I just read an article published from psychologytoday.com entitled "Instruction Manual for Despots and Dictators: 7 STEPS to Increase Your Power" by Mark Van Vugt, Ph.D. I think we should all read it. I think what has happened before is happening right under our noses while we think we have come up with something new.
We are giving up our freedoms as we are manipulated into believing that ceding these freedoms will give us greater security.
Yesterday, I went to a local store to pick up an order placed by my wife. The store policy is that only the person who placed the order can pick it up. It made no difference that I have a government ID with the same address and a credit card in my name with the same number as the one used on the order and my last name is the same as my wife's. They want security. The only way to get absolute security is to go out of business. That means that someone, like the state, controls all commerce.
Freedom is very risky. Becoming free was very risky. Freedom was achieved at the extreme cost of lives. It seems strange that we would give it up to be safe when nothing about freedom is safe.
Jesus came to set us free. It cost Him His life. If we were looking for a safe religion, this one just isn't the one. He set us free from the sin that determined our future. He set us free to follow Him. Truly following Him is not safe. He may ask you to give your life, too.
John 8:31-32 (ESV) 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Lies sound better but it is the truth that sets us free. Truth releases us from the power of the lie. Lies require more lies to protect the lies. Truth destroys the lies. Truth gives us the power of decision. We make our decisions according to the truth. Truth does not control us. It sets us free.
Yet, people are giving up the truth for the lie. The lie is believed because it is desired. The lie says this is the only heaven you will ever have. The lie convinces people that it is the truth. The lie places people into the slavery of the lie. Any decision that is made under the lie is a lie. The lie promises prosperity and delivers poverty. This is true when we speak of what truly matters. The soul is in poverty when all that matters is wealth in this world.
Why will a free people go back to being under slavery? (I am not speaking of the slavery placed upon people because they were captured and forced into slavery. I am speaking of the slavery that they usher in for themselves.) Maybe they forget what they already knew. They knew how people were oppressed under slavery but they forgot what got them under slavery. Maybe they believe the lies. Maybe they want to be rescued from making decisions. They certainly don't acknowledge the truth.
Despotism, slavery, oppressive rule and the desire for absolute security are nothing new. They have returned to popularity because only a few know what is is like to live under this rule. Maybe the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We want what we don't have. Once we have it, we don't want it anymore.
No, there is nothing new going on here.
(Please don't read this superficially. Take into account the spiritual and the civil.)