I struggle with the right words for this. I struggle with how to respond. I struggle with gaining any type of understanding of this – anything that would allow me to connect with those who embrace this way of thinking and believing.
I struggle with how people become so attached to the idea that they are right that they will sacrifice literally everything in order to maintain a belief that they are right. This irrational attachment causes people to go through incredible lengths to attempt to bend reality to one’s belief just so they do not have to deal with the idea that they are wrong. I have read articles about family members who have rejected other family members over political beliefs – not just fighting about these things, but actual rejection and shunning of family members. There’s something seriously wrong with this when an attachment to a political party, politician, and ideology (all things that don’t care about you one ounce) become more important to you than family members.
When people get hoodwinked or realize they are conned, too many will come up with some kind of strange reasoning that convinces themselves that what they experience is actually far different. For many, admitting they were wrong is too painful to deal with. Which is sad. There is no growth with such responses. Too many would rather be wrong and screwed over, losing possessions and relationships rather than admit they were wrong and have to deal with being uncomfortable and doing the hard work of self-examination.
This happens unfortunately because too many people have confused their identity with their beliefs. When this happens the consequences can be serious for a person. If a belief falls apart, or is proven false, the person who holds it sees any question about the belief as an attack on themselves. So they dig in and defend what they believe because they confuse their beliefs with their identity. If a belief falls, then so does the person.
This isn’t new though. The ancients had a similar idea. Ancient civilizations believed that the nation and their god(s) were intimately tied together – their fates were interlocked. If one fell, so did the other.
I don’t understand this way of thinking though. I understand it from the stand point of studying it. No different than I understand how propaganda works. But I don’t understand the attachment to propaganda and actually believing it. Then again, maybe I’m just blind to the propaganda that I do buy into. I don’t know.
Here’s what I do know when it comes to identity, belief, and Jesus – that when we claim the mantle of Christianity, then our identity is centered in Jesus. Every other identity, loyalty, and allegiance is not just secondary, but subservient, to the claim of identity in Jesus.
This means that when one of these subservient and secondary identities and beliefs makes a demand on me, I have an obligation to ask if what is being done conflicts with my primary identity in Jesus?
If it is, then I am under no obligation to carry out it out. I should probably resist it. I should question my own beliefs
Maybe I’m not so uncertain about people’s blindness after all. I’m making a similar argument. The difference is where the identity is pointed towards – Jesus or something/someone else. After that, it’s the same process. Maybe I just don’t understand why anyone would choose something or someone over God. Maybe this has to do with people’s concept of God and Jesus. Is God what we claim, or is God just some compartment in our lives? Is God the ultimate source, or just something that sounds nice? Is God the core, or just something else that we check boxes for? Is God transformative, or asleep and not caring about us or creation?
The answers to these questions lays a groundwork in our lives. The answers dictate what faith actually means to us and for our lives. The answers shed light on our true identity.
There are many things I don’t understand. Maybe what I don’t understand about this whole topic is this – a lack of desire to grow, to learn, to endeavor to be better. For me, staying the same is a death sentence. Living things grow, change, transform, adapt, correct, and move. It’s one of the signs of life. Why wouldn’t you want to be alive? What comfort is there in death or an orientation towards death?