If anyone has read very much of John Calvin, then it is likely you have heard him call someone Stupid or an Idiot. “A man that extols himself is a fool and an idiot.” (Extol: “to praise or magnify” oneself.) Often, Calvin was referring to professing Christians when the statement was made. In fact, one such quote is already a part of Fidelity to Hope.
As we say repeatedly, part of the Adversary’s strategy is to pervert or completely change the meaning of the words we use. These two words are good examples. In the 16th century, these words were not malicious insults but statements of fact. A person who lacked the ability to reason (willfully or not) was an “Idiot.” A person who either willfully lacked knowledge or willfully disregarded knowledge was “Stupid,” which brings us to a distinction. “Ignorant” is also not an insult, but simply means lacking knowledge as represented in Romans 11:25. A stupid person lacks this knowledge voluntarily, so they are willfully ignorant. And, just in case you are wondering, the word “Fool” is used in the Manual 73 times, quite commonly by David. “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 53:1) (“Heart” from the word “lebab” … read Forged Hope.)
But, as indicated in the title, we are focusing on “Stupid,” the voluntary and willful lack of, or disregard for, the Truth. After all, all real knowledge is Truth. “The Scriptures should be read with the aim of finding Christ in them. Whoever turns aside from this object, even though he wears himself out all his life in learning, he will never reach the knowledge of the truth.” Again, John Calvin. The person reflected in Calvin’s quote willfully disregards John 14:6, “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the Truth and the life…’” and many other instructions plainly given in the book they are “studying.” They may be “educated,” but they are Stupid.
“For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’” (1 Corinthians 1:19 from Isaiah 29:14) “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 1:25). “…if anyone… adds to… (or) takes away from the words of this book of prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and the holy city, which are described in this book.” (Revelations 22:18-19)
Well, there it is… unadulterated wisdom, True knowledge. On this the reader can no longer claim mere ignorance.
In chapter 8 of Forgotten Hope, we listed many of the specific instructions given in the Manual. In chapter 9, we listed many of the written doctrines taken from several denominations. Leading into these chapters, we simply asked that you compare the two and decide for yourselves, are the doctrines Willfully Disregarding Knowledge? Are they Stupid? Without exception, all denominations begin with some variant of this statement: “The Holy Bible is the infallible, inerrant, and inspired Word of God.” Well, there it is again… unadulterated wisdom, True knowledge. As you read through their doctrines, you will, in fact, find a Willful Disregard for that very statement. It has also been my experience that this Willful Disregard is not limited to, or necessarily represented in, their written doctrines, but is played out within their local churches and individual lives.
Let’s jump forward a century and into an entirely different denominational theology. Meet Michael Molinos (to learn more of Molinos watch for Fidelity to Hope coming in 2023).
“The understanding of spiritual truth is actually hidden and shut off from most men, even those of theological learning. Why?
Because theirs is a scholastic knowledge. But there is also a science of the saints. This science is known only to those who heartily love and those who seek the end of their self-nature. The sermons and messages of men who have a great deal of learning and information, but who lack an experiential knowledge of the internal things of the spirit – such men can make up many stories, give elegant descriptions, acute discourses, elaborate theses…and yet regardless of how much it seems to be grounded in the Scripture, what these men give us does not contain the Word of God. It is but the words of men adulterated with false gold. Such men actually corrupt Christians, feeding them with wind and with vanity. As a result both the teacher and the one taught remain empty of their God.”
“You will find such wisdom far more among the simple and the humble than it is ever to be found among those who know so much about the things of God but so little of the Lord Himself.”
“I would advise that you always speak as one who learns and not as one who knows.”
The world outside of the churches has lots of theories derived by intelligent men. When those theories are adopted by those who wear the name of Christ in Willful Ignorance to the Words of their Creator, they become “damnable heresies,” and by definition, the person is Stupid (2 Peter 2:1; also see 2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
Something that Calvin, Molinos, Tozer, Boyle, Moody, Wesley, and all the great men of God agree on: True learning, True wisdom, True knowledge of God requires True Humility! As we enter New Year’s 2023, where times are all but guaranteed to be tougher than we have seen in a long time, it is essential that all those who Proclaim to be Christian walk in Wisdom’s ways and … Don’t Be Stupid!
© Scott A Caughel 12/29/2022