As my readers may know, I spent around 5 years in what even most religious people would call a cult. I know now that all non-mainstream religion is cult- like in it's definition, but that's another post. . .
Anyhow, in communicating with one of my friends who recently left the cult, this statement was made, "THE only Truth left is The Holy Scriptures and I will stand on that for sure, I also will not debate the Word of God....I guess one could say I am narrow minded, because I will only accept what comes out of "The Word" as Truth...I will not accept what most do as not sin when it is....that would leave me going against the WORD and I will not do that....I know there is NONE other under the sun but, JESUS(YESHUA)....I now know what and how cults do and are, and WILL NOT get stuck in that again. Yes, we made a mistake getting involved, [in a cult] but, am glad I am not there anymore.... "
Note the key phrases there where she is claiming to have "truth", admitting to be narrow minded, and being closed to debate, which equals to being unteachable? This is a self induced cult mindset! Yet what did she say? "I now know what and how cults do and are, and WILL NOT get stuck in that again. Yes, we made a mistake getting involved, [in a cult] but, am glad I am not there anymore.... " Incredible! She doesn't see it!
Is this unusual? I doubt it. Why would I think that you ask? Because I did the same thing basically when I left the cult and went into another branch of religion. I was convinced that now I had found the right path of "truth". As long as I went to a church with a solid doctrinal statement I was saying that this was the truth, and others who disagreed were mistaken or worse, not led of the Spirit, and consequently probably not saved.
Only now have I studied science and found that each person's perception of reality and truth is on par with a personal hologram! Reality is not full of truths, but opinions and perceptions. To say anything but, only shows your misunderstanding of how the world and the mind works. That is predictable in religion though, as science and psychology is looked down upon, but especially if it disagrees with your preconceived notions based on your translation of the Bible. . . which also has to go through the filter of your reality.
Is it really any wonder then that no two religious people agree on even the basics in the Bible without having to set up rules and solid statements of faith? At that point, they have subjected themselves to control in a cult-like setting. Even if they agree on the statement of faith at the time though, as a thinking adult, you can't account for growth and wisdom or knowledge coming in later life and changing your mind about something. Sadly, in a setting like that you are forced to close your mind to new information, lest you change and loose everything you have counted on as truth. (Not to mention loosing your friends and community!) What really is lost that matters though? Your pride. Isn't that a good thing to loose though?!
Just think, if everyone in the world could say, "I've been wrong before, and I could be mistaken now in my perceptions, so I will consider what you say and weigh the evidence." What wars would fizzle out, what bigotry would dry up! Humility is a wonderful thing, but as much as it is preached in all religions, it is impossible to have while staunchly in it! Although some stand very loosely on their beliefs being almost Agnostic Christians. . . not claiming to know the truth, but hoping they do.
Those folks are easy to love and live with, but are not too common. Reason being, open minded and humble people with any curiosity will find out with a short time of concerted study that the evidence points to a much different perception of religion than has historically been held as of late. Leading them into being Agnostics or Atheists, but not always openly. Find a religious person with those qualities though, and I'll bet they are not feeling they belong in their church. (Or they no longer go, or have a homechurch.) This has been my experience, and numerous Christians who confided in me too, but I'm sure there are exceptions. I would love to hear others experiences though. So please comment. and thanks for reading as always.