About Face :: By Steve Schmutzer

I knew a man once. He was my friend. He was a PhD scientist, a successful investor, an avid hiker – a family man.

He was also a staunch atheist. While I had several talks with him about this, there was little I could say or do to get him to reevaluate his position. His mind was set like hardened concrete.

Because this man dismissed all evidence of God, he didn’t believe in sin. He believed instead in the inherent “goodness of mankind.”

Along with that came his affections for open borders, lenient jail sentences, and all forms of government assistance and control. He blamed most of society’s problems on ‘a lack of education,’ and he was deeply distressed when very educated people made very bad choices.

No surprise, he was also a radical environmentalist, and that’s an understatement. By his assessment, this earth was IT! There was nothing more. The fate of all humans was tied to this whirling celestial ball.

He fawned over creatures great and small. He wrote checks to various environmental causes. He labored to raise alarm to any situation which he perceived as harming or threatening the environment. He loathed people and policies that didn’t conform to his passions. Reusable grocery bags, cloth diapers, and bicycles were a big deal to him. As he saw it, all matters about the welfare of planet Earth were top priority.

When I first met him, he talked about the problems of “global warming,” but even he admitted that term was misleading. He became comfortable with referring to the issue broadly as “climate change” instead. He blamed all notable weather events and natural disasters on “climate change” – even though historical records showed these things had already happened multiple times before.

I caught him reading a book one day that challenged his “climate change” notions, and I asked him about it. He furrowed his brow as he pontificated on the “responsibilities of being a scientist.” In a more lucid moment, he acknowledged his own views needed to be subordinate to real data points and studies.

One book led to another like it – then a few more. He pored over academic research, and he wrote to various people with his questions. He came to me after a while and dropped a bombshell. He said, “I no longer believe in climate change. The data does not support it. It’s a lie that has become a false religion for many people. The true agenda of climate change is total economic control.”

He smiled as he added, “I’ve converted.” He knew I’d see the humor there.

I had to respect this man for what had happened. He’d moved from one position he had been extremely passionate about to an opposite position he’d become just as firm on. The facts had found a toehold and had won him over.

What prompted his change? I think it was several things.

First, he chose to exercise objectivity. It wasn’t easy for him; he really WANTED to believe certain things. It was so much easier to float downstream with all the dead fish rather than fight the currents. But, in the end, he was a proud scientist. He feared falling victim to the clammy clutches of subjectivity and senseless thinking. Properly assessing the data became a higher priority for him than holding a particular view.

Secondly, he realized he didn’t have a true dog in the fight. That is, he didn’t have any personal agenda except to get to the bottom of the truth. Other than the fact he had an ego and he wanted to be revered as “knowledgeable” by others, he would figure out how to fit the truth – whatever it was – into all the other notions he still wished to cling to.

Third, he got weary of the act. As is often the case with folks like him, he’d always reacted with hostility when he was presented with the truth. His tensions were nothing more than his discomfort with his own decisions. The evidence reminded him constantly that his views were suspect, and every day he struggled to have a clear conscience. That took energy. He was exhausted from his self-inflicted wounds, and he decided this was a battle he could no longer fight.

Lastly, he approached the truth like a therapeutic salve and not a poison. This permitted a ray of humility to break through his pride. The truth illuminated those dark corners of his mind where the cobwebs of arrogance, deception, and foolishness were most tangled. Wherever he let the truth in, it healed him. His recovery was proportionate to his exercise of humility.

When I most recently spoke to him, this man still clung to other fallacies and foolish ideas that are the direct by-product of his spiritual poverty. After all, if you don’t believe in God – or if you choose to put a sovereign and infinite God into a box that is more palatable to you – then you will not respect those laws and values which find their source in God’s Word.

On that matter, common sense will elude you if you don’t have a right relationship with God. Even if you THINK you and God are on good terms, but you’re really keeping Him at arm’s length instead, your choices will be full of holes. You’ll have double standards, and you’ll be OK with that.

You’ll condemn truth of all forms, and you’ll embrace lies instead. You’ll ignore the things your conscience is instructing you to pay attention to because your chosen identity is sewn up in the poor choices you’ve made.

If this describes you, then your mind is already in the process of being conformed to the world’s ideas (Romans 12:2). You lack discernment, but you believe you have it. You are inclined to profess yourself as wise, but it is patently obvious you cannot add 2+2 and arrive at 4. You will evidence in so many ways you are foolish instead (Romans 1:22).

Your agenda has aligned with the world’s agenda. Its talking points are yours. Its political ideals are the altar you bow down to, and you’re prepared to fight to protect what you most want to believe. You will mock anyone who chooses to engage in the hard work of due diligence that your own fears, prejudice, and insecurities prevent YOU from undertaking.

If this is you, your vital signs are clear to everyone. You believe America’s present leadership came to power lawfully. You think a record number of legal voters actually put our current President in office.

You think BLM and Antifa are the good guys. You believe wearing a red cap is wrong, but wearing a black hoodie and face mask is fine. You see nothing wrong with clamping down on this nation’s citizens and removing their rights while multiple thousands of untested and undocumented illegals are being encouraged to pour into this country.

If you don’t already think capitalism is bad, you’re less inclined to defend it than you are willing to defend the principles of socialism. You believe law enforcement should be defunded, college should be free, and SUVs should be heavily taxed.

You think the jab is really a vaccine. You don’t see any cover-ups and corruption at the CDC and the NIH. You think the ‘good’ doctors are the ones condemning HCQ, and the ‘bad’ doctors are the ones supporting it. You actually believe masks work and those who are vaccinated are protected.

You support men using women’s bathrooms and women using men’s bathrooms. You’re fine with drag queens reading gender-bending stories to your kids at libraries the same way you’re OK with lousy and insecure male athletes competing as ‘transgenders’ in women’s sports.

I could go on and on here. If this describes you, then the examples of your ‘vital signs’ are many. But my point is already clear. Saying more doesn’t bring it into better focus.

If you are honest with yourself the way my friend was with himself, you’d do a little digging here. You’d test your convictions, you’d swim upstream a little, and you’d explore the truth.

Make no mistake – procuring insight is hard work according to Proverbs 2:3-4. It’s like hunting for hidden treasure. But wisdom is available to the common person if one is willing to take on the task of gaining it (Proverbs 1:20).

The goal of moving from a foolish view to a wise view means one must make personal changes. Such a person must be Tenacious, Righteous, Unbiased, Mature, and Proactive.

In other words: TRUMP. That should be easy to remember.