Christianity and the vulnerable!
If there is no physical evidence for a religious claim or if it is impossible according to the associated mechanics of natural law, then that claim should be considered a myth or superstition until which time it might, however improbable, be validated. Only through validation can something be considered true and not through the hollow assumption of faith or the tenacious advocacy of a religious belief system no matter how emotionally stirring. (1)
Well meaning and loving parents who educate their children in Christianity believe in their hearts that their religion is true. However, they know, that there is no evidence of God or his miracles and that the Bibles teachings have no validity in a modern world. Are they not being intellectually dishonest and lazy? They have a childlike, silly and fickle trust in the inner witness of the spirit and revelation from the Holy Ghost, which allows them to adopt an attitude of belief; where by, they can arrogantly proclaim that they “know, that they know, that they know” the bible is the inerrant and infallible word of God. But would a good parent, burden their off spring, with such fanatical certainty? Truth can only known when you discover the “real source” of “Holy Scripture” and by acknowledging that there was a broad recipe used to concoct Christian tradition.
It is not enough to simply by default; parrot what you believe by way of Church doctrine or articles of faith or to merely quote, without comprehension, from the Bible or by way of a subjective emotional religious experience, nor like preachers in Church; who cheery pick the loving and comforting scriptures and avoid all the gruesome and wrathful stories, events and ideas in the Bible. However this odd Christian behaviour is understandable; are they not proud products of indoctrination themselves? And thereby blind to any valid critique of their faith, as they retain an immature attitude of “God” and the Bible, that was embedded in their psychic, when they were children. They know beyond doubt, that any objective “outsider” would find holes with their faith and would never ever accept the claim that they and only they have “absolute truth”.
We all know that fear is one of the most primitive and powerful of human emotions. Our early ancestors were ignorant and superstitious which allowed fear to dominate them. They would even flee from there own shadow, thinking it was some carnivore or demon out to devour them. So it is no mystery then, that Christianity is a fear based religion: fear of what God will do to you, if you do not accept him. God loves you so much: he died for you and if you do not accept that fact you will spend eternity in hell. Without insight and knowledge to calm our fear we are susceptible to fear induced scenarios as it is ingrained in our very being and the evolution of fear, used as a tool, to whip the rebellious and unbeliever into line can be traced throughout the Bible from Genesis to Revelations. Claims that the “fear of God leads to knowledge”, “the fool says there is no God” and ‘that unbelieving fools despise wisdom” is a common theme in the Bible.
This fear phenomenon is used to control their subjects. Fear of falling into the hands of an angry God and enduring his righteous Wrath! Fear of the unknowns like death and the grave! Fear of eternal suffering in a gruesome hell! In order to make this fear real to you they tell you that you are morally depraved and have fallen short of the glory of God. So this guilt complex is passed on to each generation who are born sinners and in need of salvation.
Jesus paints a horrifying picture of poor unbelieving Lazarus depicting hell; as a lake of fire, a fire of eternal torture that is impossible to quench despite the constant pleading of the dammed. Vulnerable people are completely at the mercy of this religious indoctrination. Children, the mentally retarded and sufferers of Alzheimer’s may visualise these things but they do not have the capacity to evaluate and analyse the message and even if they could to a certain extent, because of the powerful social context, they fear rejection from family and friends, they would still comply so as not to rock the boat.
Even if you are saved, have a born again relationship, and are going to heaven you will still have anxiety. Will I be left behind at the rapture? Am I a wise virgin with oil in my lamp? How can I be sure I am really saved and a true Christian? Will Jesus spew me out of his mouth? Will he tell me to depart as he does not even know me? Every time you sin you think that’s it, I am bound for hell. So you still have fear! Show me one Christian that does not have fear that he will not make it to heaven and I will show you a liar. The terror of the Lord is what prompted Paul to evangelise.
Children are told that the world is in a state of rebellion and every one who is not in their religion is under the rule of Satan and his demons and that you must be very afraid of anything that is not Christian and under the Lordship of Christ. Harry Potter, gummy bears, gay people, atheists, cross dressers, Lady Gaga are Satan worshippers, evil and from the devil. Parents try to control secular influences through Christian private and home schooling and the children who are unnaturally sheltered, grow up terrified of everything outside the religious subculture simply because they are unfamiliar with it. The world is a dangerous and evil place, full of temptation and horrible sinners, seeking to influence you and hence destroy your faith in God and take you to hell with them. You don’t believe me look at this verse > I Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”
You know what is the weirdest thing of this religious indoctrination is that God gets out of jail free. God is never blamed for anything. Have you noticed that? Evil is not his fault. Unanswered prayer is not his fault. Failing to heal you, stop you from being mugged, hijacked, attacked, murdered etc is not his fault. It’s yours, you are full of sin, he is teaching you a lesson, you do not have enough faith… yada, yada. Pick up a book by Darwin, Dawkins, Hawkins, Harris and all hell breaks loose. Only the Bible can be trusted. To think you are good or wise or strong or loving or capable as a person with out God is considered pride. Anything good you do is credited to God and he is glorified; anything bad is your fault. God is perfect and who are you?
Christians that want to leave the cult (yes Christianity is a cult, a rather big one) feel just like a woman in an abusive relationship, they fight battles with themselves, should I leave, what if, maybe things will improve, but they are deluded as they will not. So the excuses begin, God is good, the Bible is God’s word and the cherry picking starts; God is love, he loves you - one just has to look at the ridiculous, childish, daft comments of Christians posted on religious articles on MyNews 24 and you will see what I mean.
I am the potter you are the clay this all mighty God proclaims with a smirk what you are going to do about it. In the hands of God a believer is just a lump of clay. In the hands of an angry God an unbeliever had better wish he had never been born or that he had bowed the knee to the King of Kings and Lord of lords. So the sincere believer “repents” and “rededicates,” which produces a temporary reprieve of anxiety and perhaps a period of positive affect. This intermittent reinforcement is enough to keep the cycle of abuse in place. Just like what happens to a devoted wife in an abusive relationship, it is the most sincere and serious believers that get damaged the most.
Don’t think, don’t feel. Christian theology is also damaging to intellectual development in that it explicitly warns against trusting one’s own mind while requiring belief in far-fetched claims. Believers are not allowed to question dogma without endangering themselves. Critical thinking skills are under-valued. The mind has a hard time keeping up with this superstitious nonsense because it is always trying to understand and make sense of illogical things.
Therefore the practise of indoctrinating unwitting children is a travesty of their rights and taking advantage of a vulnerable person, child or adult is unethical and despicable. Parents what are you doing to your children and to yourself, set yourself free? You can do it! There is life after Jesus!
(1) Craig Lee Duckett