Seven Characteristics of the Deluded

No one wants to live inside of lies. All of us are doing the best we can with what we believe is true. But what if the light we think we have is actually darkness.  Jesus warned us that when you treat the darkness in you as if it is light, that darkness will overwhelm you. (Matthew 6:23)

I’ve lived most of my life deluded.  First, by the lies of sin that promised a fulfillment it couldn’t bring, then by false religious teaching that God needed me to perform well to earn his love and blessing. It’s only in the last twenty-five years that I’ve watched God slowly help me recognize the difference between what is true inside of him and what is not true inside myself. It has been an amazing journey and it’s still ongoing. I continue to wake up to the increasing light in my journey and continue to shed the lies that have sought to control me.

Over the last few years, I’ve watched many people I know sink into darkness, genuinely believing the lies of politicians, alleged dreams and visions of religious leaders who don’t know my Father’s heart, and Internet posts from Russian troll farms and QAnon. I am convinced that a great delusion has gone into the world to disempower God’s people. These are people I love, and to watch them manipulated by a clever deception that appeals to their fears and hopes makes my heart hurt.

I know how easy it is to misinterpret the times especially when we feel afraid and vulnerable. It isn’t easy to watch your culture move away from the moral underpinnings you prefer or to feel despised, ignored, and belittled by the national media or called “deplorables” by leftist politicians. It makes it easy to gravitate toward those who offer easy answers and not realize that the freedom we cherish cannot come at the expense of oppressing others we don’t like.

Of course, I know many think I’m the one who is deluded. All you have to do is look at the comments many made to my Facebook post in the aftermath of the insurrection at the Capitol last week, and how President Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election have triggered the fears and anger of many people. I was accused of all sorts of things, told I was deceived, and even had my faith questioned. Don’t feel badly for me. People’s attempts to shame or manipulate me don’t have a place to land in me anymore. I am more concerned for the pain that causes them to lash out so carelessly.

I listen carefully, because I don’t consider myself above a few well-placed delusions myself. That’s why I’m in constant conversations with people locally and around the world about these things to check my thoughts as to whether they are flowing from Jesus’ heart or my own thoughts. And, if it turns out I’m wrong about any of this, I’ll get to admit it, to apologize, and change accordingly.

We all have to live by the light we have, but we also need to ensure that the light we think we have is light. There are extremist groups right and left that want to use the polarization in our culture to tear us apart, but I thought almost all of my evangelical friends would think an armed assault on the Capitol was a bridge too far.  Apparently, for many it wasn’t.  Neither is it enough to know that those who claimed God told them through dreams, prophecies, or a voice that President Trump would win a second term were prophesying their own hopes, not God’s.

I’m not writing this article for those of you who have yet to see through this delusion. Time will tell, you know. It always does. Lies never stand up to reality, but that may take awhile to sort out. I’m writing this for people who are questioning their own conclusions and wondering what God sees in all of this. How can we know when events unfold if we’re being lured into a delusion or finding a way into the truth?

This is why character is so important to me. When I gauge another person’s perspective, I take stock of the fruit of their life. I tend to distrust the voices of fearful, angry people, who mock and make accusations when people disagree with them. I look for those who demonstrate a passion for what’s true, humility in their own exploration of it, and generosity toward others with whom they disagree. They take the search for truth seriously, but hold it lightly realizing no one has a corner on it, especially them. They live confidently inside what they know, but are always open to new evidence that might change their perception of truth

Over a lifetime of wrestling with truth in my own heart and decades of helping others heal from involvement in religious cults, political manipulations, and toxic relationships, I have observed these seven characteristics in people who are unknowingly living under delusion:

First, they see their side as all good, and other side as all evil.

