Just saw another YouTube influencer being accused of being sexually manipulative to young victims. After living my decades of life, I am not surprised. Same old story. When the this YouTuber was a nobody, he virtue-signaled. Many YouTubers would say tropes like “you have to be your authentic self!” I cring at this. “You have to be the best version of yourself.” I cring again. Those tropes could have been used by Hitler as excuses himself. This particular YouTuber was then getting lots of hits by criticizing other YouTubers for being sexually manipulative to young girls. Fast forward a couple of years. The nobody developed clout and became famous. In the secret of snapchat and private DMs, Dee Kosh is now alleged of doing the exact same thing as the person he criticized.
Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” goes the hackneyed trope.
This is too simple for me.
Far more accurate to me is that power and suffering as both exposers. Both sides of the coin exposes the deepest, truest nature within a person. For myself, I remember how I used to be when I trusted Jesus as my Savior, and when I relegated Jesus just as an idea to show I am enlightened. My heart was worlds apart. When I fell away from Jesus, there was a period that no one could tell the difference. But, when a confluence of power, opportunity or suffering comes, it exposes that which was masked.
The Bible says there is something wrong within us, that our hearts are “hopelessly evil”. Today’s post modernism tells us the opposite, that all of us are inherently good and searching deep within us gives us the answers to life. Major religions tell us something is irreparable broken and we have a hole in our hearts, the question is what can fill this hole.
The fact is that an honest observation shows like we behave like cosmic orphans. There is a hole in our hearts that is insatiable with things in this world. Perhaps this is because our ultimate home is not in this earth which is chaotic and temporary. Here on earth, we are exposed to what seems like a cheaper imitation of what really satisfies. We hunger for power, money, pleasure. We strive to make people envious of us, to desire us, to respect us. We want lower levels of prizes. Empty trophies. Worldly accolades. Sexual conquests. We want to be sexually desired. It doesn’t satisfy, so we go for what seems like higher prizes. We want the respect of people, the love of parents, the love from a beautiful spouse.
Yet, these things never feel like the main course of a meal. They are pretty garnishing. It’s tasty. It’s beautiful to think about, but it never leaves you satisfied. This is because as the prizes go higher in tier, the closer it resembles the love that you were truly made for. The higher the tier, the more lasting and the more reliable. In other words, it approximates transcendence.
But we never feel totally at home.
Throughout history is replete with examples of massively rich “rock star” personalities that had the power and fame to obtain whatever they wanted but couldn’t never feel at home. From 2000 years ago, the richest man in east, King Solomon declared “everything is meaningless” after a long search to find satisfaction with “every good thing” he could find on earth. Last century, Jesse Livermore, the toast of Wall Street and legendary trader committed suicide despite notable endeavors and more money than most can imagine.
We don’t feel at home in the world because this isn’t our real home. “We are in the world but not of it,” the Bible tells us. Our hearts have been corrupted, just as the world has been. Looking deep within us for the answer is a bad idea, unless you have already invited God and His perfect plan for your life in it. The Bible poignantly declares Jesus as the perfect plan and pattern. John declares that the Logos became flesh and dwelt amongst us. The Greek philosophers knew the Logos as a divine reason for creation. They knew something was wrong with creation… that is had fallen short of what it was meant to be. In Jesus is how the world and man was supposed to be. When we receive Jesus, we receive unconditional love and forgiveness of sins, but that is a co-product of finally being connected to the source of blueprint of who you were meant to be, and we are transformed into his likeness. Being transformed into His likeness feels like receiving unconditional love and forgiveness because Jesus, among many things, is the deepest expression of God’s forgiveness and unconditional love a creator has for his creation, a designer has for his design, a father has for his child.
The world is a dashed, marred image of what it should have been because of sin. But, being a picture of heaven, that’s why it seems like we could be satisfied here, but can never really.
All of us will be only satisfied when we return to our ultimate home which is heaven, because all of us were made there. The problem occurs when people forget about finding the real heaven and instead try to a build a heaven of their own making here on earth. It is like building large sand castles because a deep faint memory that you used to live in a palace resides. The sand castles trick you that you are important, but it’s a wishy-washy imitation. Those with great means, wealth or genetics have the potential to build bigger sand castles. Those with little means, wealth or genetics realize that there must be another game to play because they don’t have resources to join everyone else in building the biggest sand castle.
The most tragic is not the people with little means because they aren’t tempted to the futile thought that they can create heaven to fill the real heaven hole and thus unhindered to find real heaven (it is impossible for a rich man to find the kingdom… it is too tempting to create a poor imitation because finding the real thing involved us admitting that we’ve wasted our time all along playing the wrong game). The most tragic ironically are not those with every mean to create their own heaven, because once they succeed, they will realize their imitation heaven doesn’t quite fill that hole and will be forced to find real heaven again. King Solomon was an example of this. After building the biggest sand castle imaginable, he finally realized that building sand castles didn’t satisfy. His soul found Jesus after realizing the futility of playing the sand castle game.
