Monday, January 20, 2014

Preponderant Direction

"Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions." - G.K. Chesterton

It is the nature of society, it would seem, to simply embrace the normative thought process.  To set critical thinking aside and to accept the consensus opinion.  It can be found in every nook and cranny of our culture, and so it has always been.  Sure, there are the to-be-expected non-conformists, but they're really much more 'normal' than they might think (though I'm sure they would cry to the contrary); for even they are acting out of a defiance which is rooted in their selfish desires.  But that's exactly what the rest of the culture does in going along with the normative thought.  By jettisoning the critical thought process, they are simply maintaining and protecting their own level of comfort.  For, after all, as we all may dare to admit from time to time... thinking is uncomfortable.

Is it not much easier to accept an opinion if it has achieved a consensus?  If a majority of scientists say the earth is heating up, then surely it must be so.  As though science is determined by a vote.  But we don't consider the evidence in any rational way... actually we don't consider it at all.  The cable news said the results of the latest poll found that the majority of people in the country also agreed.  That must settle it then.  Why bother thinking about it?

It is very often the case in Christian circles as well.  Like everywhere else, laziness creeps in, and we are prone to simply accept and believe what is fed to us.  It's easier that way... but it certainly does not make it right.  It is uncomfortable to call sin 'sin' when the rest of society tells us that it is not.  "Keep your evidence!" they'll say.  "What are you bringing the Bible into this?  I interpret it my own way.  I'm not interested in your narrow opinion."  But as any thinking person would realize, this can't possibly be so.  Something cannot be both right and wrong.  The Bible says something or it doesn't.  The interpretation is either right or it is wrong.  The truth of the matter is some read the Bible with critical thought, determining to understand what is being said and what the original meaning of the words are.  Others try to use it to justify an incorrect thought or opinion.  For example, an evolutionist might come to the table trying to get the Bible to support his theory.  But that is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.  It can't be done without something getting seriously mangled... and a large hammer.  The Bible is the inspired word of God.  No one would read a personal letter I might send to them and say to themselves, "what this means to me is...".  No, they would want to know what I meant by writing it; what my original intent was.  Yet, we do this with the Bible all the time.  We make the Bible say what we want it to say.  It is certainly easier to approach Bible study that way.  You simply remove the 'study' part, and that is what you are left with.

It is a struggle to hold on to critical thinking when the world seems to reject it more and more each day.  Yet, it is what a Christian is called to do (2Tim. 2:15).  There are numerous warning against being passive and simply going the way of the world (Rom. 12:2).  This is how false teaching comes into our life and how it becomes accepted and embraced.  It's a slow process, but one that is sure if we do not examine everything through the lens of the scriptures (Acts 17:10-11).  Praise be to God that it is He who strengthens us to be able to do these things!

"Impartiality is a pompous name for indifference, which is an elegant name for ignorance." - G.K. Chesterton © 2010. layout by Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness