Archive for the ‘The Soulbusters’ Category

The Bumptious And The Anxious

From the point of view of proneness to anxiety, humanity can be divided into two personality types. Let us imagine that we are issuing the same challenge to different kinds of people. The naturally self-approving will assume that they have succeeded, whatever the realities of the case, and will think very well of themselves. The […]

Posted on January 1, 2010 at 09:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Anxiety In The Church: A Homilectic Dilemma

The preaching of a Law (or Hellfire) sermon gives everyone a good fright: it emphasises the holiness of God, His hatred of sin and the necessity of penitence. Once upon a time a sermon called ‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’ made people cling to the church pillars in terror. A Gospel (or […]

Posted on January 2, 2010 at 08:56 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Anxiety In The Church: Moving The Goalposts

If you desire to keep a new convert permanently off-balance and uncertain of where he stands in the drama of salvation, which will make him easier to manipulate and tempt him to buy Holy Hardware at your shop, the best method is to keep moving the goalposts. Instead of the criteria for salvation being absolutely […]

Posted on January 3, 2010 at 09:38 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Anxiety In The Church: The Conversion Experience

Christian evangelists universally believe and proclaim that the convert becomes a better person. Some say immediately; the wiser talk about a process called “sanctification”, and admit that this can take a long time. The claim has not, of course, ever been subjected to any objective verification, assuming that such a thing is methodologically possible. One […]

Posted on January 4, 2010 at 11:17 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Anxiety In The Church: Wrecking Newbies With The R Word

It is under the rubric of psychological games played on converts that we meet that appalling word REALLY. In a positive statement, “really” is a reinforcer: “I really like that dress”. In a negative statement, it is a polite softener or a fence-sitter: “I don’t really think it suits you”. But in a question, it […]

Posted on January 5, 2010 at 10:26 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Anxiety And The Terminology Of Conversion

Apart from the sneaky insinuation inherent in the word “really”, the new convert will meet many other sources of doubt about the his conversion. All the terminologies used to describe conversion open the door to retrospective doubt as to the quality or reality of that conversion, but some open it much wider than others. Labels […]

Posted on January 6, 2010 at 08:58 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Anxiety In The Church: Instant Sanctification

The word “commitment” is dangerously ambiguous between a historical act and a present state. Like “Giving your (Whatever) to the Lord”, it is anthropocentric language, making Fallen Man the agent and God the passive recipient. This has to make the new convert worry that he has done it properly. At the same time such language […]

Posted on January 7, 2010 at 08:55 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Bad Wine In New Bottles

Schopenhauer was quite wrong to say that religious conversion was never a partial change, but is always thorough-going. He should have remembered his main doctrine, that we are not our rationalisations but our Will – and velle non discitur, willing cannot be taught. Our motivations do not change, but we can switch the technologies we […]

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 10:18 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

The Wrong Way

In his apologetic writings, C. S. Lewis argued that Christianity was by no means the bringing of a new moral law. We all, he said, knew the Way – which he called, in a creditable but infelicitous attempt to escape Eurocentricity – the Tao; all human societies knew the Way; the problem is that we […]

Posted on January 8, 2010 at 12:53 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · One Comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters

Anxiety In The Church: Up Or Out

If the church fails to remind the new convert that the pattern of the Christian life is one of falling down and getting up again, he will fall yet deeper into the trap of longing for the Quick Fix. The more the church cultivates “spiritual success”, the greater the demoralisation of those who are conscious […]

Posted on January 9, 2010 at 10:47 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: THE LONGEST CON, The Soulbusters