commentary: America's Conscience Seared with a Hot Iron
Spiritual Neuropathy - a Malignant Progressive Disorder
David F. Maas
Given 09-Feb-19; Sermon #1473c; 13 minutes
In the encounter of 'righteous' Lot with the homosexual mob attempting to rape his guests, Lot could serve as a prototype of a curious anomaly dubbed as a "fiscal conservative" and "social moderate," that is, a person who becomes acculturated to sin to the point that he eventually succumbs to full-blown social liberalism. Liberalism is a mental disorder best characterized as progressive in the same sense that a person afflicted with a wasting disease like diabetes gradually loses feeling. A recent study at the Virginia Tech Institute revealed that those who labeled themselves Progressives, like 'righteous' Lot, display a proclivity to lose their ability to feel disgust. A recent Pew Survey revealed that 51% of Roman Catholics now believe that abortion is acceptable. This loss of sensibility is evident in the fact that most of Congress and two thirds of the members of the Supreme Court are Catholics; yet, their voting patterns indicate their insensibility to the teachings of Catholicism. In fact, so-called 'pragmatic' Catholics, such as the governor of New York, have been among the vanguard of those supporting laws permitting infanticide. The feminist protest at the State of the Union suggests that a large segment of Jacob's offspring is succumbing to spiritual neuropathy, a condition which, without God's protection, can also destroy His called-out ones.
We read in Genesis 19:4-8,
Genesis 19:4-8 But before they lay down, the men of the city of Sodom, both young and old, all the men from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them. [For those in Rio Linda, it means to have sexual relations.] And Lot went out of the door to the men and shut the door after him and said, I beg of you, my brothers, do not behave so wickedly. Look now, I have two daughters who are virgins; let me, I beg of you, bring them out to you, and you can do as you please with them. But only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.
I was highly intrigued by Joe Baity’s recent characterization of Moses as perhaps one of the first social activists recorded in Scripture, taking justice into his own hands by murdering an Egyptian to avenge the cruelty to his people ["Preempting God"].
But another possible prototype of a current political anomaly is righteous Lot, who may well have described himself as a “fiscal conservative but a social moderate,” drawing a line in the sand at sodomy but allowing fornication as a pragmatic, expedient “lesser of two evils” alternative. The longer he lived in Sodom, the more of a social liberal he became, ultimately acquiescing to the expedient practice of incest to preserve his lineage.
In 2006 Radio Commentator Michael Savage published a book titled "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder." Based on the behavior of righteous Lot as he became incrementally contaminated by Sodom, as well as the shocking behavior of current so called ‘Progressive’ lawmakers in both major political parties, contaminated by the corruption and evil, pragmatic, expedient compromising of Washington, D.C., I wish to emend Dr. Savage’s dictum: “Liberalism is a deadly, malignant, progressive mental disorder”—progressive in the sense that a person afflicted with a wasting disease, like diabetes, because of incremental nerve damage, gradually loses feeling in the extremities, risking potential injury and amputation.
I know that some of us in this congregation are valiantly fighting this wasting, progressive disease. As part of this progressive disorder, I have inherited from my mother a predisposition to anosmia—that is, the partial or complete loss of sense of smell. Ten years ago, I could smell a steak cooking on a barbecue or a scent of a rose. But today only the aroma of fresh coffee grinds or smoke from a wood fire registers on my blunted olfactory nerves.
My very first Forerunner article, titled, “Guilt: Our Spiritual Pain” (July 1996) made the case that just as physical pain is a blessing alerting us to injury, guilt is the spiritual equivalent. God has placed within our bodies a vast network of millions of pain nerves, specifically designed to alarm the central nervous system that danger or potential danger exists.
Pain is unpleasant, but no pain (that is, numbness, deadness in the extremities, sometimes known as neuropathy) is absolutely terrifying. As we age, we realize, if it doesn’t hurt, it no longer works.
Like our attitude to physical pain, we should likewise not consider guilt as our real enemy. Sin, not guilt, is the true culprit! Guilt simply serves as a set of symptoms, warning us that we have transgressed one or more of God's living laws. Because in our conscious mind we have willingly submitted to God's law, we now have the capacity—thank God—to feel spiritual hurt.
