Charismatic Charlatans

Ramon Arias | March 17, 2014

With so much knowledge at our disposal we would think humanity would be smarter, more discerning and more difficult to persuade by crafty malevolent individuals who prey on the uninformed and yet what we are witnessing is totally the opposite.

Do not misunderstand me, I do acknowledge there is resurgence in awareness of how bad things are, and if we do nothing to change the present course, the forthcoming collapse will continue its path. This awareness is an encouraging sign even though it is only a spark.  Nevertheless, a spark can become a widespread moral, social and cultural fire to the whole world.

However, our optimism should not overrule the reality of charlatans that for thousands of years these unscrupulous protagonists of the moment have received earthly gains and who may even boast of their effectiveness in doing so yet they have ruined the human race at a great loss for all. Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines a charlatan as: “One who prates much in his own favor, and makes unwarrantable pretensions to skill; a quack; an empiric; a mountebank.” In other words, it is a person who has mastered the art of lying to use it with skillful perfection in the exploitation of the ignorant.

To make matters worse when charlatans are charismatic the ignorance that prevails in the hearts and minds of the people renders them defenseless. The ignorant are no match against the vultures who can count on indulging in a long feast on the poor wretched souls hypnotized by the charisma of their benevolent motivators who demand to be unconditionally and unquestionably followed.  As a result, their followers are the ones who become zombies.

People are hurting, they are confused and want a way out so when a charismatic charlatan comes by offering all kinds of snake oil and trinkets to solve people’s needs, wants and hopes they willingly accept the lies even though what is offered goes against all logic, decency and morality. Patrick Henry best describes the outcome of those poor wretched souls who sell themselves to the best charismatic charlatan:

“It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope. We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth – and listen to the song of that siren, till she transforms us into beasts. … Are we disposed to be of the number of those, who having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not?”

If truth matters to us, then we should be open to accept it regardless of how painful it becomes. How do we process and measure what we see and hear? This is the crux of the matter and the responsibility of each and every one of us. We cannot pass that responsibility on to anyone else. We need to get to the bottom of all the things that are important to us and not pretend to understand what we do not understand. The Russian physician, dramaturge and author Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history said, “Only fools and charlatans know everything and understand nothing.”

I do not know about you but to be classified as a fool or a charlatan comes with an immense price, one that transforms us into beasts, as Patrick Henry said it happens to anyone who accepts and “indulge[s] in the illusions of hope.” We want to be able to understand everything by questioning all things with boldness.

The apostle Paul had to deal with professing Christians known as Galatians. They had accepted the facts of the Risen Savior; their lives changed as a result of following Christ and were able to gain better understanding of God’s plan for their lives and society.  After some time though the Galatians began to mix their Christian faith with falsehood. How did this happen?

The Galatians, Jews and Gentiles, were exposed to the new life and dynamics in Christ who abolished the ceremonial laws by His sacrifice at the cross.  Many Jews did not want to depart from the ceremonial laws and the false teachers wanted the Gentile Christians to keep those laws and to be circumcised.  Paul in his letter to them said: “Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you.” (Galatians 5:2).

It was obvious to Paul that the Christians in Galatia had accepted the false teachings of the charlatans and instead of questioning with boldness those teachings they foolishly accepted them. Paul points out to them the condition they had fallen into: “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you?... Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:1,3).

God has been dealing with His people’s foolishness from the very beginning when He brought them out of slavery. He gave them His incomparable moral law so they could build a society that should have been the envy of all nations. Their choice was to turn their backs on God and embrace lies.  Moses told them:  “Do you thus repay the Lord, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?... For they are a nation void of counsel, and there is no understanding in them” (Deuteronomy 32:6,28).

God told Jeremiah to tell His chosen rebellious people: “For my people are foolish; they know me not; they are stupid children; they have no understanding. They are ‘wise’ – in doing evil! But how to do good they know not…. Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but see not, who have ears, but hear not” (Jeremiah 4:22; 5:21).

Christian America has been following the charismatic charlatans far too long.  To undo the damage done by past and present generations we must break the chains of ignorance and stop the exploitation.  America must remove the ignorance and lies they have been told regarding the biblical faith of the forefathers and the Founding Fathers. Once again it must rediscover how the first Colleges such as Harvard, William and Mary, Princeton University, Yale University, University of Pennsylvania, King’s College/Columbia University, Brown University, Queen’s College/Rutgers State University of New Jersey, and Dartmouth College was the last College before the American Revolution were biblically based.  Think of what has happened to the minds of the students in these halls of higher education that have departed from the Biblical foundation. Think of how critical thinking has been shot down by all the hot air produced by charlatans with opposing worldviews to that of the biblical worldview.

America needs to know where she came from if she wants to know how to effectively rebuild her future.  As much as the charlatans hate to hear the facts that America was built upon the biblical principles it should not stop you or me from declaring it and proving it with undeniable facts. A couple of these undeniable facts are as follows:

  • The Founders knew and had the general consensus that all societies of men had to be governed in some way or other.  They advocated and upheld less stringent state government and more individual self-government. The less they rely on law or physical force, the more they must rely on private moral restraint. Men must necessarily be controlled, either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God, the Bible, or the bayonet.
  • You have but to read the preamble of all fifty State Constitution[1] to verify the importance of God and how the teachings of Christianity were incorporated into all the State Constitutions.[2]

America was not born by accident, it was God’s plan and only His plan will stand the test of time and if we are wise enough we will side with Him. It falls upon the shoulders of every Biblical Christian to expose the charismatic charlatans wherever they may be found in academia, the media, the arts and entertainment, science, economics, education, politics, churches, theological seminaries, Bible institutes and church organizations. Do not be misled in thinking or accepting that Christianity is immune to spiritual charismatic charlatans, they are not the real deal.  We must not leave a stone unturned in searching for and denouncing falsehood. 

We must never forget that it was biblical truth, biblical critical thinking, that gave birth to America and her institutions. It was not humanism, atheism, agnosticism nor any other religion, so do not let anyone fool you in believing otherwise. Read, study and proclaim the truth found in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

We must daily live with our choices; let us pray that we will make the right ones.