What Has Happened To Shame?


Sunday evening Norma Jean and I were watching Mike Huckabee’s program.  I always like his opening monologues. They’re refreshing. Value-driven.  And filled with common sense.

Sunday evening he was talking about the “embarrassing spectacle” caused by New York politicians former Congressman Anthony Weiner who is running for Mayor and former governor Eliot Spitzer who is vying for the job of City Comptroller.  What a pair!  A pervert.  And a cheater who frequented prostitutes.

But I’m so tired of hearing about these immoral politicians, I was about to tune Governor Huckabee out when he asked an important and probing question, “What has happened to the simple virtue of shame?”  

When a culture loses the sense of shame for their sins, it’s on the road to destruction.  The nation of Judah in the old Testament outlasted the Northern tribes of Israel because of their faithfulness. Rejection of Idolatry. And moral integrity.  But when their leaders and the people began to reject God’s Word, they began their decline.

The prophet Jeremiah asked, “Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination?”

His answer?  “No! They were not at all ashamed,  Nor did they know how to blush.”

His Divine prediction, “Therefore they shall fall among those who fall.”

When people lose a sense of virtue, values and propriety, shame soon disappears.   And blushing is as old-fashioned as horse and buggy days! Huckabee asked, “Have we lost completely and forever the red-faced, head hanging, tear shedding sense of shame? When is the last time you heard a politician associated with words like humility, contriteness, brokenness, or modesty? There seems to be a sense in which we’ve blurred the lines between shame and fame.”

Let’s understand  there is a big difference between shame and guilt.  If I lie, cheat, or steal, I will feel guilty.  Because I know that I’ve done wrong.  Violated my conscience.  And disobeyed the Word of God.  But a person who is a serial adulterer, an habitual liar, or a compulsive gambler will feel little or no shame.

Guilt is good.  It says I still have scruples.  Feel a sense of “ought.”  And experienced pangs of conscience.  On the other hand, a shameless person, has reached a point sadly described by Paul: “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more (Eph. 4:17).

When restraint is cast aside, values discarded and moral absolutes abandoned, all guilt is removed.  And there is no reason for shame!

This was the depraved and fallen condition of the ancient world as recorded in Romans 1:27.  “Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”

Our country is on the face track to catching past pagan cultures.  In the world of politics, sports and entertainment there seems to be no shame.  Nothing is out-of-bounds.  Nothing is too bizarre.  Nothing is too brazen. But it’s nothing new.  In the first century Roman Empire hedonists were portrayed as those “whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.”

Our challenge, as Christians,  is to confront our culture with the gospel of Christ.  To be transformed by Truth, rather than conformed to political correctness.  And to keep our hearts tender so that we don’t lose our sense of shame.

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman


Filed under Sin

9 responses to “What Has Happened To Shame?

  1. I very much liked this post Pastor! It seems ANYTHING & EVERYTHING is ok to say/do in America today-as long as it is done by someone with money/influence/power! I think a couple decades back to the
    Televangelist Jimmy Swaggert, who so publicly fell from grace, made a huge spectacle of ‘repenting publicly’ only to repeat the sin! …and this was just the beginning. It is everywhere, insidiously slipping into everything. Thanks for the post-it is a good ‘prayer-prompt’ 🙂 As if just watching the news isn’t enoungh… Have a blessed day!

  2. Pamela Riddick, Lilac Rd. Church of Christ, Leitchfield, KY

    Thank you Ken!!

  3. Larry Hafley

    Right on target, brother.  Keep up the incisive analysis.  Larry

  4. Larry Hafley

    Hey, I forgot to tell you that I like Mike Huckabee, too.  Wish I could vote for him…. Did you know that Phil Cavender is a close friend of the Governor?  He has travelled with him, and knows him well.  Amazing. 

  5. Stephen Segrest

    Instead of Weiner and Spitzer as your “Poster Boys”, you could have just as easily used two (among many) Republicans — (1) Huckabee as to his long-standing and continued close relationship with Ted Nugent (one of the most vile mouthed and hate filled people on Earth) and (2) ex-Governor Mark Sanford (adultery). When Conservative Christians are outraged by Mylie Cyrus, why not equal outrage when Huckabee’s good buddy Ted Nugent grabs his crotch and tells Hillary Clinton to perform a sex act on him? Sinful behavior (and not looking the other way) should be called out regardless.

    Clearly, I count on you as one of my “teachers” of God’s Word (that’s why I follow your blog). Your preponderance of using Fox News as an intro to so many blog topics is becoming a stumbling block. Watch a little more PBS! (or listen to Moody during the day for ideas).

  6. Stephen Segrest

    Left & Right are political categories. When people try to fit their Faith into those categories, it distorts their Faith.

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