Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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Triggered Christians


One of the most effective results of public education is a large number of people fearful of group disapproval. This pressure towards conformity was captured in the song “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds in 1962. As Satan collectivizes the world, he needs people to be responsive to his instructions. Like the Stasi in the old East Germany many people see themselves as agents of the state to enforce the social order. For example, if one expresses an opinion on race, sexuality, religion, or politics, one is likely to get a public rebuke for saying something someone else does not like. This knee jerk reflex is called triggering and occurs as a person observers or even hears anything they do not like. Like an emotional land mine, they make themselves obnoxious when triggered by any one of a number of things. The fear of encountering one of these “weapons” inhibits a lot of potential discussion.

I had a great grandfather that was spit on by his sister because he married a Lutheran. Being triggered in not a new phenomena. However, Christians should consider if being triggered is an indulgence they should allow themselves. Those who retain the name Christian but follow after the world may see being triggered as the responsible act of a socially aware Christian. However, while being triggered may create pleasant feelings of self-righteous indignation, it is still bullying. The Christian is not called to apply coercive force to get others to comply with one’s desires or expectations.

Christians are encouraged to see their differences with other Christians in terms of weaker or stronger brothers rather than a “us verses them” dichotomy. Since it is in the nature of a denomination to present a package of doctrine as complete and correct that an adherent could see others as heretics. Interestingly, the world heretic comes from the Greek, herisis and simply meant the “divisions”, that Paul spoke against (1Cor 1:11-13).

In addition to contributing to friction with other Christians, denominations can actually inhibit Christian maturity by assuring one that their brand of doctrine is complete. However, the Christian is only complete when he is like Jesus (Eph 4:13). If one cannot silence other views, one can avoid them to avoid being triggered. This can result in seeking a bunker-like enclave and the comfort that can be derived from association only with those with identical views.

If triggering is caused by encountering that which is different, perhaps a better strategy than either attempted correction or avoidance may be helpful. Resolving differences can contribute to growth in that one can apply reason to determine truth. For example one divisive doctrine in Christianity is baptism. One might feel that this sacrament is how babies gain eternal life, another might see it as an ordinance for one who has faith. Still another might see it as a practice for Israel in anticipation of an earthly kingdom. One has the option of seeking from the bible that which can shed light or one can remain entrenched with a particular tradition. The difficulty is that traditions are not necessarily correct (Eph 4:14, Mark 7:7).

It may be more advantageous for a Christian not to confront or hide from differences, but to investigate and determine what is true. Since God is truth, such an investigation will lead closer to him.



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