Chapter 11: The Human Mind Cannot Understand Spiritual Truth
The Great Paradox of Hidden Meaning
The scripture I have heard most often to support this belief would be:
Here is yet another example of a contradiction in the tangled web of the fundamentalist belief-system. At the same time each of us are supposed to be discovering the truth in the Bible for ourselves (see Chapter 10), we can never succeed because real truth has been hidden from us. Ironically while their inherent belief in democracy says we must find the truth for ourselves, we still can’t because their undemocratic God decided to hide it from us. In spite of their claiming their religion is rational and coherent, the only escape offered from this bad situation (so we are told) is to make a blind choice to believe in God and choose the fundamentalist set of beliefs and values before we know why we would make such a choice!
And if we confront them with this paradox, they say “See, it’s all part of the divine mystery! Oooooh…” According to them the fact that it doesn’t make sense is what makes it spiritual! It always struck me as odd the theist love of mystery, I think knowledge is always superior to mystery.
What Enables The Fundamentalist To Understand The Bible?
So we are compelled to ask what object, force or power enables the fundamentalist to obtain the true meaning of the scriptures that is so far out of our reach. Is there some other book, a magic spell, an incantation or magic beans that allows us to properly interpret the scriptures?
Their answer is this; “they are led by the spirit” and you are not. Here are four scriptures that are used to support this:
(2 Timothy 2:15)
(1 Corinthians 2:16)
Although it is not obvious how these scriptures could be related to each other, fundamentalist leaders meld them together into a single doctrine that works like this:
When a new convert becomes a fundamentalist they are like an infant with a new ‘spiritual mind’ that must be nurtured and cultivated. If properly guided, this new “spiritual mind” will lead them to the one and only true interpretation of scripture and doctrine. And it is through thus mechanism that they know that you are wrong and they are right; as I said before, they are “led by the spirit” and you are not.
In our study of fundamentalism we must pay close attention to a few key words in this description above. Notice how I said that new believers must be ‘nurtured’ and ‘cultivated’? What they are actually saying is that some more experienced fundamentalist must steer them in the right direction by telling them what to believe. In truth there is no spiritual component to the ‘spiritual mind’ at all. This doctrine allows church leaders to tightly control the beliefs of members and still claim that God is actually doing the leading.
Enables Variation between Fundamentalist Churches
This also explains why fundamentalists are not concerned when other Christians (even other fundamentalists) claim divine revelation and yet disagree with them, even on the most basic principles. The fundamentalist goes their merry way; secure in the knowledge that they have the “real truth” while other (less holy) Christians are deceived. Each of these fundamentalist groups is equally certain that they are the only ones that have it right.
So when a new fundamentalist reads the Biblical contradictions I point out in the article A Collection of Biblical Errors, they go to a more experienced fundamentalist who smiles and tells them that they only appear to be contradictions to people reading the Bible with a “carnal mind.” Mature fundamentalists have developed a true spiritual wisdom that doesn’t see any contradictions. I guess logic doesn’t exist for people having a “spiritual mind.” It would seem to me that there is very little difference between a spiritual mind and one that has lost its senses.
Here is an example of this belief in practice. When I was a young minister and first began discovering contradictions in the scriptures I was greatly concerned, so I approached an old experienced minister I knew with “Logical Error 54” from my article A Collection of Biblical Errors mentioned above. This contradiction involves a pair of scriptures referring to the same king of ancient Judah; one says he took the throne at age 22, the other at age 42. So I asked this old minister how he dealt with the problem. He said,
“I generally don’t waste my time asking such foolish questions; but if you must have an answer, I would assume that the king took physical possession of the throne at age 22, but his spiritual reign didn’t begin until he was 42. Now what would possess you to ask such a question? I think you should ask God for forgiveness your lack of faith!”
In his answer you can see why the typical fundamentalist never thinks very much about the problems I point out. A good little fundamentalist doesn’t ask questions and doesn’t make waves; they just do what they are told, praise Jesus and otherwise keep their mouth shut.
If you take a wild leap and accept this amazing doctrine as true, you are left with several problems that demand comment. I will address them one at a time.
This belief actually invalidates the Bible.
