I’ve noticed, and maybe you as well, the many medical and psychological explanations offered through the media (which makes me suspicious already) about why we behave certain ways. What I find interesting, and a bit frightening, are claims that much of our behavior (soon to be all if the trend continues) is governed by factors out of our control, like genetics, or brain ‘wiring’, for example. Although these theories are presented with only very small research support, premature you might say, they are nevertheless offered as important discoveries. And I have to point out that while I’m sure the ones doing this research think they are really on to something, all this is not really new; the Gnostics held similar views and without knowledge of genetics at that; but I digress.
Note carefully what is happening: the mere suggestion we might not be responsible for our aberrant behaviors is enough to both excuse them as ‘not our fault’ and indulge in them because we are preconditioned to act this way so we may as well not put up a fuss.
The point is that these kinds of suggestions provide an alternative to the idea of personal sin and, because, so they say, we are driven along by conditions (like genetics or brain wiring) beyond our control, an alternative form of forgiveness is provided as well. What these ‘movements’ are doing along with their suggestions is offering substitutions. So, instead of being morally responsible for our aberrant behavior (sin) we are merely ‘sick in the head’ and require medical or psychological help (or in extreme cases, be institutionalized) while also excused from any guilt for these behaviors (forgiveness) because we were born this way.
So, there are movements afoot that seek to absolve human beings from any sense of guilt and preserve their self-esteem against such supposedly harsh points of view like Christianity with all its talk about an offended righteous God, the universal sinful nature of humanity, judgment against sin, heaven and hell and the like. At this point it seems there is still enough resistance to these ideas that their influence is minimal (it seems much more widespread and influential in Europe). But, not for long; advocates of these ‘suggestions’ are relentless and I think driven by behind-the-scenes forces they can scarcely imagine. In fact, such ‘suggestions’ are perfect to the task of keeping people in darkness and Wormwood would be pleased (a lead character in C.S. Lewis’, The Screwtape Letters).
So, what should we do? I propose we at the very least suggest otherwise against all these suggestions with the truth of the Gospel. With the help and power of the Spirit, it is the most powerful ‘suggestion’ of all. We should also be alert to these ‘scientific discoveries’ and know others will follow. Such watchfulness will insure that the enemies at our gates will not gain a foothold. Finally, we should never allow ourselves to be intimidated by any alternative views that contradict what we know to be the truth. This will insure we remain free because knowing the Truth (read Jesus) always frees the mind and heart from bondage.