Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God… But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised. But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. —1 Corinthians 2:12, 14-15
In the late 1980s, the phrase, “The mind justifies what the heart has chosen,” went through my mind and I began to ponder the significance of it. I am still digging around it thirty years later. It became one of my “Peacockeisms,” as some say, and it contains a great deal of both explanations and pain because it is so true. Our deepest thought, so to speak, comes not from our minds but from our hearts (conscious-unconscious) and forms the gridwork for interpreting how we see reality and justify our opinions.
The vast majority of humanity is unaware of the inner mechanism within themselves (our “fallen nature”) that wants to avoid responsibility relative to the notion of being held accountable to a Creator. If a God exists and that God has set the rules and laws governing their creation, then God’s opinion trumps ours on every level and therefore determines what is truth scientifically, morally, and in every dimension. Put another way, God’s subjectivity is both absolute truth and our objectivity. Post-modernity’s demand that all opinions have validity and objectivity does not exist (Kantian philosophy or a dumbed-down level) is exhibit “A” and a cultural cloak exempting everyone from absolute accountability to anyone. If man can say, “I think, therefore I am,” God can say, “Your core stinks, therefore it does.” Fallen humanity is self-centered by nature and a collective escape artist morally.
Obviously, man carries significant attributes of his Creator since he/she was made in His “image and likeness” (Genesis 1:27). People can and do magnificent things and are truly “magnificent” because they rise exceptionally beyond the self-centeredness that plagues us all. Therein the issue of salvation arises; what and how do we elevate beyond self and can that elevation become permanent? Indeed. Did our Creator give us such a capacity? If so, how can my self-justifying heart, both wanting to be my own god and justify my own choices by virtue of circumstances and “grading on the curve” relative to all others, pull myself out of myself? Many religious evade all this, as do virtually all philosophical perspectives, thus proving the axiom that the mind does indeed justify what the heart has chosen: freedom from ultimate accountability. I am my own standard and while I often fail, my general intensions are admirable, so stop judging me and look to yourself. Amen.
If this isn’t problematic enough, it gets worse. Secular man and other misguided souls have no comprehension that not every voice guiding their hearts or channeling the wisdom of their intellects comes from themselves or other people who have influenced them. Our “radio antennas” pick up signals from non-human sources: either God, Satan (the Great Oppressor), and angelic beings on both sides of the cosmic war. Few things are more frightening to the spiritually blind, especially if they consider themselves intellectually nimble and “scientifically grounded,” than the fantasy notion that this really is true. Good grief, this spoils everything.
I could go on, but what inspired this commentary is the obvious observation that since the September 11 attacks, America’s “shield,” whatever it was, has been largely removed. The commonness of evil fills our daily news. It is numbing and grows ever more disturbing. It will get worse until more and more people wrestle with the question of spiritual accountability. If our collective heart is justifying our mind’s reality, what should we do? That indeed is…
THE BOTTOM LINE.