Everyone believes. I am a Christian, there are millions like me, and the world is also full of other religions. Atheists, who don’t believe in God, believe in something. They have some way to make sense of life in this world. I don’t want to single out Atheists for special criticism here, but I am sure that they believe, just like the rest of us. It’s a human condition.
The problem is with believers who become “anointed.” That’s a special status, in any belief system, where we become so convinced, we arrive at a stage where can never be criticized. We just know we are correct, and that means every dis-agreer is wrong. We don’t need to discuss it, they are just wrong.
Have you heard of the “Vision of the Anointed?”
Thomas Sowell presents the concept that we are governed by self-congratulating elites, the “Anointed.” His language is religious but he writes about politics and society. Many of the secular “Anointed” today have a PhD and call themselves scientists.
Recently, with an article against climate change denial in the Washington Post, one comment illustrated Anointed thinking:
What many of the Denialists and Wingnuts forget is this: “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” quote from Neil deGrasse Tyson (Trump shows the rank dishonesty of climate-change deniers: Washington Post)
And the wrong side goes wrong in three ways, they are Lazy, Stupid, or Evil:
- A. Lazy – They just didn’t try hard enough! If the plan failed, they need to do more of the same, with greater devotion.
- B. Stupid – They just don’t understand, and maybe they are not able to understand because they are “Denialists and Wingnuts .” So, it’s a good thing the Anointed Ones are here to guide them.
- C. Evil – Those people are wrong, and we probably should get rid of them.
I know a soldier who was in Afghanistan, and he told me the local people explained their war with “Those people are bad Muslims.” So, they had any combination of A, B, and C; ‘Our way is correct and if they did something wrong, they are bad.’ If you want to criticize Islam because of this anointed thinking, try not to get too anointed and superior yourself. Here’s a quote from a “Religion of Peace” debate:
“Any religion does not preach war or oppression, its the racist bigoted fools who use religion to legitimize their own depraved views that bring a bad name to religion. Same goes for Islam and Islamic fanatics or Christianity and the KKK in America, Lords Resistance Army in Uganda or the other Christian fanatics in CAR, etc or Buddhism and BBS in SL or other Buddhist fanatics in Burma etc. Every religion has nut jobs whose tiny minds cannot comprehend the true teachings of these religions.” (Islam is a religion of peace and unity: Rishad)
Actually, there are some ideas, in some religions, that are not peaceful. Just read the news to confirm that, but notice options A, B, and C in the comment. ‘People who disagree with us are wrong in the following ways …’
I have seen this all my life in Christian churches, and I will tell anyone who will listen; Christians are supposed to be humble. Our faith does not make us better than anyone else. We are failures who were pardoned, not superior and anointed critics who were chosen because of our great merit.
The Bible does tell us that Christians are anointed, but notice; we are only qualified to teach ourselves and to live better lives, not to sneer from a superior position.
As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. (1 John 2:27)
It turns out, we are the anointed who don’t get to talk down to other people. Also notice, we are free from the superior sneers of the critics. We are free, and I believe the world is becoming less free every day. There have been calls to condemn climate change skeptics as “deniers” and to put them in prison for crimes against humanity, and possibly even execute them. I am sure Christian believers are being described in the same way. We interfere with the process.
The problem is the process, humans like to be superior and in-control because of advanced credentials, because of self congratulation. And I know that is not correct.
But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray, each one has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53: 5 and 6)