Prompted by some things I’ve been reading and conversations I’ve been having, there is a burning concern on my heart that forces its way to this post.
Since the beginning of time, Satan has used a deceitful and powerful weapon to catch people in a web of self-pity and “victim mentality”. It continues like gangrene through our present day and we are so tantalized by its “gentle force” that all of us are susceptible.
We call it “humanism” now, and its tenets are rooted in “self-fulfillment, misguided compassion and self-interest”. The trickiest thing about this other religion is that it uses our natural regard and feelings of compassion and protection of others to accomplish a deeper, sinister end.
Humanism has invaded the church as well. It hides behind gentle-sounding, spiritual phrases and often grossly distorts the definition of grace. It has re-painted our picture of Christ and conveniently whittles away the uncomfortable traits of his character that demand of us self-sacrifice and repentance.
Those words have no place in the humanist’s vocabulary. They invoke “guilt and shame”, they say.
Why does this concern you and me? Because it is probably one of the most subtle, dangerous influences in our lives. We can so easily be swept up by its silver-tongued proponents (and remember, Satan doesn’t have horns and a forked tail; he comes as an angel of light).
We love being victims so much that we live in a society that has effectively turned every sin into a neat “disorder”. There is little teaching about taking responsibility for one’s actions and putting blame squarely where blame is due. Instead, we can always find a scapegoat to blame our problems on–another person, our parents, our church, or a hereditary “disease”.
Do not let your children develop a victim mentality. It not only destroys them, but everyone around them. And guard your own life from it. Be ever so discerning about the things your read and the teaching you allow to affect you. Pay close attention to “feeling-evoking” conversations. Don’t be baited by questions that allow your mind to search for someone to blame for your problems. We could all be victims if we allowed ourselves. (Though I disagree a lot with Dr. Phil, he hits this point on the head.)
There is a real kind of abuse in the world. I’m no stranger to it, having grown up caring for children all our lives who came from abused homes. Some abuse is hidden and some do suffer in silence. That abuse needs to be dealt with. But I’ve seen “the abusing of abuse”, meaning, the word “abuse” thrown around carelessly to manipulate, slander or destroy other people, groups and churches.
Real abuse has existed and will exist until the end of time. There are abusers in every strata of society, church and family. It sickens me when the sinfulness of a man or woman is blamed on a larger, healthy institution. If a husband abuses his wife, it doesn’t make the institution of marriage wrong. If a parent abuses his child it doesn’t make parenthood wrong. If a parent from a large family abuses his children, it doesn’t make the idea of large families wrong, it makes the abuser wrong. If a husband of a family who claims to believe that “the husband is the head of the wife” abuses his wife, it doesn’t make the Scriptural teaching of headship (where the husband is called to lay down his life for his wife) wrong. It makes him wrong. We must always default to the truth of Scripture and never alter a teaching because of those who would abuse said teaching!
God’s Word is our standard. Always. Anything that veers from that, no matter how lovely it sounds, is inherently evil, veiled in light.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16