It doesn’t take a lot of thought to realize that this belief undermines their other belief in scripture as the one true divine revelation. What they are doing here is making spiritual feeling the ultimate arbitrator of right from wrong and not the Bible. In other words this doctrine makes the Bible worthless unless it is viewed through the lens of the ‘spiritual mind.’ If the only dependable method of obtaining truth is via the spirit, why do we need a Bible in the first place?
Thus they can ignore Biblical contradictions and error in favor of the Holy Spirit as a divine being that cannot lie or make mistakes. Instead of this providing us any solutions, it only creates more problems. Once again, if all fundamentalists are spiritually baptized by the same Holy Spirit, why don’t they agree on doctrine? There is so much division among fundamentalist churches that they typically won’t even worship together, let alone agree on scripture. This leaves us with only four possible explanations for this difference:
The Holy Spirit himself makes errors leading some down the wrong path.
This would be a direct contradiction of the definition of a divinity as viewed by fundamentalists. They view the Holy Spirit as one third of the trinity and having all the same attributes as God the Father being that he is infallible, eternal, infinitely good, all-powerful and all-loving; therefore he cannot make a mistake.
The Holy Spirit is intentionally allowing some to be misled.
This would be an even worse conclusion for most fundamentalists (and Christians in general) than believing he is in error. I think no one could be comfortable with this answer because it would make God appear to be as evil and vindictive as a temperamental child. Although some scriptures do seem to imply that God does purposely mislead. Look at these passages:And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.
(1 Kings 22:21-23)And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
(2 Thessalonians 2:11, 12)
Yet other scriptures say the opposite:Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
(Proverbs 30:5, 6)In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began
(Titus 1:2)That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Everyone, except for one small group, is deceived and possessed by a false spirit pretending to be the real Holy Spirit.
Many fundamentalists arrive at this conclusion; however it leaves us non-believers in a real bad situation since (according to them) we are always in the “carnal mind” leaving us unable to determine which of the doctrines is genuine. Since none of them agree, how are we non-believers supposed to tell which fundamentalists have THE TRUTH?
All fundamentalists are guilty of this prejudice; at least to some degree. During my twenty years as a fundamentalist I have seen several churches break apart over minor differences of doctrine, and every single time it is implied (by both sides) that the other side is deceived, even if it isn’t said out loud.
Some of these fundamentalist groups are reading the Bible in their ‘carnal mind’ when they think they are ‘led by the spirit.’
This is the most common explanation offered for the disagreements among fundamentalists. Even though both sides are thoroughly convinced that they are right, they are equally convinced that the other side is deceived. Which brings me to ask, if one side can be fooled so convincingly, how do we know they all aren’t fooled? Maybe nobody is really spirit led and we all are in a “carnal mind” and fooled into thinking otherwise. How would you know the difference? This brings me to my next point…
It Obscures The Line Between Right & Wrong.
If we did assume that the fundamentalist is getting the facts through the Holy Spirit, how does the rest of humanity know the difference between right and wrong?
By appealing to the spirit as the ultimate arbitrator of truth, right and wrong becomes whatever the believer says it is. The statement “God is good” loses all meaning if I can’t judge what good and bad are. Furthermore I as a non-believer cannot be fairly judged if I can’t know what it is that I am supposed to be guilty of. Sorry, that would totally invalidate the Christian claims of a just and merciful God, so it just cannot be true.
This would be like passing a law that says you cannot gazat on the street, but the law never gives you a hint as to what gazatting is. Then you further tell me that if I gazat any time soon I will be executed for it ten years from now. As I ask various other people on the street, everyone gives me a different opinion as to what gazatting is. Now I ask you, can anyone pretend that is just or fair? Of course not!
Why would God reveal The Truth to only a few people?
As we have seen above, the supposed truth found in the Bible actually isn’t there, it can only be gotten by divine revelation. Thus the Bible is only a meaningless talisman until it is used by the spirit. So I have to ask, why wouldn’t God make this truth available to everyone? What possible purpose could it serve to hide the information necessary to avoid damnation from the majority of humanity? What is he afraid of? Does he fear that the rest of us might be persuaded and reach out to him? If he really were a god of love, willing to die for all of humanity, I can’t imagine that he wouldn’t!
I would have everyone that reads this book pause for a moment. Now ask yourself this question: Who needs to be able to see the truth more; the person who is already saved from eternal damnation, or the person who doesn’t know they are headed for destruction?
