Friday, September 05, 2008

Slight Correction

Okay, so I thought my last post was making an interesting point, but as I considered it more, there's a disconnect between exposing the holes in our perception and being a false witness. I mean, if you outright lie to me about something I'm completely ignorant of, I have no information to compare to in order to determine its legitimacy. That individual didn't weasel through our perception at all, unless we just gullibly believe anything we hear, see, or sense, in general. So really, the two concepts of our perceptions being deceived and false witnessing are connected at the moment when our minds decide what to do with information when we receive it.

For example, let's say someone we don't know says something we know nothing about. It could be the complete truth, partial truth, or a flat out lie. "Bob got drunk last night," the person says. Or perhaps, "Spain has the world's largest cathedral." We may immediately put the information in a holding pattern until we can verify for ourselves. Or we might use what common sense we have on the subject to determine. Or we may look to visual cues to help us, such as the talebearer's eyes, their style of their dress, the amount they're sweating, the tone of their voice, etc. Either way, that information of the whole event has been inserted into our mind, the statement, the tone, the look, or whatever. What are we going to do with it?

With a magician, he may use illusion to make you think he walked through a wall or made a bird disappear. Our senses and brain scream at us saying that it couldn't have happened. But we just saw it with our own eyes. Or we just saw what the magician wanted us to see. Deception is tricky (haha!) that way. If a pathological liar chooses to try and deceive us, how ready are we to believe it? Not likely. How about our own mother or father or spouse? Far more so. Even our children? "I didn't do it!" How ready are we to put every thought we have about what we sense to the test? In the end, and this may seem weird to say, we choose to be deceived. I'm not even sure I fully agree with that statement. So maybe I'll rephrase it to something like, we choose to continue to be deceived. It's the old, "Fool me once..."

So how does this apply? If we see a minister walking out of a bar with a woman, we may be flabbergasted. Now, do we have a bit of a grudge against him and want to see him mess up? If so, we might think to ourselves, "I always knew he wasn't that good." Or if we know he's a good person, do we confront him and see what really happened? As it might turn out, the minister may have been helping remove the woman, who was having severe personal problems, from a bad situation. Do we bother to find out, or do we continue to live with whatever we think? Or if it's none of our business, do we try not to dwell on it? Do we tell someone else about it?

Similarly, if we've been keeping Christmas or Sunday all of our lives and find out about the Sabbath and Holy Days, what do we do? "Well, I prefer getting gifts and not riling up the family, so I'll stay put," some might say. Others may see the Truth and follow it, realizing that it produces much more long-term happiness than the lie did.

I bring this up because as I learn more as a Christian, I have found that I become, for lack of a better term, un-ignorant about something sinful that I like to do. In other words, God reveals to me His righteous judgment on something and waits to see how I handle it. He even throws in memories of the countless times that the very action hurt myself and others, memories I didn't see in this new context, even though it might have been pleasurable for the moment. Satan found a way to blindside me for years through the loopholes in my perception, whether it was fooling my senses, using my selfish pride or attacking my lack of knowledge and wisdom. However, once called, God supplies us the insight, the way the "magic trick" works, so to speak. Once we know the trick, is it still as incredible to us? Now that we know, should we continue to sin or poke around in places and ways we know we shouldn't?

For me, magic acts have become less mysterious because I know some of the techniques used by illusionists. However, it's fun to watch these talented magicians perform their act flawlessly on others. It's even more amazing when they catch me looking and make me fall for something. But when it comes to Satan, the Master Illusionist, it's not so fun watching him pull a fast one on humanity. And it's unfortunate that I still participate in activities I know are wrong just because of passing pleasure or habit. They certainly aren't nearly as fun anymore. But I always seem to find happiness when I choose to give up the sin that God has enlightened me to understand.

So my question is, when you find out how a Satanic trick works, what are you going to do about it?

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