Spiritual Discernment or Blind Presumption?

This is perhaps one of the most misapplied verses in scripture:

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

It is used by some to justify all kinds of strange things that could be easily corrected with a plain reading of scripture. They assume their speculations are the spiritual discernment mentioned in that verse.

I have come across many people who are not satisfied with clarity – they want to dig for speculated deeper truths while ignoring what’s made clear on the surface.

How would they have prospered in my home town in the mid-1800s during its gold rush?

Would they have thrown aside the surface gold to mine for diamonds?

CS Lewis made a similar observation decades ago:

These men ask me to believe they can read between the lines of the old texts; the evidence is their obvious inability to read (in any sense worth discussing) the lines themselves. They claim to see fern-seed and can’t see an elephant ten yards way in broad daylight.

(from “Fern-Seed and Elephants”, C.S. Lewis)

2 thoughts on “Spiritual Discernment or Blind Presumption?

  1. 2 Timothy 3:7 says it clearly:
    Such people are “always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth”.

    They are always excited about the new revelation they’ve just heard or personally received … aka mysticism … which never has any biblical relevance or consistency! I have personally seen that when I’ve tried to discuss a Scripture with such people, or when I quote a Scripture, a blank stare comes across their faces and they quickly turn the conversation back to a more exciting teaching/revelation.

    I have often wondered if Revelation 2:24 is what we are witnessing. Are these teachings the satanic “deep secrets” Jesus mentioned? Your thoughts? Lee

    Revelation 2:24 —
    “…Now I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, to you who do not hold to her teaching and have not learned Satan’s so-called deep secrets …”

  2. Yes Lee,
    I think that Revelation “so-called deep secrets” reference is very appropriate in describing so much of the new teaching and revelation being pursued today. People love to have some kind of “inside” knowledge, thinking they have special insight not shared by the average person in the street or even by the average believer.

    I see this most clearly with regard to prophetic matters and so-called “anointed” ministry. Jesus warned so many times about false prophets and false christs (anointed ones) when speaking about signs of the end. But do people take this into account when they chase after prophecies and “anointed” ministries?

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