Becoming Human; Changing the Choice for Deception

Becoming Human; Changing the Choice for Deception

Larry Kirkpatrick

2014-05-11 19:39

Australian Julian Assange has been in the news lately. His website, Wikileaks.ch, has revealed thousands of pages of state secrets. He has embarrassed the powerful. Who would be surprised if suddenly we heard that he had experienced a terrible accident? Hear these lines from his 2006 blog:

People gain pleasure and power in spreading certain beliefs and certain beliefs are easy to spread. They don’t look for the truth because they want to preserve this pleasure. . . like most people, you prefer to please and deceive. . . . By ‘you’ I mean the entire ensemble, not merely that part [of you] which processes words. To be human is to deceive. All human beings are great self-deceivers. . . They deceive themselves so that they may deceive others, and, having tasted this pleasure, return to lap at its fountain (Julian Assange, personal blog excerpt, from IQ.org, 2006-07-17).

According to Assange, people choose deception. They wish to preserve their beliefs, whether right or wrong. They are determined not only to construct but maintain reality as they prefer it to be.

I think Assange is right. This is exactly how people are. It is true of me; it is true of you.

And yet, we cannot be satisfied to be, in essence, beings of deception. Your life is more than a short skit involving self-deception. We are here to choose the opposite. Life is an opportunity to decide to become human. For, we are not human until we have found freedom from deception; until our lives testify unmistakably for truth.Becoming-Human-Life-in-Jesus 12

There is such a thing as objective truth—facts about the universe in which we live that are true whether we want them to be true or not. For example, a bird cannot be red and non-red all over at the same time. Two plus two always equals four. You cannot argue that you cannot argue.

While these objective truths are self-evident, other truths are not. There are truths deeply-interlaced in reality which, if we are to benefit from them, must be handed to us. I propose to you that there is a personal God who created humankind with a purpose: so that we may become human. More than this, the God whom I describe to you created this world and broke through into it from beyond, and has revealed this reality in a body of writings which He has preserved and delivered to us. That body of writings is called the Bible. The Bible changes people; it transforms them. God wants to make us whole as people. We call this salvation. Anything short of this means a failure to become human. Those who become truly human are changed and will continue as individuals for all time. That is what is at stake.

This book tells me that God made humankind in God’s image, in His own likeness. That is, we are distinct persons. We can think for ourselves. We can choose which values to appreciate the most—unselfishness or domination. And, we can act according to those values.

This book also tells me that God created humankind, and that although we were created without a preference for evil, that when our ancestors disobeyed, the human race was weakened. It became especially prone to behaviors that are self-destructive. It became inclined to self-deception. Worse than this, humans develop into rebels against all of the moral values that God has built into the universe. People make themselves into His enemies. They choose to become dangerous, self-centered, murderous creatures. When they have committed themselves to this, there is nothing more that He can do. He respects the free will that He has given men. He permits them to choose what they will become.

But some, offered a different path, desire that which is different. They want to be kind and generous, to do right things, to exist in harmony with each another. They desire to change from the path of rebellion to the path of wholeness. They desire to become human.

Those who desire to be whole have two needs. (1) Forgiveness by God, the personal Being whom they have rebelled against, and (2) transformation—they need to become whole. God has acted so that all who desire these two things can have them.

How?

The infinite, eternal God, existing in three distinct persons (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), sent Jesus to become as human as we are. Jesus left behind powers of Deity and came to earth to live as a mortal man. He lived without sinning—without becoming a rebel against right. Then, unselfishly, He took upon Himself all the sins of humankind, and became our Substitute. He was slain on the cross and there made atonement for us.

Because He was innocent, His life was a perfect offering. The Father accepted it for us. Because He was innocent, the Father called Him forth from the grave and He returned to heaven. He offers to every person who wants it the benefit of what He has done. He forgives sin and transforms us so that we are changed. He takes struggling rebels and as they cooperate with Him, He changes them. They become truly human at last!

The Bible says that because God became a man (Jesus), He knew what was in man (John 2:24, 25). Much of Christianity represents Jesus as some kind of alien being very different from the rest of us. But the Bible portrays Him as one of us. He came down from heaven and lived among us. His humanity was subject to the same tendencies as our own. But He resisted the tendencies inwrought in His body and lived life as a whole person. He demonstrated how we can be transformed, how we can become unselfish as He was.

If we have never chosen to follow His pattern, it is still true that we have an inborn desire for the right. It is part of how people are made. And yet, we do not want to part with our habits, our desire to create our own reality and to have what we want and to dominate others. We are spiritually bi-polar. We love to do what is wrong yet we also want to do right. Many want to be reconciled with God but they also want some credit for reconciling with Him.

We want to be changed but on our own terms. We hate the idea, as all men do, of being dependent on someone else and unable to reciprocate. And so, we attempt to get right with God by improving ourselves, or, on the basis of good things that we do. This is the mistake of self-atonement, self-salvation. Beware a religion of self-salvation! God saves us; our part is simple cooperation with Him. We cannot save ourselves. Jesus changes us. He transforms us by His Word.

At this point, you ask, what is this Word? Is it magic?

The way that God changes men is by a power that is outside of us. It comes from beyond us. It is the same power He used to create worlds. But we do not gain access to this power by repeating certain sentences or sayings. We admit to Him that we have done inhuman things. We admit that we have done wrong, that we have sinned, and tell Him honestly that we now want to copy the pattern He showed us. We tell Him that we want to become like Jesus.

In order to become like Jesus we must learn how Jesus lived and what He taught. But we must be ready. The values that He lived by differ greatly from what we are used to. We must be willing to surrender our deception-based reality for His unselfishness-based one. There is one place where we see what that is—the Bible. If we persist in looking at the life of Jesus, we will be transformed.

The words of Julian Assange warn us. We are always becoming. But the only way to become anything besides a living deception is to become like Jesus. My appeal to you today is to avoid all lesser representations of Christianity. If you want to be transformed, to become human, consider receiving Bible studies, and finding out about this Jesus.

 

© 2011 by GreatControversy.org. GCO grants permission to individuals, wholeheartedly encouraging them to copy and reproduce documents and files appearing on this site, in an unaltered state, and for non-commercial use, unless otherwise noted. All other rights reserved. Other groups or entities wishing to reproduce these materials are encouraged to contact us with reproduction requests.

 

 

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