[forthright] Are We in Denial?

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Tue, 07 Aug 2007 14:37:45 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Square One

Are We in Denial?
by Richard Mansel

We make a new friend who lives much differently
than our upbringing. We get to know this friend
and as we grow closer and more knowledgeable about
them, we increasingly accept them and their
lifestyle. When our parents or friends try to pull
us away from them, we go into full rationalization
and denial mode. We reorient our minds to accept
our new knowledge and experiences. The new reality
becomes a backdrop and our old life is re-examined
against this new standard.

If our old ways and thoughts cast a bad light on
this new backdrop then we reorient them until they
look better in the new light. We try to see what
we will keep and lose in this new reality. Some of
the items we intend to keep must be re-examined in
light of this new way of life. Suddenly, we are
ready to cast away established traditions,
lifestyle patterns, and core beliefs, all because
of this new person. In other words, we have
changed everything about ourselves because we want
to accept them.

It is the same way with ideas. We think something
is wrong until we spend time with it and gain more
knowledge and exposure to it. Ideas are not sold
without an intimate salesman. If someone we care
about tries to sell us on a product or idea, then
we are much more likely to buy it. We accept this
new person and their ideas because of our feelings
for the person. The new lifestyle and ideas simply
become carryon luggage.

This can have a positive or negative outcome
depending on the destination. If a sinner becomes
a Christian, then this experience brings great
rewards. On the other hand, if this leads a
Christian away from God, then serious dangers are
ahead. A rescue operation will be necessary.
However, they will be entrenched against the
arguments and dissuasions. A piercing thought will
have to get through their defenses. This
intervention may ultimately destroy a
relationship. However, souls are more valuable
than anything.

We think something is sinful and condemn it.
However, we get a dose of it and find out that we
actually like it once the shock wears off. Sin is
sneaky and very alluring. For example, we condemn
pornography until we are around it and see that we
like it. If we decide to keep it, the
rationalization and reorientation process begins.

We condemn abortion until we or someone we love is
faced with it. When abortion is chosen, the
reorientation process begins so the status quo can
be maintained.

We see instrumental music in worship as being
wrong until we immerse ourselves in instrumental
Christian music and make new friends who love it.
Suddenly, we begin the reorientation process and
begin rationalizing our old beliefs so we can be
at peace with ourselves and accepted by our new
friends./1

Arguments we previously found unsuccessful become
more powerful. Ideas we condemned become more
persuasive as we need support for our new reality.

We must never lose faith in God because he is
eternally good and right./2  Scripture will be the
Word of God long after man is dead. Nothing will
take away its authority (2 Timothy 3:16-17;
Colossians 3:17). New friends, ideas, and environs
will not change God's will. Arguments do not make
the truth, God's Word does. We will not outgrow
God. Judgment will just find us lost, rather than
enlightened (Revelation 20:11-15). We must hold to
what we believe and affirm that we will never
abandon it no matter what comes along. The price
is too high (Matthew 25:46).      

__________    
1/ http://tinyurl.com/2x2vel
    http://tinyurl.com/24tvco
    http://tinyurl.com/273tja
2/ http://tinyurl.com/22vpqg

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