I’m writing in Bernice Yau’s room, using a Performa 636CD.
I accidentally erased what I wrote again. So I’ll try to recap.
I erased one of my old pages and was disturbed by it. And I was
discouraged by myself, because I realized I had a lot of pride. Putting
this up was just a pride thing. Like I need to show people I’m cool or
profound or challenging or something like that. And that bothered me.
It’s just totally pride. It being between me and God is B.S., otherwise I
wouldn’t have made it public. With that, I continue.
I wrote this:
I’m really disturbed by that. Why the heck am I doing this? In any case,
I refuse to give the impression like my thoughts are somehow cool or
challenging or thought-provoking or profound. As Eli would say, “They’re
absurd.” All right? Absurd.
I think there’s a trend toward openness in society that’s bad.
I started thinking this after our dorm did this Crossing the Line, where
a moderator will go “If you consider your self ______, please
cross the line.” Where the blank is homosexual, or racist, or abused or
anything personal (and impersonal) like that.
And that bothered me, because I don’t think we’re called to be open to
everyone. But that’s like a trend in society. And I think it’s bad.
Because it can be like a crutch. (Sorry I’m just kind of summarizing what
i said; sorry if it makes no sense). Why do people need to make such
private things so public? Like childhood abuse. I thought part of it was
… abuse because it explains everything bad that’s happened to them. I’m
saying that definite negative effects occurred, but there’s no reason to
be so public about it, to make your personal situation your identity like
that. It gives people an excuse. It’s like people want to wear their
weakness on their sleeve.
Another thing about openness. It makes certain things seem OK. Like
homosexuality. This is touchy, and let me get things straight: I love
homosexuals. I’ll say that again: I love homosexuals. I came from a school
with more than a few, and some of
them were my friends. They are my friends. And I honestly love them. But
I have to be honest: I think it is wrong. But I think it’s wrong just the
way I think drunkenness or anger or (especially) pride is wrong, and it
shouldn’t be subject to more judgment than other sins. All right.
Anyway, our current attitude about homosexuality started with just a
desire for openness. Regarding struggles and everything. But this
openness just leads to an atmosphere that things are OK. Like there has
always been homosexuality, but somehow openness gives the idea that it’s
OK. Why? Drunkenness has always existed, too, but just because people
have always struggled with it doesn’t somehow make it OK. Young people
have always struggled with passions, but that they have doesn’t make it
OK to act on it. But this current fad of openness, to me, leads to this.
It’s like saying, yeah, let’s get it out into the open. It happens. So
why not let it? Heck, why not encourage it?
And this isn’t just the world, it’s also the church. A desire for openness
regarding homosexuality has led to many churches saying it’s OK. Again,
I think the call is to love them, as we should love all people. But it’s
simply not OK. Even the teenage passion thing. There was this proposal a
while back by some denomination, I can’t remember which, which had some
pretty radical ideas, such as saying that relations between “responsible
teenagers” was OK. I swear it’s true. It wasn’t passed, but that it even
came up at all shocked me. And the whole discussion started because a
call to openness and honesty was called for in the denomination.
Call me old-fashioned, but I believe certain things were called taboo
because they were supposed to be. Certain things shouldn’t be discussed
publicly because they’re not supposed to be. By definition, they’re not
public; they’re private matters.
Don’t get me wrong though. I do believe we should share deeply and openly
of ourselves. But there should be discernment in this. And in any case,
the purpose should be encouragement. To encourage others, and to be
encouraged by others. And not a superficial encouragement, but a real
one: a desire to see ourselves and others grow in Christ, overcoming our
humanness to become more perfect through the grace and mercy of our Lord
Where in the Bible does it say we should talk about everything? Reveal
everything we’re going to? It says share each others’ burdens and all
that, but again, my bold claim is that the point should always be for
encouragement, and that alone. Openness for openness’ sake is in my
opinion, idiotic and absurd.
So should we share our very personal struggles with others? Well, sure,
we should share our struggles. But discernment must be used. If we are
too open about our most personal struggles, I think bad things can
happen. First of all, the it’s OK attitude starts coming out. Like, we
share about it, and reach the faulty conclusion that hey, what the heck,
everyone goes through this. Yeah, we’ll always acknowledge it as a
problem, and always try to overcome it, but that’s just the problem.
We’ll always be acknowledging it as a problem, and
always be trying to overcome it. It’s like we’ve given
up and said, yeah, let’s be open about it, we’ll always be struggling
with it. Why do we need to be so open about these most personal things?
