The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Unquestioning Faith: Ignorance Is Bliss


The definition of “indoctrinate” is to teach (a person or group) systematically or for a long period to accept biased ideas uncritically. Uncritical in this sense means not tending to find or call attention to errors, discrepancies, inconsistencies or questionable content.

The very essence of church services is an environment of passivity. Being exposed to a repetitive ambience of emotions and fervor leaves the mind malleable, thus making it more susceptible to indoctrination. One begins to assimilate what’s being said without actually processing it. Stimuli that produce excitable and heartfelt feelings are assumed to be the Spirit of God. An atmosphere that is euphoric captivates those present, enticing them to free themselves of mental restraint.

A passive mind conforms to anything and questions nothing when pleasure is derived. Once you’re emotionally attached to something it becomes more difficult to be objective. This makes it practically impossible to be critical and voice an opinion that’s in direct opposition to those whom one experiences impassioned ecstasy with on a weekly basis.

The continued search for an emotional high eventually leads to biblical ignorance. Many have a short attention span when it comes to serious study because they derive no sense of pleasure from it. It doesn’t provoke a warm and fuzzy feeling inside so it’s shunned. Those who want to go deeper in their studies often find themselves alone in such endeavors. Diluted teaching and prepackaged Bible studies are the norm for most congregations in order to accommodate the illiteracy and disinterest of the audience.

I’ll use the spiritual term “stronghold” to describe the indoctrination process of Christians. It’s frightening when one quenches their desire for knowledge and abandons their sense of reason in favor of playing church. The outcome is an individual who doesn’t know the historical background of the faith they profess, can’t articulate what it means to be a follower of Christ, and exhibits very little Bible knowledge. Memorized Bible verses that have become clichés among Christians masquerade as biblical literacy.

You’re invited to worship with us, but please check your brain at the door.

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January 10, 2012 Posted by | Christian Education, Commentary, Spiritual Reasoning | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Blame The White Man. Blame Satan.


Personal accountability is hard to find these days. Believing in the devil has been detrimental to the African-American community as a whole. I refuse to pass on this mythical nonsense to my young children. Before, it was the white man holding a nation of millions back, now it’s Satan. Enough already with the excuses. Break this psychological bondage perpetuated generation after generation.

Each time I hear Satan blamed for something I cringe. The black church has taken the phrase, “The devil is a liar!” to another level. Effectively making this character a scapegoat for an entire race of people. One of the rules of playing church is to authenticate your faith with clichés. The enemy is attacking me. My marriage is under attack. The devil is using you. Satan doesn’t want you to hear this message, that’s why you were late getting to church today. Satan wants to prevent your financial breakthrough because he knows you’ll start praising God. The last one is often used when the speaker is encouraging the audience to “sow a seed” (i.e., give money).

Pastors of black congregations are usually quite skillful in making Satan the fall guy. In fact, when black Christians say, “Service was good today” they probably mean: “The devil was blamed for something, everyone nodded and shouted in agreement, and each of us gave a high five to someone and told them they’re coming out of whatever situation they’re in.” If you can master the art of story telling with Satan as the antagonist, then you’ll attract more people who want to play church. More folks signing up. More money coming in.

It’s not politically correct for African-Americans to publicly blame “Whitey” for the ills in their community as done in the past. Many find that term offensive and that belief outdated. Pointing an accusatory finger at Satan appears to be an acceptable way to invoke empathy from whites. Yet, it also invites apathy, underachievement, hopelessness, and self-hate within the black community. As black Christians continue to proclaim the power of Satan they do a disservice to their children by giving legitimacy to a spiritual Boogieman.

January 6, 2012 Posted by | Commentary, Satan, Societal Concerns | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rick Warren’s Illiteracy Problem


English: PressKit photo of Rick Warren

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The Christian Post reported recently that megapastor Rick Warren has discerned a significant problem among American Christians: Biblical illiteracy. In the face of this, he’s launching a new Bible study called “40 Days in the Word.” In a year-end webcast he plugged the new study, insisting that “Americans are biblically illiterate. They just don’t know the Word of God… Our parents’ generation knew the Word of God pretty well. My generation knew a little bit. The next generation knows none of it.”

He may be right. Over the last several years it has become clear that American Christians know little about the Bible, and in 2010 Pew study atheists and agnostics performed better on a test of basic biblical knowledge than did Christians. It’s a problem. Christians should know more about the book they profess to love. They should not be biblically illiterate.

But there are other kinds of illiteracy. There is, for example, scientific illiteracy. It too is a problem in America. And there is evidence that it is related to religious beliefs. This is hardly surprising. When one is raised to see science as the enemy of faith; when churches actively work against science education; when a literal understanding of Genesis is a requirement for faculty at major seminaries, scientific literacy suffers.

It is easy to blame extreme anti-science people like Albert Mohler and Ken Ham for this problem, and some responsibility does fall on them.

But I suspect more moderate leaders like Warren have a lot to do with it.

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I agree with Jim Reed’s comment in response.

To be biblically literate do you also have to understand the problems with the Bible such as questions about authorship, unresolved contradictions, and things that are shown by science to be wrong? I would think you do. Without that understanding your biblical literacy is really only Christian propaganda. This might be the case with Rick Warren. His biblical literacy might depend on one accepting the conservative Christian perspective is divinely inspired.

And DanVoj’s comment.

Warren wants people to know more about what the Bible literally says than what we should know about it.

It all comes down to control: memorizing the Bible is one thing, while analyzing it is another. Control can always be had from illiteracy. Now, Warren’s statement is the same as many other “pastors” around the country, but you don’t see them recommending a scholar like Bart Ehrman for follow-up analysis. THEY are the true analysts, and they will ultimately tell you what to think.

Warren wants people to be Bible-savants, not analytical Christians.

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Biblical Criticism, Christian Education, Current Events, Science | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Forged: Writing In The Name Of God


Bart Ehrman takes you on a journey to the ancient world and the forgery battles that have raged through the centuries. Ehrman contends that the New Testament is riddled with contradictions about the life of Jesus and his significance. He has provided compelling evidence that early Christianity was a collection of competing schools of thought and that the central doctrines we know today were the inventions of theologians living several centuries after Christ.

January 5, 2012 Posted by | Atheism/Agnosticism, Biblical Criticism (Video) | Leave a comment