“You must not follow after the crowd to do evil, and you must not pervert justice by giving testimony to go along with the crowd.*(or testimony that is popular)” Exodus 23:22
Any of us can courageously choose NOT to go along with the crowd! IS it an easy course, at times,…no. However, the real thinkers and innovative doers/accomplishers of timelessness goodness…did…outside the boxes of commodity…conformity. Breaking the jello mold…(“watch it wiggle, see it jiggle”… old jello jingle…:) in other words… fear of man, or fear of what Others think or giving up or giving in because of… eats away pieces of integrity.
History is full of examples both positive & negative… impacts of past societies…
Are my personal values making me susceptible or impervious… to Others’ opinions of me?? Yeah, to a degree, of course, it’s only natural to want those You deeply love to think kindly of You…approval of family and society can be two different things… or one and the same type of thing… sometimes, neither society nor family accept..aka fully appreciate and treat me as outcast…(my (Bible) beliefs and (high-compassion) values) have brought me there…(obviously; IF it mattered most to me… winning approval over despising shame… would I write and publish most of this spiritual stuff on this blog?! It’s the slight space between being sensitive to Others and not letting the sensitivities of Others dictate;) my every choice in the matters that matter most.
And what matters most to me??
(Hmmm… living compassion; probably…and white pebbles)… (we all need encouragement/support so… am thankful! for the family/friends i do have who put up with me;)…
Resistance is NOT futile and possible…[excerpted: Resist the Pressure of Public Opinion w 2010] Thinking of a person/example of Compassion and thinking of a person who swam in the opposite direction of society and expectations thereof, etc. of his day… who treated women, children and any other underdog with deserved dignity and respect… check it out please…
“Greeks, Romans, and Judeans all considered honor and shame to be pivotal values in their cultures,” says one scholar. “Men lived and died in quest of honor, reputation, fame, approval, and respect.” Such values made them susceptible to the opinions of others.
Status, position, and honor were everything in a society characterized by an acute awareness of rank, ranging from nobility to slavery. Honor was a person’s value not only in his own eyes but in the eyes of others as well. To honor a person meant to acknowledge publicly that he behaved in a way expected of him. Rendering honor also meant being outwardly impressed by a person’s wealth, office, or nobility and therefore according him due attention. Honor could be won by performing virtuous deeds or by excelling over others. In contrast, shame, or dishonor, accompanied public humiliation or ridicule. More than a personal feeling or a response of one’s conscience, it was the result of condemnation by society.
When Jesus spoke about a person’s being assigned “the most prominent place” or “the lowest place” at a feast, it was a matter of honor or shame according to the culture of the day. (Luke 14:8-10) On at least two occasions, Jesus’ disciples disputed over “which one of them seemed to be greatest.” (Luke 9:46; 22:24) They were manifesting a major concern of the society in which they lived. Meanwhile, proud and competitive Jewish religious leaders saw Jesus’ preaching as a challenge to their honor and authority. Their attempts to get the better of him in public debates before crowds, however, invariably resulted in failure.—Luke 13:11-17.
Another concept current in first-century Jewish, Greek, and Roman thinking was the shamefulness of being “seized and publicly charged with wrongdoing.” For a person to be bound or confined was viewed as degrading. Such treatment insulted an individual before friends, family, and the general community—whether he was convicted of a crime or not. The stigma thereafter attached to his reputation could shatter his self-respect and damage his relationship with others. More shameful than being bound was the indignity of being stripped or flogged. Such treatment incited contempt and derision, depriving the person of his honor.
Execution on a torture stake subjected the victim to the worst of all possible indignities. Such an execution was “the penalty for slaves,” says scholar Martin Hengel. “As such it symbolized extreme humiliation, shame and torture.” Social pressure to renounce a person who was dishonored in this way was brought upon his family and friends. Since Christ died in this manner, all who wanted to be Christians in the first century C.E. thus had to face the challenge of public ridicule. Most people likely considered it absurd for someone to identify himself as a follower of a man who suffered impalement. “We preach Christ impaled,” wrote the apostle Paul, “to the Jews a cause for stumbling but to the nations foolishness.” (1 Cor. 1:23) How did the early Christians face this challenge?
In order to maintain his integrity to Jehovah God, Jesus underwent the most dishonorable execution possible. “He endured a torture stake, despising shame.” (Heb. 12:2) Jesus’ enemies slapped him, spat on him, stripped him, flogged him, impaled him, and reviled him. (Mark 14:65; 15:29-32) Yet, Jesus despised the shame that they attempted to heap on him. How? He refused to shrink from such treatment. Jesus knew that he lost no dignity in Jehovah’s eyes, and he certainly sought no glory from men. Even though Jesus died the death of a slave, Jehovah dignified him by resurrecting him and giving him the most honorable place next to Him. At Philippians 2:8-11, we read: “[Christ Jesus] humbled himself and became obedient as far as death, yes, death on a torture stake. For this very reason also God exalted him to a superior position and kindly gave him the name that is above every other name, so that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the ground, and every tongue should openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”
What about us today? Things the world considers foolish, weak, and ignoble, God views as wise, powerful, and honorable. (1 Cor. 1:25-28
Would it not be foolish and shortsighted for us to be influenced entirely by public opinion?
Whether You Reader:) are a follower of Christ (or choose another role-model/mentor) or not… it begs the self-reflection questions: am I unduly influenced by society and public opinion…(and for the better or for the worse/to my own detriment)?? Would I willingly despise shame, face public ridicule, torture for my personal belief system?? Is my personal belief system worth it?! And what did Jesus preach/teach…a timeless message of Peace & Compassion and help for the underdog!!!
Society and societies have let free/walk…violent criminals against humanity and basic compassion.
Think about it where is Today’s society taking me… to peace, joy, happiness, life?!…
No, a violent, non-compassionate, self-serving society is one I will balk!… and I choose to remain politically neutral and a conscientious objector
I will continue to spiritually fight with all my might to NOT conform!!!…I invite You Reader:) to flee from the elements of society that are hurting Humanity, You and the Planet… namely, false religion, fake government, materialism, and commercialism/big business!
As previous societies have past/passed away..so, this current-present society will end… who will survive??!…
Further context IF needed:
11/13/17 @ 3:33 p.m.