Farther and farther down the rabbit hole you go. Many of you may wonder why it is so hard to talk to a fundamentalist Christian, why it is they are so out of touch with reality, and why it is that, even in the face of credible and damning evidence to their faith, they will not budge. They can’t even concede a point.
It’s downright frustrating. And they seem like complete imbeciles. They are in fact. But calling them that won’t help. Telling them how moronic they are being will not help them to face the reality that they are, in fact, being moronic.
Let’s review: Indoctrination, inoculation, and insulation all begin at a very early age. According to research from the Barna Group evangelism is most effective among children; young children under the age of 13. Their study done in 2004 revealed that in America 43% of people who become “born-again” believers do so before the age of 13 and 64% of people who become “born-again” do so before the age of 18. Thirteen percent of “born-again” believers are converted between the ages of 18 and 21. Only 23% of American adults make a profession of faith after the age of 21.
I could not find a more recent study from the Barna Group but my guess would be that that number either hasn’t changed that much or that the percentage of children becoming “born-again” has increased while the percentage of adults has probably decreased. I make that conjecture based on the fact that churches(including the one I attended) use this research data to create programs designed to convert the largest number possible. Therefore, since children are ripe for the picking, churches have created all sorts of children’s programs designed to draw children in and indoctrinate them.
My previous points have been that this indoctrination psychologically stunts these children and many of them, especially if they don’t attend secular universities, never question the doctrines that were fed to them when they were children. These adults who are designing these programs for children fully believe what they are teaching these children as truth. No one is lying; but no one is telling the truth.
By the time these children have reached adulthood it is nearly impossible to convince them of anything other than what they’ve been taught thus far. Furthermore, when someone – even a progressive/liberal Christian – tries to penetrate their psyches with new information it is met with utter resistance. Even when they say they don’t mind their faith being challenged, they don’t actually believe that their faith will be challenged. You start to speak and before you’ve finished your point they already know their rebuttal. Very few will bother to investigate your claims. The Bible is all the proof or evidence they need. Like Ken Ham, they start with the presumption that YHWH is, that Jesus is his son, and anything that goes against the literal interpretation of their beloved Bible is a contradiction in their minds. Nothing can possibly be true if it contradicts their sacred text.
Because of this when an attempt to challenge those assumptions is made it is perceived as an attack. Questions are the enemy. When they present their evidence[I’m using that term loosely] they do so with authority and expect acceptance of it as if it is beyond critique. And while they may seem injured, as if you are infringing somehow on their religious freedoms, deep down they are really pleased with themselves. They’ve passed the test.
“But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 10:33
When frustration sets in and insults fly that’s even better.
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matt. 5:11
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’b If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ John 15: 18-25
You see, now they’ve identified with their Christ. This persecution that they suffer only reinforces their beliefs and they fall even farther down the rabbit hole.