We already know that society considers Christian fundamentalists extreme-end wingnuts. So does the American government. The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but their curiosity as to what makes us tick is unabated. They wonder and wonder and study and study us. It is the Holy Spirit that makes us tick, given to us as a deposit of guarantee of what is to come. But to them, we are a perplexity.
The latest study trying to root out our inner workings has been published this week, and the answer to what makes us so offensively religious is … anxiety. We are anxious. Anxiety and uncertainty can drive people to become paranoid and more radical in their religious beliefs, the new research claims.
Anxiety May Be at Root of Religious Extremism, Researchers Find
“Anxiety and uncertainty can cause us to become more idealistic and more radical in our religious beliefs, according to new findings by York University researchers, published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. “Taken together, the results of this research program suggest that bold but vulnerable people gravitate to idealistic and religious extremes for relief from anxiety,” McGregor says.”
Because the cross is foolishness to them they cannot understand a ‘radical’ Christian’s devotion is because of personal recognition of our sins and that submission to the resurrected Jesus is the only way to live in a way that is not rebelling against Him. Nah! That can’t be it! It must be something more closely related to human reasoning, like…anxiety.
This report says “The researchers also measured superstitious beliefs of the participants and their deference toward a controlling God in order to distinguish religious zeal from meeker forms of devotion.”
Meeker forms of devotion… hmmm. In other words, forms of devotion that make others feel comfortable. Devotion they they can understand. Devotion that blends in with the world. However, Christianity practiced as Jesus wants us to practice it has never made people feel comfortable. It has always fomented division, because the world is the world, and the church body is not of this world. As for attitudes in the last days, Jude 18-19 states “how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.”
I will say that the peace that Jesus offers the penitent disciple, the one who is saved by His grace the blood shed on the cross, is palpable and real. That after releasing all one’s sins and craven, fallen self to Jesus, that He lifts you up into a state of forgiveness and rolls the burden of your sins away. The burden of a person’s sins is what makes a person anxious, but they are not even aware of it. However, the moment you believe your own guilt and ask Jesus to wipe them away, you feel lightened by the release of that burden and you are immediately aware of how heavy they had been. (Imagine how heavy that burden must have been to Jesus when He became sin for all the world and all time! What a Savior!)
Personally, I’m not too anxious about studies like this but I am anxious over the lost state of so many people. Brethren, still and always pray for the lost. Their anxiety will only increase after the rapture.