Friday, October 30, 2015
The Patten-Windsor trap
According to the Scriptures, God Himself expects Christians to be truthful. According to Second Thessalonian 2 He allows false prophets and messages to lead to destruction those who do not accept the gift of loving truth. Do not get Paul wrong, Christians do not possess the truth. But they are supposed to love truth and reject falsehoods as a love affair where truth is very challenging and often difficult to discern.
What I call the Patten-Windsor trap is a typical example of how Christian believers are led astray from the path of righteousness thinking that they are being taught the truth by those whom they trust. It is truly sad to see, how many of God's children have fallen to this dreadful trap being lured by the deceptively simple claim "It is true because the Bible says so".
Patten-Windsor trap has very clear signs that should warn Christian believers that they are listening to suspicious teaching
1. Force: in the background the thick walled concrete bunker: if you do not believe like this you cannot be saved. Accept this teaching or perish as a doubter of the Holy Bible.
2. Alternative reality: as in the case of Jehova's Witness, teaching the original principle of defending the truth of the Scriptures leads the group to increasingly absurd creations of an alternative reality. To be accepted by the correctly believing community the Christian has to put on tinted sunglasses with broken prisms, virtual reality glasses, and to accept the pseudo-scientific reality of false prophets visible through them as the light of truth.
3. One or more of the facts taught by false teachers are not true. Christians should not glide past any false statements they notice but rather to take them seriously as a warning sign that everything is not okay. Like the noble Jews of Berea, they should by themselves study are things as taught. For love of truth is allergic to any false statement about this world or the coming one.
We are not alone. Gracefully Holy Spirit indicates matters that should be checked to those who have open ears and the gift called love of truth.
4. Some claims concerning the authority of the Bible are fundamentally false. In order for the trap to work it must have a healthy dose of truthful statements. They help to convince the unsuspecting listener or reader. For example, the Patten-Windsor trap includes extensive teaching about the Ice Age. However, the writers of the Bible lived in ancient Near East and classical Rome and new absolutely nothing about Ice Ages.
The creationist Patten-Windsor trap is so deadly because once an unsuspecting victim falls into it he or she adopts the falsities with all the might of faith. This twists the view on God's creation into some mockery of truth. But if the one caught by this snare doubts the new truth this uncertainty usually leads psychologically to aggressive defense. Typically the reasoning is ad hominem, and the trapped soul sees in the critic an apostle of Satan trying to falsify true faith and to break the rock solid foundation of inerrant Bible. "You know, God's Holy Spirit cannot lie, so your criticism is from the deep."
The trap discussed here is set in some pages of creationism.org. It is exceptionally notorious as the books (now online) and others like them can be used as "scientific references" in other articles and teaching. Where is the Christian believer who is alert enough to critically evaluate these impressive references. Similar technique of "encyclopedias" and learned looking reference books is used systematically by Jehova's Witness movement to make their pamphlets and books look reliable and truthful.