Tuesday, January 04, 2011

"Follow your heart": Pearls Before Swine illustrates the folly

Steven Pastis' Pearls Before Swine has often been amusing, but here it stumbles into probably unintended Biblical profundity.


Robert said...

So you're saying I should follow my feelings, right? Seriously, that is a great illustration of what is wrong with following anything that comes from inside us. I wonder if people who claim to have a "word from God" can see the implications of what this cartoon demonstrates.

Fred Butler said...

One of my favorite Seinfeld moments is when, during a period of personal disillusionment for George, Kramer asks, him, "Now tell me, what does the little man inside you say?" To which George replies, "I don't know, my little man is an idiot."

I think way too many people who follow their heart is following an idiot.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Brings to mind Jeremiah 17:9, he heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Scooter said...

My inner voice is like a cockroach: every time I finally squash it, 2 more appear out of no where.

It's at that point I usually remind myself of Dan's Blackaby reviews and (I think) Phil's "No Voices in My Head" post.

At least that's what the little voice says.

Terry Rayburn said...

Maybe this is a little heavy, but if Dan allows, I'd like to pose a question, after a brief explanation.

In modern "psychobabble" is the common concept of a sociopath or psychopath (often used interchangeably).

It's typically defined as a person who is ultra-narcissistic, manipulative, often charming when they want or need to be, and (here's the crux) with NO CONSCIENCE (often thought so from birth by psychologists), and therefore with a potential for great evil.

Also, they are considered "incurable" "monsters" (often freely walking among society "undiagnosed", but wrecking lives in various ways, almost for sport -- you probably know more than one, but may not even realize it).

Such animals appear to exist both in and out of the professing church, and shamefully in and out of the pastorate.

My question(s):

Breaking out of the realm of psychology, what is that animal BIBLICALLY?

A seared conscience? (Yet they usually seem to have never had one).

"Damaged" in childhood? (Yet some abused children, for example, turn out relatively fine, with real consciences.)

Simply unregenerate? (Yet most unregenerate have some level of conscience and sense of right and wrong -- the sociopath/psychopath has none).

Physical brain defect? (Yet is a conscience physical in any way?)

Robert said...


I have another scary possibility: demon-possessed.

The Squirrel said...

Terry writes:

"what is that animal BIBLICALLY?"

I would say "unrestrained by God's grace." The only reason anybody isn't as bad as they possibly could be is because God, in His grace, restrains our sinfulness.

The general level of sinfulness increases or decreases not because people become more or less sinful, but because God sovereignly applies greater or lesser restraint upon our self-expression of our depravity.


Herding Grasshoppers said...


so, you've met my sister-in-law?

(I wish that was the punchline to a joke... but all too true.)

In her case, it is blamed on Fetal Alcohol exposure, and the resultant(?) inability to link action with consequence. (Add to that Bi-Polar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, brain damage from oxygen deprivation at birth, along with ongoing substance abuse and involvement in witchcraft, and you've got quite a package. But I digress...)

Really, your question seems to be is mental illness a valid diagnosis or is it just plain old sin. Which I wonder myself.

Surely sometimes there is a legitimate chemical (or other?) imbalance, but that doesn't seem to explain the majority, now does it?

Dan, are you weighing in here?


Susan said...

I just recently had a situation in which my heart experienced such turmoil from dealings with a friend that I didn't know what to do. What calmed me was not the little voice inside my head; rather, it was something external--a lecture given after a BSF bible study on an Isaiah chapter (one of the main points being God's warning the Israelites that they were going on the wrong path). When the aforementioned situation took an unexpected turn for the worse, it took me a few moments to keep my composure, but shortly afterward I remembered that lecture and realized that the Lord used it to prepare me ahead of time to face the situation. It actually brought a smile to my face, knowing that nothing surprises the Lord and that He really knows how to protect us. Definitely can't trust my own feelings...still learning that the hard way....

Stefan said...

Wow, Susan, your comment just totally resonated with me. I'm going through an incredible season of both blessings and challenges right now (challenges being another form of blessings!), and I can see God's hand at work in all of it, including preparing me mentally and spiritually ahead of time to deal with this.

Susan said...

What can I say, Stefan? The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes He just gives us little reminders that He loves us. :)