I think that any reasonable person would have to conclude that the lost individual would have a far greater need to see the truth over their safe brethren, so why in the world would a god hide the truth from the very people who need it most?
I repeat, if there really were such a thing as divine revelation from a just and loving God, then it would have to be available to everyone, so that no one would be left with an excuse for their evil ways.
What Fundamentalists Believe About Other Religions
At this point I should expand on the fundamentalist’s belief that God won’t let a sincere believer be deceived. This belief comes from the following scriptures:
This all sounds well and good, but when you combine this with the arrogant belief that only their interpretation of scripture is the right one, they are forced to conclude that every one else is misled and has willfully chosen to be that way. After all if no force in the universe can pull them from the Father’s hand, then former fundamentalists must have intentionally leaped from it on their own.
Thus they feel that all Muslims, Jews, Hindus, and Buddhists in the world are not only misled and lost but also insincere and bull-headedly rejecting the gospel to stay where they are. According to the fundamentalist; everyone in the world actually knows (in their heart) that fundamentalists are the only ones that are right, but we are all in a tragic state of denial. Don’t forget that the fundamentalist already believes they are at war with the unbelievers (chapter 5) so when you add that they believe that we are intentionally putting our fingers in our ears, it is not surprising that they have little patience or compassion for the rest of us.
I think the absurdity of such a belief is obvious. I do NOT for a moment accept that everyone in every other religion is evil, insincere or dishonest. It has been my experience that there are both good and bad people in every class, religion and race without exception.
This belief also ignores reality. All around the world there are examples of people sincerely dedicated to other belief systems although some of them may be very misguided. It would be hard to conclude that the people who died in Jonestown, Waco and members of the Heavens Gate cult were anything but absolutely certain of their convictions. They may have been very wrong, but no one can say they weren’t sincere! If paying for your belief with your life isn’t serious then I can’t imagine what is.
This scripture is taken to mean that you’ll know a teaching or a fellow believer because you will feel a spiritual communication through the spirit of Christ in common between you. It is usually taken a step further to mean that the fundamentalist will know what is right or wrong because the spirit will tell them what is right by moving on their conscience. Basically they will know in their gut the right stance on any issue.
This doctrine has been used to cover all sorts of embezzlement and evil doing. By requiring divine inspiration for understanding of truth, you have made it impossible for anyone to verify whatever you say. And since we have now removed the ‘yardstick of truth’ to the spiritual world, no one can prove anything to anyone. No one can tell right from wrong, light from darkness or truth from a lie. I could justify anything, no matter how disgusting or wrong simply by saying “God told me so”. If someone dares to question whatever you say then you can point out how wicked they must be since they can’t hear the spirit like you can. Isn’t that exactly what Jim Jones, David Koresh and Osama bin Laden were all claiming? To the carnal mind, what they did is terribly wrong, but to their spiritual minds they were heroes.
You know that you know, that you know, that you know…
In reality it’s just a cute way of saying you know nothing and what it to stay that way.
Epistemology (How You Can Really Know Anything)
When I first left the church, all this confusion led me to ask the question, “How can I be sure of anything?” I had already been an avid reader of physics and philosophy when I discovered that there was a whole branch of philosophy dedicated to the study of knowledge and how we can know what we know. This philosophical discipline is known as Epistemology. The Mirriam-Webster On-line Dictionary defines it like this:
Epis·te·mol·o·gy: the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity.
About this same time I obtained a Quality Analyst position in the Software industry. In this job we had to validate the level of quality of very complex computer software. The software was so complex that it was impossible for us to test every function and feature with our time in a human lifetime, in fact a hundred computers running test 24 hours a day would take several years to test every function. Yet we had only a few weeks to certify that it worked as expected. How did we do it. We were sent to training where we learned to use Epistemology to access risks and ensure that no catastrophic or serious defects existed first and then come very, very close to having perfection. We could not be absolutely certain that a given program was error free, but we could be 99.9% certain within the allotted time.
The reason I am discussing it here is because this whole fundamentalist principle hinges on the empirical question: “What is truth and how you know when you have found it?” Everything I saw in my church experience caused me to question what everything my church friends believed. I turned to rationalism and epistemology to help me out of this situation
Can Philosophy Tell Us There Is No God?
