What follows is an early article that I wrote in 2020 while contemplating the state of the modern Christian Church.
ARC GUIDE LEVEL 1
Ideal for those getting acquainted with our thought process at Ammi Ruhama Community.
1. To suppose beforehand
2. To require as an antecedent in logic or factMerriam-Webster.com
The idea of a presupposition is that all of our formulated, logical thought is based on and passed through a set of primal, subconscious beliefs that we, at one time or another, came to believe by way of indoctrination or experience.
My parents had a saying that broke down a core presupposition in our thinking:
“The world does not revolve around you”Mr & Mrs Bacon
This is a simple but effective illustration of what one might easily understand to be a misunderstanding of childish proportions but, as children, the world does appear to revolve around our schedule; be it feeding or school or entertainment, or birthdays or Christmas. This is compounded by holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Grandparents Day, with, of course, the assumption that every other non-celebrated day is children’s day.
Having been thoroughly reminded that the world does not revolve around me, I then adopted another common presupposition, that if the world does not revolve around me, then it must be against me, and if it is against me then I need to find people who are for me, and once I find my people:
“It’s us against the world”
If I, as an adult, tried to talk my teenage self out of half of the mistakes I made, I would have been met with what amounts to Teenage Fragility; the huff, the sputtering, the nodding, and complying but in my heart believing that only I was right and if only I could find someone to agree with me, we would be unstoppable.
I then expanded my presuppositional thought process. “If the world does not revolve around me, then the world must be against me, and if the world is against me then I need to find my people and once I find my people we will cauterize our cause, and then it’s us against the world.
They Are Not Your People
I don’t think we ever really get beyond that third stage of adolescent presuppositional thought. I think somewhere in our minds we are stuck in an, “it’s us against the world,” mentality that groups like-minded people together. Consider that if in the formative stage between, “the world revolves around me,” and, “it’s us against the world,” you start to pick up on social cues, or are overtly told that this or that people are your people, and the other people who don’t look, think or act like you are not your people. This could result, (and many argue it does) in a white-is-right presupposition, that if challenged would result in:
See what I did there? For me, it’s like Cliff Richard singing, “Why should the devil have all the rock music”. Clearly, white people are not the only people with presuppositions and these three core presuppositions form us into rough ideological groups. It seems to me then that the cure for ideological fragility is
Think the thoughts you will think, but also, think other people’s thoughts, read books you wildly disagree with, consider ideas that make you throw up a little in your mouth until they don’t and you realize that they are thought by people who like us at one time believed that the world revolved around them, and then maybe considered that the world was against them and that they had to find their people and cauterize their thoughts and beliefs and that, once they did, it was them against the world.