Pat Robertson was an youth minister in Freemason Street Baptist Church in Norfolk VA when I was there going to college in 1960, and we went to that church—at least my wife says we did as I don’t remember—and it was there that he got involved with Christian Broadcast News TV in 1977 where televangelists like Jim Baker and the like were creating a religious revival through cable TV. These electronic church was huge cash cows. A single charismatic preacher could now reach millions, with each tithing a small sum you could get rich.
Suddenly a single church located in space and time could becomes a TV church without boundaries. This was like a McDonalds Idea where you could take a single hamburger joint and expand it into a world franchise. What was once located in a small church “down by the river” was not a broadcasting network that make the TV in your home the altar of God. It is by huddling around this altar that you could orientate yourself, stabilize yourself, find meaning and purpose and do well for yourself by investing in this Electronic God. If you wanted to get God’s Grace, help from the Boss, just believe in this Club. Jesus would come and save. your from the coming End of Time—which was always close at hand. All that was needed was the coming of the real Messiah. Some day he would descend from heaven and restore America to its original Judea-Christian Promised Land.
So, I’m getting good feedback on my sound now that I’m using a label mike. I remember my. Evangelical family members well, and I particularly remember their fear and hatred of Humanism as the dark shadow of the Anti-Christ that was taking over the world. What was humanism in their mind, I wondered. I mean I had studied Greek philosophy and that reason evolved into science and the modern world. Was that humanism? Was the water we were swimming in that made all our comforts and pushed back plagues humanism? Was the Renaissance humanism?….was all that Evil? I just couldn’t compute their fear.
Well, as I boil this down it seems that Humanism removed magic from the world. Science bypassed God and His working in the world to influence not just history but Your history. In other words, Humanism removed the Father or the Boss who would protect you from the accidents of history. The good Father’s purpose was to protect His children. That was His promise if….you were good children. If you rebelled, then you were on your own.
In this world Idea (or view) humanism is the rebellion against God that got Adam kicked out of the Garden and the house, kicked into the street with his clothes in a garbage bag.
Jimmy and June, my Evangelical windows into this Cosmic War of God against the modern world, collected all the current literature circulating in their “club” as a resource center. As I said, they were all in. And a great deal of this literature was about the evil of Cults and how to deprogram those who had been indoctrinated by a cult.
Now I know this. Whatever you fear obsessively is a clue that you are looking in a mirror. They were in a cult. So sure they were interested in cults and how do deprogram this held hostage. There is no greater joy for a cult member than to save another from a cult and bring them into your circle. But I define a Cult loosely. A Cult is a system in which a single Center is the reference for reality. The hub of a wheel is the reference and source of meaning for all the spokes. When the hub is alive and energized, you FEEL the movement of the wheel. You feel alive. A Cult is about Feeling, feeling you are connected to something larger and truer than you are.