I am sure that many readers are saying to themselves,
”Wait! philosophers will tell you that they can’t say whether there is a god or not. So how could you possibly find your answer through philosophy?”
It is true that philosophers have argued the existance of God for hundreds of years with neither side winning. But that is an argument over the concept of a hypothetical ‘unknowable’ God. That is not the God of the fundamentlaist. The Fundamentalist makes many bold statements about his God, that he wrote the Bible, that every word he put into the Bible is fact, that he cannot lie, and even more important that he impacts the life of any believer in a direct and very personal way. The fundamentalist God can be studied and every one of his claims can be tested. It was these claims that I examined using Epistemology.
What Epistemology Tells Us
Epistemology teaches us to only consider a statement to be true if and only if it can be repeatedly tested to verify the results, and only if the test can be done by multiple people. Of course this also would require that the statement we are testing must be stated in a way that can be proven or disproved. Often concepts that appear not to be testable can be tested if they are broken down into small pieces that can be tested individually. Given that I was taught that every word in the Bible was literally true, I had several tests predetermined by the contents of the scriptures. I started by considering the most important question of all: Is the Christian fundamentalist’s God real?
Epistemology also requires the use of logic and deduction to come to the most reasonable explanation for the facts under consideration. For example, if we walked outside and saw a car sitting in our driveway and postulated as to how it got there, epistemology would require that we would make a list of every way the car could have gotten there and pick the most likely, simplest answer as our hypothesis. We would only conclude that supernatural forces were at work when we eliminated all other possibilities. So while someone might theorize that the car was put there by elves or Martians, the simplest answer is that some human drove it there. If we find later that it couldn’t have been driven because the motor was missing, then we would have to move on to the next most likely theory (maybe it was towed there) and continue.
Then I applied epistemological principles to the question of God’s existence. It seemed to me that although he was supposed to be nothing but spirit, still some test could be devised that would prove his existence.
Hopefully, you have read my Author Page so that you are familiar with how I did thought experiments after leaving church. But I did experiments involving the fundamentalist’s ability to feel God before I decided to leave. I will tell you about that here.
For most of the fundamentalists I grew up with, the strongest evidence of God’s existence is what could be called ‘Glory Chills.’ These are the chill-bumps and shivers down the spine that a charismatic fundamentalist feels when they reach their trance-like state. I will admit that I used to have them right along with the best of them. In my youth I spoke in tongues, rolled in the floor, danced in the spirit (did a jig in a state of religious stupor) and carried on just like the rest of them. Fundamentalists attribute this to the movement of the Holy Spirit on them. I go a lot further into this in later chapters, but I have to discuss it briefly here to make my point.
For most fundamentalists, this is the end-all argument in favor of God, they know he is real because they can feel his moving on them. However, I began to wonder if the cold-chills and tingling sensations might not have a more natural, less divine explanation.
Looking around the world I found that several religions had a similar phenomenon, Voodoo has its zombies, Islam has its Whirling Dervish, Hinduism has fire-walkers and Catholics had children seeing the Virgin Mary in a religious trance. And America has its Shakers, Quakers and Pentecostals. To me it appeared that they all could be different manifestations of the same phenomenon.
My fundamentalist upbringing would not allow me to believe that Voodoo priests, Muslims, Catholics or Hindus could possibly be feeling the same Holy Spirit I knew, so I had to come up with some other explanation behind what they were experiencing. I could only come up with two possiblities:
What they thought was divine influence was in fact evil demonic forces determined to deceive them. This was the conclusion provided by the Bible and other fundamentalists. If this hypothesis was true, then none of these believers (including us) could ever tell their ‘false’ experience from the real thing. This frightened me, because this meant that no one can ever be safe or sure that what they have is real.
All religious charasmatics (including Christian fundamentalists) want or need to feel something was so strongly that the human mind was providing it for them without any divine aid.
The most likely hypothesis to me was the second one, primarily because it met the epistemological principle of being the simplest answer that matched the evidence. But my education required me to take this conclusion a step further before I could say for sure which answer was the correct one, I had to conduct experiments.
