This is at once an opportunity, a test and a real danger. It is a danger in the sense that the consequences of a developed free will means our choices matter.
In the past it may have been spiritually acceptable for our choices to be wrong if the culture in which we lived bent them that way. We were not regarded as so personally responsible because our individual sense of self had not been built up so much.
Now we are responsible. The influences of the tribe, the culture, the society are no longer acceptable as extenuating circumstances.
This also means that even believing the right thing is insufficient if that belief comes from outside. It must be personal, something we have reached through inner awareness.
From William Wildblood: Read the whole thing...
William's short post captures, in a compressed form, something of great importance I have often thought about myself.
I agree strongly with his point: In the past it may have been spiritually acceptable for our choices to be wrong if the culture in which we lived bent them that way... Now we are responsible. The influences of the tribe, the culture, the society are no longer acceptable as extenuating circumstances.
Yet I see from all sides that many people cling to the assertion of their own irresponsibility; as if they were still children, or lived in the past when the relationship of Man and Society was different, and the two were less distinct.
On the contrary: To make such a claim of non-responsibility is in fact incoherent.
Anyone who can claim that he is not responsible is, by that fact, responsible - or else the distinction could not be formulated.
(Only when someone lacks insight is he genuinely not-responsible; and then he could not claim it... Catch 22!)
What is actually happening nowadays is a refusal to acknowledge actual responsibility. The individual chooses to pretend he has not made a decision that he has made - and thereby tries to give himself a private, and public, excuse - whereby he cannot be blamed.
This usually happens because, in practice, the individual has chosen a cowardly course of submission to totalitarian evil in hope either of expedient personal advantage, or for fear of adverse consequences.
Well, many of us lack courage - but it is the refusal to be honest with oneself that is so decisively self-damning; and leads to further sin by the habit of refusing the necessity to take responsibility and make individual discernments - even in the privacy of one's thoughts.
It is this honesty with oneself and with God that matters ultimately; and which seems to be so lethally deficient in this time.