I used to teach math and tutor math at almost every level from Middle School through Calculus. And I learned that in order for another person to really ‘get it’, then I must incorporate several things into my lessons –

  • application
  • why it makes sense, not just how to do it
  • start by connecting with something they are familiar with, describe the new concept in familiar, or a humorous way

I’ve learned to ramp up slowly (tell my students what I’m about to tell them),  plateau (explain the new material with whatever approach is the most digestible to them), ramp down (tell them what I’ve just told them – summarize) And of course they have to learn hands on with practice. Homework. 🙂  There’s almost always that.

Anyway. . .sometimes a student’s brain, for whatever reason, would seemingly slam the vault door on a specific new concept or idea, and it would not let anything in. They had what I call ‘brain lock.’  It was very frustrating for both of us when this happened. Sometimes the vault would open up and decide to let that new idea in, other times, it would be a year later in a different math class.

I was once told that the way a new trainee is shown how to do a job by their trainer will always be the ONLY right way to do it.

Putting these two ideas together, every Baptist fundamentalist believes that the only correct theology is what they were taught growing up, and their brains are set to automatically filter out, and lock out any new ideas, or factual evidence to the contrary.

And that is also very frustrating and sad when you observe otherwise intelligent, rational adults holding on to false information. They are living in a state of permanent brain lock!

What’s worse is that their brain locking device also functions as a super sensitive binary radar that detects when other folks are believing ‘correctly’ or are open to consider new ideas.

Just as a manual recliner is either fully up, or fully reclined, a fundamentalist is either fully engaged with their beliefs, or they accuse you of having questions, and needing their answers.

A power recliner gives options to be fully upright, or infinite positions between upright and fully reclined. Real power comes with the freedom to gather information, analyze, and choose for yourself the position that makes the most sense.

But a brain locked fundamentalist has a binary ‘right beliefs’ or ‘wrong beliefs’ switch. There is very little to no ability to consider factual evidence, analyze it, and possibly conclude their theology is incorrect. That would be akin to ‘questioning the authority of God’s word’ according to them.

And it is becoming increasingly offensive to me when someone tells me they have the answers, and would be glad to talk with me to ‘help me’ find the answers as well. That is ‘Christian’ version of saying, ‘I’m right, you are obviously off the correct path.’

This is the same thing that I was taught growing up, that I had to KNOW that I was saved. It wasn’t acceptable to say that ‘I believe’ that I am saved. In that same mentality, fundamentalists will say they KNOW that they have the truth – God is true, every man is a liar.  And if facts contradict the Bible (interpret this as their pet theology), then the facts are wrong because their faith in God is what matters.

Sigh. . .

I suppose one could make a weak argument that  the Bible teaches a flat earth, and based upon the authority of God’s word, the earth really is flat.  Genesis seems to teach a flat earth with water above and below it. So by faith in the AUTHORITY of GOD’S WORD, I believe that the earth is flat, and eventually science will catch up to the Bible and realize this.

The preceding paragraph is how a fundamentalist thinks in a nutshell.

Brain Lock.

Sad. . .

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