Spiritual Experiment 1
So I immediately set about to test this hypothesis by experiment, but how? I did this by completely suppressing any charismatic experience through mental discipline. I figured that if these feelings were actually divine power sent by God to increase my faith, then nothing I could do would prevent his Holy Spirit from influencing me because God was all powerful. Since fundamentalist dogma states that the purpose of these “Gifts of the Spirit” are to convince unbelievers, then God must have strong motivation to cause me to believe, thus he should cause these feelings to be undenyable and stronger than ever!
This was a very good test of the second hypothesis because, if hypothesis 1 was correct instead (and I was being influenced by demonic forces), then I wouldn’t be able to stop them either. If I were being misled by demonic-forces the last thing they would want was for me to stop believing in them, so I figured they would do everything in their power to prevent me from concluding it wasn’t real.
And yet, I found that I could stop it completely. I immediately stopped feeling anything in church at all, nothing, zip! That was very, very strong evidence to me that it was all in my head from day one. I grew up believing that I should feel something so when the time came that I was supposed to, my mind made sure that I did. When everyone around me was obviously feeling something, it was far easier for my brain to manufacture ‘Glory Chills’ than to accept that I couldn’t feel anything because that would mean that something was very, very wrong.
No one seemed to notice that my lack of spirituality, or that it stopped abruptly about six months before I left church.
This experiment seemed to prove my second hypothesis, but I still wasn’t thoroughly convinced, after all it might have been because I was now basically an unbeliever again. Maybe I was so out of touch with God (due to all my doubt) that I couldn’t feel him any longer. Maybe my inability to feel God’s prescence was due to him being displeased with me. So I had to think of another test that would absolutely prove one way or another.
Spiritual Experiment 2
As I sat there quietly in church and watched others get all wrapped up in their spirituality the way I used to, it occurred to me that although I had lost faith, they had not. So I decided to test my hypothesis by testing them to see if they were psychosomatically inducing their own ‘Glory Chills.’
I did this by doing something that would frighten most fundamentalists because they teach that making fun of or speaking against the Holy Spirit is an unpardonable sin. I was beyond the point of worrying about such things, because I had to know if it was real or not. I was willing to pay any price just to know the truth to my own satisfaction.
I was not afraid to do this because I believed that no God would punish me or anyone else for just wanting to know the truth. I did not intend to deceive or cause harm to anyone, I had to have an answer for my own peace of mind.
Fundamentalists believe that “the spirit bears witness.” What this means is that the Holy Spirit in them connects with the same spirit in others so that they will know when someone who does not have that spirit is in the midst of them.
So as an experiment, as the service got moving with the loud fast music and as everyone was getting excited, I pretended to have the same old Charismatic feelings. I didn’t go into a wild fit like I used to, instead I just acted very happy and like I was feeling electricity in my hands. I actually felt nothing at all, but I pretended to get really into it.
As the excitement spread I began laying hands on members of my church as though I was passing some imaginary force to them. I did not mock speaking in tongues; I did not say anything to them. I just danced around, quivered and shook a lot as I put my hands on their foreheads quickly. And everyone I touched acted like I struck them with electricity. They took off dancing and stomping all over the place. It was as though I anointed them with holy power. The truth was that I was just going through the motions with nothing behind it at all, yet they couldn’t tell the difference. I heard members happily tell each other that my dry spell was over and I was back on fire again.
It looked like everyone was being tricked by their own desire to feel something into believeing they felt something when they was nothing there. Nothing supernatural was happening at all! I didn’t have the stomach to try that experiment again, it made me sick that I even did it once, it felt so devious and manipulative I just couldn’t do that ever again.
Spiritual Experiment 3
Still I was not thoroughly convinced, so I decided to try one more experiment. Fundamentalists claim to be even more sensitive to the presence of evil spirits than they are to the Holy Spirit. As a child it was common for us to anoint the church, our cars or our homes with oil to cast out any evil spirits that might be lingering around. Someone would speak up and all of us would jump in to cast the devil out of whatever.
One night we were having a prayer meeting in my parents home when I spoke up saying that I felt an oppressive force that needed to be cast out of my parent’s house before we would be free to worship. Of course I felt nothing at all whatsoever, but wanted to see if any of them would realize that they did not feel anything either.
