Your perception can be the death of you


“Like the Titanic, our nation has failed to change course.  In addition, the recent celebratory ringing of the church bells at the National Cathedral over the Supreme Court’s decision regarding “Gay Rights” has caused our country’s hull to be struck just below the waterline.  The damage is currently unseen… but deadly.”–Daniel Holdings

By Daniel Holdings

12 July 2013: It has been said that it is not the military might of the United States, nor our great wealth and not even our vast influence that has made this country great.  It is the indomitable American spirit, born into the hearts of its citizens who honor freedom and liberty.  While often quoted and, according to the dictionary, as applied to the American spirit, indomitable means that we “cannot be subdued or overcome” and because of our “will and courage,” we are “unconquerable.”

But does the axiom hold true today?

During the Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami in 2004, there were numerous stories where, before the tsunami, people saw the ocean waters recede.  Their perception was that the event was special and unprecedented.  Many of the curious had to go and see for themselves this interesting phenomenon.

We know what happened next – The massive waves began to rush in and wash hundreds of thousands of people away to their deaths – All because of the wrong “perception”.

Some would call such an event the result of normalcy bias; the false belief that because something has never happened, it CAN’T happen.

But tell that to the Jews who lived through the Holocaust.  Many of that day said that Hitler would never allow such a thing to happen.  He was, after all, a “good man” who was sent to save Germany.

The same could be said of more recent holocausts.  Serbian ethnic cleansing comes to mind, as does the Cambodian genocide where the Khmer Rouge killed more than a million and a half of their own people.

In those examples, citizen’s perception told them that such atrocities could not happen in their countries.  They too, were nations of laws with governments only trying to do what was “best” for their people.

While the temptation is to make a comparison with today’s conflicts in the Middle East, a broader point must be made if we are to change our perception before it kills us.

The famous story of the Titanic holds many truths that can help us examine our own perceptions.  According to the “official” story, the iceberg was spotted only ¼ mile away, a mere five minutes before the “unsinkable” ship side-swiped the unmovable chunk of ice.

The crow’s nest crewman’s perspective of the iceberg was only the monolith’s very tip.  As such, regardless of the ship’s hard turn, they were unable to avoid the massive crystalline structure beneath the surface.

Damage to the ship’s hull was beneath the waterline and at first perceived to be inconsequential.  After all, this was a technologically advanced ship for her time, and one that many called indomitable.  But harmed she was.

In less than an hour and a half later, the forward decks had flooded enough to raise the stern completely out of the water.  Consequently, her propellers and rudder were of no use to her.  She was dead in the water… and sinking.

The stories of evacuation of the elite and wealthy passengers are, of course, real.  History tells us that crew and captain did in fact have ship’s musicians come topside to play beautiful music in an effort to keep the passengers calm.  Interestingly, the last song reported being played was the old hymn, “Nearer, my God, to Thee”.

Framing the perspective of the doomed ship’s passengers was an important task for the captain.  Panic would have caused a hopeless situation to become even worse.  So the captain went about shifting deck chairs and playing music just like it was any other night on the cruise.  But that wasn’t any other night – it was their last night regardless of how their perception had been manipulated.

Over 1,500 people died because of their unrealistic perception – the ship was not so indomitable after all.

Like those passengers of the Titanic, our country’s, and our church’s, captain and crew tell us that America cannot sink.  We have a reputation of strength, vitality and resolve.  We can, and will, bounce back as we always do.  Does this sound like Normalcy Bias?

However, that iceberg dead ahead is in fact God Himself.  He sits there as a reminder of our finiteness and His immovableness.  We were charged to avoid running into His judgment by following his course for our country’s direction.  That direction was laid out for us in His word, the ultimate navigator.

Like the Titanic, our nation has failed to change course.  In addition, the recent celebratory ringing of the church bells at the National Cathedral over the Supreme Court’s decision regarding “Gay Rights” has caused our country’s hull to be struck just below the waterline.  The damage is currently unseen… but deadly.

With water, sin, pouring into our forward compartments, we still have the crew, both the government and our pastors, rearranging deckchairs and playing “Nearer, my God, to Thee”.  But make no mistake – we are sinking.

This country, the land that we love, has been taken over by the godless.  Yet, our church leaders say nothing to the passengers about this life-threatening damage.  Unfortunately, like many of those unassuming people who died that frosty night, the vast majority of American’s will be caught unaware by this country’s sinking into the annuls of history.

Just like Germany, Cambodia and Serbia, our people say, it can’t happen here.  Will the lessons learned in the gas chambers and the concentration camps of the Holocaust be forgotten, only to have to be relived?

Will the Church remain asleep until the end comes?

As we play on the newly revealed sand of modern history’s receding shoreline, are we also doomed to be swept away by the tsunami?

This is a time of choosing.  Will you remain silent and asleep?  Or will you sound the alarm?

The risk is to more than just the United States.  It is a very real risk to the whole world.

America, for all of her detractors, is so influential that significant change here will cause a tsunami of unwanted change to the world’s economies, governments and societies.  This change, not for the better, will be more significant than at any other time in the history of mankind.

It wasn’t the greatness of America that held evil at bay around the world.  It was the goodness inbred into this country by a living God that used her as a standard, for the world’s governments.

Speak now while you have a voice.  Warn now, before it is too late.  Pastor, forget the deckchairs and do the work of the ministry.

Because the wave is coming… and with its might, it will wash away everything we know.


holdingsNote from Doug Hagmann: Author Daniel Holdings was a gust on The Hagmann & Hagmann Report on June 28, 2013. His interview can be heard and downloaded at this link. It is with great pride, sincere humility and much gratitude that Mr. Holdings has allowed us to offer his article to our readers.

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