Sunday 7 March 2010

How Long Will We Remain Ignorant ? - Intellect

This is a post about Different types of Ignorance....

Wilful Ignorance. We chose it. And we choose to remain there. As Stubborn kids.
Well, just before writing this, I have made up my mind. If I sense some wilful ignorance going on in me, I want to be open to change, be open to more of God. So, fasten your seat belts. You wanted more of God came to the right post.

The Meaning of Ignorance
n.) A willful neglect or refusal to acquire knowledge which one may acquire and it is their duty to have.
(n.) The condition of being ignorant; the want of knowledge in general, or in relation to a particular subject; the state of being uneducated or uninformed.

The Brain is a big box and in some way which we may never understand , our spirit is somehow connected.
Throughout the Bible our component parts are described by these words. Mind.Heart.Spirit. Soul. Will. Then Jesus came along and spoke of us "having ears to hear" and "eyes to see" and clearly not meaning flappy head gear nor fleshy embedded baubles above our nose.

In the last post I made reference to the fact that PETscans, or brain scans show up the areas of our brain that register electrical activity when we are involved in certain activities.
Musicophilia by Oliver Sachs is a fascinating book charting all the neurological cases he has come across that relate to the field of music.

This clip relates to Amusia which is the rare condition of a brain that does not seem to have the ability to make any sense of music at all.

Some of you may be impatient at this point, asking yourselves why is this relevant to my life?Please hang in there.
In my piano showroom I get couples visiting and sometimes there will be one keen to learn piano, and the partner may possibly have an amusia condition, or something along that spectrum.They humour the other one by tagging along, but you know the whole exercise is meaningless to them. Sadly, they may be the main earner, so whereas they think nothing of spending £10,000 or more on water activities (Hayling Island-the birthplace of windsurfing remember) sadly, they will only pay £300 for a cheap secondhand upright piano with me.

Another alternate example. is a Christian artist who is a true Kingdom painter. She comes to our Key of David meetings and main conferences. She once confided that she cannot really listen to Peter Stott for a whole message because after a while she gets verbal overload. She finds if she paints or draws at the same time she is able to take on board what he is saying better. It was her work that was being demonstrated here.

So in discussing ignorance I am going to refer to many aspects of the brain.

The above two examples describe people who do not seem to have capabilities that the majority of us regard as normal. This is how they are. It is a condition. There can be no blame. Schools and education centres need to be increasingly aware that people are different. When it comes to learning, perhaps there is no true "normal", we are all so individual in our approaches.

This article is going to cover a more wilful ignorance. Having been shown there is more, we prefer to turn our head and stick with what we know. Stick within our comfort zone.

First of all the left-brain. Intellect.

Early Pentecostalism in the UK had a much greater effect than current TV historians Simon Sharma and David Starkey realise, spawning an Apostolic movement that preached into areas all over the globe.When I was in Kenya in December 1985 I was surprised how many incommunicable little places had their own Apostolic hut. The reason historians refer to Methodism and not Pentecostalism is that the latter was taken up primarily among the working classes and just does not register on a university radar. History is always shaped by the people in power, so at the moment, because the UK lives under the shadow of a restrictive form of left-brain thought shaped by the Enlightenment, nothing that falls outside of that remit is ever referred to.

In coming years we are going to be honouring a lot of things that have up until now been missed out altogether. This has already started with the Quaker movement, who , in typical God history style, were excluded from power effectively because no member was allowed in Cambridge or Oxford Universities. But instead of curling up and dying, they entered wholeheartedly into the modern 19th Century surge into industrialisation, only a lot of them took a specialised interest in chocolate. So it was we have Frys,Cadburys,the village of Bournville,and many many more. I call this God history, because it is the repeated story. "Left-brain locked" unbelievers exclude God's people, who then by their exclusion become stronger in God, coming up with something new that the rest of the world then comes to them for. This was the story of Joseph in the Old testament. This describes the whole history of the Jews, who have fulfilled scripture, and become a blessing to the whole earth, having rightly risen to prominance in every field of intellectual eminence.
Chenies Baptist church