They don’t realize that humanity is a mix both of the honorable and dishonorable and that is reflected in each of us as well. I liked many of the policies President Trump put in place but at the same time I was dismayed at his arrogance and toxicity in working with others, even on his own staff. In my Facebook comment section last week, you’ll see people say that those in the Capitol were from Antifa, that their side wouldn’t do that. When those arrested all turned out to be Trump supporters, then the story shifted to that’s how frustrated the other side has made us. We’re all a mix. Some of our intentions are good and some are selfish and we’re not always the best ones to sort that out, but sort it out we must.

Second, someone expressing disagreement makes them visibly angry.

I think this is true because intuitively they know they are caught in something that isn’t quite true, so feeling threatened makes them angry. They lash out with false accusations and attempts to shame others as a way to bolster their confidence. If they were truly confident, however, they wouldn’t resort to such things. Disagreement never puts someone beyond the reach of love and kindness unless you’re insecure.

Third, they refuse to consider that they might be wrong.

Honest questions threaten the false comfort they have built for themselves. It’s like the young girl who falls in love with her dreamy boyfriend. She thinks he can do no wrong. And even after he hits her, or cheats on her, she will blame herself for ticking off the dreamy boyfriend, rather than reconsider whether her knight on a white horse may not be such a knight after all. If you’re growing, you are always wondering where you might be wrong and learning what you can to bring your life more in line with his.

Fourth, they eliminate conflicting inputs.

All cults isolate people from family and friends and other groups because they know the delusion is so fragile it won’t stand up to real life. They can’t be around people who question them and must get their version of “accurate” information from approved sources. This is why both right and left advocates have ended up in separate media silos. They can only read what affirms their bias. Truth is not that fragile. Growth-minded people question their conclusions every day as they pick up new information and grow inside the truth God is giving to them over a lifetime.

Fifth, they believe in the infallibility of their leader or their own thinking.

They embrace every word from their pastor, author, political leader, or guru not realizing that we are all flawed. No one speaks with absolute truth, even if they quote a Scripture or cite a dream as proof. If you give the aura of infallibility to anyone, you are only hiding from your own need of discernment.

Sixth, they cast aspersions on people’s faith or motives that won’t agree with them.

This is truly a defensive position. When they can no longer answer your questions, they will attack you or question your relationship with God. Assuming you know someone else’s motives is particularly heinous since no one can disprove their motives. They can’t keep the conversation about ideas because they are afraid their arguments will not hold up.

Seventh, they justify their bad behavior by pointing out how bad their opponents are.

No, President Trump has not been fairly treated by Democratic leadership but for the most part he has played into their hands as well.  I get this from a political standpoint, but for those of us who claim to be ambassadors of a different kingdom, we can’t take our cues from the worst examples among us. Just because I’m unfairly treated does not give me the right to do the same to others. Jesus called us to love in the face of attack, to lay down our lives for the good of the other, not to demand our own way.

If you want to know the truth about these things, you will. God’s Spirit is faithful to reveal it to those looking for it. The last word on all this has not yet been written. Something of God is afoot in all of this inviting the tenderhearted out of the delusions that have disfigured them. It may hurt a bit when that happens, but the fruit of living in God’s reality is worth whatever cost it takes to get there. I pray all of us will have eyes to see and ears to hear what he is saying in all of this.

40 thoughts on “Seven Characteristics of the Deluded”

  1. Amen, Wayne. I salute your courage and gentleness in encouraging brothers to check the mirror. If nothing else we need to turn down the volume and adjust our focus. Keep the faith!

