Church Message

Blind Allegiance - Trust with a Nasty Twist
By Ronald Gallagher

Church message imageChurch page directory 6oct16In the Disney movie, ‘Aladdin’, there’s a scene early in the film where Aladdin and his newfound friend, who’s really a Princess in disguise, are catching their breath and enjoying what was becoming a romantic moment in Aladdin’s quarters. But their intimate moment was rudely interrupted by the approach of a bunch of burly palace guards they had eluded in the marketplace earlier. In the midst of the unanticipated crisis, and with no clear avenue of escape, the erstwhile young hero reaches out his hand to the Princess, looks intently into her eyes and asks, "Do you trust me?” To the viewers’ delight, she takes his hand and they leap out of the upper story window together. Of course, they discover that the clever animation folks had drawn in a whole series of perfectly aligned banners, sheets, awnings, and stuff like so that they could slide down them unharmed and make their escape. Trust can be such a neat thing.

Life is full of challenges and endeavors where the desired goal is unattainable by a single individual. In those cases, some level of mutual cooperation and shared confidence in each other is indispensable. Trust is one of those simple, monosyllabic terms that crams more power into its definition than volumes of other words can adequately describe. ‘Trust’ shares that quality with its partner term, ‘love’. The two of them in concert can establish and maintain a bond between individuals that is virtually indestructible, and seeing it in action can be emotionally and spiritually exhilarating.

The power and value of trust cannot be overstated. Healthy, effective, and enduring relationships are no more than a hollow illusion without it. But the coin has another side. As is true of almost every good thing God provided, trust can be misdirected and twisted into something destructive.

Last week we addressed the issue of ‘blind rage’ that has become so pervasive these days, but there’s another kind of blindness associated with it, and like blind rage, it has nothing to do with our optical equipment, either. This additional one may not seem on the surface to be as violent, but its effects can be ultimately devastating. This form of blindness is a dangerous misapplication of trust that we’ll call ‘blind allegiance’. Blind allegiance is the determination to follow someone or something without hesitation, without examination, and without question.

For instance, some time ago, a group of Turkish shepherds were watching their sheep graze near a cliff. With no identifiable provocation, one of the sheep simply walked off the edge of the cliff and fell to its death. The shepherds watched in spellbound disbelief as some 1500 other sheep calmly followed suit. Inexplicably, one after the other trudged up to the precipice and fell over to join the others until none was left. That’s what blind allegiance looks like in sheep.

What we’re seeing in college classrooms and campuses does not look so different. Neither does the behavior we’re seeing from mainstream ‘journalists’, or Hollywood and entertainment celebrities, or among ‘inside-the-beltway’ political elites, or in elementary and high school classrooms. Institutional churches don’t escape their share of blind allegiance, either. In many of them, denominational traditions, decrees, and mandates void of any Biblical authority are followed without question. All around us functional eyes and brains are being disregarded in order to follow some popular cultural or philosophical trend, even though the path can only lead to eventual destruction.

God invites examination and challenge. He says "Come now, and let us reason together…” (Isaiah 1:18a NKJV). He doesn’t want blind trust, or any other kind of blindness, from His followers. If a principle or philosophy is challenged and found sound and trustworthy, then those challenges only validate its claims and trust is reinforced. Ideas and leaders that resist examination and disallow challenge should immediately be suspect. God does not call us to blind trust, but admonishes us to look carefully into everything He says about life, and to test His claims in personal application.

Our education system and communication networks in America, and many of our churches, advocate philosophies, lifestyles, and values that God rejects because they are deeply flawed. Those who propagate them do not tolerate, much less invite, careful, critical examination. Instead, they demand that their toxic examples be followed without exception. That’s not education; it’s indoctrination, and the result isn’t individual freedom and enlightened selfmanagement— it’s becoming just another blind sheep in the flock—and the cliff is waiting.

Introducing The Yorktown Crier’s New Church Page Writer
By Ronald Gallagher

In addition to being an active writer, speaker, teacher, and blogger, Ron serves in a variety of roles as a ministry consultant for local churches. His Biblical insights are coupled with down-to-earth humor, satire, and relevant stories, all of which are aimed at his overall objective of promoting ‘right side up thinking in an upside down world’. He strives to apply God’s truth in a way that stimulates the mind, encourages the heart, and challenges the cultural norm. Check out Ron’s blog, 'Gallagher’s Pen', and connect with him on Facebook, and Twitter.


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