But instead, they jumped at the chance. Several spoke up saying that they felt it too and were waiting for someone else to speak up (you know, tyat whole spirit bearing witness thing). Before I knew it, we had a whole house full of people running around, anointing and casting out imaginary devils in every room of the house, even in the back yard. It was amazing to hear how many evil spirits they confirmed were in the house. One man claimed to physically wrestle with a very nasty one with an executioners axe in the basement. It looked like any little suggestion or hint was all it took to get them going off on a spiritual tangent. By the end of that evening I was thoroughly convinced that we all were just fooling ourselves!
Feeling feed up with the whole mess I confronted a couple of the ‘devil chasers’ and let them in on the fact that there was nothing there; that I just made up the whole story as a test from the beginning. I shouldn’t have been surprised by their response, but I was. They told me that I was telling the truth earlier when I said I saw the spirits and was lying now to hide the truth! They said that we all knew it was real and were sorely confused as to why I wanted to pretend it wasn’t now. They didn’t want to know the truth unless it agreed with that they already believed. I was dumbfounded and very discouraged, but I had my answer.
The results of all these experiments were the same. To me it was beyond all doubt that the fundamentalist charismatic experience is self delusion created by a all consuming desire to experience the divine whether it exists or not.
The Fundamentalist Reaction to Epistemology
Fundamentalists amaze me when they react to a logical approach applied to their religion. People who try to explain religious faith often miss the boat when they try to compare it to other beliefs and faith. I’ve heard it said:
“You can’t hear, see or taste air, yet you believe it’s there, well God is the same.”
“You believe in love, yet there is no way to calibrate or measure that, God is love and therefore you can’t measure him either.”
“In the same way that you believe a chair will hold you up every time you sit down in it, faith in God is the same.”
Actually, all these statements are incorrect. I may not be able to see air, or love but I can devise several repeatable experiments that prove they both exist. For air I can simple look at a flag waving in the wind and verify that air is what moves it, and I can look at molecules of air in an electron-microscope to prove that they exist. Likewise I can prove the existence of the emotional state called love by examining what humans can do when they are driven by their love for something. Finally I can test the sturdiness of a chair, and I can also sit in a chair without absolute belief in its ability to hold me up, knowing that it just might fall when I try and sit down in it. In fact I don’t have faith in the chair, rather I have an educated guess that it probably will be safe to sit in. Not the same thing as faith at all.
The fundamentalist might read the previous paragraph and say, “Aha! Got you there! You admitted that you can verify that love exists because of what it makes men do. Then you have to admit that God exists for the same reason. It proves that God exists because people do what God compels them to do, you have proof.”
Good try, but not quite. Love is an emotion, a feeling, and nothing more. If you are saying that your “God” is nothing more than a feeling you get once in a while (and nothing more) then I might have to accept your argument, but you are not. You are saying that a supernatural being exists that performs miracles, creates things and has the power to defy the laws of nature. That is a completely different type of object. A much better analogy to God would be Santa Claus.
Millions of children all around the world are driven to write letters to Santa Claus (kind of like prayers, but written down), they go visit men purporting to be Santa Claus and tell them what they want. By your argument we must assume that he exists since kids all over the world feel compelled to do these things as though he did exist. Surely you can see that proving an emotion exists is a lot different than proving the existence of a supernatural being.
I do not believe that God exists therefore this whole business of divine revelation is silly to me, but even if you do believe that the Christian God exists, you must conclude that this belief is unjust and cannot be true. Either way we are left with the conclusion that the fundamentalist may be listening to church elders, friends, family, personal prejudice and who knows what other forces, however they are NOT getting direct revelation from God.
I feel that of any belief held among fundamentalists this one is the most notorious of all. All down throughout history various religious groups have used a doctrine of “hidden knowledge” to get away with all manner of corruption and evil. This fundamentalist doctrine is just the same old wolf in different clothing. I would argue that no just, fair or loving god would hide knowledge from the very people he was trying to save; it just wouldn’t make any sense.
Instead, I would suggest that hidden, special knowledge is not divine at all, but illusionary and manmade to make these believers feel more important than they really are. Fundamentalists as a group seem to suffer from delusions of grandeur far more that the rest of us, and this belief is just one more way of feeding that delusion.
In the next chapter I cover a huge subject that not only is at the forefront of every fundamentalists mind but has made a huge impact on our popular culture and on national policy. That subject is the Book of Revelation and the Rapture.