Were The Rules Different Then?

Harvey Weinstein, the Hollywood mogul, and successful independent film producer, has been headline news this past week.

The New York Times published a story detailing accounts of multiple sexual-harassment allegations against Weinstein over several decades. Three women have accused him of rape.

In response, Weinstein announced that he would be taking a leave of absence to enter rehab and receive counseling to deal with his behavior. He released a bizarre statement, a supposed apology, explaining his actions.

He began by saying “I came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. That was the culture then.”

Although Weinstein adds, “it’s not an excuse,” he’s really saying that it is. Lisa Bloom, an adviser to Weinstein, who has since resigned, claimed that he is a “dinosaur” who “came of age at a time when such behavior was more acceptable.”

Seriously? Were the rules different then?  Who said so?

Whether Weinstein or Bloom realize it or not, the “rules” for behavior were set a long time before the ‘60s and ‘70’s. Go back to the Ten Commandants in 1440 B.C. Listen to what Jesus said about lust. Return to Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians and by implication and application to all of us.

“But among you, there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” (Eph5:3-4)

Of course, such a standard is foreign to a culture and an industry that has normalized nudity, flaunted foul language, and glorified godless behavior. It is ironic that Hollywood lauds lustful behavior and sexual license but then people are shocked when one of its own is actually living that way.

In the past 50 years, our culture has systematically cast off restraints, rejected the Judeo-Christian morality on which America was founded, and as Cal Thomas expressed it is “ridding ourselves of most standards faster than a snake sheds its skin.” So, what do we expect? Why are we, and many in the media, shocked at  Weinstein’s wanton behavior? After all, haven’t even the most naive among us, heard of Hollywood’s “casting couch” for the aspiring actress?

However, before conservatives and some Christians become sanctimonious in their condemnation, let’s not forget that even among political conservatives and the religious right there are been plenty of sex scandals. Just last week Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) resigned his office last week after text messages were revealed between Murphy and his mistress. He advised her to have an abortion if she thought she was pregnant. Murphy claims to be “pro-life.”

All of this is a stark reminder to Christians that we live in a fallen, sin-cursed world. Hollywood is not our friend. Political parties let us down. Pop culture’s values are not family friendly. And the influence the world wields on us is probably underestimated and understated.

More importantly than therapy and counseling, what Weinstein really needs is Jesus and the saving power of the gospel. It’s what the world needs. It’s what we need. The rules haven’t changed.

We must heed the call to be spiritually transformed, and not conformed to this world (Rom 12:1-2). To live “soberly, righteously, and godly” (Titus 2:12). And to let our light shine in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation (Phil 2:14).

Satan’s sinful schemes are not confined to Hollywood. “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (1Cor. 10:12).

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

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