Almost thirty years ago, two well-respected social science scholars, William Sims Bainbridge and Rodney Stark, found themselves alarmed by what they saw as a rising tide of irrationalism, superstition and occultism--- channeling cults, spirit familiars, Wicca, Satanists, goddess worshippers, 'gay' shamans, and other such occult madness — at every level of society, even unto the highest corridors of power. Like many scientists, they were equally concerned by Christian opposition to naturalistic evolution.
As is common in the science community, Bainbridge and Stark assumed the cause of these social pathologies were somehow due to fundamentalism, their term for authentic Christian theism. Yet to their credit, the research they undertook to discover the cause was conducted both scientifically and with great integrity. What they found was so startling that it caused them to re-evaluate their attitude toward Christian theism. Their findings led them to say:
"It would be a mistake to conclude that fundamentalists oppose all science (when in reality they but oppose) a single theory (that) directly contradicts the bible. But it would be an equally great mistake to conclude that religious liberals and the irreligious possess superior minds of great rationality, to see them as modern personalities who have no need of the supernatural or any propensity to believe unscientific superstitions. On the contrary...they are much more likely to accept the new superstitions. It is the fundamentalists who appear most virtuous according to scientific standards when we examine the cults and pseudo-sciences proliferating in our society today." ("Superstitions ,Old and New," The Skeptical Inquirer (formerly The Zetetic), Vol. IV, No. 4; Summer, 1980, pp. 18, 23, 26, 28, 30)
In more detail they observed that authentic ‘born again’ Christians are far less likely to accept cults and pseudoscientific beliefs while the irreligious (i.e., atheists, pagans, secular humanists, occult New Age, our left-right Ruling Class) and liberalized Christians are open to unscientific notions. In fact, these two groups are most favorable toward occultism, leading Bainbridge and Stark to conclude their startling findings with this dire warning:
"Those who hope that a decline in traditional religion would inaugurate a new Age of Reason ought to think again....Apparently, when Christianity loses its grip on large numbers of people, deviant religious alternatives arise, and get hold of some of the unchurched... Persons with no religious affiliation are often among the first to toy with novel or exotic supernatural notions and are not the secular rationalists we might want to think them. Cults flourish precisely where the conventional churches are weakest...(also), numbers of unchurched people seek private contact with the supernatural......a further decline in the influence of conventional religion may not inaugurate a scientific Age of Reason but might instead open the floodgates for a bizarre new Age of Superstition." (ibid)
The real measure of one’s worldview resides in how close to reality it conforms. What Bainbridge and Stark discovered to their utter shock was that authentic Christian theism, which includes the Apostolic Tradition, conforms most closely to reality while modern scientism and evolutionary thinking tied to naturalism, irreligious and liberal Christian assumptions does not. Worse, it has trapped their minds within a psychic cage, an incredibly powerful idolatrous delusion that has been pervasive in the West and America since the eighteenth century.
The strong delusion emerged during the Renaissance when Christians at the highest levels of Church and society had turned back to the ancient occult Wisdom Traditions flooding into Christendom at that time. Then it worked through the mystic Joachim of Fiore and other neo-Gnostics like Hegel, Auguste Comte, Marx, Darwin and Teilhard de Chardin to change time through the inversion of the order of history. In our own time it has so thoroughly captured the minds of modern Westerners and Americans that they are no longer able to conceive of an original good creation that has fallen because evolution has convinced them to think of everything in the past as consisting of apelike cavemen and the superstitious primitivism from which they, the evolved ones, have ascended on high. The sweeping acceptance of evolution has,
"....persuaded people to think of everything in nature as the fruit of a gradual growth rather than an original creation." The sweeping acceptance of evolutionary thinking means that it is "now difficult if not impossible for an educated man to conceive of a primitive revelation such as traditional Christianity taught, or even of an original natural religion from which men had declined." This difficulty arises because "in an evolving world, perfection obviously lay, not in the past, but in the future." (Religion and Rise of Skepticism, Frank Baumer, p. 147)
So complete has the transformation of consciousness been that the spirit of delusion has successfully inverted the order of creation and reversed the direction of Biblical theism, thereby recasting Jesus as a mere man and the Church Fathers as lower order primitives ,who rather than viewing the Genesis account as myth and poetry as today's 'enlightened' theologians see it, actually believed that the Genesis account, particularly the first three books, are Divinely inspired text that tells of actual historic events and people that must be correctly understood and accepted as truth even while explaining that poetic and anthropomorphic statements are not to be taken literally but understood symbolically.
