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Warning: an unsavory event is described below. And
an insight into where we have come..., and how to turn our cultural momentum.
Yesterday, Sunday, May 21, 2006, I was strolling along the waterfront at Balboa Point in Newport Beach, on the California coast near La Habra where I live. There is a long inlet between two stone jetties which stretch out into the Pacific Ocean. Many sailboats and motorboats were going in and out to and from the long harbor inside the Balboa Peninsula. There was a nice breeze, and a terrific day for sailing, not a sunny day, but pleasant. The crowds were light.
As I stood watching the boats, I noticed out of the corner of my eye a group of young teens, probably 14-15 years old, five of them, talking about 35 feet toward the ocean from me. They stood just my side of the ridge running along the rocky channel shoreline to the ocean. One of them, the tallest, sort of crouched down toward the sand, looking like he did not want to be seen (out there in public...?), reached into his pants and exposed his testicles to his other fellows who were in a sort of half circle in front of him. He made a remark about how that would turn on the women, apparently quite proud of himself. I turned and looked at them straight on, wanting to say something, but stumbled for something helpful. I said nothing but looked firmly at them, straight into their eyes. They looked a bit sheepish, the fellow noticed me looking at them, zipped up his pants, and they turned toward the ocean away from me, and then departed. These are the narcissistic products of our pseudo-liberal school system which is deliberately sexualizing our children, along with the media, a mostly incompetent Church, and parents who have lost their way. A good portion of our 21st century American youth.
It was a troubling scene, not only because of the nature of the event out in a very public place, but because I was unable at the time to engage them directly in conversation. I thought of Jesus' words to His disciples, to not worry about what they were to say when in troublesome circumstances, for the Holy Spirit would give them the words. That assumes, of course, that one is close enough to the Lord to hear those words. I was not close enough there on the beach. I also thought of His words that if we do not confess His name in public, He will not confess ours before the Father. Hard words.
This morning, the day after, on waking, the scene was still running troublesome through my mind, so I asked the Lord what He would have said. He turned the tables and said, "No, you be Me. What would you say?" I could see myself walking up to them, and addressing the tall fellow, in a soft, slow, but firm voice: "Hi, I have a question for you. What was your point in exposing your testicles? Were you perhaps wanting to say something to your friends about your manhood? Your manhood does not come from your testicles. Your genitals is the place to where you manhood goes -- after you have found it. It does not come from there. Manhood has more to do with your backbone. Your intellectual, moral, and spiritual backbone -- your ability to stand up and be a real somebody with the people around you, no matter where you are or who they are. You want to find out about manhood? talk to Jesus. He could stand up and be a real person with anybody, anywhere. No one could pull the run out from under Him. He would like to give you that manhood. You want to be a real man? Jesus is The Man. Compare your backbone with His. Compare your courage and faithfulness to His. Is your word as good as His? Don't worry about your testicles or your penis. They will take care of themselves. It's your backbone that counts. What do you think...?"
There is no use beating about the bush in events like that. When you go directly to the issue, you get peoples' attention. We must be as brazenly honest as they are brazenly pornographic, rebellious, or whatever. They probably never heard the "birds and the bees" story, and for sure, not the Biblical version. We must have the backbone, not to scorn or demean persons, but to face down their attitudes and behavior, right on the spot. It does no good to turn away, thinking we ought not get engaged with such ugliness. Either we get engaged, or they will continue to trash our society, our neighborhoods, and our families. We are losing the homosexual war because men (mainly) will not stand up in public for truth, righteousness, or love.
God told Moses that He, not Pharaoh, was I AM, the Somebody in the universe, and that He would use Moses to show that to Pharaoh if Moses would be obedient. I read a book as a boy, The Heart of Danger, an adventure story of spies in Nazi Germany whose strategy was to head for the heart of danger, not run from it. If God asks us to head for the heart of danger, He has something to say there, and will say it though us if we will obey.
I know that if I had not been settled comfortably into myself at the time, if I had been really walking with Jesus, the words would have come, if not those above, then some others. I hope that they saw something of Jesus in me. And I wish they could have seen more. These are the kinds of events where spiritual warfare is won or lost. So we need to be, as Paul enjoins, praying at all times, keep the hotline open, alert at all times to what God might be doing, making ourselves available to be Jesus on the spot.
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