Some of the largely untold stories in the UK would relate to other God movements such as Darbyism. Another story would be how all Baptist churches had to be built so many hundred feet set back from the road.
Old Town Baptist Church Amersham

So, get this England! Pompous Anglicans behaving like bastards (Bastards in that Anglicanism is a bastard form of the New Covenant, being neither fish nor fowl, neither Catholic nor Non Conformist, neither Jewish nor properly New Covenant) imperiously framed Baptists as Non Conformist, while themselves conducting the child abuse that is taking an ignorant baby and possibly against the child's later will, seeking to enter it into a New Covenant contract with God by the back door! In other words Infant Baptism. The irony is ofcourse that Infant Baptism is totally Non Conformist as far as God's expressed will is concerned. It does not conform to any New Testament scripture anywhere, neither in letter nor in spirit.

Scripture is clear. You repent, believe, then get baptised. One tiny verse which vaguely describes a jailer's household being baptised supports the entire edifice of sixteen hundred years practice.

Only intellects divorced from God's life could ever make such a ballsup of three simple phrases:Repent,believe,be baptised. And this is a good example of the intellect used "in its own right" starts building things that even its own rational evidence and rational process of thought construction won't even support. Which ofcourse has a very dark side to it....namely a very clever philosophical nation like Germany constructing a "logical" edifice that leads to efficiently murdering your own intelligentsia and musicians in its backyard gas ovens!!!

So back to the subject of intellect....

The charismatic movement initiated through Michael Harper here in the UK was a different matter from Pentecostalism. A much greater percentage of those involved were highly educated. You would have thought this was ideal. That David Pawson, David Watson, Jimmy Graham, sorry Dr. James Graham,Roger Price,Tony Morton,Arthur Wallis would have it all. That they would immediately have registered on the radar of university and media life here. But not a bit of it.

Here are two causes.

  • The size of the Enlightenment giants in the land! The strength of the unbelieving left-brain hold over the BBC and universities.

  • The fact that these ministries may have been mature intellectuals, that had experienced baptism in the Spirit, IS NOT THE SAME as mature third level ministries who move deeply in the Spirit of God as well as having clear penetrative insight intellectually. This would also be the case with RT Kendall who after many years of holding out against the charismatic movement while preaching in Westminster Chapel finally had the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit himself. Another brilliant and eloquent teacher, he simply would not have had a clue how to run a second and third level type meeting. It was not in his training. Had he lived longer, he probably would have made it his priority. He only knew how to run meetings in first level format: A warmed up hymn sandwich!

My background is very similar to Watchman Nee's beginnings. I became terribly depressed after having achieved 11 A's in Dr Challoner's Grammar School at 12 and realising Intellectual Prowess didn't change a bleepin' thing. I still didn't like myself. I didn't gain any more love and affection from anybody. I think my teacher father was in the frame here too. God seemed terribly distant and unreal and early 70s Methodism seemed to be absolute rubbish. Neither belief nor complete unbelief....just a hopelessly confused denomination.

So after conversion and baptism in the Spirit I came to distrust intellectualism. I felt discarded by a Britain that only believed in the left-brain. But having read Watchman Nee's Normal Christian Life,Sit Walk Stand,Release of the Spirit,Song of Songs, I came to see early on that the intellect did have a place, but couldn't quite define how it fit into my new life in Christ.

Evangelicals and Pentecostals of the period largely shunned higher learning, probably because they saw many of their own entering university as Christians and leaving as educated unbelievers. This largely happened with my own first girlfriend. Although only a girlfriend for a while, she was present for all my Christian teen life, so I remember the utter shock that someone who had been deeply impacted by the corporate life of the Fisherfolk as I was, plus party to the tremendous "Key of David" forerunners in our Baptist could she then lose it all and marry a non-Christian? She has since come back to the Lord and been used in worship leading again.

So what then is the right use of the intellect?

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