  2. I was just thinking how blatantly it is our face “what is right is called wrong and what is wrong is called right” and what I think is the “wrong being called right” is Trump being blamed for inciting the insurrection and needing to be impeached. I am not a huge cheerleader of Trump I consider myself independent but for a President to tell people to remain peaceful and not want any violence and then be blamed even voted to be impeached because one percent of the protesters broke the law is insane to me. The mainstream media is almost all lies right now it’s hard to know the “truth” anymore without true journalism. My brother was at the rally due to states not allowing evidence of serious abnormalities in election vote to be seen in court. My brother said it was completely peaceful with no incitation and didn’t even know the capitol had been breached that’s how small percentage of people did such destruction. The congress wasn’t at the time to vote yet when the breach happened it was at the time of debate as many were wanting to debate…they were expecting 15 hours worth of debate left and my brother said Trump invited the people to be of encouragement to those debating for them to have courage. If I was a leader at a protest and some decided to burn down the block of businesses as many cities had this year it would be sad if I was seriously reprimanded due to others breaking the law. The coronavirus lockdowns are also I believe a huge deception and I pray that the Bride (including myself) can be alert but most of all I am comforted everyday that we are citizens of Heaven, citizens of His government that shall never end, that we are that beautiful city that splashes with joy the River of Life. I love Him and am SO thankful that as hard as the natural things in this world are pushed in our face, may our eyes fix on Kingdom of Heaven Vision and nothing is new under the sun for years “what is right has been called wrong and what is wrong has been called right”…corruption in politics and this world has always been but our faith is incorruptible.
    I pray the Bride can soak in Jesus more and more, enjoy Him, that we may know Him more and more with all discernment and not be in any delusion.

    1. Respectfully, I disagree. This is not about whether Trump incited the people to invade the Capitol in his speech; this is the result of his rhetoric over the last two months claiming he won by a landslide but that the election was stolen even though he could offer no proof of that and got caught begging the Secretary of State from Georgia to “find him 11,780 votes.” The anger he has tapped in his followers goes way beyond the Capitol.Many I know blamed it on Antifa or justified it by anger from the right, but for some reason they can’t see how President Trump has stoked the fires of this anger for political gain. I don’t think he ever thought his followers would storm the Capitol, but I do think he is culpable for the lies he told.

      1. We both well know Trump has been ACTIVELY stoking this flame – until it burst into a massive bon-fire and then a forest fire that burned out of control.

        Trump should be very terrified – but, sadly, the delusion – mainly due to gullible, partisan (God hates partisanship) religious people – will provide a bulwark against him being held accountable for the destruction he has created and hate he has engendered.

        At the same time, as important – we need to note that Trump is a SYMPTOM of the disease infesting evangelicalism – NOT the problem.

        Thanks for your essay –

        Greg Logan

      2. Thank you, it’s healthy to disagree respectfully, as I also disagree respectfully:). I think many people even without listening and to trump could see the severe abnormalities and wanted him to fight for their votes…then many of those states did not even allow the evidence to be heard. Many of Trumps statements are taken out of context and his transcript of the rally can be found on duck duck go search engine from rev.com. They just wanted the states a chance to legally certify as they thought evidence was not allowed.
        I do think there is rampant corruption on every side. It does surprise me how believers can see current events so differently but that’s okay as long as we are listening and yielding to our First Love. More and more I am beckoned to His government and Kingdom that shall have no end. With love, Victoria

      3. Respectfully, I disagree Wayne. In your Post on January 6 on Facebook I believe you said “President Trump should be held responsible for the storming and occupation of the Capital today.” I have reviewed his speech. At the end of his speech Trump told people to march over peacefully and patriotically. If less than obvious, violent rhetoric can be used to blame others’ individual choices, we have a lot of people going to jail in the past year.

        There is evidence that the Capital was breached at least 20 minutes before Trump finished talking. Also, I am not sure how his speech incited a riot when there are evidences suggesting there was concern for riots days before Trump spoke. Please see below article that suggests much further investigation is needed regarding the breach.

        https://justthenews.com/government/congress/three-critical-questions-about-capitol-siege-remain-unanswered

        I think your characterization of Trump’s Ga call is misleading. It was a 60-minute phone call citing many evidences of possible fraud that should be investigated. Trump laid out his concerns for at least 11,780 votes in question.

