I think the most devious, sneaky lie that fundamentalists, (and probably most of Christianity) assumes may actually be this;
God inspired the writers of the Bible to say what He wanted to communicate to all of mankind. The Bible is God’s love letter to us, God has preserved it accurately down through the ages, and it is relevant and applicable to our lives today!
Well, there are certainly great principles that are timeless, and worthwhile to apply, but here is the real lie as I see it.
Fundamentalists teach that Satan is warring against God, and we are involved in a cosmic war being played out here over generations, thousands of years between God’s forces and Satan’s forces. God has a perfect plan to redeem the universe, to put it back to the state of perfection that existed at the time of creation. Every person has been placed upon the earth for a specific purpose in God’s plan. Every event has a reason in God’s war, regardless if our limited, finite minds can comprehend it or not.
We are not called to understand, but to trust, obey, and accept.
In my estimation, this idea is the synthetic ‘religious glue’ that ties the writings of the Biblical authors all together, and attempts to give believers purpose for the events in their lives.
From my limited experience as a pastor’s kid, it strikes me that almost everything was ‘spiritualized’. Here’s an example of what I mean by this. . .
Our family owned a 1969 bright red Ramble Ambassador station wagon that seemed to consistently have difficulties with ‘frost plugs’ on a consistent basis. It was not unusual for this car with us in it, to be stranded alongside an interstate, parked in a garage on a hot day while the mechanic was changing the ‘frost plugs’ which apparently were located somewhere on the bottom of the engine.
One time, I think I vaguely recall this lovely car not starting up for about 10 minutes for some reason. When it finally did start, and we were pulling out of our driveway, one of my folks said, “Maybe God is keeping us off the road so we avoid an accident.”
My entire life was saturated with this type of thinking. According to this, God was actively interfering with our car, preventing it from running at times so that we might be saved from a potential accident had it ran normally. This completely erased my idea of taking personal responsibility for my own life. Everything was God. Everything was God’s sovereignty. . .ie. . .I was completely at the mercy of uncontrollable Fate!
But this was a weird mental mix. I was expected to solve my own problems, yet I was also expected to seek God’s will for my life, not make my own choices without praying, reading my Bible, getting an inner peace (feeling) that God was happy with me because I had made the right choice. I never learned how to research, think things through, deal with feelings and sit through them, have the freedom to make my own choices and be okay with myself if I made a poor choice.
No, everything was God, everything had to be the ‘correct choice’. . ie. . .to be ‘IN GOD’S WILL.’ I was led to believe that as long as I was ‘IN GOD’S WILL’, then everything would work out perfectly for me. Being IN GOD’S WILL, was like being inside a safety bubble that no man could touch or hurt me. (Unless of course God willed it!)
Now, let’s talk reality.
Paul was not writing to the church in Corinth in his day with the idea that he would be writing for churches today to study his letters. Paul was writing personal letters to each of the churches in his day, not to us.
The major and minor prophets were not writing to us today. They were writing about events in their own time, in their own culture.
So here is the subtle insinuating lie that we believe.
God had all those writers write their messages for people of their time, and also for every believer through every age. (Never mind those believers that didn’t know how to read, or didn’t have access to the full canon for hundreds of years, and don’t think about how any humans born and died without having heard anything about Christianity) What matters is that God is speaking to us now using the Holy Spirit who lives inside us who will illuminate our minds with what He wants us to know using these ancient texts.
It doesn’t matter that the idea of a universal war between God and Satan originated as ‘theological glue’ to try to explain our lives.
A comforting lie can be nice than harsh truth.
If God is omnipotent, and is greater than Satan as light is from darkness as we have been taught, then God doesn’t need thousands of years, millions and millions of deaths and suffering to win over Satan.
He could do it instantaneously.