HOW TO AVOID INSANITY

When you hear about some of the things being said and done in our world today, do you wonder if perhaps people have gone out of their minds? Prosperity is destructive? Men can have babies? You can choose your gender?

We all know (or at least, not long ago we all knew) that a man who thinks he is a fish is probably suffering some kind of mental imbalance, and we say that he’s insane. But insanity extends further than just to those whose brains, through damage, become physically sick: insanity can come from faulty, illogical thought processes, or even from spiritual deception or attack.

G.K. Chesterton, in his book “Orthodoxy”, argues that insanity occurs when a person intentionally closes off the mind to other possibilities, and thereby becomes locked in a loop of destructive logic. He includes materialism in his summary of philosophies which produce insanity.

Those who accuse me of being out of my right mind by believing the gospel of Jesus Christ, themselves make the mistake of forgetting that I have seen both sides of the fence when it comes to faith: they have only seen one. The early part of my life, when I believed nothing in particular and ignored God, was filled with stupid mistakes and confused logic. The latter part, after I became a believer, was far more organized, productive and goal oriented. I haven’t lost anything worth having: I’ve benefited from faith.

That’s not at all to say that unbelievers are not capable of being sensible or organized in their thinking: of course they can. What I’m saying is that the lack of direction, and the lack of moral compass in my own life as a youth led to one disaster after another, and it was faith in God, and the guidance of Biblical Scriptures, which put my feet on solid ground. The accusation that faith and logic are opposites is itself a total fallacy: the two can go hand in hand perfectly.

During the term of the last American president, his enemies, determined to dispose of him in any way possible, painted he and his followers as hate-filled racists. I know for sure that that isn’t true: he isn’t , and they aren’t, and I’m not. But among a certain section of the population the accusation stuck. Republicans, insist those on the left, are racists, and misogynists and trans-phobic. They hate everyone who isn’t exactly like them. These accusations stirred up racial strife, rather than helping to end it. So-called anti-racist riots throughout America destroyed cities, businesses and lives. The perpetrators are themselves ringleaders of division. They are, by their intent to trash truth and replace it with their lies, a cause of the very hatred they accuse others of. Their lies and their hatred of those who they disagree with, has caused them to lose their minds and their sense of reason.

It’s now getting to the point where the target of some of their hatred is Christianity, and followers of Jesus Christ who refuse to see things their way. Slavery was in the past, and the Western world was largely professing to be Christian at that time, they note, and they then go on to a fallacious conclusion: Christianity is the cause of slavery and all the racism we see today. Never mind that the most prominent abolitionists were professing Christians. Instead the revisionists use the kind of logic which begets violence and vilification. It doesn’t heal anything-it ruptures and tears apart. It destroys. It takes dignity, unity, respect and peace away, all for the sake of gaining political advantage, and money.

Peter wrote the following:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).

Ultimately, the author of division and hatred is the devil himself. But Scripture counsels us to be of sound mind. We live in a world where our enemy is out to destroy, and we need to be on the lookout for attacks which come in many forms.

Jesus, upon casting demons from those who were under their power, left them in peace and sanity:

When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid (Luke 8:35).

I’ve been a believer for a few decades now, and I’ve noticed that in the times when I’ve been backslidden and rebellious, I’ve made very bad decisions and choices. My actions have been destructive, and I’ve come to regret them later, when I was in my believing and right mind. It’s only when I’m following my Lord closely, and when I’m seeking Him for wisdom and guidance, that my life has been on an even keel, and when the world has made sense to me and those around me. It’s only when I know in my heart, and in my mind, that I have been created by an incredible being who loves me and has standards for me to live by, and a future for me to look forward to, that I can have a sound mind, and live at peace with Him and myself, and with other people.

Paul wrote about a culture which had completely turned its back on the Creator. The rejection of the truth of creation leads to a debauched and decaying society:

“…they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles (Romans 1:21-23).

Rejection of the creator leads to foolishness. You can see that playing out in our world today. If there is no creator, neither is there any objective truth to guide us as individuals or as a society. Anything goes. Your idea of truth is alright for you, just so long as you’re sincere, its said. Take that logic to its natural end, and murder is truth, if you want to see it that way-and who’s to argue? Ripping babies from wombs is a good thing, we’re told. Oh really? The creator sees it a different way, because He has His very own view of right and wrong, independent of ours:

Woe to those who call evil good
    and good evil,
who put darkness for light
    and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
    and sweet for bitter
(Isaiah 5:20).

Paul proceeds to write that God eventually hands a rebellious people over to the foolishness and the insanity they are determined to pursue:

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done (Romans 1:28).

When people lie brazenly on television in front of millions of those who depend on them or in front of their fellow politicians; when they insist that killing the unborn is a good thing; when they claim that a man can have a baby and that women can become men, and when they insist that life created itself from nothing even though there is no evidence of it happening, it’s a sign that we are living in a time when God has handed over the culture to its own insanity, and to the consequences it will lead to.

What’s the remedy? How do we avoid going the way of the masses who are being led to their own destruction?

We believe the words of our savior, who said to the Father:

 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth (John 17:17).

We take note and take to heart what Jesus himself quoted from the Torah:

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4:4).

Finally, we believe our God, avoiding the temptation to go our own way, which leads only to insanity.

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