Plan Ahead

Individualism and Dependency in Christian Life

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Author: Jaime Menor

Have your seen the billboards of the Marlboro ads, the ads focus to one man, all alone on a horse, out in the middle of nowhere – it’s individualism.  Generally, we honor people who go across the Atlantic in a dinghy, or who make amazing solo flights, or who climb Mount Everest. We have this mentality that says individualism is the stuff that separates the men from the boys. Think of this  again scenario, a scientist  who walks out of his laboratory after ten years and says, “Eureka!” and receives a prize for what he has discovered, Whooaa!  great he did it alone . What are that behavior? There is something that appeals to us; there is something about the fact of doing something all alone, all by yourself, with nobody else, that says, “I have conquered everything. I don’t need anyone else. I’m independent; I’m self-sufficient.” That appeals to us. Do you know why that appeals to us? We are depraved.
individualism photo: individualism individualism-1.jpg

Individualism holds that a person taking part in society attempts to further his or her own interests, or at least demands the right to serve his or her own interests, without taking the interests of society into consideration (an individualist need not be an egoist). The individualist does not favour any philosophy that requires the sacrifice of the self-interest of the individual for higher social causes. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, however, claims that his concept of “general will” in the “social contract” is not the simple collection of individual wills and that it furthers the interests of the individual (the constraint of law itself would be beneficial for the individual, as the lack of respect for the law necessarily entails, in Rousseau’s eyes, a form of ignorance and submission to one’s passions instead of the preferred autonomy of reason). Are we  really depraved?

I truly believe in one of the article that I’ve read and it said that Satan, has built into the heart of man the concept of independence, the concept of needing nothing and nobody, as being the epitome of life. When the fact of the matter is that this is the very opposite of what God wants. The philosophy of today is, “Do your own thing.” The music of today is, “I did it my way.” All of this echoes the same philosophy that is echoed by the man with the bear and the beer. You don’t need anyone or anything; you are sufficient. It is Invictus, “I am the captain of my fate and the master of my soul.” As I said in one of my article controlling and manipulating your destiny is the surest way to land flat on your face.

You say, “What do you mean by that?” Does  God wants us to have a tremendous sense of dependency. Okay lets proceed, I tell you God wants us to be a family. Do you remember when Cain had slain his brother Abel, God said to him, “Where is Abel, thy brother? And he said, I know not: am I my brother’s keeper?” Ever since the Fall, man has disdained the thought of responsibility for other people. Man has definitely wanted to be independent of any responsibility. That is one of the reasons that God, in the Old Testament, made an individual who sinned carry a weight of responsibility that hit a whole family, such as in the case of Achan, because God was getting a message across, and that message was, “Yes, you are your brother’s keeper. Yes, you are dependent on other people. No, I don’t want rugged individualism.” I suppose that there will be some people who will say, “Look at Jesus. He was a rugged individualist.” Was He? Do you realize that Jesus spent the first 30 years of His life living with His family? I don’t think He ever even left and got His own apartment. I think the first 30 years of His life were spent in the family; He lived with the family. The next three years of His life and ministry He spent with twelve men.
individualism photo: The Liberal Truth InALiberalWorld.jpg

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