We are all tired of hearing about “social distancing.” It is essential to separate from others to slow the spread of the pandemic. Evangelicals practice another form of separation called, “Knowledge distancing.”
Knowledge distancing is when groups like evangelicals deliberately “distance” themselves from information in order to prevent it from harming their faith. Science and facts are shunned as being anti-God and a threat to the health of one’s faith in Jesus as the eternal son of God.
Each year science grows stronger and reaches deeper in the cosmos. Each year society progresses and evolves in its understanding of social justice and human rights while evangelicals stubbornly resist in the name of New Testament ideals. Tragically, science and reason are being vilified while a book of ancient superstitions is championed as God inspired. On what grounds?
Evangelical Christianity has no rational basis whatsoever. It is built on a cloud of irrationalism masquerading as reasonable faith. As one who has been on both sides of the faith debate, I can state unequivocally that evangelicals have deluded themselves into believing this to preserve their own sense of intellectual integrity.
I spent fifteen years acquiring “knowledge” to give my faith intellectual respectability for me and others. I was certain those who were not evangelical Christians lacked sufficient knowledge about the Bible which explained their unbelief. I was sincerely mistaken. Evangelicals obscure facts to make it conform to their supernatural worldview.
I think a lot of non evangelicals fail to appreciate the influence of this dualistic perspective. When you believe in a supernatural God, who supernaturally inspired men to write a supernatural book, containing supernatural events culminating in the supernatural birth of a supernatural messiah whose death supernaturally paid for the sins of humanity and whose supernatural resurrection guarantees eternal life for all who believe and will be supernaturally resurrected to heaven when Jesus supernaturally returns (twice), ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE AND PROBABLE.
Here is a window into the mind of an evangelical. The odds of tossing a coin in the air and it coming up heads one thousand times in a row from the first toss is astronomically low unless God is doing the flipping in which case it is certain. No matter how outlandish and far fetched evangelical belief seems, to an evangelical who has a daily encounter with the God of the universe and a personal relationship with Jesus his son, it is perfectly reasonable.
Evangelicals will never stop attacking “knowledge” because it is the greatest enemy of faith while ignorance is faith’s best friend. Anytime science encroaches on evangelical belief, it is villainized as containing anti-supernaturalists scientists which it does not. Science is excruciatingly objective and unbiased in all it does. The moment a miracle occurred that contradicted the known laws of physics and could be independently verified, science would accommodate this new fact.
Evangelicals also practice obscurantism which is more sinister because it has the look of rationalism. The question is whether evangelicals are being deliberately misleading or are simply the victims of their own delusion. I think both.
I have met many sincere and godly evangelicals who were persuaded the rest of the world had been blinded by Satan to God’s obvious truth. I have also met many more evangelicals who were hypocrites and bigots. They made little attempt to practice what their sacred and inerrant scriptures commanded them to do. Of course, those we see on television or in politics are clearly abusing the Bible for their own personal gain whether wealth and/or power.
Currently the world awaits a vaccine for the Coronavirus whether for treatment or prevention. Until then we must all continue to social distance. For the “sickness” which pervades evangelicalism, there is already is a cure. It is knowledge.
Knowledge is the greatest remedy against falsehoods while ignorance traffics in lies. We as a society are quickly losing our ability as critical thinkers by allowing others to dictate what we believe based on what “feels right.” The power of a visceral reaction to something has replaced cold calculated thought. Somewhere along the way we decided we no longer needed facts and data to drive our opinions instead opting for anecdotal evidence and emotional attachment to be our guides.
There is simply no substitute for knowledge and no easy way to obtain it. It is not osmotic nor transferrable. One must take the time to carefully mine it from reliable sources and critically interact with the data to determine one’s opinion. In the world of truth, knowledge is king.
Evangelicals are no strangers to critical thinking. The problem is they apply it to everything but their own faith specifically the Bible and Jesus Christ. Is it they are afraid of what they may find? Or perhaps it is because they don’t think there is anything to find.
I have stated repeatedly in other posts, and I am made aware of it almost every day, I spent fifteen years intensely studying the Bible and never for a moment doubted its core message. I had many doubts about the validity of my American pre-tribulation premillennial evangelical dispensationalism (It truly is grossly flawed theologically, I am ashamed I once followed it), but my core conviction in Jesus as the son of God was solid. Only when I was willing to let down my faith guard and reexamine my faith did it all come crashing down.
This is the lesson for evangelicals. You will never see the truth because you think you already have it. You don’t see what you’re not looking for and you most certainly don’t look for something you don’t expect to find. The first step is doubt with a healthy dose of skepticism followed by a determined and diligent effort to ignore preconceived ideas about Jesus and let your mind unfettered by faith guide you to discover the truth.