Commentary: The Ambiguous Mind

#1596c

Given 08-May-21; 10 minutes

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Double-mindedness, double-think, and double-speak are prevalent in academic, political, military and media arenas. Double-speak and double-mindedness is a confused mixture of sense and nonsense which makes evil appear good (or sanitized) and good to appear evil (Isaiah 5:20). Linguist William Lutz describes double-speak as diction which makes the negative to appear positive. Examples of double-speak include the Pentagon's whitewashed descriptions of "killing" as "deprivation of life," the "Korean War" as a "police action," "civilian dead" as "collateral damage," and "bombing" as "effective delivery of ordinances." Some doctors tell gullible Americans that the Covid vaccine will protect them from Covid but will not prevent them from catching the virus or passing it onto others. The stock and trade of today's mainstream media is the setting up and preservation of a double standard, condemning conservatives and praising leftists. I Timothy 3:8 and James 3 warn God's people to shun double-speak and double-mindedness. God's people cannot vacillate between allegiance to the world's corrupt standards and God's perfect standards. As one asks for wisdom, one must relinquish doubt, dithering between trusting in God and trusting in the world.

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A judge and jury were trying a man for driving under the influence of alcohol. The jury found the man guilty of driving under the influence and having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle, which was against the law in his state.

After sentencing him, the judge went back to his chamber and shortly returned with a case of beer. He asked the members of the jury and the attorneys to join him for “a cold one.” Many took him up on it. The woman court recorder, however, declined the offer resulting in ridicule from the judge and the attorneys.

After everyone dispersed, the judge got into his car and drove away, still holding an open can of beer. He was reported for the incident and a written complaint was filed with the district attorney’s office. When he saw the incident explained in writing, the judge said, “I never realized how bad it looked until I saw it written in a report.” He resigned thereafter.

A “double standard” is defined as the claim or pretense of holding beliefs, feelings, standards, qualities, opinions, or virtues that one does not actually possess. It affects others when principles are applied differently, and usually more rigorously, to one group of people or circumstances than to another.

In I Timothy 3:8, the apostle Paul warns about being double-tongued. He says that before a man can be ordained a deacon, he cannot be double-tongued. This implies that it is God’s standard and expectation that all His representatives―ordained or not―must not be two-faced, a liar, or hypocritical in thought or action.

In James 3:8-10 the apostle James speaks of a double standard in speech. He says that both blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth, and that we should not allow that to happen.

Today, especially in politics, there is something referred to as “doublespeak.” The term “doublespeak” was coined in 1972 and comes from the fusion of two terms that Orwell used in his novel 1984: newspeak and doublethink. The precursor to doublespeak is “doublethink,” which appears to be earnest and meaningful, but in fact is a mixture of sense and nonsense.

Doublethink is a type of thinking that can hold simultaneously two opinions which cancel out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both. The continuous shaping of the consciousness through doublethink and doublespeak makes people unwilling and unable to think too deeply on any subject whatsoever.

We see this inflated, involved, and often deliberately ambiguous language quite often coming from politicians. The doublespeak of politics is plagued with vague and ambiguous expressions, which serve to bridge the gap between words and actions. Euphemisms can be a type of doublespeak.

For example, in 1984, the U.S. State Department decided to substitute "unlawful or arbitrary deprivation of life" for "killing," claiming that the wording would be more accurate. In this case, the wording is considered doublespeak because the government tries to desensitize and cover up the unpleasant situation.

Euphemisms are commonly seen in many military situations. Instead of a Korean War, there was a “Police Action.” Bombs became “force packages.” Bombs hit “soft targets,” and innocent victims were part of “collateral damage.” Military planes performed “limited duration protective reaction strikes,” achieving “effective delivery of ordnance”—or, bombing.

Politicians are notorious for having double standards, using ambiguous terms which make citizens or subjects indifferent to countless detrimental government policies, powerless against inappropriate activities, and unable to think critically—a type of programming of the mind that goes on in society. The COVID-19 plandemic is an active example of double standards using ambiguous terms. For example, we are told by medical professionals “the vaccine will protect you from COVID; however, it will not stop you from getting it or giving it to someone else.” I actually heard a medical professional state that.

Oscar Levant, the American pianist, composer, conductor, comedian, and actor, saw politicians this way: “A politician is a man who will double-cross that bridge when he comes to it.”

We have certainly been double-crossed by the government, Big Pharma, and the medical profession by their promotion of the experimental vaccines. I will say no more.

One of the most widely recognized and accepted definitions of doublespeak comes from William Lutz, an American linguist who specializes in the use of plain language and the avoidance of doublespeak:

Doublespeak is language which pretends to communicate but really does not. It is language which makes the bad seem good, something negative appear positive, and something unpleasant appear attractive, or at least tolerable. It is language which avoids or shifts responsibility, language which is at variance with its real meaning. It is language which conceals or prevents thought. Doublespeak is language which does not extend thought but limits it.

God’s disdain for this deception is shown in Isaiah 5:20:

Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

The news media is so well-known for its double standards, they openly admit it:

  • A Washington Post headline said, “There’s a double standard in how news media cover liberal and conservative protests.”
  • A Boston Herald headline said, “Mainstream Media’s Double Standard Discredits Journalism.”

It has been said about social media’s double standard, “If you state your opinion, it's free speech, but if I state mine, it's hateful and intolerance.”

Often people choose their words and actions depending on the situation. This has been labeled “situation ethics.” This is a philosophy where “flexibility in the application of moral laws is according to circumstances.” They base their decisions on their current circumstances regardless of its effect on others.

Many people have one lifestyle on the job, another at home, and still another at church. For example, some people will curse and smoke on the job, will smoke but not curse at home, and would not dare do either at church.

Anyone who changes his moral standard according to the situation at hand is hypocritical and unstable.

William Shakespeare observed, “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” When people are two-faced, the only thing you know for sure is that you cannot trust either face.

The person who consciously and consistently lives a double standard, who rejects the authority of God’s righteous standard, and replaces it with an indifferent, wishy-washy set of opinions, has little or no convictions. His mind contains only preferences, which are easily changed.

The double-minded person attending church has an inability to hold a fixed belief of any kind. He is prepared to go either way, keeping his options open, wanting to be like the world and the church at the same time. He decides what to do by what he thinks will benefit him most. But his human reasoning only serves to send him down the wrong path.

James also has this to say:

James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Vacillating between trusting God and trusting the world or one’s own natural abilities makes a person insecure and indecisive. Someone who is unsure whether God is good, or will do good, doubts God’s goodness, and in so doing, dishonors Him. He is concurring with two conflicting minds, torn between God and the world, and is therefore unstable in all his ways.

We must have a settled trust and confidence in God, based on His character and promises as revealed in Scripture. We must take hold of the promises of God with courage, and feel the deepest assurance when we pray that God will hear us. We must always go to Him without hesitation in our times of stress, never wavering. We must be firm in our principles, steady in our integrity, and wholehearted as we work hard to carry out His will rather than our own.

MGC/aws/dcg






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