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An Interesting Perspective:

The Denial of Guilt

by Bruce Malone

Search for the Truth Ministries

[Editors Note: January may well be a pivotal month. With the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the nomination of Federal Appeals Court Judge Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court set to begin January 9th, the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade on January 22nd, and the number of upcoming Supreme Court cases relating to abortion, we felt the following article would be of interest.]

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Consider the heinous, gruesome crimes and atrocities of the past century: How can this human depravity and vile sin be explained?

What would have caused the Germans in Hitlers concentration camps to torture and slaughter millions of innocent Jewish civilians? Most of those involved were not deprived maniacs, but ordinary - and often highly educated - people.

Particularly puzzling is the action of physicians involved in vile human experimentation. What would cause doctors to torture and mutilate?

Robert Lifton sought an answer to this question in his book, The Nazi Doctors. What Lifton found was a universal denial of guilt! The doctors whom he interviewed either refused to accept responsibility, denied wrongdoing, or blamed the situation in which they were trapped. According to Lifton, ''...not a single former Nazi doctor I spoke to arrived at a clear, ethical evaluation of what he had done or what he had been a part of.''1

Such a clear window into human nature should serve as a warning beacon to each of us. We have an unquenchable desire to consider ourselves innocent. Yet, deep down, we all know that we are guilty.

Abortion is ground zero for the value of life discussion. There is no easy cutoff for when a ''fetus'' becomes a baby. The Bible clearly speaks of unborn children as human beings2 and makes no distinction between the value of babies before or after they are born. To discard unborn children is equivalent to playing God.

Those closest to the abortion issue - the millions of women who have had abortions, the millions of men who have coerced women into having abortions, and the tens of millions who have a friend who has had an abortion - will find it very difficult to remain objective about this subject.

We all seem to have the built-in ability to guard ourselves from the pain of responsibility by denial and justification. To acknowledge guilt is to admit that some payment for the wrongful act is required. Yet, what payment could provide adequate retribution for ending the life of an innocent child?

The almost infinite ability of humanity to justify evil is part of the basic nature of sin, which goes back to the foundation of humanity itself.

Adams response to his sin was to hide the sin (denial); to blame Eve for the sin (rationalization); and, to refuse to accept responsibility for the sin: ''...The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat''3 (justification).

The problem with confronting abortion as uncloaked atrocity is a resulting shutdown of communication. [Remember to apply Ephesians 4:15: ''...speaking the truth in love...''] But to say nothing is not helping those already condemned by their own actions.

Modern psychology has confirmed what the Bible has taught for thousands of years. Until guilt is admitted, no healing can take place. Modern man is increasingly trying to deal with guilt by denying that sin, or even guilt, exists. Or rationalizing it by saying, ''Other people are guilty...but never me.''

All religions, except Christianity, attempt to ''pay off'' guilt by various retributive behaviors. None of these strategies for dealing with the reality of guilt will work. Humans feel guilty because they live in the reality of a holy Gods existence. We are guilty.

The very nature of a just God requires repentance before forgiveness can take place. Until we admit our sins, repent, and accept His sacrifice as payment, we can never be truly free.

As painful as it may be to admit wrongdoing, the benefit of knowing you are forgiven by the Creator of the universe is worth the pain of acknowledgment. And after admission of guilt, there must be more than regret. Admission of guilt is just the first step, and regret is not the same as repentance. Repentance is turning completely around.

Only by turning away from the darkness can you see the light.

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This article was excerpted from Bruce A. Malones book, Search for the Truth: Changing the World with the Evidence for Creation, ISBN#097159110-5. A complete set of articles examining science and reality from a Christian perspective can be found at SearchfortheTruth.org. Reprinted by permission of the author.


  1. Lifton, Robert, The Nazi Doctors, New York; Basic Books, 1986.
  2. Psalm 139:13-16; Isaiah 49:1; Jeremiah 1:5; Judges 13:3, 6-7; Job 3:3, 10:18-19; Ecclesiastes 11:5.
  3. Genesis 3:10-13.

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