Page 9 - February 2018 - Truth & Tidings
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Adam’s mind (Gen 3:8). With the invasion   for who you are is as necessary as the
        of sin into the human soul and into the   breath you breathe. Terms such as self-
        world, a polarizing alteration occurred.   actualization, self-fulfillment, and expres-
        Man became a self-centered being. Adam’s   sive individualism are now part of the
        first excuse for his failure was to blame   psychological jargon of talk show hosts
        Eve, and by subtle inference, to blame God:   and self-made philosophers. All of these
        “The woman whom Thou                              terms suggest a longing
        gavest to be with me,     What the 21st           desire to follow one’s own
        she gave me of the tree                           path and define one’s own
        …” (Gen 3:12, KJV). Eve,   century has            identity, refusing to rec-
        likewise, infected with                           ognize any constraints or
        the same deadly virus,   changed is that          social taboos. As well, the
        in a vain attempt at self-                        Word of God has no right
        preservation, blamed the   selfishness is         to limit who you are. This
        serpent and hid behind                            spirit of liberation permits
        the fact that she was “be- now viewed as          people who may have felt
        guiled” (Gen 3:13, KJV).     virtuous             “repressed”  by  societal
        From that moment on,                              norms or social sanctions,
        our default position as                           to express everything and
        natural, unregenerate human beings, has   anything, without fear. This expressive
        been self.                           individualism rejects any external code
          Thus, selfishness is not something intro-  which would impose itself on the indi-
        duced into the 21st century psyche. It has   vidual. No requirements or demands can
        been the central issue between God and   now be placed by society on the individual;
        man since the fall. That trait, however, was   no moral code can be imposed which you
        tempered by many factors throughout the   must obey. Find your own path. Be your
        centuries. It would exhibit itself at various   own person. Become the “real me.” The
        stages of our history, at times in horrifying   authority of self is celebrated and all else
        reality, in various individuals. But for the   is demeaned, if not despised.
        most part, cultures with their values, and   The major difference between the in-
        the ethics of most societies stifled the ar-  dividualism which marked nations and
        rogant expression of self. Most often, self   cultures in past generations and the ex-
        was sacrificed for the good of a community   pressive individualism which now reigns
        or society; or it morphed into public service   is that, previously, individualism viewed
        with a view toward self-gratification. In   personal success as something which was
        short, it could be dressed up in fine clothes   good for both society and self. The indi-
        and made to look presentable in the fash-  vidualism of the 21st century, in contrast,
        ionable moral societies of the day.  puts self at the center of the universe. All
          What the 21st century has changed is   that now matters is self. Rules, biblically-
        that selfishness is now viewed as virtu-  based ethics, and social constraints, are
        ous. To be yourself and assert who you   viewed as threats to the ability to arrive at
        are is courageous and honorable. To look   the “real me.”
        out for yourself and assure that you are   This worldview has resulted in the glo-
        appreciated, recognized, and accepted   rification of those who have “come out”
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