Sunday, November 18, 2012

Belief Outside the Walls

Do you ever have these really meaningful thoughts and your brain struggles to translate those into English words and syntax? I'm talking about more than writer's block, at least I think.

I want to continue this thought about the walls of intellectual protection.  In my evangelical days, we believed, and heavily promoted, the concept that we must protect our families and ourselves from "philosophies of this world."  I mentioned how may of our friends got rid of their TVs, home schooled their kids, send them to Bible college and etc.  They didn't allow books of the devil (anything but the Bible and the "Left Behind" series) into their house and etc.

I don't have hard data on this particular attitude, but in general, we know that over 80% of kids raised in Christian homes . . . leave Christianity.  I have the feeling that those raised in these strict walled-in worlds, are no different . . . or maybe worse.

In the beginning of my last post, I speculated on how being a child in medieval Marrakesh would have been so simple, as far as coming to belief, and sometimes I do envy that.  Their world was literally walled in and isolated.  Everyone they knew were Muslims.

It reminds me of 1981 when I was working in the desert of Abu Dhabi.  We were visiting remote villages in the desert of Oman.  The people there, many had never been outside their villages, assumed that we were just really stupid because we were adults and only spoke a few Arabic words . . . and we weren't Muslims.  They had never met anyone like us because their entire world was sand, date palms  goats, Arabic and Islam.  They naturally assumed that there was no world outside.

But there is a problem with the walled-in effect here in America and among evangelicals. The biggest problem, which the medieval Marrakeshites didn't have to contend with, is the "leakage" of culture.  It is like being in a lake in a canoe made of pop-sickle sticks and duct tape.  In our culture, even the Amish can't avoid our culture.

So here is where the great harm comes in.  When you try to isolate your kids from the primary culture, but you can't, then they get just enough to poison themselves.  This is where it is hard to express but I will try.

So when you tell your kids that the earth is 6,000 years old and all the scientist who say otherwise are really so stupid that they would create an entire theory on one pig tooth, but then they start to see enough of the outside world to see that isn't really true, then they pitch the entire Christian paradigm as lies.  The leaky walls are shattered when they meet that really intelligent, and very nice professor who has far, far, far more evidence of an old earth than what Ken Ham had been saying.  Why should they believe anything they were told?

So, if we can't have that pure walled-in world, they I think it is much better if we bath ourselves and our families in information.  The walls have to be decimated because if they are porous  the tend to only work as a filter, keeping in the lies but letting the truth escape.

I will try to finish this next time. I'm running out of time again and my thoughts are not clear.

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