Now, let's talk about the "holding hands" part of the title. It should be no surprise that the more the majority of a community believes an idea (whether that community is a culture or subculture), as long as the community is accepted, the more you are likely to believe that idea as well. We are communal creatures. We look for the approval of others, and if the majority of others believe such and such, we tend to believe those things too. This is why even the most intelligent of people are susceptible to cults. One only needs to make the cult his or her primary culture/community. Once this is done, ideological assimilation is an easy road to travel. This is why I was so critical of Brown, who in my opinion functions as one more example of a prophet of the cult of postmodernity, which itself is a deep expression of secular humanism, a religion of the self.
Why counterattack Brown? Well, notice I said “counterattack.” That’s because Brown’s lecture is intended to attack the foundations of Christianity (or any religion other than the one she is espousing). People need to realize that what we say voices all sorts of beliefs, and those beliefs work to build one type of humanity versus another. What is said goes into the community and it builds what the belief being espoused views as correct and tears down what the belief views as incorrect. Hence, no proposition is neutral. To just leave it alone is to let it do its destructive work toward other views and build up its own tower in their place. So there can be no “live and let live” mentality when it comes to ideas, and those who are thinking people on all sides realize this. That’s why we don’t live in a freethinking society, but in a cult. Yes, you are a member of a cult. Did you not know that?
The point of the modern university is not to teach your kids about science, literature, etc. It is to use science, literature, etc. to teach them secular humanism, the primary religion of our culture. In fact, the TED Talks are a great display of this, where professors are basically telling you what they really teach your kids without the pretense of doing it through whatever subject matter is purportedly the issue for which the class exists. This is why your kids get thirty minutes of diatribe about religion or politics and fifteen minutes of the actual facts they are supposed to learn. Most professors are more subtle, however, and will brilliantly introduce the religious ideas of the cult through the subject matter rather than as a distinct lecture from it. Don’t think the university functions as a mouthpiece for the cult of our society?
Let me give you some guidelines for identifying a cult:
- Disseminate ideas as the primary paradigm without giving other paradigms a fair hearing.
- Make your ideas such the norm that the individuals will critique all things with those ideas, but never evaluate those ideas themselves. Take away the ability to question those ideas by viewing other ideas only in relation to them (i.e., how close or far out other ideas in comparison to the ideas of the cult—if too far, other ideas will be viewed as radical in comparison to the ideas of the cult).
- If the family unit cannot be assimilated into the cult, break it up. Degrade the parents as ignorant and as people who didn’t know better. Support things that will ensure that the unity a student has with the family in terms of beliefs and morals, which is seen as the greatest threat to the cult, does not survive as the most powerful influence in a person’s life.
- Bombard the individual with charismatic leaders who support the cult and become spokespersons for the cult.
- Socially discipline those who step out of line and begin to question the beliefs of the cult.
Now, let’s see, in view of what I spoke about in PART I, the cult in our culture seems to be ruling in full force. We are taught to love ourselves, think highly of ourselves, that we can do anything we set our minds to do, that we are capable of knowing the truth for ourselves without any outside help, etc. from day one. In other words, we are taught secular humanism from the get go. Our cartoons teach it to us. Our elementary school teachers teach it to us. Our parents who have been taught by the same teach it to us, and if they do not, they are viewed as radical and evil for not teaching their children these things. Our TV shows, movies, books teach it to us. Our college professors teach it to us. Our psychologists teach it to us. All religions in our culture, except genuine Christianity, teach it to us. Even false Christianities teach it to us. It’s everywhere and we are not taught to question it.
If someone questions the idea that the self should be seen as worthy, and even lives accordingly (perish the thought!), he is chastised as a radical or a fundamentalist or a religious fanatic. But in comparison to what? We often just assume the norm, because the norm is what everyone believes. But everyone believes it because he or she was brainwashed to believe it. The norm is the cult’s norm, not necessarily the norm of reality. Hence, the members of the cult work to keep those who would question the cult in line by socially disciplining them (e.g., by name-calling, shunning, etc.), and if this does not work, the greater authorities in place to support the cult might be called in (e.g., teachers to talk to parents who don’t conform, child services to threaten the family who does not conform, etc.).
