“Don’t trust the experts. If you want a relationship you can trust, read the Bible. That’s where you’ll find the experts of the experts.”

My mother-in-law. Much of what she says involves puns or comes out sounding like an advertising slogan. It might be the thing I like most about her. But this specific advice was in response to how we obtain knowledge. Her position, clearly, is that only the Bible can be trusted for accurate information. And she is far from alone on this.

I was witness to an exchange this morning that reminded me of something common and troubling: Many Christians believe that becoming an expert on a topic means you must automatically use that knowledge to trick the rest of us. Experts are liars. Or, at the very least experts are not actually any more knowledgeable about their chosen field than the rest of us. I mean, how can one even get a reliable education if the educators cannot be trusted, either? How can we be sure of anything?

I’m so confused. I’m just going to agree with the first Facebook meme I see that sounds good and references a Bible verse. Those are never wrong. Because let’s face it, friends; the devil is clearly out to deceive us at every turn. He is achieving that through artificial “knowledge” because, as you know, the Bible says truth will appear as foolishness to nonbelievers. Do not believe what a secular world is telling you! This world belongs to Satan, and he is a mastermind at convincing us to turn our backs on the truth of the Bible.

“You don’t change truth, buddy. Truth changes YOU.”

(That’s another gem from my mother-in-law. It’s borrowed, but few deliver it quite as well.)

At this point I feel it necessary to remind my readers that I am a firm atheist. Because although my sarcasm is usually quite apparent, I also realize that there are millions who take this stuff seriously. Don’t believe me? Google Ben Carson. Never mind. I know you already believe me.

The devil has been duping us since Adam and Eve first ate from the Tree of Knowledge. God likes us better when we’re stupid so it only makes sense that the devil’s number one tool to lure us from god would be to encourage us to think for ourselves. But god did not create us to think for ourselves. He did, however, create us with the desire to think for ourselves and the belief that eating a piece of fruit would totally transform our brains. It’s weird, but not half as weird as god planting a tree of knowledge in the Garden of Eden. Pretty dumb, god. Millions literally believe this story. If the god of the Bible is real, I have no trouble believing we were made in his image.

The poor devil is terribly misunderstood. He isn’t the scary villain of our nightmares but rather a bookish fellow who just wants us to question things once in a while. Or…..(and I’m going out on a limb here) maybe the devil doesn’t exist. Either way, Christians are on to him. No information will be allowed to penetrate the biblical force field on their watch. And if it isn’t in the Bible then it isn’t from god. It’s from experts like the devil who are only interested in suppressing the truth.

And if this is where your head is at, I don’t blame you for having no clue how to define truth. If you ever figure it out then yes, it will change you.

“Human sin is a constant. There is no way to Utopia as long as humans exist, and education does nothing to purify the mind. And that’s a truth that’s overlooked a lot in education and politics because of the notion of the possibility of goodness in mankind.”

My mother-in-law can be awkward in her conversation so I sometimes imagine her practicing a handful of these lines in front of the mirror. I should do that. Words never come out of my mouth the way I hear them in my head. I bet this came out just the way she heard it in her head. It’s beautifully stated, but I believe it is also a very pessimistic and pointless way to view the world.

Maybe there is no way to an earthly Utopia because humans are bound to screw it up. But when a Christian talks about sin being a constant, they are talking about everyone. All of the time. Christians believe it isn’t possible for man to be ever good; that there is no worth to any of us outside of god. We are all wretched, evil creatures who must thank god every moment for his consideration to spare us through grace.

Perhaps this is the only logical way to find balance when you believe you are the center of the universe, an all-powerful god cares about every detail of your individual existence, and that you have the ability to live forever. You must also possess an overwhelming amount of self-loathing and stupidity.

God’s plan is flawless.

“Education does nothing to purify the mind.” And so it is useless to anyone who seeks only god. How are we defining education here? Because while knowledge may indeed turn some souls from belief in god, it has also brought many souls together where religion has failed.

Education beyond the Bible has taught us how to better live with those who are different from us. It has brought us modern medicine. It has brought us life-changing technology. It saves lives. But when you are living for the next life these things don’t mean much. You may even see it as a mistake born from the hearts of evil men who would seek immortality without god.

Maybe the devil is right and we should turn from god. Maybe the story of god and the devil only represent the internal conflict of man; a unique species that can even have such complex thoughts about where we come from and why. I wonder how a species like us would have explained the world in the beginning, before we started our forbidden journey of knowledge.

Is the Bible really where one can find the experts of the experts? Original sin is the worst. That damn tree made it so we cannot even lean on our own understanding of anything. Knowledge is suspicious at best, but almost always satanic trickery. How can Christians know anything for sure? They can’t. That’s why I think it’s best they just step aside and let the real experts handle it. At least for this life.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Purify Your Mind

  1. It makes me very sad to think that thousands if not millions of people are wasting butt-loads of money for “christian educations” that adhere to this very idea. I know I was lucky in that my christian high school and university (not a bible college, but actual university) didn’t see things this way. I didn’t realize until I escaped religion how lucky I had been on that front.

    1. My nieces and nephews are being homeschooled in order to avoid all secular information getting in. A growing trend that is not only more frightening than Christian schools, but the driving force behind my decision to not come out as atheist to my sister-in-law. I mean, something like that needs to be timed for greatest possible comedic impact. Even god would agree.

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