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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Symptoms of Death's Delusions

Has God raised you from “the dead”? When and how did it happen? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1203).

I don’t think that I have ever been “dead” or desperately lost. This is not to say that I have not been depressed from time to time when I have felt frustrated in accomplishing God’s will. There have been times of discouragement – even deep discouragement. Nevertheless, I suppose there is always a danger that I could lose faith and become “dead”. Following is a list of symptoms that would indicate that I am descending into a state of “death”.

The first indication of a loss of faith would be when I began to look upon Jesus as a fool – someone who could have had a good thing, but blew it – that he could have mastered life but for his silly notions. That is, when I no longer believe in him. Next, I would think and feel that there is no God – that there is no creator, that there is no interceder, that there is nothing good, nothing with special ethical value, nothing holy – that such notions are foolishness. The corollary to all this is that the only game in town revolves around me – my will, my wants, my needs.

Another indicator would be how I look upon three essential institutions of society – the family, the church, and government. I would look upon all these cynically. For example the government would have no divine purpose or role. It exits solely because of selfish interests and ego trips of power and prestige. The church deprived of any raison d’être would exist simply as a club of self-righteous bigots. The family also would have no divine purpose to nurture and cultivate love. It would merely be one expendable way that humans find to fulfill their selfish interest and procreate those of their breed.

As I would see Jesus as foolish, I would see my biological father as foolish for he strove to be a humble and good man. That he was faithful to my mother would show weakness. Likewise my mother would have been a fool for loving him and us children and working hard within a context of limited means.

I would make short shrift of the facts of any situation. My focus will always be on me. For example, if someone were scheduled to come to my home for an appliance repair, I would become highly incensed if they were a little late because it simply did not matter to me that the technician’s job was complex and sometimes required more time than expected. Because I am completely self-centered and everything revolves around me, not only do facts not matter, but I am highly inpatient and chronically angry and frustrated.

I never enter any negotiations unless I am a sure that I can come out the clear winner. “Compromise” is a euphemism for one-sided exploitation on my behalf. I am convinced that this is the essence of wisdom. My focus thus is always on how I can get mine now. I would see no logic to encouraging others to be their best. In fact, my modus operandi would be to intimidate, discourage, use, and disrespect others. If I cared anything at all for others, it would be because I envied them of their toys and power or prestige.

In short, with “death” would come a transformation of perception and resultant behavior. To say that my priorities would change would be an understatement. From this state, clearly I could not “save myself” but would be beyond saving if not for amazing grace.

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