Bart Barber alerts us to a new Microsoft campaign that appears to solve the problem of wives discovering their husband's once secret p()rnographic Internet browsing history not by encouraging husbands to stop surfing p()rn but by creating software to help them hide it better. (Microsoft has since pulled the ad, but only because the video includes simulated vomiting, not because they thought it stupid to promote a feature that allows people to safely cyber-cheat on their spouses. (The video has other offensive content also, btw. Be warned.))
What is Microsoft's solution to a depraved and perverted husband and a sickened wife? Will the folks at Redmond suggest that pornographic sites like the bleeped out URL given in the advertisement are inappropriate? Of course not. Their proposed solution is "InPrivate Browsing." Indulge the darker recesses of your heart, just learn to keep secrets better. Now THERE'S an approach that will strengthen the fabric of our society (not)!
Microsoft's slogan for Internet Explorer 8 is "Browse Better." How Orwellian that this slogan is actually an encouragement for people to browse worse!
This is not the first innovation in helping us maintain our private lives, which by the way, are our real lives.
This week retired NFL quarterback Steve McNair, one of my family's favorite athletes, was found shot to death from an apparent murder-suicide with his twenty year-old drug addict girlfriend, whom he was cheating on his wife of 12 years with. Most everyone was shocked, including people like my wife who thought he was sweet and nice, especially after she ran into him at a local eatery once and he gave her a hug and spent a minute chatting with her.
His friends and teammates have been saying things like, "This wasn't Steve." They're talking about the "real" Steve, the Steve who did charity work and gave the fabled 110% on the football field, as if this Steve, the Steve who maintained an adulterous, drug-addled relationship, was not real, or at least, not really him, but just a mistake he made, as if adultery is something you trip into or catch like a cold.
But the Steve McNair we didn't see was the real Steve McNair. The one he showed us was not. Or at least, it wasn't the fullness of him.
And who I am in the moments when I know I don't have to perform for anybody, the who I am in my heart and mind, what I'm thinking and feeling and wanting to do and what I'm doing when I don't think anybody will find out -- that is me. The real me.
We are not good people who make mistakes, none of us. We are sinners, always. We are sinners who need to repent.
So long as we think of the grossest parts of ourselves as "not really us," we will fail to respond to and wonder in the gospel. Because if the real us is already okay, we need no rescue.
This is why Jesus said lust is the same as physical adultery. This is why he said it's not what goes into us that defiles us but what comes out. This is why the Bible says man looks at the outside but God sees the heart. Because the self we present is not always our real self. But our character is, the quality of our heart is.
The gospel does not provide insurance for our mess-ups. It provides total transformation of our whole selves to the righteousness of God.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
-- 2 Corinthians 5:21