By John Blatt
I, along with many other ex-Christians, am in a rare position to speak on one of the most oppressive thought systems that has ever been subjected upon humanity and because I honestly care about our world and our spiritual and psychic evolution of humanity do I set out to help some to be free from this darkness. This HAS to come out of me. I need to know that I did all that I could with the knowledge that I have to help humanity in the best way that I can. It is a part of who I am and what I am here to do with the remaining time I have left.
Okay, why is it that Atheistic arguments cannot work against Christian Fundamentalism? Over the past three years I have read most of the major and many of the minor works on Atheism and its arguments against theism in general and fundamentalism in particular. There are some great arguments for sure, yet as a very knowledgeable ex-Christian I can logically answer 99% of all the hardest questions that can be posed to a Christian. I had (and still have) a solid answer for every question, and well-educated Christians (that is those Christians who truly know their bibles, hermeneutics, and the various disciplines of theology) also can answer such hard questions (though maybe not to the satisfaction of an Atheist). So being able to rebut Christianity through logic, science, nitpicking the contradictions of the bible, or various other means just doesn't work (on the whole). It just doesn't. If it did there would be hordes of people leaving Christianity. Certainly other religions have even less of an effect upon Christian ideology. If anything it strengthens the resolve of those who are serious Christians. If Atheism, rational thought, science, and every other religion cannot dismantle the Christian religion then is there any hope of freeing the world from this incredible darkness?
Yes. Most Atheists have never been a die-hard, living martyr for Christ and "the Faith." There are some of us Atheists who have lived that life, gave ourselves to Jesus and "his truth", sacrificed everything in our utter devotion to love and serve him, his truth and his church. "That Christ might live in us and that we might die" all for Jesus. There are ex-Christians who were as devout or deeply ingrained within it as I have been and they know, as I do, why arguments, whatever they might be, just didn't hold water. We know the passion and determination of other extremists from religions like Islam and Mormonism as well.
Ultimately, there are only two ways to break through this incredibly resilient ideology and belief system, to break into the minds of these people and help them to see. The first being: Universal Reconciliation, the third major theological system of the bible (the other two being Arminianism and Calvinism). Universal Reconciliation is the most consistent New Testament theological system and portrays god in the highest and most loving and merciful light. Universal Reconciliation is a much higher view of Christ and god than the vast majority of evangelical Christianity holds to, which falls within the confines of Arminianism or Calvinism (usually an inconsistent combination of the two). Anyone who truly knows the bible understands that the bible is broken up into covenants, mainly the new covenant and the old covenant. The new covenant was created when Jesus died on the cross (according to the bible that is). Everything before Jesus' death was under the old covenant, which was just a foreshadow or anti-type of the real, which was Christ and his new covenant. This is why knowledgeable Christians will never be moved with all the horrid and murderous quotes from the Old Testament - "that was under the old covenant and was fulfilled in Christ." The Old Testament is not the canon of the Christian, the New Testament is. Though many less knowledgeable Christians see the Old Testament quotes and try to follow them. This is why the Phelps' and other members of Westboro Baptist Cult in, Topeka, Kansas can say and do what they do. They take the Old Testament scriptures as their cannon (that is, it is authoritative to them) and use it for their own horribly deviant agendas. The new covenant puts all the duties and requirements of the Old Testament law completely fulfilled in Christ, but more than this Universal Reconciliation states that Christ died for EVERY person, past, present and future regardless whether or not they believe. Sure it is ideal to come to faith and be born-again in this life and know Jesus now, but it is not necessary for reconciliation with god. He did it all. Thus all the sins of all the people in every age, past , present and future were propitiated by christ on the cross, reconciling everyone to himself, yes, even Hitler, Dahmer, and Phelps. Some also believe that Satan will be reconciled and restored to god in the consummation of the end as well. This is a MUCH more positive and loving, (and I must say more scriptural) understanding and view of god under the new covenant. Though mainstream Christianity calls Universal Reconciliation a heresy and those who believe it are damned to hell. This blocks nearly 100% inquiry into this understanding of the New Testament. I didn't want to even look into it at first because I was so deeply programmed with the Christian status quo.
Once one also understands that 98% of English translations of the bible are translated by people who are programmed themselves with a certain theological system and that there are many places in the New Testament that are purposefully mistranslated to concur with their own theology, then you can understand that the word "hell" is never even in the New Testament. There is much to this of course, but suffice it to say that there are agendas within agendas even with translating the bible. If there is no hell in the New Testament then the current, mainstream evangelicalism and fundamentalism basically falls apart. Hell is a more generally a more treasured doctrine to Christians than redemption or reconciliation is, whether they would like to admit it or not, because without hell there is no NEED of faith in Christ.
Thus Universal Reconciliation frees the mind and heart to love Christ more or to seek other avenues of meaning in life. If I am reconciled to god whether or not I believe then I am free. Free to love Christ all the more or free to leave Christianity altogether. So this is the first way to free the minds and hearts of devout, truth seeking Christians.
