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by Brian Flewelling on September 27, 2022
It is possible to compassionately abuse someone.
You can have the right heart and the wrong information. You can be sincere and sincerely misguided. Like when I put our oldest child’s plastic sippy cup in the dishwasher and melted it into a three-dimensional sculpture. You can do that to a person!
Doctors killed the first president of the United States. I bet you didn’t know that. George Washington contracted a bacterial infection that today’s anti-biotic would have cured. Of course, we didn’t understand germ theory at that time. The prevailing medical practice was to drain the blood so that they would “drain out the sickness.” With that logic they proceeded to empty over four pints of the former president’s blood, 40% of his body’s fluid, causing the 67 year-old Washington to die prematurely.
Transgenderism is a modern example of compassionate abuse. Educators, therapists, and employers are now being legally bullied into affirming someone’s confusion about their gender. This policy intentionally ignores the 6,500 biological differences between male and female bodies. And it ignores the impossibility of separating social and psychological gender from biology. The mind must be oriented to the reality of your biology, they are a unit. It is not loving to affirm confusion. A male body will never become a female body. And a female body can never become a male body. And a female will never find true peace trying to force upon her female body a male psychology. We love people by helping them come into agreement with the truth, not delusion. When a girl struggles with Anorexia we don’t tell her, “you are right, you are overweight and need to go on a diet.” That would be abuse. She needs someone to help her find psychological, emotional, and social healing from the struggles she faces—not affirm her mental confusion.
Love always has to be guided by the truth. Without the truth you can hurt someone you are trying to help.
Likewise, social justice, detached from God’s definition of justice, can so easily be warped by human prejudice, misinformation, or malevolence. Families of addicts, because of feeling sympathy, can unwittingly enable a son or daughter’s addictive behaviors that harm them in the long run. Sympathy is not love, and outrage is not justice. Truth is the only refuge from chaos. Didn’t Jesus declare, “then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32)? The Apostle Paul also declared, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).
Societies make complex decisions that have very real consequences. Poor decisions based on limited knowledge led to the Dust Bowl in 1931 and the stock market collapse in 1929. Similarly so many of our food allergies today are probably based on genetic modification we’ve made to plants and foods.
Social policies and personal decisions have to be built on truthful interpretations of accurate data. That requires an extensive process of discovery and confirmation; hypothesis and testing; examination and adjustment. It demands honesty and a commitment to change. We have to be willing to admit we are wrong, and to adapt to the truth, no matter how difficult that truth is to face. That requires a healthy dose of humility. The process of scientific inquiry was built on the premise that we are naïve, finite, and ever in need of learning, growing, listening, changing, and responding to the truth. We have been wrong; we are currently wrong about something; and we will be wrong in the future.
Discovering and adhering to scientific truths has set humanity free from a lot of unnecessary suffering and death. And living in agreement with moral truths sets us free from confusion, enslavement, and abuse.
Cultural Marxism and Woke ideologies are intentionally suppressing scientific facts and information in favor of wishful thinking. These are inherently delusional and coercive. They are also inherently fragile. Cancel culture, Big-Tech censorship and the willful suppression of any disagreement leads to an ever-narrowing existence incapable of facing hard realities. That isn’t liberalism; it’s fascism. Simon and Garfunkel captured this well in one of their songs, “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” Nowadays we are using our power to “hear what we want to hear and silence the rest.” The problem isn’t with the truth, it’s with our heart’s perception.
Lies are often comfortable and they are easy to believe because they often reinforce what we already want to believe.
It takes courage to test our assumptions, listen to our adversaries, and rebuild our thesis with greater clarity. When we try to suffocate the free flow of information or alternative beliefs that we find inconvenient, we destroy the oxygen FREEDOM breathes on. God himself never removes the power of freedom and choice. He gives us consequences to our choices in order to persuade us to choose wisely! But he never suppresses the basic ingredients to freedom.
Listen to the terrifying warning from scriptures, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear” 2 Timothy 4:3. That’s not a problem with religious doctrine. That’s a problem with the human heart.
The takeaway here is that if we are going to remain a free people we’ll only find freedom by pursuing Truth. The foundation to both faith and reason, religion and science is the pursuit of Truth! If we are unwilling to hear truth and pursue truth then we will live in superstition and ignorance; and that is a return to the dark ages.
My encouragement to you is this: we ignore the rational and moral laws of our universe at our peril. It takes courage and humility to face the Truth and live in it. But that is the only foundation on which we may build something that lasts.
Tags: truth, faith, science, lies, ignorance, delusion, hypothesis, adaptability
Brian serves as the Equipping Pastor at Petra. Brian also serves as part of the Sunday morning teaching team. You may also hear him teaching in various other ministry settings, using his Bible study and teaching gifts to bless others.
Before coming on staff at Petra in 2010, Brian and his wife Kristina served as missionaries for four years with Eagles’ Wings Ministry in Clarence, NY. Brian has a BA in Biblical Studies and studied at Jerusalem University College in Israel for a semester.
The Flewellings are thrilled with their three children: Ariana, Sophia, and Elliot. When not involved in ministry or family life, Brian enjoys hiking, reading, and relaxing with friends.
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