Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Willfully Ignorant

Jesus said to His Disciples in Matthew 8:17-18, “Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? 18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?” When one engages in willful ignorance, one must actually suspend belief by ignoring any information that tends to contradict one’s own standard of reality. If you choose to seek out only that which confirms your opinion, you just might be willfully ignorant. Ignorance, in and of itself, is simply being unaware, but adding to that fact, being willfully ignorant, involves refusing to acknowledge any fact which may prove one’s preconceived notions are in error. Many in the secular world, especially in politics, adhere to talking points, deliberately ignoring any evidence that may lead them to a conclusion other than the one they choose to accept. Preexisting beliefs often lead one away from solutions to problems, in fact, often creating additional complications for that person. We see this happen over and over in many liberal groups. The occupy movement, preconceived racial injustice marches, environmental protests, just to name a few, often act without a full accounting of facts, causing untold damage to society. But, being liberal means never having to say you’re sorry. This type of thinking has been embraced by the liberal, or what some now call, progressive churches, including the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church in America. The enlightened leaders of these wayward churches choose to take a road less traveled. In order to deliberately disregard God’s written word, they proclaim that God is speaking to them today and has said “new things” that obviously overturn accepted Christian doctrine.

Apparently these new things that God is saying advise the enlightened leaders of these apostate churches to lift up the longings of a depraved humanity as good in His sight. These religious elites believe that God is telling them “Nevermind” as Emily Littella (Gilda Radner from Saturday Night Live, back when it was actually funny). would say. To these misguided church leaders, a God that uses masculine terms to describe Himself is now somehow offensive to the radical feminist that must be placated. Scripture is no longer the sole and normative source to be used to determine matters in our faith life and the doctrine of bound conscience allows it to be tempered with our human reason, experience and traditions. The Virgin Birth and even the resurrection of our Lord and Savior is questioned by these elites, as, at least confused, or just plain inaccurate.  They explain that the authors of Scripture may have misunderstood what God was saying or they simply did not possess the reason necessary to properly explain these events.

These new things disregard that which our Lord commanded. Yes, God commanded. The authors of Scripture were inspired by the Holy Spirit and for thousands of years have been accepted as the word of God. That God’s churches would proclaim these heretical teachings as if God actually changed His mind and decided to reconsider the laws He gave us for all time. As the leaders of these misguided churches forge ahead through paths unknown, they willfully ignore that which our Lord taught. One wonders what these leaders truly believe and why do they insist upon ignoring God’s will. They disregard established tenets of Christianity in order to appease the secular world’s vision of a tolerant society. Rather than promote that discipleship entails rejection of the self, new doctrine places self ahead of our God. When one can place conditions upon God’s church, such as when the LGTBQ community demands that they be accepted, not as a sinful being that all of us are, but somehow above those that choose to endeavor to obey God’s law. And when they decide that being LGTBQ is more critical than their identity as a Christian, they indeed place themselves and their identity ahead of God. Deuteronomy 11:26-28, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse—the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.” And still these leaders encourage their membership to place themselves upon the altar and worship themselves, their identities and their good deeds.

Jeremiah 5:21-22, “Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear: 22 Should you not fear me?” declares the LORD. “Should you not tremble in my presence?” When will God’s people listen to His reason and decide to simply obey. For when one truly loves the Lord, the goal to please Him should be paramount, not the goal in looking for excuses to disobey when Scripture does not please them.  Pray that more will have their hearts and minds opened so more will be saved from these errant denominations.

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