How should we deal with life as a victim?
The whole Netflix watching world has been talking about Harry and Meghan this week. The fact that their documentary entitled…you guessed it…’Harry and Meghan’ smashed UK Netflix ratings in just 24 hours tells us that, as Christians, we should be paying attention, for these are the deep waters of our time.
Harry and Meghan tell a culture soaked in victimhood just what it wants to hear. It wants to hear that life is not fair, that it’s unequal, oppressive, authoritarian, hierarchical, out of touch and must be smashed to pieces. Anyone in a position of perceived power is part of the problem; and the pinnacle of that power is the Monarchy. Harry and Meghan have them in their sights.
They have repositioned themselves from King and Queen of England to King and Queen victim, taking and misusing the most precious currency Christians have and using it as a trojan horse for power and revenge.
This should matter to Christians because it toxifies and perverts how true love operates. Love turns the other cheek, love forgives, love sacrifices self for the good of the other. Hate cannot turn the other cheek, cannot forgive, hate sacrifices the other for the good of self.
And this is what Harry and Meghan are doing under the guise of victimhood. This is why we should be wary. This is a Judas move, a ‘give the money to the poor’ speech in front of the cameras, whilst pocketing it for themselves when they stop rolling.
Anyone concerned with truth should be immune to such deception, as John the Baptist was. His message of warning, unlike Harry and Meghans, was not polished and self-seeking. He was blunt and to the point. He sought not fame and fortune, but truth and repentance, and he paid for this with his life. This was the man who God chose to introduce His son, to introduce the perfect victim.
Christ as the perfect victim cannot be the object of manipulation or control unless he consents to be. This consent culminates, not in vengeance and power, but in crucifixion and death, ‘I lay down my own life, no man takes it from me’ (Jn 10:18) This is the paradox of love and the response to victimhood that we should be paying attention to.
We are all victims in one way or another, we all suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and we really do need to know how to deal with that. The viewing figures tell us how many people are vulnerable to finding solutions in the wrong place; but there is only one place to find the solution to the perennial problem of victimhood and it is not on Netflix, it is in Christ on the cross.
Harry and Meghan epitomise the standard of an unbelieving world. The unbeliever follows the devil’s agenda, an agenda which says; do what you want, get what’s yours, tell your truth, trust no-one, it’s all about you.
Those who believe, follow the standard of Christ who says; trust in me, fast, give up your lives so that others can live, you are not that important, serve and suffer and sacrifice for love of others.
Is it any wonder that the enemy is taking all God’s children? With marketing tools as glamourous as the Sussexes, while Jesus wheels out some wild man, eating locusts and honey! Come on! How can He possibly compete?
Well, we know how the story ends. There is no competition because one is a lie, and one is true. One leads to life and the other to death. There is only one way for a victim to pass from suffering to healing, from sin to redemption, from death to life, and it is the way of the cross.
Harry and Meghan have chosen a different route, they have chosen the way of resentment, power and self. They have turned their backs on family and marched off into the California sunset singing, what Peter Kreeft calls the ‘national anthem of Hell’ that old Sinatra classic ‘I did it my way’.
Any reward they get in the here and now will be gone in the blink of an eye and we must wonder was it all worth it? In heaven the ones who will shine the brightest will not be the people who shone in the spotlight on earth. We have been promised this by the very highest authority.
The Sussexes provide an opportunity for Christians this advent to speak of the standard of Christ versus the standard of the world; to speak of love and forgiveness and to pierce the polished bubble of glamour with the rough wisdom of the prophets who tell us to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Sometimes it comes down to perspective, a move from the window to the mirror.