Wednesday, October 25, 2006

SPIRITUAL AMNESIA

"And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish." - Deut. 8:19
Years ago there was a humorous Saturday Night Live skit where a wrongdoer had the perfect excuse to get out of trouble every time. It didn't matter how bad the deed, when questioned as to why he did it he responded, "I forgot." The premise of the skit was that everyone forgets and therefore must be forgiven. The more insane or heinous the act, the funnier it became as everyone felt compelled to overlook the infraction when he said, "I forgot". It's probably unrelated, but this humorous skit came to mind after hearing that Jeff Ingram from Washington, said to be suffering from a type of amnesia termed "dissociative fugue" (DF), had been found wandering around Denver with no recollection of his past. According to the experts on DF, this can be brought on by stress and anxiety. He forgot who he is, his family, his responsibilities, his fiance' and their upcoming wedding. Because he has amnesia he is not to blame and everyone is sympathetic to overlook how this has affected them. After all, it is a medical problem. Remarkably, only days after having no idea who he is, he has "recovered his identity" with the help of family photos and stories. This is according to the Denver paper.

We forget many things. No matter how sympathetic we are to those who forget, there is no excuse for spiritual amnesia. Neither stress and anxiety nor material abundance should cause us to forget God. Moses wrote:
"10 And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 “Take care lest you forget the Lord your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today, 12 lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them, 13 and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, 15 who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock, 16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17 Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 And if you forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish." - Deuteronomy 8:10-19
And Paul wrote: "Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel," - 2 Timothy 2:8

We have to wonder why people forget God. Evidence of His wisdom and love is seen in the whole creation. And He has shown His love for mankind through the Cross of Jesus, the single most important act to occur in all of human history. I remember this every Sunday as I partake of the Lord's Supper. But people forget. And when they forget they quit growing in the Christian graces (2 Pt. 1:5-11). And they disobey God and follow their own lusts. Maybe we make allowances for people forgetting who they are, but no man or woman is excused for forgetting God.

4 comments:

  1. I suppose people “forget God” is because the more a person loves “the world” the more they will learn to hate Him.

    “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19 NASB)

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  2. Well said. Another aspect that is troubling is the number of people who develop "selective amnesia." They forget the parts of Scripture they don't like. Funny how that happens.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

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  3. Thanks for the comments. I think most of this has to do with what Pazdziernik said and forgetting is a function of hating and not loving. The mind of the obstinate will insulate itself against anything contrary, even if it is true. The deluded mind is a function of not loving the truth. Paul wrote: "with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false," (2 Thess. 2:10,11 ESV).

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