Circling the Wagons
Written by David Dunbar
Wednesday, 12 June 2013
I am not a movement kind of guy, whether we are talking about religious movements, or political movements, or . . . whatever. I have numerous reasons.
1. I find that most movements attract a certain number of followers with wacky ideas. These wacky ideas quickly get associated with the major tenets of the movement and subsequently attributed to all the followers. Count me out.
2. Zealotry also becomes a problem. The cause advocated by the group tends to become all-important and all-consuming in a way that leads to excess. Part of a healthy life (including a healthyspiritual life) is balance, and joining a movement is a strong encouragement to imbalance . . . not always, but you get my drift.
3. One particular manifestation of this excess is the move toward certainty. Movements frequently develop cultures that drift increasingly from dialogue to dogmatism. The opinions of the group are no longer debatable—they are affirmations of absolute truth which no right-thinking person would question. Those outside the movement frequently perceive this dogmatic stance as arrogance; however, for those inside, it is merely a deep commitment to that which self-evidently the TRUTH.