“Delusion is defined as a peculiar belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder.” When I’m deluded, I don’t know right from wrong. “Because they refused to love the truth and so be saved….therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false.” (2Thes 2:10-11) When I’m deluded I actually believe what is false; it’s not an act.
Is it my imagination or is delusion on the rise today? It seems that new ideas are frequently thrown out as fact without any proof and without any rational argument. “I shout loud enough or repeat myself enough times” and it’s accepted as fact. In the past this was understood as a symptom of a mental disorder.
Last Thursday during a hearing in the House of Representatives, a doctor testified that men can get pregnant. Wow. St. Anthony the Great (254AD) once said, “ a time is coming when men will go mad, and when they see someone who is not mad, they will attack him, saying ‘You are mad; you are not like us.” Wow, has that time arrived?
While delusion may seem obvious when a statement like the one above is put forward, all of us need to be on guard against delusion. Hmmmmmm. Where in my life is delusion creeping in ? Where do I allow some personal opinion or emotional overreaction creep into my life, leading to a bit of delusion ? Slow down Dave, “you’re getting too close to home”.
The expression “garbage in…..garbage out” may help us understand how this can happen. When we surround ourselves with people or opinions that are contrary to the truth, we can gradually have our mind changed….we can begin to buy into false thoughts and wild theories…. things that are not rational, things we know are not true …. and we can begin to be deluded. In today’s world, where the forum for real discussion and arguments seems to have disappeared, we can be afraid to voice our opinion and gradually move from strong disagreement to quiet acquiescence to acceptance of things we know are NOT TRUE. This is not good.
I recently saw a podcast with Bishop Barron and Bill Maher on the topic of faith and the bible. These are two men with widely different opinions. I believe Maher is a professed atheist. Yet the discussion was very good and informative. Each showed respect for the other. Each spoke in a measured way. I learned some things. We need more of these kinds of arguments instead of the ad hominem – shouting matches. When this occurs hopefully delusion can be dispelled like the morning mist as the sun rises and truth will again become obvious.
In the meantime, let’s remain focused on THE TRUTH. Jesus is the way, the TRUTH, and the life. No one comes to the father except thru me.” (John 14:6) It’s called the GOOD NEWS.