Respond to at least two classmates’ threads with a 150-250 word response including a biblical world view in addition to any empirical support desired. When responding to the prompt, be sure to use empirical support such as the textbook and/or a peer reviewed article with APA formatted in-text citations and reference citations after your thread as it calls for within the prompt. Include a quote from the Bible using a relevant verse. As well, be sure to cite not only Book chapter and verse, but with the first Bible quotation, also cite the version of the Bible you used. Include the word count for each post. Follow good grammar in your writing.
1Assimilation is a crucial part of fulfilling the need for companionship and a sense of belonging that is ingrained in the very fabric of human nature. Aronson, Wilson, Akert & Sommers (2016) defines a group as, “Two or more people who interact and are independent in the sense that their needs and goals cause them to influence each other” (p. 264). The first group of people recorded in the book of Genesis describes God’s creation of Adam and Eve. Seeing that Adam would greatly benefit with a companion, God saw fit to Eve setting the foundation in human history not only for marriage but also as the first group setting on earth. Not only does the Bible for the positive outcomes that may come from a union between people, but it also details all that can typically go wrong with specific alliances and toxic group thinking. Despite the holy example provided for humanity with the concept of the Holy Trinity, much of humankind’s history records the lack of harmonious, moral and productive unions, and the all too common pitfalls that typically follow. Hobson-West (2007) conducted a study exploring the two sides commonly taken by society regarding childhood vaccines. In this study, Hobson-West (2007), explores the common beliefs held by each side of the argument. The results defined how the two groups, those who held the view that vaccines do more harm than good and those who see the necessity of vaccines to keep preventable from becoming a deadly outbreak, tend to deny factual information if it is inconvenient for their cause.
This study provides a stark example how individuals can become blind by the truth by aligning oneself with those who commonly agree with their views, therefore becoming more like the following flock of sheep focusing only one their biased point of views. While there are many examples of groups choosing to align with those who share common beliefs and goals, the Bible warns Christians to be vigilant when communing with those who ignore Biblical principles. 1 Peter 1:14 states that “… as obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance” (English Standard Version). All too often, individuals become lost in group thinking, and if not guided by the discernment given by the Holy Spirit, people are highly susceptible to believing their of view. Even when individual members of that alliance personally find that the group’s viewpoint is contrary to proven research, a large portion of the members will continue to support the goals of the group. Many times, the need to belong to a group filled with like-minded people causes members to miss the opportunity for truth. In a letter to the members of the Roman church, Paul cautions Christians to “…not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (ESV). Although much good can come with the acceptance into a union, it becomes clear that while the concept of unity maybe inherently engraved into the needs of every person, as followers of Christ, we must first and foremost explore factual and biblical truths. Therefore, Christians are called to band together, upholding Godly truths while enjoying the pleasantries that results from a sense of belonging.
Group cohesiveness refers to the qualities of a group that bind members together and promote mutual liking (Dion, 2000; Holtz, 2004; Rosh, Offermann, & Van Diest, 2012). The more cohesive a group is, the more its members are likely to stay in the group, take part in group activities, and try to recruit new like-minded members (Levine & Moreland, 1998; Pickett, Silver, & Brewer, 2002; Spink et al., 2014). Group cohesiveness can get in the way of decision making and the thought process. Groupthink is a form of thinking group cohesiveness and is most likely to occur when preconditions are met, such as when the group is isolated from contrary opinions and ruled by a directive leader. In some instances with groupthink, solidarity becomes more important to a group rather than thinking clearly and considering the facts presented in a realistic manner. Romans 12: 2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Groupthink coincides with conforming to the ways of the world because in life, we are to follow our own path instead of worshipping false idols and the crowd, which in this case would be the other members of the group. In a sense it is almost cult like in the sense of there being a directive leader and being isolated from certain opinions and not having your own mind to do what you would like without being judged or with fear of repercussions. 1 John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”