With creation ex nihilo virtually replaced by evolution, the evolutionarily-enlightened now believe that Lucifer is not the fallen devil nor have men fallen from perfection but instead are gradually evolving upward from their ape beginnings toward greater and greater spiritual and moral perfection. Self-perfecting man no longer needs the living, Holy God as the idea of "conscious evolution" means he can save himself, and perhaps even attain god-hood.
The English moral philosopher Mary Midgley (b. 1919) synthesized the strong delusion into the Escalator Myth, a humanist anthropolatrous dream that has encouraged man to worship himself as god. Humanist sages, from Comte through Julian Huxley to more recent fellow travelers have steadily encouraged us to build up,
“…our appreciation of the human race into a full-scale edifice of self-worship. Science itself has (become) a central shrine within this temple….Thus progress (smoothly dove-tailed with evolution) has increasingly appeared as an escalator, powered by our own remarkable abilities and bearing us---perhaps with cybernetic additions and perhaps becoming immortal---reliably on towards a distant and mysterious Omega Point….So vast is the scale of this dream that no actual downturn in human affairs has yet really managed to dent it.” (All Too Human, Mary Midgley, theguardian.com, Dec. 2008)
In this grand unfolding dream, history gradually progresses upward from nonliving matter to the ape-man, then to animism, then polytheism followed by monotheism and thence to science and evolution, which finally liberated men from the gods they had created in their distant primitive past. Having ascended to higher-order thinking man is now free to make God over in his own image and believe that only the scientific and evolutionary-minded are the real adults, the higher-order elite-thinkers, the Gnostikoi who ‘know’ that the world is billions of years old because the high priests of scientism (New Oracles of Delphi) have revealed this ‘truth’ to them. All others, especially despicable “fundamentalist” Christian theists who refuse to accept evolution and the revelations of the High Priests are obviously lower-order primitives clinging to the dark ages.
However, the dream is untrue. It is an inverted order of history, the reverse of facts:
"....human history can now be hesitantly traced back as an unbroken narrative to 4000 B.C. The facts must not, however, be twisted to suit the fallacy of necessary human progress. For the picture emerging....is one of the Fall of Man in historic terms as well as his rise; it is a picture ...more of degradation than of success; it is a picture of monotheism breaking down into polytheism and of the struggle to return to monotheism. The establishment view of the history of religion gradually progressing from animism to polytheism, from polytheism to monotheism is the reverse of facts." (The God-Kings and the Titans: The New World Ascendancy in Ancient Times, James Baily, 1973, p. 296)
Delusions: Beguiling Unrealities
In the American Dictionary of the English Language (1828), Noah Webster defines the word delusion as deception, the misleading of the mind, false representation, error or mistake proceeding from false views. Delusions are beguiling. They mesmerize and transfix the mind. They blind it to reality.
After much thought, C.S. Lewis came to believe that evolutionary thinking was at the center of the delusion. In a letter to a friend Lewis writes that he is right in "regarding (evolution) as the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives..." and added, "it is not so much your arguments against it as the fanatical and twisted attitudes of its defenders." (Letter to Bernard Acworth, Spt. 13, 1951)
Though Truth will set us free, so thoroughly blinded and beguiled are the defenders of evolution that when Truth is presented to them they willfully refuse to ‘see’ it and immediately scoff, mock and ridicule it, particularly its bearer because they prefer darkness to light, slavery to freedom.
Isaiah 44: 20 describes the deluded person as one who feeds on ashes,
“…a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?”
The only cure for delusion and spiritual blindness is spiritual regeneration through repentance and submission to God the Father Almighty.