The Tragic are those in between those with absolutely great means and no means. This is because they far from creating their imitation heaven, but think they have to do so, not realizing until much later that it ultimately won’t satisfy. Because every earthly trophy they win, or carnal desire met gives them a temporary high, they continue looking for more highs. Once they reach the best high, there will be no more highs left and they realized they have been playing the wrong game all along.
Why do we hunger after accolades, money, power, pleasure, envy, respect, carnal love and the best in this world, the love of family and spouse? Because we faintly remember that at one time, we were regal. We were sons of God but had forgotten. We were kings that lost our crowns and forgotten our identity. We hunger after those things in order to feel important, that we have some lasting value in a universe that is so temporary. We want to know we are remembered because all of us are doomed to be worm food.
But how important will he feel when the crown made of sand and water we built for ourselves finally melts off our heads in the drying sun? Will we desperately grab those fallen chunks and try to refashion it again? This time with twigs and mud? Each time we try on a new crown that wasn’t meant to be, to lose ourselves a little more to the delusion. We also become dirtier, having gunk on our heads but don’t realize it.
Stop making sand castles and sand crowns, find the person who owned and designed the heaven you came from that can restore you to your original identity.
That is the unique message of the gospel.
Jesus didn’t come to make poor people rich, or bad people good. Jesus came to make dead people alive. He came to give life, and to give life abundantly. What you thought was “life” is not the “Life” Jesus talked about. If you live in accordance to your earthy flesh, live by tropes to be the most authentic best version of yourself, and believe in you and you alone lies all the answers, this is living the lower tier “life”.
Jesus did come to tweak the old you. He came to make you a new creation. This is S-tier “Life”.
Once Jesus has restored your original identity, as a son of God that is finally connected back to God and His kingdom, you won’t need any more crowns of your own making to know you have the value of a king.
When Generation Z-ers and Millenials get rewarded by being heroes of today’s popular culture, by throwing out hackneyed tropes without thinking deeply why those truths have any merit, beware. When you believe in a relative truth, or think you get a free pass for being famous, beware. You are not as good as you think you are. “You may be assured that your sin will find you out. “(Num 32:23) the Bible warns.
I am not speaking as though I am a saint. I am not.
You might not be religious, but many people know that human beings are hopelessly flawed and prone to destructive behavior is empirally verifiable just by looking at history. The most popular, oldest book in antiquity spelled it out even if you don’t want to believe in it’s inspiration.
I am not talking about “sin” as evil stuff you did, meaning that the evil deeds you do will be found out. This is low tier revelation. I am talking about how the Bible says we are all slaves to sin, it is our nature that compells us unless we are reconciled with God on His terms, through being a new creation in Christ. The Bible says that without the regeneration from God, we cannot help but to obey our fleshly carnal natures. Unless God transforms this nature, this sinful nature will ultimately raise it’s ugly head. It doesn’t mean you aren’t moral. You can know what are the best things to do in life. It’s just that you won’t have the strength or inspiration to do it consistantly. You can do some good things once in awhile, but ultimately your heart will fail you. Your motivations will not stand up to absolute power or unjust suffering. Even if you pretend you don’t have a sinful nature, it’s there. It is the consequence of being in a fallen world. This sinful natures is unsatiable. It tries to fill that God-shaped hole in your heart with things your flesh desires. And, more importantly, it also blinds you emotionally to find intellectual ways to justify your selfish desires.
Hitler fooled himself by thinking murder and genocide was justified against Jews and the handicapped because of “scientific” evolutionary theory, and he preached he wanted a strong Germany. What’s wrong with doing those murders on people that you hated since you have a “noble” cause? But, did he do it because of the noble cause? Or was it an excuse to exact revenge on those he despised? Here’s a big but, did Hitler really “fool” himself? You think someone that had the intelligence to galvanize an entire nation and almost take over the whole of Europe “fooled” himself? Or, is that what post-modernists call it because they cannot believe such evil lies in the root of all people.
After alleged accusations of private messages trying to bait underaged teens to give him a bj for money, Dee Kosh’s messages revealed that he doesn’t believe in relationships but in private adult transactions. Somehow, he invokes that the transactions are “adult” even when those he texted were not. If both parties benefit, and no one is hurt, than why not?, goes some justifications. I cringe to hear that. People who say such things have no maturity to understand that damage goes far deeper than physical. They have no concept of the reason for being, caring only to satisfy their own flesh. They convinced themselves that there is nothing else but flesh. Flesh is king. This attitude is more dangerous than the act itself, for the attitude causes destructive behavior in other areas of life. Then, people who warn against such immature tropes are labeled as “negative nancys”, “ignorant” and “killjoys”.
The sinful nature conflates the good and bad also to fool you. The Bible says that in the end days, evil will be called good, good will be called evil.
Don’t build sandcastles in this fallen world. It will not satisfy you.
PS: Ironically, the Bible says that strangely, after you have given up on sand castles and sandy crowns to get the real thing, not to be surprised if God gives you those sand castles and crowns after, because now you have the ability to steward them instead of them stewarding you. We hungered after these things in order to feel like a king. Now, God has made you king and thus gives you the responsibility of things. Once we set our priorities correct, everything now has it’s proper place in life, including money, power or pleasure.