Charismatic leaders, like celebrities, professors, etc. take the stage through our various media and educational avenues to woo us with the ideas of the cult. Certainly if so and so believes such and such, and he or she is so smart and likeable, the ideas we already have been taught to believe seem so much more convincing.
But the biggest sign that we live in a cult is the attack upon the family. The family, if it cannot be assimilated, must be destroyed by a cult. In fact, this is the number one goal of any cult, because the family is the last bastion of hope that free thought has. The religious community, if it does not preach the cult of self functions similar to a family, and must likewise be assimilated or destroyed.
I’m not going to go through countless examples where this is clearly the case. Instead, I’m just going to point out that all of this is necessary for the cult to survive, and even though no one in a cult views him or herself as a member of a cult (which is the beauty of brainwashing), nor will the leaders of this particular cult view themselves as even necessarily religious in their ideas concerning secular humanism and the exaltation of the self, it is clear that each individual automatically attacks what he or she sees as a threat to the ideas he or she is espousing, and as such, will automatically attack family and religious institutions that do not conform.
Hence, I’m not talking here about some conspiracy theory, where a bunch of people got together in a room to control the world and everyone else agreed to follow them. That would be absurd. Instead, we are already geared to defend what we believe and attack what threatens it, and as such, we are already inclined to defend any philosophy we have come to believe, in whatever way we have come to believe it.
So when Brown argues against religious certainty, she isn’t doing it because she sees herself as a part of a great conspiracy, but simply thinks it’s true and that it is a good thing to believe in self worth. She, in turn, will then believe that anything that would attack that idea (i.e., Christianity that says otherwise) is bad, and that such a religion should be questioned, and she does this by questioning the foundations of such a religion, which is the idea that one can be certain about what God has said.
My only point here is that our society is set up like one big cult, and in many ways, most societies are set up this way. It’s just in ours, we have come to believe that we are free to believe when in fact we live in a box and have been fed the same cheese over and over again to where we compare and evaluate all other foods to it as strange in terms of how close or far away they are in taste to that cheese. There is no free thought, except that God should enter into a cult with His revelation. I’ve said this many times before. Those who do not allow God to speak are doomed to believe whatever the cult tells them, and in this case, our cult is all about the exaltation of the self.
Its answer to all problems is the exaltation of the self. It must explore the self, stroke the ego, and see all problems as a result of not doing so. If you don’t love others, it’s because you don’t love yourself enough. As I said last time, that’s clearly in contradiction to reality. Love is produced by gratefulness and gratefulness is produced when the self is seen as unworthy and one outside the self loves and receives you in disregard of your unworthiness.
But the cult can’t allow for that paradigm, because ultimately, if the Bible is true, the world, and its cults, belong to the god of this world, the devil; and it is merely one step away from going from the idea of the unworthiness of the self and the need of another to the unworthiness of the self before God and the need of His love and acceptance through the sacrifice of His Son. The further the devil can get from this truth, the better for his kingdom to survive. Hence, the very foundations of Christianity (things like certainty of religious claims and the need of man to be forgiven as one unworthy of forgiveness) must be wiped away.
So we live in the cult of the self, but because of revelation, God sets some free, and they can be free indeed. If nothing else, however, you can see why orthodox Christians seem so critical in our culture. Those who disagree with the cult are always critical of it and painted as the worst of people. After all, they’re the ones not getting along with others. They’re the troublemakers. They’re the ones not playing along, but rather rocking the boat on an otherwise peaceful day. But they do this because they once lived in the cult as a cult member, and now, having been freed, they can no longer stand the sight of those they love in slavery to the cult. They may walk alone, but they have come to realize that it is better to know true love and acceptance and be alone than to walk into damnation holding hands with the masses.