Let’s do a thought experiment. Let’s imagine that you are standing with your face forcibly pressed against a wall. (You have been captured and forcibly tied to this wall) All you can see is the wall itself, and a little window at your eye level that is sometimes opened allowing you to hear and see into what appears to be an organized little world full of people. There are two types of people inhabiting this world. A small minority of them are folks that are well dressed, polite, hard-working, and sincere at all times. They live their lives according to consistent rules and seem to be wise and have all the answers to every situation they face. In And of course they all believe in God, read their Bibles daily, and pray a lot. The larger group of people are loud, not quite as well dressed, coarse in speech, untrustworthy, wealthier, and do not live according to the same rules of morality as do the first group. You are told that this is reality.
If you were raised as a Baptist fundamentalist, this really isn’t too far-fetched from how your brain was treated.
From childhood, I was pressed up against the wall of fundamentalist filters that framed reality in a delusional way so that I grew up deluded and unable to react to social situations normally. Literally every social interaction, every new fact I learned, every new experience got processed through my fundamentalist wall. I had no choice, it was totally in my face. I looked out upon the world standing behind this huge wall of fundamentalist belief filters.
And please believe me when I say that I was really, really lonely! Always hiding behind my wall, looking into a world, but never being ‘a part of’, never being connected to people because I was taught that I had to stay pure, I had to be a lighthouse, a beacon of truth for all those unsaved people to see, approach, and get saved due to my life being a shining beacon! HA!
Cracks started developing in my wall. Of course I tried to ignore them, then I tried to patch them up, but once started these cracks multiplied very quickly until the wall fell, and I suddenly realized that the little world I had been seeing was just a small play on a stage that had been playing for my benefit directly in front of my line of vision.
As that vision expanded, I realized that I had been in mental captivity for years and lied to. I realized that I had been believing lies, and worse, have missed out on all the fun activities that normal people do. I’ve lost years of my life due to this captivity! And even though the wall fell down, I see chains on my arms and feet, wrapped around my body still holding me down.
And where was this ‘Almighty God’ that had been touted to me as my loving, caring ‘heavenly father’ who had a plan for everything, who cared for me?? POOF! Nothing there either!
It’s like the light turned on, and I’m standing naked wondering what the hell happened, and where to go to get clothed again and how to begin a life.
The Greek philosopher Plato originated a wonderful allegory that is relevant to my subject. I think this allegory sums up being raised as a Baptist fundamentalist quite well.