Back in October of 2014, in an article appearing in Current Biology, Read Montague, a Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute professor, conducted some fascinating experiments in which he concluded that brain responses to disgusting images reveal political leanings with 95 to 98% accuracy.
Maggot infestations, rotting carcasses, unidentifiable gunk in the kitchen sink—how much your brain responds to disgusting images could predict whether you are liberal or conservative. Conservatives tend to have more magnified responses to disgusting images, but scientists don’t know exactly why. Montague explained, "The responses could be a callback to the deep, adverse reactions primitive ancestors needed to avoid contamination and disease." I find commentator Mark Dice’s explanation more plausible: that continual exposure to perversion deadens our ability to feel disgust.
Back in 1939, many Americans felt shocked at Clark Gable’s famous words in the movie "Gone With The Wind," “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a [BLEEP].” One year later, the Catholic Legion of Decency took issue with Clark Gable’s reading to Joan Crawford out the Song of Solomon (in the movie "Strange Cargo"), considering it too suggestive.
The Roman Catholic Church once stood unified in its opposition to abortion, but has since fragmented into faithful versus politically correct pragmatic camps. According to the Catholic News Service, Catholics are still the largest single denomination in Congress, and have been since 1960. Six of the nine justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are Roman Catholics.
The political arithmetic here, according to Philip Lawler, alone leads to an ineluctable conclusion: If they all conducted themselves as faithful Catholics, abortion would be against the law. According to current Pew Center figures, most American Catholics (51%, or 38 million Catholics) no longer accept the church teaching on abortion, and consequently believe murdering the unborn is acceptable.
A Roman Catholic governor, Mario Cuomo (known in some circles as "Mario the Pius"), championed and ramrodded a bill through the New York state legislature in 1970, making New York the first state to legalize abortion for the first trimester of a woman’s pregnancy.
Now, this year, Andrew Cuomo, the son of Mario and brother of the often-mendacious reporter for CNN, Chris Cuomo, signed into law on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade the so-called "Reproductive Health Act," which legalizes abortion up until birth. Cuomo called it "a historic victory for New Yorkers and for our progressive values."
Seven other progressive states, including Oregon, Delaware and Vermont followed suit, going beyond the horrible barbaric atrocity committed in New York. Vermont has even disposed of the hypocritical condition about the mother’s health.
Radio commentator Rush Limbaugh this past week stated in frustration that if he had predicted ten years ago that a state law would allow an infant to be murdered right up until birth (and now, in the state of Vermont, after birth), we would have considered him a crazy loon.
The malignant cancer of progressive liberalism is literally snuffing out the lives of Jacob’s offspring. When I viewed the State of the Union message Tuesday night, I was shocked and dismayed by the ugly behavior of many of the attendees in the chamber. Fiscally, the union may well be strong and prosperous, but morally, a virulent cancer has deadened the consciences of too many individuals who at one time may have exhibited decency and morality.
When I viewed the 106 congresswomen wearing white dresses and pant suits, supposedly in solidarity for women's suffrage, and of course protesting President Trump (actually they were protesting the laws of the Creator and Life Giver), my heart became heavier and heavier.
The white dresses and pant suits did not symbolize purity or suffrage, but instead whitened sepulchers full of baby bones. These 106 Lady MacBeth harpies allowed hatred for President Trump to completely sap away their gentle femininity, sacrificing their God-given maternal compassion. White in this case is the ugly hue of moral leprosy, eating away tender consciences of a progressively larger segment of our population; or the Pale Horse of death in Revelation 6:7-8; or the color of the pillar of salt in Genesis 19:26, comprising Lot’s wife as she looked longingly back to Sodom!
The late Dr. Herman Hoeh used to warn us that the Church is awash in the same evils, filth and temptations to which the world is subject. Malignant, progressive, incremental immorality and apostasy destroyed both the Worldwide Church of God and Ambassador College. We, brothers and sisters, are not immune to spiritual neuropathy and progressive deadening or searing of the conscience, as Paul warned in I Timothy 4:1-2. Paul further cautions us in Romans 12:21 not to be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.