Friday, May 31, 2013

Autonomy is the Antidote to Fundamentalism

I read it some where on line that people in cults can't handle autonomy. They make an idol of their church experience and leadership there within. It would also explain the cultural differences between the mainline and evangelical churches too.
In the evangelical world you are in a bubble and surrounded by like minded people. Your world is small and if you start to wander out of your fellow adherents comfort zone they correct you. It is a defense mechanism that is necessary to the survival of the group. If you seek knowledge past the approved authors list then you will become a liberal or worse yet an atheist.
They use the social network as an incentive to stay in the fold and remain comfortable. I have always been a different kind of thinker and a bit of a loner. When I realized leaving meant walking away from people I could barely stomach to be around, I thought it was a no brainer. For some this would ruin their world and their entire social network would crumble.
I guess you just have to have enough and walk away. Sure it sucks at first, but the long term benefits outweigh the short term heart ache. I wouldn't change anything I have done during this process and realize what I done is unique in my area.
Why go to a church where most days of the week have an activity planned for you? I think it keeps you from making a difference in your daily life and also keeps you from taking in new perspectives. The church that offers everything socially is trapping you in a way. Sure they may have good preaching or whatever but they know you're not going anywhere. 
You might indulge the other evangelical or pca church on your side of town but you'll be back eventually. Unless you go to another denomination that is a paradigm shift to join. To truly leave fundamentalism behind and still have faith is no easy task. Heap on top of that you are going over to the liberal side since there is only black and white engrained in your head.
Autonomy has to be what you are willing to accept with this change.  You will find out who your true friends are and then wonder if they only want to reconvert you so you come back. Many people fill the pews as these authoritarian churches and are unhappy there. It takes a rare person to get up and walk out and never come back. Most people can't handle the responsibility and want to be lead or they shrug off things they know are wrong.
On today a psychologist said that in the future that fundamentalist religious beliefs will be a treatable mental disorder. After my experience she is right but all it takes is education. I don't think the pharmaceutical companies can put education in a pull as of yet.

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