There’s a car I regularly see in Bellingham with a bumper sticker that says “Is that what they told you to think?”
I have to admit, when I see stickers of this type, I always imagine the driver as something like a young skinny white guy just desperate to unleash his self-righteous sneer on anyone not as smart as he is.
Messages like these always evoke the “laugh so you don’t cry” response in me because they reveal a sort of intentional self-deception. It’s the same self-deception that causes a man to convince himself that he just came prepackaged with his moral values, instead of attributing them if not to God, then at least to the people who raised and molded him.
Everyone – even this guy who “thinks for himself” – is a follower of someone else’s thought. It’s not a question of *whether* you follow another person’s teaching but *whose* teaching you follow.
At the most basic level the only difference between an unbeliever and a Christian is that Christians follow the teaching of a naturally perfect God, whereas unbelievers follow the teaching of deeply flawed and demonstrably broken human beings.
Which, incidentally, is why unbelievers are chained to the concept of “progress” in spite of a mountain of evidence (to borrow a favorite cliche of theirs) to the contrary: They need to have faith in some sort of process that withstands the inevitable faults of their predecessors and contemporaries.