This is actually a continuation of last week’s column which was entitled “Useful Idiots: Still Around and Found in Surprising Places“. This time around, I want to specifically look at one of those “surprising places”, and how the useful idiots got there. The place under consideration is the church, and how it’s being filled with useful idiots is a convoluted path of bad teaching, ignored history and the complete arrogance of people in power.
In order to understand the purpose of having useful idiots, first consider this as a premise: We are being conditioned. We are being conditioned to accept certain situations as reality and to accept them without question.
This conditioning is subtle and starts early at the lowest grades in school. It continues as we get older and as we become more and more immersed in our high tech, politically charged culture. The subtle nature of it is that important news, presented unbiasedly, is almost impossible to find. Instead, what’s considered “important” has become a steady stream of the latest diet fad, the royal family, celebrity divorces/marriages/spats, reality TV “stars”, who is wearing what to the latest awards ego fest, and/or the list of 218 things you shouldn’t wear after you turn 40. Yeah…what passes for news puts the National Enquirer to shame.
All the while, the real substantive news is hardly available. It’s a subtle conditioning designed so that at one point we’ll just plain no longer even care. I mean, have you seen the latest hat Princess What’s-Her-Butt is wearing?
I’m convinced this is completely by design and has been so for a long time. We’re only now seeing how they want this to work, and how it has worked in socialist countries around the world from the beginning of the last century until now. The fact that 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez can openly run for Congress as a “democratic socialist” in New York is proof, to some extent, that the plan has been successful.
The unfortunate reality is that the Christian church has an even longer history of dealing with the same mind set. Christians are notoriously susceptible to manipulation by bad leadership. After all, isn’t it unspiritual to criticize brother Billy Bob because, really…he’s a man of God…? Don’t believe this can happen? Follow this thread.
We’re all familiar with Isaiah 53:6: “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way…” Couple this verse with the words of Christ Himself as found in John 10:14-15: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
The take away from these two verses is two-fold. 1) Christians have been led to believe that we’re sheep. But that’s not a compliment, not something to aspire to. Sheep are the ultimate herd animal. 2) Because Christ calls Himself “good shepherd”, we’re supposed to believe that our goal as Christians is to simply shut our mind off and be a follower.
What Christ is doing in these verses from John, however, is preparing his disciples for his coming sacrifice.
It’s important to remember that Christ taught in parables. This was an accepted, common Rabbinical teaching method used because most of the population at that time were illiterate. Only the extremely wealthy, or those in leadership or religious positions could read and write.
It’s because of this widespread illiteracy that the early church began to experience problems with Christians paying more attention to preachers and other leaders than they did Christ. Paul addresses this very issue in 1 Cor. 1:12, and 3:4. The issue is also mentioned in James 3:1.
It really wasn’t until Martin Luther published his 95 Theses in 1517 that a real spiritual shift started wherein the general population began to break away from centuries of subjugation to the Catholic Church. Couple this with the invention of the movable-type printing press in the previous century by Johann Gutenberg (1455), and the seeds of The Reformation began to change not only Christian religious life, but the education prospects for a large portion of Europe’s population.
By educating the general population more and more over time, illiteracy, though still present, became less common. There’s a great book entitled The Rise of Universities by Charles Homer Haskins that details the impact education made on Western civilization.
Sadly, though, education and literacy is still not a worldwide achievement. Just look how Islam treats women. And equally sad is the fact that there are still Christians who pay more attention to the modern day Apollos/Brother Billy Bob types than Christ. There is still that mindset where thinking for yourself and questioning what you hear is somehow unspiritual, even sinful.
This is what leads to the rise of cults and what keeps Christians away from being politically involved in their communities when now is the time that involvement is needed most.
I’ve written several other articles for Clash along these lines. Forgive the self-promotion, but along with the aforementioned “Useful Idiots…” article from last week, here are some others you might care to check out:
Remembering History Is Like a Vaccine for Dangerous Idiots (6/29/18)
Yo, Christians: Do You Still Think Being Political Is a Bad Thing? (8/18/17)
The Political Christian (5/29/15)
I intend to follow up on this thread by looking at some of what’s happening with the Emergent (or Emerging) Church movement and how that’s impacting our faith as a whole.
“Useful idiots”, in all the myriad varieties of liberalism, are the current foot soldiers of socialism. We can expect that from the world. What’s frightening for believers is when our own succumb to this. It’s not just watering down the message of Christ, but it’s goal is to render us powerless towards the world.
Remember, I’ve called my current music project SALT after Matt. 5:13. We are the salt of the earth…we are the preservative that stops the rot.
In closing: “…at the present time, there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Rom. 11:5
CONTINUING SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION
Okay, so I stuck in a quick mention of my CD SALT. But hey, it worked, didn’t it? For anyone out there who hasn’t ordered a CD yet, here’s the link: www.rottweilerrecords.bigcartel.com/Product/john-degroff-salt-cd
To view the lyric video for the tune “Runnin'”:
Digital download available through Bandcamp and Noisetrade
Please check out www.facebook.com/ghfrocks and www.facebook.com/DeGroffProjects for some upcoming special offers.
Thank you for your support.
Image: CCO Creative Commons; Excerpted from: https://pixabay.com/en/sheep-flock-of-sheep-animals-wool-2292802/