or something or some situations. Adam and Eve chose the negative response. Adam blamed his wife, Eve blamed the Serpent. In fact, Adam was blaming God Himself for providing an incompetent wife.
This game of life is played over and over again in the lives of individuals daily through out history. Human beings are not willing to acknowledge that they are sinners. “Who defines ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’?” Each person desires right to define his/her experience as ‘natural’, best and valid. Instead of looking up to God’s standards, human beings want to create their own standards or bench mark.
Another ploy of this generation is to deny that there is guilt. For them experience is always valid way of arriving at truth. They forget the proverbial blind men who tried to experience elephant and failed. A homosexual experiences pleasure in that experience, and that becomes the yardstick for evaluating. So, it is not wrong or sin but relevant and good. In the similar way, a man feels he gets more pleasure with other women than his wife, his experience is valid and there is no sin or stigma in this. As Adam and Eve perceived that eating the fruit would mean ‘good’ for them; but their perception and decision was a delusion that led to human misery.
The fall of moral standards has been drastic in the last decade. The media, education system, intellectuals, religious leaders and parents have failed miserably. The society has fallen into abysmal depths, may be beyond redemption.