I recently saw the Pinterest boards of a woman who I believe is the victim of multiple deceptions. What ‘s interesting about it is that she, and many others like her, believe sincerely that they are the enlightened ones. She undoubtedly feels that her acceptance of the “Flat Earth Theory”, “The Law of Attraction”, and her rejection of traditional values make her different and special. She is one of the few who KNOW.
I feel for her because I’m the type of person who falls for those kinds of things. I’ve tried a lot of strange health fads and entertained a lot of crazy ideas. But as I’ve grown older I’ve begun to realize that I’ve come full circle. I started my spiritual life as a child who had a deep connection to my God, Jehovah. I had no doubt at all that he is the creator and life giver. I was not distracted by human philosophy or plagued by any existential crisis. In my childish wisdom, I just knew with every fiber of my being who God is, who I was, and what I was meant to do in this world. I realize now that I was right.
I’m sure I’ve always known that deep in my heart. But over the course of my adult life the surface of the waters of my intellect have been stirred and churned by things that I have heard and read that were in opposition to what I knew as a child. This has always created a lot of turmoil. Cognitive dissonance is the psychological term for it, I believe. But I believe that the kind of cognitive dissonance that we experience when we learn a truth that is opposed to what we had previously believed is different from the type of dissonance that occurs when we encounter a lie that is in opposition to the truth. The first is uncomfortable but exciting. The second just makes you feel ill.
I suspect that some of the more astute will immediately point out that the above logic is flawed. It’s based on subjective emotion rather than evidence and reason. That’s true. But I have also examined the hard evidence for what I believe to be true, and the closer I look, the more convinced I become. That’s why I’ve come full circle. The rational, skeptical side of me is what caused all the turmoil that I’ve experienced as an adult . I had doubts. But the closer I examined those doubts the more I realized that all the evidence was pointed toward one conclusion: there absolutely is a super-intelligent being who is responsible for creating the universe, the Holy Scriptures could not possibly have been the product of men uninfluenced by the supernatural, and the creator of the universe and author of those scriptures loves me very much. This is not blind faith. It is faith based on evidence. My intuition has been right all along.
-And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
So if there’s all this evidence that has been so convincing, how in the world could I have wavered? Is it really that easy to be set off balance?
I believe that my curiosity goes beyond the level that most people experience. My mind is constantly probing, questioning. A favorite maxim of atheists and skeptics is “question everything”. And I do. I’m always testing the foundations of my beliefs for soundness. The problems come when I spend inordinate amounts of time reading human philosophy and forget to spend even more time reading scripture as a counter balance. The apostle Paul of the bible knew the dangers this would present, for he warned us:
Look out that no one takes you captive by means of the philosophy and empty deception according to human tradition, according to the elementary things of the world and not according to Christ. -Colossians 2:8
If these things were not convincing, we would not have needed a warning.
A life lived in truth is the best kind of life. But I think many of us sense that we are surrounded by deception. This is becoming more and more true. People are waking up. But often they are waking up to more lies. Lies to replace other lies.
Sometimes the truth has been right under our noses all along. But we cannot learn what we refuse to see.