        You seem to suggest there is no evidence of fraud. As only one example, in Pennsylvania it appears 202,377 more votes were cast and counted then voters voting. Over 20 elected representatives in the state of PA signed off on the below document. Maybe they are all crazy! See below article:

        PA Lawmakers: Numbers Don’t Add Up, Certification of Presidential Results Premature and In Error | PA State Rep. Frank Ryan

        Unfortunately, Biden is not calling for an investigation though he says he wants to unite the country. Over 1000 affidavits have been filed regarding irregularities or fraud regarding the 2020 election. All who file affidavits risk jail because that is the penalty for lying under such an oath. Pretty risky! 147 House of Representatives men/women objected when Electoral College votes counted on January 6. They only wanted a 10-day commission panel chosen to examine the irregularities. I think such a move could more unite the country.

        I’m not saying you are wrong and I am right. I just think we could more unite the country with an open investigation if there is nothing to hide. Trump is clearly no saint. Since I don’t think any politician is God’s representative, I only want the truth concerning who was truly elected for this and future elections; otherwise, why vote?

        1. Let me explain why I think President Trump is responsible for the breach. Did he incite that crowd to do that? No. Did he think or hope they would do it? I doubt it. I hold him responsible in the same we we hold the couple responsible who had a gender reveal party in a field of dry grass that set off a blaze that destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres and people’s homes. Did the mean to start the fire? No. But they did something irresponsible in a dangerous environment. The polarization of our country is tinder-dry giving excuses to extremists both right and left to take up arms and act in violent ways in hopes of achieving their aims. And it’s absolutely true that the Democrats, the media, and many citizens share responsibility in provoking this tinder-dry climate in our national dialog. But President Trumps ongoing inability to accept the results of the election, and graciously concede to his opponent because he claimed without proof that he had won in a landslide and nefarious people stole the election through fraudulent means was the spark that set part of that field ablaze. His own Attorney General and Homeland Security director had said there was no evidence of fraud massive enough to change the results of the election. A healthy transfer of power is not capitulation on January 20 to a result you can’t change, but by helping to encourage your supporters to accept the results and have a go the next election. His bullying tactics and deceptions finally caught up to him in a way he could not foresee. And you’re taking an overly generous view of the call he made to the Georgian election officials. They felt bullied and threatened. If 200,000 more votes were recorded than cast in PA, I think we’ll find that out. Truth always has a way of making it to the light, and so far you have political people making the accusation, some say to stay in good graces with Trump supporters among their constituency, but it’s not proof that it actually happened. Let’s not forget both Republicans and Democrats count votes all across the US. If there was fraud this massive we would know it by now.

      4. That goes both ways. I know we cannot set up a man as the deliverer, the one who will lead us to the promise land, to do so is idolatry. I also know God uses people to bring about his plans, such as he has done with David and Cyrus, the latter being un unrighteous man. I have read the history of David, knowing the sins he has committed yet God called him a man after his heart.
        So l ask you, are you looking in the mirror as well, or are you and Mr Jacobson the only ones that know the will and purposes of God, so since you appear to echo that, could you please tell me.
        I believe you are the blind one here.

        1. Please don’t make this personal. I’ve listened for four years to the deluded fantasies of religious leaders. The idea that Donald Trump is a modern-day Cyrus to protect Christians from the big, bad world is nothing more than a thinly-veiled justification to cover his bullying, duplicity, and mockery. I’m not talking about his past failures, but his present-day bad character that does great damage in the world. I don’t go on the websites of those who blindly support Donald Trump and challenge them. They get their say, right or wrong. I get mine. I think I’ve made clear even in this article that I don’t have a corner on truth and am growing every day collecting evidence that either confirms what I feel or challenges it in a way that may make me rethink my conclusions. Comments like this don’t endear me to consider your point of view. I’ve heard this view a hundred times and talk deeply about it with people I know and I think the Cyrus analogy is part of the delusion. You are free to disagree.

