"Please don't send me anything controversial!" "I don't want to read any papers put out by brethren!" "If I want anything from you, I will ask for it!" "Remove me from your email list!" "Send me only things that are uplifting!" "I don't want to hear anything about that!" "Delete before reading!" "You don't want to attend there - those are not your kind of people!" "We can never have perfect understanding!" "Take me off your mailing list!" "That preacher is a troublemaker, you don't want to go hear him!" And on and on as the list seems to grow longer every day! Sadly to say, we are being told more clearly every day that "My mind is made up, please don't confuse me with the facts!" And the saddest and most frightening part of all is that such statements and attitudes are being openly expressed by our own brethren!
The subtle arrogance of the apostasy now affecting the church is that more and more brethren are being convinced that "ignorance is bliss". And if you are ignorant of what is involved in any issue, then you don't have to worry about any guilt on the part of your conscience! We are absolutely so inundated with "y'all be sweet" preaching in churches today that brethren are being convinced that they can do just about whatever they like without any guilt or pangs of conscience whatsoever! And so many of our brethren have long ago quit studying and teaching the Word of God in their personal lives, that they are almost totally dependent upon what they hear in the services of the church for their spiritual edification! And when the leadership and preaching in the church is simply the providing of "what makes you feel good" and what will entertain you for a few minutes while you are in attendance, then it is not at all difficult for us to see why so very little spiritual maturation is taking place! The often heard cry "that it doesn't really matter" and "we don't want to hear anything controversial" is clear evidence that there is tremendous fear on the part of many brethren about anyone providing information which might give them knowledge, and then that knowledge might bring on guilt about what they are believing or practicing! So, the best way to avoid guilt is to be void of knowledge! So, the best way to avoid having to make a decision whether something is right or wrong is to simply stay ignorant of that issue! It is becoming more obvious every day that the "ignorance is bliss" philosophy is nothing more than a concentrated effort to avoid guilt! It is a concentrated effort to avoid having to take a stand on sinful doctrines and practices which are carrying the church down the road of digression at a speed which is truly appalling to God fearing and Truth respecting brethren!
Wouldn't it be wise for us to look at what the Word of God has to say on the subject of ignorance? The apostle reminds us of the condition of Israel in Romans 10:1-3, "Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God." When one has a knowledge deficit, his ignorance takes a firm hold on his life and he moves farther and farther away from any subjection to the righteousness of God.
As an "old timer" who has spent more than fifty years attempting to preach the gospel, I am persuaded that we have the greatest deficit of Bible knowledge today that we have ever had during my lifetime. We have reared generation after generation who have become less and less interested in spiritual matters over the passing of time. The attitude today seems to be that we need as little preaching as possible, and what preaching we "must" have - let's get it over with as quickly as possible! Having people interested in gospel meetings is rapidly becoming a thing of the past! Having regular home Bible study is almost a forgotten concept! What our forefathers called preaching - "shelling the corn all the way down to the cob" is as scarce as hen's teeth! Preaching which openly names and condemns evil practices is quickly passing from the scene. Exposing false doctrines and false teachers among our own brethren is being more and more looked upon with disdain! It is becoming more obvious every day that brethren are less and less interested in knowledge - because knowledge brings with it a sense of guilt for our failures and shortcomings. Knowledge makes us choose between evil and good. Knowledge makes us aware of God's condemnation of sin in our lives. It seems that the general attitude we are moving toward is to embrace the "remain ignorant and stay happy" philosophy of life!
Spiritual growth is the result of a genuine effort on our part to secure knowledge and to use that knowledge in making application of its principles in our own life and being busy in teaching that Truth to others. When we willfully choose to remain in ignorance, then we make ourselves not only useless to God, but also tremendously dangerous to ourselves and to others! Please note the thoughts of I Corinthians 3:1-3, "And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ. I fed you with milk, not with meat; for ye were not yet able to bear it: nay, not even now are ye able; for ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal, and do ye not walk after the manner of men?" When we choose ignorance because we want to be able to live free from guilt, we are clearly showing that we have no interest in the righteousness of God. When we are willfully ignorant, we magnify both our lack of faith and our selfish desires to engage in sin without feeling any sense of remorse, shame, or guilt!
The Word of God demands spiritual growth! God demands that we be able to discern between good and evil, " For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But solid food is for fullgrown men, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern good and evil." Hebrews 5:12-14.
Yes, the "ignorance is bliss" attitude is infecting our brethren like an epidemic and it is without question a concentrated effort to avoid the guilt and pangs of conscience which the knowledge of God would bring! It is an "agenda of deception" on the part of those who are advocating the soul damning error called "unity in diversity"! If a lot of folks don't wake up real soon, then it will be very possible that the Lord's church is going to become a wasteland of false teaching and sinful practices! It is high time that we stand up and be counted as faithful soldiers in the battle against these forces of Satan! "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth; who is he that condemneth? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:31-39
By Dennis L. Reed
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