I am fascinated by the role and influence that perceptions have on human existence. It would seem reasonable to conclude that perceptions play some type of primal role in every aspect of human existence. Perceptions protect us, ground us, move us to action when appropriate, encourage us when faced with adversity, bring us down to reality when a situation seems too good to be true. Perceptions are heavily influenced by our relationship, experiences, traditions, authority figures, and circumstantial and or hard evidence. Thus as we move through our lives day-after-day our perceptions move along with us and govern how we view and react to the world around us.
As an administrator of a Southern Californian investigative agency, I constantly wage a battle “AGAINST” perceptions, believe it or not. You see, one of the downsides to having a certain set of perceptions is that one is prone to become complacent and not question or challenge what may “seem” obvious to the majority.
Consider if you will a young male in his 20’s is found dead in his home. He had no known natural medical history that would support his unexpected, sudden demise. Prior to being found dead he exhibited absolutely no symptoms of any recognizable maladity or any behavior to suggest that he was in dire straits. He had no criminal history although he was known to friends to have experimented with recreational and prescription medications in the past.
The automatic assumption of many investigators naturally defaulted to a perception that this young man died from a drug overdose. Thus the initial course of the death investigation followed the path of a suspected drug overdose. An autopsy surprisingly revealed that the young man died from a berry aneurysm (a burst blood vessel near the young man’s brainstem). A subsequent toxicology examination proved clear of any illicit or prescription drugs.
The perception of the cause of death held by the investigators prior to the autopsy proved of course erroneous. Thankfully the autopsy examination saved the reputation of our organization on that case. If we had harkened to the initial perceptions of the assigned investigators and not done due diligence in the overall death investigation to determine an accurate cause of death, we would have provided that young man’s family a false cause of death.
When a new convert joins the Christian Faith today, he or she is encouraged to lean solely upon their faith in God, Jesus, and the Bible. Certainly faith is essential to one’s relationship with Yahoveh and the Bible definitively asserts that it is impossible to please the Father without faith. However, faith must never replace sincere reason and contemplative thought. Traditional Christianity is layered with pagan traditions, false teachings, beliefs, and doctrines that when scrutinized by the lights of sincerity, divine revelation, courage, history, righteousness, and contextual understanding, fall to the ground in a heap of refuse. How many of the world’s self-professing Christians have fallen into this trap only to find themselves deluded and in many situations living unfulfilled lives. It isn’t until the seeker of truth shakes off the shackles of spiritual misperceptions than he or she finds peace, assurance, love, and fulfillment.
Are you at a point in your Christian walk where you are ready to drill down on your faith and discover the myriad of truths that have been hidden from the masses for close to two millennium?