Em Griffin in his book The Mindchangers describes an experiment done by Solomon Asch with groups of 12 people. They were brought into a room where four lines of unequal length were displayed. They had to decide which two were the same length and publicly vote for their choice. Person after person after person (11 in all) voted for the wrong line–because they had all been told to ahead of time. The one individual who was in the dark couldn’t imagine how in the world all these seemingly normal people could all choose the wrong line. When it was his turn to vote, he had to decide, “Do I go with what I know my senses are telling me, or do I go with the crowd?” 1/3 of those tested caved in to group pressure and changed their vote to agree with their peers. 

Em Griffin, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976

There are some that have said that the Bible is used to control people. Honestly, I do not disagree throughout history the bible has actually been used to control people. People are always trying to find ways to manipulate things so they can gain an advantage over others. In the past kingdoms used it to control their people and did some horrendous things that were never acceptable, and it was said to be in the name of Jesus. There are some, even today, that will misinterpret what it says to control whole congregations, some have even rewrote and placed their own tweaks so it kind of looks the same but it is not. When applied through the eyes of man that is exactly what happens. This is a sad reality that so many people have died in the name of God because a human need to control everything. Application is everything.

As you learn the bible more and more you will even see that the devil uses the bible to try and control people. It says he disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Satan is so arrogant that he even tried to use the bible against Jesus when Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:6). So those who say the bible is used to control people, you are correct it can be used that way if you do not know what the bible says. We have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) not by what someone says or does for you. Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Remember we have freewill (Revelation 3:20) to choose if you want to follow Him but it is important to know the bible so that you are not deceived.

In the Bible we are told My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6 ESV For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. Titus 3:3 ESV Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

If you have this lack of knowledge you will be able to be controled by those with bad intentions. There are some that seem to mean well but are deceived themselves. That is why in Hosea 4:6 we are given this bleak warning that there will be some that will be destroyed because of lack of knowledge. I would never want to b the people Jesus refers to in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ I will leave you with a few more quotes from people in our past have lived through some major stuff.

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”

William Shakespeare

“When one with honeyed words but evil mind

Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”

Euripides, Orestes

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”

Noël Coward

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