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Chapter 20 - The Truth Will Set You Free
There is a danger for the Christian to be drawn into the world and its systems to such an extent that his walk with the Lord is crippled if not halted all together. For this reason we are admonished to seek to guard our minds.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. - Romans 12:1-2
One of the most effective mechanisms Satan has employed is public education. Age segregated indoctrination achieves a level of social pressure towards worldly conformity that could not be achieved otherwise.
We are drawn into the grasp of the world by our desires of the flesh. We are vulnerable to deceptive promises of wealth, prestige, and power. God created the natural world, but Satan has constructed an artificial one called society. Most people today are raised in this artificial world, we are mostly inculcated with the values of the world. Knowing no other reality, we seldom question that which surrounds us. There are usually only three ways one can break free from the grasp of this artificial world.
1. Trauma. Being abused as a child, suffering as a victim of crime or war, experiencing a health crisis, combat, or other major intrusion of reality can shatter the Potemkin-like facade of the delusions Satan has led us to accept.
2. Old age. As we near the end of life, we can begin to see that we made some poor choices. For example, chasing after and investing ones life in feminism, business success, political activity, social justice, or social prominence may lead a person to neglect, delay, or even avoid building a family only to discover that what one valued in youth pays no dividends other than the loneliness and bitterness of a wasted life.
3. Seeking truth. The power of God in the life of a Christian can open his eyes to the deceptions Satan has used to advance his world systems. Like those around the boy who cried out, 'The Emperor has no clothes', Satan seeks to keep silent those who might arouse others to see truth.
A woman at a social event once mentioned in conversation that she had recently gotten her degree in psychology. A little later in the conversation she mentioned the phrase 'inner child' to which one person responded with a chortle. She reacted in puzzlement and asked why the person would have such a skeptical reaction. The scoffer said that there was no such things as an 'inner child'. If there was such a template of human perfection from which remedial connection could be obtained we would have some idea of how it originated, where it was kept, and the mechanism of its operation. He also said that there was no support for such a concept other than the wish it were true. Her response was to say, 'If that is true, then ...'
The story above illustrates how someone can come to not only believe something, but have it so integrated into their understanding of the world that it is relied upon. The woman in the story was only just beginning to question one of the things she had been taught for the last four years.
It would have been overwhelming for her to make the leap that most of what she had spent her time and money on for those four years was also not as true as she had been led to believe. There is a line from a movie where the actor Jack Nicholson loudly declares, 'You canít handle the truth'. To some extent this applies to those of us taken in by the massive influence of the artifical world Satan has constructed. The solution is to keep following truth step by step so that we ultimately become free.
The woman in the illustration first considering that there might be other things she was taught that are not true might lead her to investigate other assertions, slowly building a case of experience and discovery that could grow into increasing and expanding doubt. The difficulty arises when truth leads one to have to face the discomfort of unraveling that upon which one has come to rely. For example, if one has placed oneís future hopes on a career in psychology, undertaking consideration that the entire field is flawed, might be too big a step to take.
From a Christian perspective the entire field of psychology is flawed by a basic misunderstanding of human nature. Many theories of psychological behavior are predicated on the assumption that people are basically good. However, none even consider sin or the influence of the flesh. However, even if one is not a Christian, the few surveys conducted regarding the effectiveness of psychological therapy often show it no different that doing nothing. People are unlikely to follow truth when it could upset that in which one hopes, has come to trust in, or provides comfort.
The difficulty a recent graduate may have in considering that what she has paid dearly for (in time, effort, and money) may not have been worthwhile is a picture of the difficulty a Christian can have in considering that the traditions he has received may not be the best foundation to live the Christian life.
We can measure the weakness of our faith by the reluctance we have to embrace truth. Truth does indeed 'free' us. However, being freed from everything we have come to trust in of the world can cause a lot of anxiety unless we have placed greater faith in him who is truth.
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