Is it an indirect acknowledgement that we will always be struggling with
it? Don’t we have faith in God? A God who is so powerful that He can help
us overcome our inner sin, that though we may struggle, He can overcome?
That we won’t struggle with the same things forever? That He who began a
good work in us is faithful to finish it? Take heart, for He has overcome
the world. How much more so can He overcome the weaknesses in us. And
someday, we’ll be complete.
Do you get what I’m saying? Yeah, we should share our struggles.
Absolutely. But sharing too much of certain things is wrong. This wanton
openness thing is garbage. At the least we risk saying that we’ll always
struggle with it, at worst we risk saying that it’s OK.
One might say we need to share so that others can pray for us. How can
they pray for our struggles if they don’t know them? That sounds pretty
convincing. But I don’t think it’s compelling. Romans tells us that
sometimes we can only groan to God in a way words cannot express (Romans
8:26). How are others going to pray for us if we can’t express it in
words? In fact, the same verse says that we ourselves don’t know what we
should pray for. So how does it happen? By the Spirit, which intercedes
on our behalf. Prayer through the Spirit is more powerful than any amount
of sharing. To me, this verse says that there are certain things that we
can’t even express, but only groan, and the Spirit intercedes for us. And
this might be a stretch, but I believe that there are certain things
certain things we should not publically express. Not everything needs to
be prayed for publicly; in fact not everything can be. There are certain
things people can’t even pray for. It’s not necessary that we have people
pray for everything in our lives. Does this make sense at all? I hope
it’s not to confusing or wrong.
That we’re uncomfortable talking about certain things is not wrong or
bad. It’s a good thing, and I think it means something. It’s an
indication of something. I shouldn’t feel comfortable talking about the
status of my marriage with just anyone. It’s limited to certain people. I
shouldn’t feel comfortable talking with my personal struggles to just
anyone: it’s limited to my friends. And the more personal the struggles,
the more uncomfortable I feel sharing it except with a select few. The
goal isn’t to make discussing it more comfortable. The goal is to have
the discernment to understand who we can and should share certain things
with, and who and what we should refrain sharing about or with.
Openness I think has calloused society. Sex is a private thing. Talk
about it too much and you cheapen it. Violence is a bad thing. Show too
much of it and it deadens the impact. Lots of things. But that’s just
what I think.
Oh and another thing. It’s a lie, I think, that if we keep it up bottled
up it will slowly build up and drive us crazy or something like that.
That release is a good thing. I say this from both a spiritual and a
purely psychological sense. Like there was this idea that we need to
release our pentup aggression or it will somehow destroy us from the
inside out. You know what I’m talking about? You know, those therapy
groups where people say, “just release your anger, hit this little doll,
let it all go, acknowledge your rage toward so and so, etc.” And this
with the belief that be letting it go, it will dissipate. That it’s like
an inflating balloon, and if you don’t release the pressure, it will pop.
This was basically shown to be false. Tons of scientific evidence, not
inferential logic, has demonstrated this. Tons of psychological studies
have shown that the desired effect really doesn’t happen. Instead, it
seems to increase aggression, by lowering inhibitions. I get this from
David Myers in Social Psychology, published by McGraw-Hill, 1993. And
when I look at what’s happening today, I gots to agree. It’s not
dissipating frustration, but it’s lowering inhibition. In ourselves and
in society in general.
Guilt and shame is the proper response toward sin! I am rightfully guilty
and shameful of my sinful flesh. But if that’s what I focus on, my
weakness, my flesh, my guilt, my shame, that’s where my identity will be:
my guilt. But we are called to not look at earthly things but focus on
spiritual things. Yes, our flesh will hold us back, but as citizens of
Why are we trying to shock each other? What’s the effect? In the past,
shocking just leads to one-upmanship. Just look at TV talk-shows, who
keep trying to outdo one another. What’s the end effect? In the end, it’s
not shocking anymore. Is that the response we really want to have? To
make it such a common topic that it’s not not a big deal anymore? And the
problem is, there’s a snowball effect. And it continues with even more
shocking topics. That’s absurd.
Let’s be open with each other, but let’s show discernment, and display
wisdom in what we share and who we share it with.
Well, that’s just what I think. I could be totally wrong, but hey that’s
what I think. Flame me if you want. And the vast majority must not
understand at all what I’m talking about, and why I’m going so crazy
about this but oh well. I’ll see yas laters.