I know some very smart people. They are not ‘Smart Alecks.’ They are more than competent in their field. Probably clever. Above all they are humble and reflective. Some are more spiritually discerning than others. But then discernment, while associated somewhat with intelligence, depends on an undiluted relationship with Jesus. This is to say spiritual discernment is dulled by religion and the law and sharpened by Christ as one’s life. In cases where the Believer and Jesus are one – as is the privilege of all - he and she will have an unsurpassed ability to discern between kingdom and religion and between good advice and vain talk.
Some of us talk because we can and are opinionated bores. Others listen a lot, talk less and talk only when they are confident in what they are talking about. It pays to work your way out of the former category because after knowing us awhile, those with sensitivity cease listening to anything we have to say.
HUMILITY BRINGS INSIGHT
Wise people profit from their ability to learn from those who know. A fool, as the Bible says, is wise in his own eyes. But not objectively. Not when aligned with evidence and reality. Such a one lives in confusion and their light is darkness. They live in a perpetual fog and are thick enough to imagine themselves as Benefactors when they are blind leaders of the blind. The truth really does set us free from humbug and delusion and from those who are incompetent.
You will benefit from perfecting the ability to perceive who knows what they are talking about and who does not. We can do this by listening more than we talk. Years of enduring staff-meetings presented to me the sad truth that the dullest among us can have the most to say. They keep speaking, running off on some new detour when everyone else is aching to lay down their mouths and go home.
DOCTRINES OF DEMONS
I have friends, good people who are persuaded by theological nonsense. Or at least too passive to question it. Or they have made their personal religion out of accommodating themselves to a distorted gospel. Intelligent and educated folks are not immune to confusion marketed as truth. Then there are those who believe almost every conspiracy theory going and see themselves as the possessor of special insight that cuts through the prevailing confusion. There are people in this category who ‘see’ in this way. But it is not them. The glib are not ‘seers.’ They read nonsense as though it is wisdom and don’t read much of the Bible at all. As a result they do not know when they are hearing revelation and when they are hearing guff.
The latter article reminded me of a certain school where the principal was almost illiterate and definitely the least able person on the staff. There are cultures and communities that are magnets to limited ability and low-powered leadership. Limited because of their investment in propping up falsehood. Limited because their very existence is based on their own ‘dicky’ version of the truth and imprisonment in the law. Dogmatism is their daily bread and gossip their substitute for Holy Spirit insight. They live in a fishbowl of delusion and see through the glass darkly. So darkly in fact that though they are a bizarre Off-Shoot from the Body, they insist on calling anyone who questions their conceited ideology an ‘offshoot’ and a person with an axe to grind.
Adventism is a perpetually grinding axe, ever grinding with the intent to preserve its obtuse gospel with the aid of lesson quarterlies and an education system. Adventism is primarily and ideology and secondly a system of indoctrination. The effect this ‘Other Gospel’ is that those who had two legs before receiving it, only have one leg following it. People ‘Become Adventists.’ But not necessarily followers of Jesus.
MILLER’S CHAIN OF TRUTH
The Adventist Church was founded on a mistake about the Second Coming. William Millers ‘chain of truth’ was nothing more than a jumble of misaligned scriptures that failed to produce THE APPEARANCE OF JESUS - leaving a lot of people with egg on their faces.
Not content with a large amount of egg the pioneers added more. The first folly of the pioneers was followed quickly with another mauling of the scriptures in the form of the Investigative Judgment and along with it the humbug of the Sabbath and the law not to mention supporting doctrines to prop up these ‘pillars.’ (You cant have people going off to be with Jesus at the death of their body when they must wait to endure the drafting pen of the Investigative Judgment). These beliefs, touted as revelation undid all Father had accomplished in Jesus. They substituted the freedom and life in Jesus with a culture of death that utilised His name. Jesus set us free from Adam’s knowledge of good and evil. Adventism made a religion out of it.
KEEPERS OF THE LAME
So what does this have to do with our topic of dullards and dimwits? Everything. Falsehood, when positioned as truth, dulls the mind, shrinks the brain and dulls a culture. Truth multiplies life, imagination, intelligence and vision. The law shrivels every aspect of personhood. The Spirit of Christ in us makes us sons of God in spirit and in truth.
THE GREAT DARKNESS
We are competent as minister of the Kingdom Jesus established when we are sons of the Spirit and not of the law. Competent when Christ Himself is our life and we enjoy union with Father. Incompetent when we remain in the separation of the law and the alienation of from the Source of our being.
‘He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ 2 Cor 3.6 NIV.
These deviant old covenant doctrines where authorised and established on the authority of Ellen White. The tenets and beliefs were established on her say so. It’s curious to notice that the Catholic church has always been criticised in Adventism because it establishes doctrines on its own authority. Yet Adventism has done the same. Doctrines were established as ‘truth’ because Ellen White said so. It’s not an exaggeration to call her the Adventist Pope.
Authoritarianism, dogmatism and false revelation are the great darkness at Adventism’s core. The lie of Adventism is that it is a body of death touted as hope and life. Biblical scholarship and academic research and the plain testimony of scripture are subordinated to the infallibility of an Adventist Papacy of self-interested ideologues. But as Mrs White so aptly said, ‘If they speak not according to this world there is no light in them.’ Sadly, there never was.