COPYCAT CONSCIENCE

A black bloc group in a feeder march near the World Bank, in Washington, D.C. in 2009. Some black bloc protesters wear hoods, allowing their faces to be viewed, while others use such items as scarves, dark sunglasses or masks to conceal their faces as much as possible. (author’s note: Black Bloc is associated with Antifa.) (from here)

Is this post about Antifa? No. I have written a little about the movement (see WHAT IS ANTIFA? WHITE-WASHING VIOLENCE), but I don’t have the time or the interest to do the kind of serious research Andy Ngo (andy-ngo.com) has done. The Bee Explains: What Is Antifa? (babylonbee.com) is probably exceeds my journalistic competence.

So, what is this post about? My bent is more philosophical. Look around at our country. Have you wondered why everything seems to be drifting into chaos? If we take the time to read the Bible, especially books like Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, it is possible to gain a good understanding of the matter.

Consider this passage.

Proverbs 1:10-19 New American Standard Bible
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let’s lie in wait for blood,
Let’s ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let’s swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with plunder;
14 Throw in your lot with us;
We will all have one money bag,”
15 My son, do not walk on the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16 For their feet run to evil,
And they are quick to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 Such are the ways of everyone who makes unjust gain;
It takes away the life of its possessors.

Proverbs 1:10-19 does not apply specifically to thieves. Proverbs 1:10-19 applies to people tempting each other to do what is wrong. So, Proverbs 1:10-19 applies to Antifa.

Antifa is a group that is still, fortunately, on the extreme fringe, but the intimidation and violence we associate with Antifa is becoming more commonplace. Antifa is full of young people copying bad behavior from each other and from older folks in the mass media and within our educational establishment who should know better.

We are by nature inclined to be copycats.

copycat (n.)

also copy-cat, derogatory term for one who copies another or another’s work, by 1884, American English, probably at least a generation older, from copy (v.) + cat (n.). Domestic cats sometimes will imitate each other’s behaviors. As a verb, “to slavishly imitate,” from 1932. Related: Copycatted; copycatting.

https://www.etymonline.com/search?q=copycat

The term “copycat” may be derogatory, but copying others is one of the ways we learn. So, copying others is not necessarily a problem. What is the problem? The problem is relying upon what others think to govern our own personal standards of behavior.

Consider a phenomenon called groupthink.

Groupthink is a phenomenon that occurs when a group of well-intentioned people makes irrational or non-optimal decisions spurred by the urge to conform or the belief that dissent is impossible. The problematic or premature consensus that is characteristic of groupthink may be fueled by a particular agenda—or it may be due to group members valuing harmony and coherence above critical thought.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/groupthink

The issue is who and what we choose to copy. We must be wise in our choices. As much as possible we must copy what God wants us to copy. We must train our consciences so that our behavior conforms to Biblical standards.

Proverbs 3:5-6 New American Standard Bible
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.

Instead of learning to think like others — looking for things to gripe about and be angry about — we must seek to think like Jesus.

Romans 12:2-3 New American Standard Bible
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

It is easy to look to the people around us for our behavioral standards. Because we all crave to belong to some group, it is easy to adopt to the standards of some identity group based upon wealth, ethnicity, race, gender orientation, cultish beliefs, Utopian ideology, and/or some other foolish choice. So, we must make the effort to keep our eyes and ears and thoughts focused upon our Creator. That is why we must spend time in the Word, pray, attend a Bible centered church, and fellowship in Christ with other Christians. That is why our Lord demands that we know what we believe and that we are ready to defend our beliefs.


1 Peter 3:14-16 New American Standard Bible
14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be in dread, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who disparage your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

Additional References

9 thoughts on “COPYCAT CONSCIENCE

  1. The Bible has its finger on the pulse of wicked men. In 1 Samuel 8, God sounds like the Founding Fathers warning the Hebrews against choosing to be ruled by a king.

    The quote here, Proverbs 1:10-19, sounds like President Trump at one of his rallies, warning Americans about the evils of the Democrat Party.

    Oh brother! Wait until Brandon gets word that President Trump is channeling the Bible.

    1. Trump channeling the Bible? I doubt most Christians would agree, but I think most Democrats would. I think that is why the Democratic Party is determined to destroy Trump.

  2. Tom,

    Wise post and spot on selection of applicable proverbs..

    When children are never taught proverbs or Ecclesiastes they cannot understand how to recognize or discern propaganda from truth of what is good or bad teachings on what to copycat and follow in their lives.

    For example when juvenile minds are allowed to read banned books by school boards who recognize the book is a form of propaganda which may pervert their minds at an age before their brains are capable to discern what is a wise or foolish path to choose in life.

    Sadly many politicians were never taught in their childhood and have grown up and become elected leaders or activistes gathering followers in their communities to believe they are wise, when instead, they are foolish..

    For Example

    Banning Books that serve as Propaganda to Children’s Minds

    Is Banning Books to Invite Propaganda into Undeveloped Juveniles’ Minds is … Conundrum? King Solomon Blog

    We need to vote the politicians out who themselves have never been taught the differences between wisdom from when they were children.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  3. Good post, Tom. Long ago CS Lewis wrote “the inner ring,” for a graduation speech. It kind of captures our desire to fit in, to hang out with the cool kids, and to gain access to the inner ring of power. It’s a temptation rooted in groupthink, and before you know it you’ll be sacrificing values just to belong and gain approval.

    Most of the people involved in antifa, BLM, and other groups that I have spoken to really have no idea what they believe or who they are even following. They are part of a movement, they are busy belonging.

    1. Insanitybytes22

      I am afraid there is more to it than belonging. They using each other’s bad behavior to justify their own bad behavior. If Joe throws a brick at a policeman, Harry thinks it is okay for him to throw a brick, and Joe feels better because Harry threw a brick too. Instead of being ashamed, they congratulate themselves on what they are doing for the cause.

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