      5. I believe you should get your facts from something other than CNN. You claim to be unbias yet you attack anyone that doesn’t align themselves with what you believe is the facts about the election., or should l say what CNN has to say about it.
        Millions of people are asking the courts simply to investigate to see if the allegations of voter fraud are true. If Biden has won the election fairly than that will bear out.
        I personally believe that President Trump is a Cyrus, an instrument that God will work through to allow the church to rise up to be who we are called to be, the salt of the earth and the light of the world.
        I do agree we are not to place him as the saviour of America and the free world, l did ask God to forgive me for doing that although l do believe he has been placed there for his purposes.
        I do object to you calling me deluded, actually you would do yourself a favor and check out scripture that speaks about judging.

        1. See #6 above. I have not watched one minute of CNN in the last fifteen years. But I do agree that God’s purposes unfold through all of us, either because we seek to follow him and awaken in the light or in spite of the fact that we’d rather server ourselves, especially people in positions of secular leadership.

    2. Victoria

      Your statement “The mainstream media is almost all lies right now” is simply a propaganda and bearing of false witness – which Yahweh hates (Prov 6). I listen to all sorts of media – 99% is exactly right on – the vast majority of mainstream media is engaged with great courage and determination to stand up against the establishment white house propaganda machine exactly as Wayne stated.

      It is easy to tell the difference between what is truth and lie – but you have to actually want the truth even though it will hurt your personal agenda. Perhaps the latter needs repentance and cleansing…

      Disappointed

      Greg

      1. Wow, I have never been told that before that I am bearing false witness and God hates me saying that mainstream media is all lies. You are the first person I know that believes the mainstream media is 99% telling the truth. I will pray about this in my life if that is something I am in error. I guess the transcripts that I read are different than what the media has taken out of context. I do my best to follow His Spirit and not be deceived. Many Christians are in definite varying positions and perspectives. I pray somehow we can listen and be led by His Truth, and the Bride walk united in His Love, Grace, and Truth. The room for grace in this conversation is narrow I feel. I have varying viewpoints but that’s okay, maybe its best I take a break for a while since my viewpoints differ so greatly.
        Victoria

        1. Please see #1 above! To say one media is all true the other all lies, is absurd. They may be trying to do the best with the facts they have but the bias in advocacy journalism has to have us all raising an eyebrow as we read. That’s why multiple media sources are critical. My assumption is about 70% of what’s in any national media is accurate and 30% is meant to manipulate me. Finding that 70% is critical as is dismissing the 30%. Look for facts, not interpretation. Just because some “say” or “fear” is not fact, it’s interpretation used to make the points they want but the people they talk too. Unfortunately no media these days is a fair and honest broker of the facts.

      2. Clearly you are deluded if you think that 99% of the mainstream media is exactly right on or courageous. I will concede that they have been determined, but the reason for their determination has not been what you think. Your question to Wayne (below) that implied that Trump was never treated unfairly is more proof of your delusion and frankly, laughable. I am neither a Trump lover nor hater and the unfair treatment was obvious to me or anyone with eyes to see and ears to truly hear. It’s unlikely I will ever return here so you need not bother replying.

  3. Wayne

    I would like to know exactly HOW Trump has been treated unfairly by the Democrats. I am unaware of any specific unfair treatment of man who as even Republicans acknowledged (prior to him gaining power – then their rank hypocrisy took over – as we all have seen many times… data available upon request).

    Thanks

    Greg Logan

    1. Seriously? They have tried to discredit from from Day 1, just like Trump and other Republicans did with Obama for eight years. Politics is a blood-sport these days and both sides do it. Trump is just the worst example by far of any other son the national stage.

  4. You took the words out of my mouth… in 1989 it was made alive in me that a season would come when there would be pressure on the global economy. Around then there would also be a spiritual battle whereby the ‘Holy’ Spirit of God would expose the corruption within the kingdoms of men to include finances, governments, politics, religion, science ect, giving each of us the opportunity to look within before Him and allow Him to reveal “the difference between what is true inside of Him and what is not true inside myself”. He also made alive within this would culminate in the greatest spiritual renaissance to date.

