As usual my experiences with Christian Fundamentalists come out of nowhere and leave me underwhelmed with Christian Fundamentalist thought processes.
I knew this fellow from having taught him CPR in his work setting. He knew I used to be a Pastor, and when he came across me today working at the front desk of the local hospital, he boldly asked me if I had found a church yet and understood that Jesus was my personal savior and how important it was that I understand this. He obviously had not "Googled" my name to find my articles processing my own experiences with religion gone sour.
He pressed on, holding his Bible and pushing me to answer his questions about Jesus and the Bible. (I spend 26 years soaking in the Bible as a Pastor). I finally said that I found the Bible to be less than historically or scientifically accurate and it's origins not what I had always been told. This had been a ten year study on my part. I could see his anger rise. Hey! I did not ask for this conversation! As he walked away he quoted one of the many quotes that Fundamentalists pull out when they don't get their way or can't claim a kill for Jesus.
"The FOOL has said in his heart there is not God..." Of course, he did not talk to me about my concept of God, but not being a literalist or questioning the text and the story was enough to condemn me, as Fundamentalists are wont to do when they can't convince you in 30 seconds or less of how wrong you are.
Other things he could have said, but didn't, would be...
"There is a way that seems right to a man but the end thereof is death..."
"The wisdom of man is FOOLISHNESS with God..."
"The Lord sees not as a man sees..."
and so on.
These verses are often used when the unconvinced just need a good bashing from the Eternal at the hands of the believer and they really can't come up with anything intelligent or encouraging to say to one not convinced.
At any rate, as he began to walk away I said, "Thanks for your encouragement," to which he replied, "You just keep on getting smarter." This response was really just his way of saying "The Wisdom of man is foolishness with God," and that I was going to outsmart myself with study and intellect, right into his hell.
Smug spirituality is mere religion. Religion is what someone else pours into your head and expects you to adhere to it. It is not born of critical thinking and sustains itself on a faith that is designed make up for what one refuses to look into or simply does not currently know. Spirituality comes from within and doesn't need ten percent of your income or for everyone to bring a covered dish.
It was another enlightening moment for me about the virtues of being piously convicted but marginally informed.
Fundamentalists, set in their ways or mind virus (meme) simply can't stand to think that intellect, study and other perspectives on the Bible have any part in the lives of informed human beings. "God said it. I believe it. That does it for me," is quite good enough and any other ways of coming to conclusions other than their own, need to be attacked.
His behavior and attitude is one of the many reasons I no longer wish to participate in organized religion. It's why the world today is in the mess it is. Take religion out of the news and we'd have world peace. Take in your face fundamentalists out of your face, and you will have personal peace. There, I feel better.