‘Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become "fools" so that you may become wise’ 1 Cor 3.18 NIV.
It’s becoming. Increasingly obvious that not a few of the political leaders in place today are kings without clothes. They illustrate all too well T.S Elliot’s image of the ‘hollow men with head piece filled with straw’.
A tragic and comic scene in one of Rick Joyner’s visions is a bunch of religious leaders in an army. They are armed with cardboard weapons – a good picture of religion in which the incarnation is not embraced and the ‘gifts’ are bolted onto the old covenant where they have no root.
There are interesting parallels between the climate change denier and the rejectors of the new covenant. Paul was familiar with the fact that fools are not only tolerated but listened to as the voice of wisdom. He writes with some frustration, ‘I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting’ 2 Cor 11.16. Paul knew that some people received and tolerated the rants of fools as if they were the words of insight. It’s clear that people can receive as fact what they want to receive as fact. Because they have a vested interest in not receiving the truth.
IDOL OF THE FAMILIAR
It doesn’t mean that they are not aware of certain facts. It means that they pit themselves to denying them by erecting numerous fictions and parlous rationalisations to retain themselves in the comfort of the familiar. They’re reasoning in the manner of a defence lawyer who clutches for post hoc rationalisations to defend an initial gut instinct. This is why brow-beating them is unlikely to succeed: their faculty of reason is motivated to defend itself from revising its beliefs.
But what if familiar beliefs are a lie?
Someone stated what is obvious to the wise, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”
Wise people instinctively know to whom they should listen. The boorish and self-important speak because they can. They accumulate impressions from liars and snake-oil sellers and are particularly vulnerable to ‘money-changers’ of every description. The person who writes for the obstinate and tunnel visioned, is always sure of a large audience. Stephen Crosby writes,
“Christian anti-intellectualism is a work of the flesh just as much as sexual immorality. Only it is more dangerous as it has been given tacit approval under a form of perceived superior spirituality… What is really being done when Christian anti-intellectualism is pushed, is the perpetuation of ignorance often under the guise of some self-perceived form of superior metaphysical spirituality …
Christian anti-intellectualism is based in fear of what one might not properly understand at a given moment. … Jesus, me, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are all I need, is simply a lie based in insecurity, though it makes for ‘catchy amen-moments’. It is saying in fact: “I am an island of understanding, getting “direct downloads” from heaven,” and the like. It is a horrible spiritual posture that reflects .. individualism.” And ignorance.
JOINING THE DOTS
You might be surprised at how many think they are a spiritual authority because they have a Bible. The frustrating thing about the ‘god told me person’ is not that they mis-interpreted their scripture or their vision – which they probably did. It’s that god tells them something one month and something contradictory the next. But God did not tell them. They told themselves.
Humility is the door to wisdom. Willingness to listen undoes the stuntedness of assists the ego that is larger than the mind.
BLIND BELIEVERS AND BLIND GUIDES
‘Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame’ 1 Cor 15.34 NIV.
‘Like tying a stone in a sling is the giving of honour to a fool’ Prov 26.8 NIV.
‘Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit’ Matt 15.14 ESV.