    Just before this, Father asked me to let go of my entire preconditioning as a part of being conformed into the image and likeness of His Son. The Spirit of delusion was part of that. It was a painful yet joyous process to go through with the conviction we cannot earn His love nor destroy it and we are all coming out of delusion and rebellion that entered through the Adamic nature.

    1. Thank you, Bren. Your second paragraph validates your first. To receive God’s perspective our own has to be faced and replaced (because it is sure to be off!) with His truth.

      Knowing this motivates us to humble ourselves before Him and let Him do a good work in us. Then we can have hope as man’s kingdoms are humbled and crumbled making way for that “greatest spiritual renaissance to date.”

      I had become wary of prophesies, but yours has put words to what I had been considering; considering because our God is the God of hope.

      This year I studied the exile to Babylon and the return to Jerusalem. God sent prophets to His people to warn them of the gross error of their idolatrous ways. The people ignored those prophets and exile was the result.

      It seems wiser to consider that God could be alerting the church to how we are deluded about our idolatry than that He is already bringing us back from Babylon these days.

  5. Yep, spot on. Onlooker from South Africa. Same old lies believed here and in Africa. Our continent is beset by a political and spiritual ‘guru mentality.’ Thanks for your bold and consistent stand, bro. Wayne.

  6. What you have written is so true Wayne, only as we invite Father to speak into the very depths of our hearts without being judged or feeling rejected can we see the shortcomings of our own choices and biases. You can allow that because you know you are loved and in turn your love and compassion grows for others whether they believe the same thing or not. His ways are not the way of the world!

  7. My 40-ish year-old Christian son displays all 7 characteristics of delusion that you’ve so aptly described. It has escalated to the point that he is attacking me personally for not espousing his extreme conservative political views and support of Trump. He is in denial about the identity of the Capitol rioters (“it was antifa”) and has accused the FBI–who have publicly stated that there’s no evidence the rioters were affiliated with antifa–of being a “leftist” organization. My son tries to bait me with provocative texts, which, if I ignore and don’t reply, accuses me of being “complicit” with godless communists who want to destroy our country. When I do reply (sometimes with links to factual sources) and always ending with “I love you”, it’s the same outraged response from him. For the record, I’m a Christian and a registered Independent voter. In my last text to him, I finally replied, “I am your mother, not your enemy. Snap out of it. I love you!” What can I do? I’m heartbroken over the damage this is doing to our relationship.

    1. I’m so sorry, Cynthia. You’re not alone. Many families, even marriages are being torn apart by delusional thinking. Just remember, you cannot convince a deluded person until they’re ready to reconsider. Engaging them always damages the relationship further. But you don’t have to let them badger you either. Just keep loving him, talking about other things that are safer and await the day the delusion unravels. I know that takes time and it is excruciatingly painful, but God has grace for you to get through this. Let love be stronger than agreement. Set appropriate boundaries, “I’m sorry, I don’t see this the same way you do. I hope we can still treasure the relationship we have and respect each other.” In time, love will wear down the fear that makes the lies believable.

  8. I think you have rightly identified this distorted thinking. I too have thought this way and it is always uncomfortable when God points it out, yet it is also freeing and refreshing. He has a way of correcting me that leaves me feeling loved . I am sure He will continue this as long as I am on earth, and that is not a bad thing at all.

  9. This is why Jesus spent so much time warning about fear. He knew fear would drive them in panic to jump on bandwagons to their own destruction because they would quit listening for the Spirit and reading scripture for their guiding truth. Frightened people have always been the ones that could be easily manipulated by satan.

    The lack of biblical knowledge among Gold’s people is frightening. We know a one world government is coming. The signs are all around. Jesus said when you see this you know he is coming to rescue his people from the overwhelming deceptions coming on the earth.

    God’s people always demand a king to save them and their earthly leaders always end up leading them to destruction. John Macarthur says you can take the mark and repent. Your earthly leaders will always betray you. Oh my brothers I beg of you to hold your confidence in Christ and not in earthly powers.