The second and only other way is to expose them to the methods and means of the mind control that they are subject to. Logic and reasoning cannot penetrate their mind control and indoctrinated programming, no matter how sharp your logic is. See, knowledgeable Christians have an answer to every question that can be imagined. Their box is complete. This is why debating a devout Christian ONLY hardens them in their position. This is the nature of their control. The more you question them, the more you try to shake them from their faith, the more resolute they become. When they believe that there is an answer for EVERY question, no matter how difficult it may be, there is no way to rationally dethrone their thinking, because even though they might not have the answer - there is an answer - and thats good enough for them. This is just one part of the programmed mind of the Bible believer.
Christian mind control is based on indoctrination. Their indoctrination is, of course, based on the bible. Their understanding of the bible is based on a specific framework or system of interpretation of that bible (generally considered as theology). Their interpretation of that bible is largely based the on teaching of that interpretation by others, generally pastors, bible teachers, seminary professors, or parents, friends, or even popular Christian literature. In turn these people (pastors, teachers, seminary professors, parents, etc.) are indoctrinated by others and the cycle is continuous. This indoctrination, in order for it to be successful, must be authoritative. That is, the teaching that one receives is one of authority, either by parents or by a charismatic pastor, etc. This authoritative indoctrination, if accepted by the mind, reforms the thoughts of the person from one ideology to another or in a child's case from a blank slate. This is called Thought Reform or more generically brainwashing. Thought Reform or Brainwashing is unnoticeable in the convert since they continue to have a fully functioning free will and do not feel inadvertently coerced. They want to be taught/programmed with "the truth."
The gospel message of salvation or any other teaching by Christians that seeks to convert someone to "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" is usually a message designed to bombard the mind with the threat of eternal damnation (fear) and the reward of eternal life (joy). Evangelization, generally speaking, is psychological warfare of the mind. It is designed to confuse your current non-belief with a powerful, authoritative message of tremendous weight - eternity. Those who are in a weakened emotional or psychological state (from some inner turmoil, external stress, or even being lonely or homesick) are much easier prey to this psychological bombardment, and when it is masked with the guise of spirituality it becomes a serious burden to the Self.
When one undergoes the "born-again" experience and feels like a different person (and psychologically is) this is the mind succumbing to the psychological warfare and tremendous emotions of relief are felt and "renewal of soul" are felt because that burden, in a sense, falls through the mind of the person and is now free from it by being taken over by it. This is classic mind control. Any true research into psychological manipulation, Thought Reform and Brainwashing will reveal this very process. It is NOT a spiritual re-birth but a psychological reprogramming of the Self. There is no more powerful experience that one can undergo. Once one is programmed in this manner it is nearly impossible to be brought back or to be involuntarily deprogrammed.
The human mind is incredibly strong in many ways, yet it is weak just as much as it is strong and it is susceptible to suggestion, manipulation, and many other forms of coercion. Overt forms of control are easily thwarted, but it is the subvert or subtle forms of control that the mind is so easily turned by. If you have any question about this I recommend you watch some of the material by Derren Brown, Criss Angel, or any other talented mentalist and it is clearly evident how frightfully simple it is to control people without their knowledge. (Please see my Derren Brown videos I've uploaded to My Videos section).
When authoritative preaching is conducted, especially on a podium behind a pulpit (the elevation of the stage or podium above the congregates is a subliminal message of authority and exultation. The pulpit is also a symbol of an authoritative position) along with the "perfect and holy Word of God" this becomes an extremely powerful force upon the minds of those who are witnesses. You add the submissive rows of silent, attentive hearers and the mind is even further at risk to programming. The very sight of this kind of submissiveness and attentiveness of rows of people speaks volumes to the mind. The human mind has the tendency to "get caught up with the mob" or go along with the crowd and be swayed by what the others do. Its called the sheep mentality. You mix these powerful ingredients and you have mind control par excellence! When the preacher starts to preach the congregation goes into a specific type of hypnotism. This hypnotism keeps the congregates continually renewed in their indoctrinated programming. This is why pastors insist on members coming to worship every Sunday, because it helps to keep the sheep in line (the money flowing as well as their accolades for the ego of the pastor).
If one has a thorough understanding of this Christian mind control, what it is and how it works, one can use this knowledge to not attack their beliefs but to attack their process of mind control and help them to see the control without them feeling like their Faith is under attack. Once one comes to see the means of control and how psychological programming works then on their own they have the ability to look at the program and question it. Do you see? If one attacks their beliefs it will NEVER free them. It will in fact harden their beliefs. Though, help them to see the means of programming and they will in time question the program.
This is just a very condensed version of a book that I am currently writing on Christianity. I go into much deeper detail of the methods and means and effects of evangelical psychological programming as well as the teachings of Universal Reconciliation and the dangers and conspiracy of Dispensational theology, which is what mainstream Christianity is.
If you like this article feel free to visit my others at my MySpace site at: http://www.myspace.com/psychicevolution
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)