Courage is a precious commodity not only in Christian life but in psychoanalysis. Spiritual and Psychological growth cannot happen deprived of it. Individual congregates and the church as a whole must draw upon it. But courage for what, you ask? Courage to face the truth. This is the guiding principle, the North Star of Christianity. And it is an essential aspect of any kind of positive change.
Why does it take courage to face the truth?
It takes courage to face the truth because the truth comes with all sorts of anxieties, disappointments, and responsibilities which we would rather avoid. The truth can be painful. It can be challenging. It means we must pull our heads out of the sand and do something to help ourselves—wake up, get up, stand up, pony up, man up, grow up.
What are some of the truths we resist facing?
In an ordinary week of work as a Christian journalist and author, here are some of the truths that I think my fellow Christians must muster the courage to face (in no particular order of difficulty or importance):
The modern Christian churches use brainwashing, mind control, indoctrination, oppression, coercion, intimidation, legalism, false teaching, guilt, shame, peer pressure, and other bondage techniques to control members, increase church attendance, and obtain more money. The goal is said to be “winning souls to Christ,” but the underlying agenda is the desire for more power, control, and money. These mind control and bondage techniques are not needed to win souls to Christ. In fact, they are very counterproductive to soul winning.
Matthew 23:4 “For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. 5 “But all their works they do to be seen by men.”
Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
Church congregates are easily taught to believe something that can quickly be proven to be absolutely false. After having been given the truth, the mind of one who is indoctrinated and brainwashed typically locks up in denial.
The ease with which a person becomes brainwashed is not a matter of intelligence or IQ. A scam artist can seduce Ph. D. professors at about the same rate as garbage collectors. It is more a matter of wisdom, knowing truth from error. Some garbage collectors have a lot of wisdom. In fact, the human mind seems to prefer brainwashing lies over truth by a wide margin.
People are brainwashed because of their psychological arrogance. Some people are so arrogant, self-centred, and proud that whatever they believe is automatically assumed to be correct. They make no effort to dig out the truth. These people literally brainwash themselves. The following are just a some of my findings with regards arrogance and brainwashing.
Arrogance can be readily seen in Pentecostal and prophetic churches as expressed by the way they believe their prophet or man of God is the only one with a direct line to God. They do everything they can think of to be as arrogant as possible in demonstrating this. Arrogance is one of the most abundant psychological sicknesses in the church today. Arrogance is human nature. Humans are born with an abundance of arrogance. Truth and wisdom come only by hard effort, but somehow some of those in the prophetic churches avoid hard effort. They simply succumb to the arrogance. Arrogant Pentecostal and Prophetic Church congregates suck up brainwashing like Sponge Bob. The first step in brainwashing them is to tell them there are protected under the covering of their chosen man of God and no wrong can be found on their prophet in fact all things negative said or allegations of any sorts are the devils work meant to attack the anointed prophet. This leaves their arrogant nature fully open to continued brainwashing.
Now, if you have trouble accepting some of these as truths, feel free to take them with a grain of salt or throw them out altogether. Or, instead, maybe stop and think why you might want to dismiss them. Perhaps what I’m saying is worth considering. Maybe it takes courage to face some of these truths about your church. And maybe your church life would be different—even better—if you could have courage to face up to these truths and deal with them.
How would our lives be better if we could face the truth?
Mental health involves being able to face life in a realistic way–to take the good with the bad, the strengths with the limitations, the love with the hate, the joys with the disappointments. Finding that kind of balance is a lifelong task. But it is a balance worth seeking because it allows us to do what we can do to make our lives the best that they can be.
A lot of Christians are living superficial lives pretending to be happy and pretending to have it all. I know scripture says let the poor say I am rich… but if you do not balance your reality with truth this can have psychological effects in the long run and you create an alternative reality in which you start believing your own lies.
As I like to say to my friends, you cannot become an entirely different person, but you can become a better version of yourself.
Don’t fear your own reality
Church members come to accept the policies, practices, and teachings in their church as they drift into bondage from the indoctrination techniques used by church officials. This indoctrination is so effective that the member later denies he has been brainwashed in fact some even say before I met Papa (Prophet) my mind was so unclean I thank him for washing my brain clean. Normally people who have been brainwashed never know it themselves but those in the arrogant Pentecostal and Prophetic churches are arrogantly aware and proud of this washing.
First is denial, you deny that there is abuse in your church.
Second is anger, you get angry at those who point out the faults in your church.
Thirdly you get the bargaining stage, you start trying to make sense and reason and justify the unpardonable
Fourthly you get into depression, it finally dawns on you that what you seek to deny and justify is unacceptable and unpardonable
Fifth is acceptance, You finally accept that no amount of scripture twisting can cover up or silence the naked truth of abuse perpetrated by your church leaders under the guise of ‘Man of God’ titles…
I leave you with a beautiful poem written by Ellen Bass that speaks to the courage it takes to face (and embrace) our ordinarily good yet challenging lives.
The thing is
to love life
to love it even when you have no
stomach for it, when everything you’ve held
dear crumbles like burnt paper in your hands
and your throat is filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you so heavily
it’s like heat, tropical, moist
thickening the air so it’s heavy like water
more fit for gills than lungs.
When grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief.
How long can a body withstand this? you think,
and yet you hold life like a face between your palms,
a plain face, with no charming smile
or twinkle in her eye,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.
Asante Sana, I am Brilliant Pongo I stand for truth.