  10. Yes thank you! Brilliant bit of analysis Wayne. What you say reminds me of a quote that said something along the lines of ‘Spiritual maturity is moving from a place of unthinking certainty to a place of thoughtful uncertainty.’ We could say the same of political maturity. This way we stay more open minded.

    In my work role I have been trained to assume a position of ignorance – especially if I think I know a lot about what my client is telling me. It stops me from making wrong assumptions. For example when they use a particular word I will often stop and ask ‘when you use the word ‘X’ how do you define it?’ If I had a dollar for every time my definition was different from theirs! I’m often surprised by what they say and I have often had to reflect afterwards and adjust my own thinking/opinions. So for example a while back a friend of mine told me he was a Trump supporter. I could have immediately stereotyped him. But instead I asked, ‘When you say you are Trump Supporter, what exactly is it about him you support?’ I just sat and listened for 10 minutes. His answer was not what I thought he would say. It was more nuanced and reasoned and less extreme than I expected. Whilst overall I did not agree with him, I was able to understood where he was coming from – and I had to modify a few of my own beliefs in the light of what he said. He certainly did not fit the cartoon stereotype In my head I could have so easily branded him with.

  11. Hey Wayne, in your opinion, what was democracy born from? My study/listening suggests it was born from the reformation; spirit of Christ infused (not selective “christian” principles), of love for neighbor, freedom to choose, a system of honor. And if that is true, in my opinion, it is no wonder we are where we are today since the imposter of “christian principle” took over the stage long ago.

    1. It would make a fascinating discussion to see where democracy came from. My thought it was something more pragmatic. If you can’t find a way to let people share in the process of decision-making, then they become victims of whatever overlord wants to dominate them. That’s the default mode of history. And that always involves oppression to keep the populace in mind. That is the problem we’re having now whether the left wants to force its agenda on half the population, or whether the right does. It has to involve repression if it doesn’t truly rise from the harder work of a democracy of finding the truth between the left and right. Certainly our founders believed that without moral underpinnings embraced by a vast majority was critical to democracy functioning and we have lost that.

      One of the things the German king worried most about with Martin Luther is that if people took seriously the “priesthood of all believers,” people would reject the “divine right of kings” to rule. That’s what kept royalty in power. He was right of course. It did become a problem and people wanted freedom from oppressive acts by government. A lot of that is being the American Revolution.

      but I wholeheartedly embrace your wider point, when Christianity became about defending principles instead of loving your neighbor and love your enemy, it went down a sad road.

      1. Yes, a sad road indeed, a very dark road. I have never been more aware of the choices of the roads I may travel these days, the information out there is as wild as I could ever have imagined; I think my internal “calculator” for info just went into sleep mode lol.

      2. Thank you for the discussion. I want to love my neighbors and my enemies, too. But they are scary. Confusion is as rampent as covid. My emotions are as painful as they were during my childhood which was filled with divorce and estrangement. God became my loving family when I grew up, but I became sidetracked by church politics over the years. It all took its toll, culminating in a nervous breakdown 20 years ago. Now I enjoy hiding. Every now and then I poke my head out and try to engage in a more God loving way. I was doing better until covid hit and I am hiding again. I feel like a turtle.

  12. Thank you, Wayne, for sharing another breath of fresh air with these thoughts. They ring true in my spirit and have given me a lot to think about and brought some clarity to the confusion surrounding me in the current climate. Many blessings to you, my friend. Thanks.

  13. Wayne, I read your post a while back, but as I re-read it this morning, I realized that what you share here fits SO WELL with the prayer in Psalm 139:23,24.
    Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.
    I don’t know my own heart; it’s hard for me to assess my own thoughts. I guess I saw that, even as a young boy when I put music to these words of David. And now, many decades later you come along with some help for those who pray that prayer from the heart. You’ve given us some self-assessment tools to see where there may be some “offensive way” and get re-oriented so as to be stepping firmly on the path that is “everlasting”.
    Thank you.

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