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Power Play

In the last few days, the entertainment news has been dominated by the fall from grace of movie mogul, Harvey Weinstein. The sixty-five-year-old head of the major film production studio, The Weinstein Company, was fired from the business he co-founded, as accusations of sexual exploitation and misconduct dating back from the mid 1990’s erupted. Several A-list actresses, as well as countless others, are slowly emerging out of the woodwork, all reinforcing similar stories of coercive abuse. The ‘casting-couch’ mentality is alive and well in Hollywood.

Many dark secrets everywhere were ruthlessly exposed as the true rot underneath the veil of tinsel-town was torn back. The conspiracy of silence, privilege and complicity that covered this systemic exploitation for decades, stretches its tentacles over a massive area. They’re all running for cover, and rightly so. The bombshell exposure, (a less-than-hidden secret among Hollywood insiders), caused a tsunami of polarizing reaction. Everyone is avowing ignorance and distancing themselves from the pariah. Very few are entirely innocent however, despite their protestations.

First of all, let’s make one thing entirely clear. Although most of the (alleged) incidents took place in luxury hotel suites, this is not really about sex, at all. If it were merely about sex, any amount of high-priced call girls would have scratched the itch. If anonymity was the problem, Hollywood Boulevard, with its extensive array of flesh for sale, was readily accessible. Not to mention the score of fame-groupies available at every turn. Let’s not be naïve: sex was simply the tool of subjegation. Actually, this is a primal demonstration of ownership. This is about domain and control; a ‘Droit de seigneur’ situation. “You want to be part of this industry? You want in the game? You want my protection and power? Then show that you belong to me….pay your dues. Give me what you have – or I’ll make sure you never go any further”. The unspoken menace of this behavior is far darker, more sinister territory than simple lust; it’s the same wretched debasement characteristic of human trafficking. Mix ridiculous amounts of affluence and advantage, and this is the resultant disease of corruption. Wealth, coupled with fame, makes you think you can treat people like animals to be used, or slaves to be owned. It’s the manifestation of unfettered egomania. The proof of it? Believing the outrageous delusion, you can never be caught.

If we look only to the world around us, we will be cynical about the nature of power. It’s being constantly abused in so many horrific ways. Unfortunately, evil perpetrators seem to get top billing. All of us are deeply attracted to the charisma and potentiality of power, but very few humbly grasp its essential nature. Scripture casts vital illumination on the issue.

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongs unto God. Psalm 62:5-11

There are critical things to remember about the essence of all strength, resource or privilege. Firstly, all power belongs to God. He’s the source and master. It doesn’t belong to us, and it never will. It is bestowed on men to fulfill their destiny in Christ within their allotted places in history. Just because it is commandeered by malicious men for their own devices, does not change its intrinsic essence. It flows out of the Godhead itself, infused with all of the virtue and holy fire of the Trinity. It has one mandate, and one only; to fulfill His will, and bring His kingdom. We’d better keep that in the forefront of all our considerations, because what came from Him is eventually going to return to its Creator. In other words, if you try to take what is holy and use it for evil purposes, eventually, it’s going to loop around full circle and destroy you. Just like the fabled ring in ‘Lord of the Rings’, you are not its' master. It doesn’t dance to your tune, although for a season, it may seem to. Power is running on divine mandate. It either escorts us to victorious triumph in Christ, or utter perdition, depending on what we chose to do with it.

Amazingly, the Lord chooses to entrust us with power. As difficult as this legacy is, we still long to possess it, to enjoy it. We want to control the decisions of our lives. We want to know we are significant and important. We want our voice to be heard. However, in order for that to happen in a way that impacts the world around us positively, we need to constantly revisit a profound awe for the source and nature of power. Remember, the Lord has not removed from Satan, and fallen angels, the glory and authority they were once given. Satan grasps his power and wields it subtly and ruthlessly to ensnare souls. He lures us with the lie that the power is ours, and offers us his twisted and self-serving attitude towards it. However, blessedly, God is still good, even if people act in an evil manner. His Kingdom is come, and is fully operative. We grapple with the two-edged, highly wonderful and highly dangerous ring of power, our whole lives. It has the ability to thoroughly refine or entirely corrupt us. In the end, it will undoubtedly expose our hearts. Take a refresher course, a sobering lesson from the latest headlines, and walk respectfully.

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