“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” Col. 2:8
Many American institutions unfairly utilize “desensitization” tactics as tools of manipulation. They do this in order to gain the public’s, including professing Christians’, acquiescence to a proposed position, even an immoral one. Unfortunately, desensitization has even been a successful strategy employed against many professing Christians, who normally would oppose immoral positions. The definition of “desensitize” is; (1)“To lessen the sensitiveness of. 2) To make indifferent, unaware, or the like, in feeling.” Desensitization is usually most effective when conducted over a long period of time, the ultimate goal being to change the public’s opinion by one-sidedly bombarding them with the propagated point of view. Virtually every form of medium is utilized to inundate the senses of the culture, thus creating a facade of normality and propriety in the minds of people. Incidentally, it does not matter if the concept is immoral and sinful, it is presented as being moral, and strongly urged to be accepted.
Most “unbelievers”, or people who are nonchalant or morally weak, are vulnerable and the most susceptible to the tactic of desensitization. Either they will embrace the proposed change or will act apathetically toward it–“As long as it doesn’t affect me”, is typically their attitude. This attitude basically leads to a verbal or tacit acceptance of the new position. Such feeble attitudes are expected in unbelievers; those who do not know God and His word. But, for true Christians, desensitization tactics suborning disobedience will rarely succeed. Why? Because believers rely on the truth of God’s word and are indwelt with the Holy Spirit, who protects them against deception. They may be deluded for a time, but will not be able to suppress the voice of conscience permanently. In essence, desensitization techniques, no matter how clever, pervasive, or intense, will never truly affect a true discerning believer, because believers know that the Bible is clear, authoritative, and impervious to change.
Sadly, the American culture is being injected with massive doses of desensitization tactics in numerous areas, attempting to gain acceptance; for example, the homosexual/same-sex marriage agenda. Once a shocking unthinkable disgrace now is embraced, exalted, and even applauded, thanks to the influential media, which the government has wielded like a bludgeon and repetitively hammered away at cultural thinking. But, not all methods of desensitization are forceful and overt, more often they are very subtle. They media have done an exceptional job, cajoling and coercing the American public, into accepting homosexuality as a normal and proper behavior. Tragically, even some alleged Christians have “bowed the knee” and accepted homosexuality. By doing so, they have compromised God’s truth and will indeed stand before Him on that final day in judgment. (2 Cor. 5:10, Heb. 13:17b). These so-called Christians have adorned adopted the “lighten up” attitude and have stated unabashedly; “They’re not harming anyone;” or “maybe the church is being too harsh by calling homosexuality sin“, instead of demonstrating true love by sharing the Gospel with those who are ensnared in that sin. Incidentally, there are numerous other issues to which desensitization methods have been and are being thoroughly applied, giving Christians even more opportunities to share the Gospel.
Those who teach, but compromise, God’s truth are warned in Scripture: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1). Or, “…for they (teachers) keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account…” (Heb. 13:17b-emphasis added). Anticipating a deluge of false teachers rising up and assaulting the church, the Apostle Paul exhorted the Ephesian elders to protect the flock: “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Acts 20:28).
If you are in Christ and struggle with the temptation associated with the insidious methods of desensitization, take comfort. As difficult as it may appear, God is merciful and will provide a way of escape. (2 Cor. 1:3-4, 1 Cor. 10:13). When governmental pressure and the fear of man seems unbearable, tempting us to disobey God, remember the Apostle Peter’s words; “… We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29). He boldly stated this to an extremely hostile Sanhedrin council (The supreme court of Israel, a 71 member ruling Jewish national body). Tragically, when Christians capitulate to the fear of man, there is a reluctance to call sin “sin” and thus a failure to proclaim the true Gospel. An unadulterated Gospel is the very thing Jesus commanded believers to declare to the entire world (Matt. 28:19-20, Luke 24:47, Acts 1:8).
In conclusion, and as I mentioned previously, desensitization techniques have the most success with unbelievers. God, in His divine mercy, has given Christians the Holy Spirit, so that we have a spirit of “…power and love and discipline”. (2 Tim. 1:7). Furthermore, we are exceedingly blessed to have Jesus Christ interceding between us and the Father. (1 Tim. 2:5). Therefore, the Trinity is at work on our behalf to prevent us from being deceived, and to enable us to resist all forms of evil and to do good. Additionally, we can hold fast to His guaranteed promise of eternal salvation, just as the Lord Jesus Christ declared; “…But the one who endures to the end, he shall be saved.” (Matt. 24:12-13-emphasis added). Let Christians lovingly, mercifully, and patiently share the Gospel with all people, especially those captivated by the wiles of desensitization. (Jude. 22-23). “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.” (2 Thess. 2:15). Amen!
(1) Dictionary.com, based on the Random House Dictionary
* For a detailed lecture on the homosexuality and the desensitization of America, view Pastor Voddie Baucham’s; “Is Gay the New Black“? “Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis” I.C.R. Conference.