Goodness gracious, I would probably wash Michael Vick’s feet if I could! If there were 25 hours in a day, I would decrease my working hours as an engineer and apply for a part-time job to be Vick’s personal butler. Vick is without a doubt my favorite athlete of all time. I grew up in Atlanta and had just reached the age of sports awareness while Vick played there. It was awe at first sight. Every Sunday that the Falcons played was like watching the Grand Orchestra playing a rhapsody on Broadway. I kid you not, from 2002-2006 Michael Vick had the entire city of Atlanta in the palm of his hand … and infamously lost it all.
To this day I am still one of his biggest fans and can intellectually break down why he is one of the greatest football players to ever play in the NFL. I can even pull a Jesus card of forgiveness to defend him. I mentally look past the dog-fighting but, in my numerous debates of defending him, I sometimes dive into the dog-fighting discussion and use cultural relativism to twist Vick towards innocence. I may not be able to convince a person of Vick’s professional value but, with the same token, it is nearly impossible for me to lose a debate on the matter. My brain has been trained to interpret any inflow of NFL/social data related to Michael Vick INTO his favor. This tendency is called confirmation bias. This dynamic is seen all throughout our society; usually to the detriment of our society. We have a tendency to leave objectivity behind and grasp ever-so-tightly to any subjectivity that currently suits us, our values, goals, or the people we love.
This can be clearly seen in the domain of the Same-Sex Marriage and homosexuality. Very rarely does a day go by where there isn’t a new article on Google News, or some other news outlet, of a parent writing a touching letter to their child that has recent come out of the closet. They then vehemently fight in favor of same-sex marriage. In addition, there are also many news stories of people treating a homosexual with hate or bigotry. The socially liberal-leaning media is rampant in news outlets and hunger for these type of stories. My curiosity looks into the people who rejoice as these stories strengthen their ranks in favor of same-sex marriage and expose people as wrong who oppose them. My conclusion is that they treat the same-sex marriage issue in a similar manner that I treat my reasoning for Michael Vick – skewed, biased, inconsistent, and selectively blind.
Not too long ago, I had a family member go through an abortion. Knowing that abortion is sinful I could have given my two cents before the abortion happened. Nonetheless, I stood back and disgustingly, in my heart, hoped they’d choose abortion. Because it was more convenient since I’d also be affected. Looking back, it is obvious to see just how unknowingly cloudy my judgement was when put in that emotional situation. At the time, I was not thinking about God’s creative design but selfishly about emotional convenience. Hmm, seems like I became one of those parents who change their mind on homosexuality as soon as a loved one joins the team. Look at how biased, selfish and blindly hypocritical we can quickly become. What causes this?
Based on whatever our mental bias may be we will have a natural tendency to interpret news, decipher scripture, and receive information in a manner that reaffirms our current beliefs. We see this is politics, sports, relationships, and other areas. The homosexuality topic is a tricky one because it is very hard on emotion and is a concrete reality in today’s society. As the late philosopher David Hume would somewhat put it, “Your brain attains more and has higher effectiveness when going through tangible, vivid and intense experiences than with the experiences gained from listening or reading abstract ideas (i.e. God, The Bible, parental sage advise).” Unfortunately in our American society, God and the Bible are generally seen as abstract ideas at best. Because most people do not see God as physically real and the supreme creator, it becomes easy for Satan to influence mass amounts of people into believing other ideas via various “concrete, intense experiences” of life. I am not using the term “intense” as an exaggerated term, but more-so as something we sharply value or anything we can immediately relate towards (i.e. A child you love coming out of the closet, or Michael Vick playing amazingly well throughout the influential years of your puberty).
Ephesians 6:11 and John 8:44 describe the Devil as tricky, deceitful, and ingenious. If this is the case then it would be wise for us to look into what he could possibly be doing here to make God seem abstract. At least three things are obvious:
(1) Satan is doing his best to downplay spiritual warfare in America. In third-world countries demons and the tangibility of spiritual darkness is so rampant that it is downright trite in some nations. In America, however, Satan can sit back and allow our love for material and self destroy us … leaving us astray from the awareness of spiritual warfare.
(2) Satan uses our busyness to keep us from having quality time to spend with the Lord. All throughout the Gospels we see Jesus escaping everyday life just to spend time with the Lord (Luke 5:16, Mark 1:35; 14:32-34). He needed that valuable time as it kept him focused on where God wanted him to be both mentally and spiritually.
(3) The Devil is steadily twisting Jesus’ death on the Cross into a fable. We tend to read the Bible as if it were the casual comic book section of the newspaper. Yeah, abstract idea.
With those objectives at play, along with others, Satan is subtly able to skew our historically biblical view of relationships between men and women toward a secularized, unnatural view. Would it not help if we spent as much time as possible with God where we acknowledge Him and the death/resurrection of Christ as tangibly real? Knowing who we are as sinners lines us up in the best place for us to allow Jesus to take us where he has always designed us the be. Should we not be careful of the things we value and hold up high? Yes, lest we give Satan a chance to pervert an outside idea that centers around that particular love. But hey, who cares…maybe it’ll be fine. Maybe I can just continue on romanticizing Michael Vick. Surely that will get me far in life.