The Faithful - What Are They Like?

View of God, Scripture and the Church of the Faithful group

The Faithful group includes many or even most church-goers. But there is a tendency among people of this group to consider that their church or their way of believing is the only right one. Other people are just plain mistaken or following the wrong path. For this reason these people tend to somewhat prone to evangelizing. They want everyone to benefit from the type of faith they so much enjoy. They want everyone to be "saved."

The Faithful tend to interpret sacred writings of their religion in a literal sense. i.e. everything in the Bible is the literal truth. Similarly their view of God tends to be literal as well. God is an entity completely separate from and external to any human. He is a bearded old man in the sky who stands in judgment of our actions and will reward or punish us accordingly.

Locus of Authority of the Faithful Group

That the Faithful view God as a judgmental being is a good thing because unknowingly, this group feels a need for an overall authority. They fear that without specific rules, human behavior would degenerate into complete depravity. Just as they locate God outside themselves, these people also locate authority outside themselves. They project this power onto a God, a church, a government, etc.

Needs of the Faithful Group

In general the Faithful tend to need security; they need to feel certain that the answers they have about religion are correct. In this sense, they cling to their religion as a means to escape from the mystery of our existence. The these people do not want mystery, they want certainty; they want the security of knowing why we are here and where we are going next. They want to be told exactly what to do to assure they get there. The answers have to come from the authority of the church because the they do not want to figure out all these things on their own. They tend to fear uncertainty and they fear what would happen if all different people in society suddenly began making up their own rules about what is right and wrong.

Worldview of the Faithful Group = Ethnocentric

But there is a less noble side to the way the Faithful group sees the world. Because of their need to have the right answers, they tend to think their group (religion, church) is the only right one. They have a need to believe their way is the only way. Thus, they must view others outside their group as wrong and so they tend to presume a level of superiority over everyone outside their group. In this sense, they can be said to be ethnocentric. "My church is the right one." "Only those who believe what I do are saved." MY religion, My state, My country...


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