unplug from the group think

group think cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward
“Group Think” by nakedpastor David Hayward

The greatest threat to an institution of any kind is individual thought.

The greatest source of freedom to the individual is the same thing… thought.

The truth will set you free. Unplug and think for yourself. See where it gets you.

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  • LeRae

    Unplugged from the matrix 😉

  • Gary

    There should be a “like” button on here someplace. I really look forward to your daily nuggets of wisdom.

  • Pat Pope

    Amen! This was reflected in some posts that I read yesterday in which people seemed to want to stay in their religious enclaves when it comes to conversing with others.

    I’ve also experienced being seen as the odd duck when I didn’t walk around using the expected language. It’s as if some people decide what the acceptable code words are for their group and that’s how they identify who’s real/holy/etc. and who isn’t. As if one’s salvation hinges on using the appropriate code words. Blech!

  • Diane

    When we began to think for ourselves and stopped drinking the kool aid, we left the institutionalized church. My husband had come to this conclusion way before me but was patient with my process.

  • I would suggest that group thinking is neutral. Some groups tell their members what to think and other groups are receptive to individual thought. Be careful which one you’re plugged into!

  • Ang

    If only I could convince people attending New Apostolic Reformation churches (cult) to see what they are doing….…..

  • Pat Pope

    Very true, David. In fact, when joining a new group, it might be helpful to ask whether they encourage or welcome independent thinking. If they look at you like a deer caught in the headlights, it may be best to keep moving.

  • louis

    My father was a true child of the enlightenment. He taught me to think rigorously based on real objective data and not to just accept uncritically what groups might tell me. The most valuable heritage he left me was the habit of thinking for myself because, when it’s all said and done, the and the most effective way of dealing with the world is to hone this gift until we can cut right through to what’s important.

  • Richard

    Individual thinking should be encouraged, but this can also be like a deer caught in the headlights too. Trapped so that group thinking is all wrong….Wrong!!

  • Excellent post David. This tribal thinking is the cause of most conflict. Us vs. Them. People blame religion for war, but it is really this group think that does it, whether it is a religion, country, or political party.

  • Kris

    Very cool posting, David. Group thinking can get very dangerous, especially when you start to see your group as superior and “the other” as inferior. It can take humanity down a very dangerous path.

  • A person has to have some substance to one’s thinking. Nothing exists in a vacuum. If you are taught nothing, believe nothing and confess nothing, you have nothing to chew on, work with, banter about, firm up or discard. You become fodder for something, even if it is your own emotions. No man is an island. Even within himself.

  • Someone just searched this on my blog (says the Statcounter). Someone here may say: oh no, not another Luther quote. But I think we have have many Rahner quotes lately, and others, so maybe I have permission.

    In his whole treatment of natural theology, Luther is always intent upon this one thing: men must learn that sure and true knowledge of God can be found only in God’s revelation. And God’s certain revelation is to be found only in Scriptures. Because of man’s total depravity and blindness, he can never read the revelation of God in nature fully nor draw conclusions correctly and with certainty. God must come to our aid. Yet, because of man’s weakness and sinfulness, the majesty of God must hide behind masks in order to reveal itself. Men should take care lest in sinful pride and presumption they are offended by the lowliness of the masks and by the simplicity of the Scriptures. It is the crib in which we find the Lord Jesus Christ. And only as we find him there, and God in him, can we know all creation correctly.

  • Liza

    Groups work better when all in the group are free thinkers. For the most part, the churches I have come across, do not encourage free thinking. They want comformity. If you do not think as they do then you are treated differently. They have all held to this belief that “if you are not for them then you are against them” simply for questioning the teachings or whatever. The overall foundation of these churches is that because they teach from, and read the Bible, no matter how they interpret it, they are doing God’s work, and anyone who thinks otherwise is seen as a thorn in the flesh, a stumbling stone, a backslider or someone “in need of prayer”. The context of David’s art is spiritual abuse, not just the “gathering of yourselves together.”

  • Pat Pope

    Here’s a quote from a book I’m reading called, “So You Don’t Want to go to Church Anymore”:

    “The groupthink that results from believers who act together out of their fears rather than their trust in Father, will lead to even more disastrous results. They’ll mistake their own agenda for God’s wisdom. Because they draw their affirmation from others, they’ll never stop to question it, even when the hurtful consequences of their actions become obvious.”