“You Just Didn’t Say That?" is a recurring posting here at Thought Theater. The intention of the category “Nouveau Thoughts" is to present a provocative thought for debate and discussion. A key objective is to take established or accepted ideas or beliefs and challenge their legitimacy in order to extract any hidden or overlooked truth. The thoughts posted herein are not intended to offend or impugn…they are merely topics or issues I have pondered in search of meaning and clarity. Feel free to share your opinions, observations, and objections. A search for truth cannot be completed if one is afraid to explore the extremes. Today’s new thought has to do with the motivations behind the absolute nature of the evangelical's belief system.
It strikes me that evangelicals are consumed with the need to be right in every sense of the word. The question is why? By asking that question I am not attempting to fault the pursuit of knowledge or education or study by any group of individuals. However, I am asking why they need others to adhere to the conclusions they draw and cannot be content to hold their particular beliefs without seeking to force them upon the rest of society.
In the spirit of seeking “truth", I am proposing that the evangelical has a character flaw that is typified by a weakened identity which is particularly vulnerable to opposing beliefs. Hence, the mere existence of differing beliefs is a threat to this identity…even if those who hold said beliefs never seek to impose them on the evangelical. Conversely, evangelicals are driven to procure full compliance with their beliefs in order to silence the inherent doubts that plague their collective psyche.
Nothing in our human existence stands up to absolute interpretation save for death…yet the evangelical purports to know an array of absolutes. They even believe that they understand that which follows death. The majority of these hypotheses are based upon Biblical interpretations. At the same time, there is no actual evidence that this book is the word of God, the guiding post for humanity, or consistent and absolute in its opinions or admonitions.
Nonetheless, the evangelical chooses to believe that the Bible is absolute and needs to hold those beliefs in order to protect the fragile identity. What does this dogged devotion do for the evangelical? It immunizes him or her from any factual requirement and allows him or her to hold fast to his or her beliefs regardless of any rational and reasonable challenges put forth. When challenged, the final answer is “because it is the word of God".
Consequently, seeking more “truth" is not the objective of the evangelical. The goal is to impose the rigid and absolute “Truth" that is necessary to validate their identity.