Avoiding groupthink

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by Richard Mansel, managing editor

There are three basic kinds of thinking.

  • Egocentric thinking puts our own needs above everyone else’s.
  • Sociocentric thinking means that we put the group’s needs above our own.
  • Rational thinking strives to develop a realistic, critical sense of the world.

As babies, we are egocentric and frame the entire world in terms of our own desires. Everyone has to serve us, or we become angry. At some point as children we develop an intense need to be accepted by our peer group.

Few people break from the pack and enter into the third realm. Critical thinking requires higher thought, and we must be able to see the world outside of our own needs. We develop the courage to see ourselves critically.

The critical thinker desires to see themselves as others do so they can, to some degree, examine themselves dispassionately.

As a Christian, we consider these three forms of thinking and find a wealth of insight.

When we are immersed into Christ (Acts 2:38; 22:16), we are added to the body of Christ (Acts 2:47; Ephesians 1:22-23). Once we are in Christ (Galatians 3:27; Romans 6:3-4), we are transformed by the gospel so that Christ becomes the Lord of our life (Romans 12:1-2).

His Word becomes our domain (John 1:1-5,14), and we must immerse ourselves in it.

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep your righteous judgments” (Psalm 119:105-106, NKJV).

In Christ, we develop a spiritual mindset so that we make our decisions based on God’s Word (Romans 8:1-6; John 14:15; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). We remain within that Word as a perpetual boundary (Colossians 3:17; 1 Corinthians 4:6).

The three forms of thinking above are fleshly to the extent that they do not include God’s voice. As Christians that must be our only realm of thought.

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant and coming in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:5-7).

Once we develop a spiritual mindset, we can think critically about ourselves and the world. While we must put others above ourselves, that must always be secondary to Christ (Philippians 2:4,16).

Satan establishes a form of truth that resists Biblical truth and uses his human facilitators to force all of us to accept this new standard.

Without Christ, Satan is working very hard at Groupthink where we put the good of the group above everything else. This is how Satan will bring society inline with his beliefs. Groupthink pares down human language and ideas until they are subsumed into what the group [Satan] desires.

Groupthink, however, is a misnomer, because it is not based on pure democracy but a dictatorial system where peer pressure forces their will on people by violence, if necessary. Except instead of an evil government, Satan is the dark power behind the veil.

When Christians become more afraid of societal standards than we are of God’s, we begin to accept abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia and all kinds of depravity.

In order to save the world, we must remain focused on God-thinking and teach others to develop this mindset before it’s too late. Corrupt patterns of thought will doom the world, and we must avoid that certain death so we can save some.

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