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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Accountability Mechanisms

People in Jeremiah's day were blind to their faults and easily led to presume their innocence. What accountability mechanisms do you have in place to help detect spiritual blind spots in your life? How can your group or family help in this? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1066).

Too often character flaws are seen as just that – flaws of character – not the unavoidable results following failure to establish accountability mechanisms. This is a serious mistake for all humanity is readily vulnerable to self-presumptions of innocence. It takes accountability mechanisms to enable us to see otherwise. In regards to myself, I have an unrelieved presumption of innocence. It takes looking outside myself – to external mechanisms – for any promise of seeing otherwise. Of course the central problem is that when I look to others for midcourse corrections, the others I choose to provide this service are those I choose. That is, I self-select people who will politely agree that I am forever innocent and clean as the new driven snow and who will find all my motivations are above reproach. Most of the tortured steps in human progress can be finally identified as this – the arduous establishment of reliable accountability mechanisms. The scientific method is clearly one such mechanism. So is the concept of divided government. So is the concept of marketplace competition. In other words, the delusional, self-deceptive biases in human nature are being overcome through the use of corrective external mechanisms. 

This accounts for the persistent signification of the Bible. It is a readily accessible reference. It is a light unto our path no matter what path we are on or where we find ourselves today or tomorrow. The words – especially those of Jesus – constitute an external reference for the validity of tone. It helps us to identify false prophets who fail to ring true to the tone of Christ. It is universally applicable wherever mankind interacts with others or even when he interacts with the inanimate world. That is the essential reason why the religion of Jesus is so important.

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