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serving jesus christ the king

Look Who's Irrational Now

There’s an idea out there that anyone who believes the Bible is some sort of backwoods, superstitious, irrational thicko who seems to have missed the fact that we have progressed from the Middle Ages into the 21st century.

The prevailing opinion amongst many is that we are to be more sophisticated and rational now. Indeed, those who have cast aside the shackles of religion are seen as the forebears of a brave new breed of mankind, whilst those who cling to their beliefs in a man who died on a cross and rose again are seen as those who would relegate the race to the dim recesses of ignorance.

With that in mind I was intrigued by an article I came across online in the Wall Street Journal. It makes the case that biblical evangelical Christianity promotes a greater degree of scepticism about superstition, the paranormal and the occult. Let me quote some of the article:

‘What Americans Really Believe,’ a comprehensive new study released by Baylor University, shows that traditional Christian religion greatly decreases belief in everything from the efficacy of palm readers to the usefulness of astrology.”

The survey was carried out by the Gallup Organization and asked American adults a series of questions. The answers were added up to create an index of belief in occult and the paranormal. While 31% of people who never worship expressed strong belief in these things, only 8% of people who attend a house of worship more than once a week did.

“The reality is that the New Atheist campaign, by discouraging religion, won't create a new group of intelligent, sceptical, enlightened beings. Far from it: It might actually encourage new levels of mass superstition. And that's not a conclusion to take on faith—it's what the empirical data tell us.”

The survey showed that instead of Christians being more gullible, it is those who are casting aside the truths contained in the Bible that are.

Interestingly, this increase in superstitious belief was also found where churchgoers attend churches which are less attached to the authority and truthfulness of the Bible.

But the stand out point for me is that in this age when we have had more education to a greater level than before, matched also by a great departure from adherence to the Bible, we are seeing not a greater level of rationality, but a far greater degree of gullibility.

The great cry of the secularists is that we need to move on; I ask what is it that you wish us to move on to? A quagmire of senseless and pitiful superstition, where your starsign is meant to govern how you live, where people hug rocks to find harmony with mother earth, where people try to contact the dead, and where the power of positive thinking/speaking is seen to be ‘The Secret’ of living?

Look who’s irrational now?

Years ago GK Chesterton is reputed to have said: “When a man stops believing in God he doesn’t then believe in nothing, he believes anything.” This survey would seem to bear this out. But I would also say to Christians reading this: Be rigorous in investigating what you believe—don’t you fall for superstitious nonsense or unsubstantiated stories either.