Western society, the United States in particular, is a Christian dominated culture. Even if many aren’t “practicing” Christians, the majority of people in the western sphere of influence are aware of Christianity on a Subconscious level, its essential tenants and appropriate buzzwords. This can be argued to some extent on a larger, global scale too, but I’m going to stick to the United States since that’s where I’m from.
In the United States we are ingrained with Christianity in our lives and inundated with supposed references to it in movies, television, the news, and the internet. There are churches on every street corner, who post verses up on their signs to inform and inspire. We sell trinkets at places like Hobby Lobby that are littered with feel good bible verses and inoffensive Christian paraphernalia that we stick in our homes. Even my family has a couple of little signs around our house too. Despite this deep-rooted presence in the lives of most modern day Americans, even those outwardly professing their belief in Jesus Christ, those same people have very little understanding of what the Bible actually says.
They simply don’t read it.
People speak, dare I say, authoritatively to others from their own mind about Christian subjects but few have garnered this knowledge from the Bible itself. Instead, this “faith” they carry with them is an assemblage of verses without context, old wives tales, misremembered information passed down from family, sporadic and seasonal church attendances, a belief structure forged by false information perpetuated by the media in film and television, or table discussions with family and friends about Christian topics, all bringing their own perspectives into the discussion.
Much of their knowledge is absorbed completely out of context or learned in a manner that is misrepresentative of those same lesson’s true intentions. We have absorbed this diluted, collective knowledge through society and culture by being told what Christianity is supposed to be about person to person through a societal lens, not through due diligence in discovering the truth for ourselves straight from the Bible itself. All of us at one point or another have carried this misinformation and misconceptions within us. All of this jumble lingers in our brains, becoming ingrained in us and we perceive it as “truth” because it is repeated so often and so many believe it.
This is what I refer to as “Collective Christian Subconscious.”
For many modern Christians, this information is what powers their belief system. They have no clue what the bible truly says about most topics, but they “believe” simply because it feels like the correct thing to do. Professing Christians do little in the way of “seeking His face” when it comes to putting in the work of finding out who the one we call God is, what he wants from us, and why he sent his only Son to die for us. Outside of claiming to believe “He died for our sins” most can’t understand what that means and how it applies to us.
Can you think of things in our life that perhaps you one thought were true about Christian belief that, now, if you’ve done the work, know are not true?
These are just a few surface level examples that I just rattled off the top of my head because I use them when talking to other people when addressing their misconceptions about Christianity.
- God helps those who help themselves.
- The Book of Revelations
- Don’t judge lest you be judged.
- God has a plan (with no further context or understanding, just as a dismissive “answer”)
However, this isn’t the most insidious problem with this type of “belief.” These poorly understood phrases, ideas, concepts, can be further abstracted by our own human perspectives. We can contort and use any of these half truths to justify anything we want. We may even find ourselves espousing something that is so ridiculously untrue just to make others or ourselves feel better. These might lead us down selfish and egotistical beliefs that can cause a divide between us and a potential relationship with Christ and our father. Many take these beliefs, despite being wrong, and use them to attack Christians because so many people hold these things to be true so how can so many be wrong?
This type of belief system, based on watered down information creates watered down Christians with watered down values. Jesus himself talks about these types of believers throughout his parables and in his Epistles within the Book of Revelation. This results in a person, who claims to be Christian that sincerely believes that “being nice” is a core tenant of being a follower of Christ. Those that might proclaim they just “follow the sermon on the mount.” Most can’t even explain the stories behind the words. Unfortunately, many don’t know the core Gospel itself.
To contrast that, there are those within the group of Christians proclaiming that they are “serious.” Many get a bit too serious. People who have gone so far down the rabbit hole they’ve forgotten the core of our faith. Those that used to be highlighted in the media as part of the Westboro Baptist church for example, shouting horrible things like “God hates…” this or that, but have lost touch with the words of Christ, namely the most important commandment was to love your neighbor above all things. They are right to not support the sin of an individual, but they are so lost in the hate of sin that the people who commit it are thrown out with it. Forgetting that they, themselves, are not free from sin. The goal is to judge righteously by one’s fruit, not steal, kill, and destroy. People forget that it is Satan that comes with accusation.
Both groups are malleable by those with a hint of Charisma. These lost follow false idols all over the world. Not just idols professing Christian faith, but those in pop culture and politics. These lost believers got stuck in the mire of this world, rather than be set apart from it as we are instructed. They become animals, allowing themselves to align with an us versus them mentality fighting for the systems of the world that amount to the Titanic going down, forgetting that there are enough life boats for everyone, all we have to do is direct them.
All sides are something almost entirely unrecognizable from what is intended. These two groups have left or ignored Biblical truth and let others and outside influences determine their faith. They’ve left behind God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Most probably never knew them to begin with.
The remedy, obviously, is to read the bible. Actually read it. But you need to understand the words you read that day, study them, research the historical connections. You need to reflect on and “mediate” on the words you read. Carry them with you, and, eventually, one day, live them. Embody them.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing a few articles that talk about examples of the Collective Christian Subconscious in action and where people have gotten their wires crossed. I wanted to present this perspective to you with some context on how I see the problem to help frame these coming articles. The summary is, of course, not definitive and there are numerous examples I left out that I’m sure you could think of. Ultimately, I’m looking for people to seriously pursue the father above all and I think understanding these things that permeate our society is crucial. We need to recognize the problem we have so we can begin to do the work in solving it.