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Author Topic: Why can't they understand?  (Read 4541 times)

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Why can't they understand?
« on: January 17, 2007, 07:39:45 PM »

        Dear Ray

        I was browsing your website for the first time today and got caught up in some of the debate and critiques, and left feeling a bit perturbed. I am an elder in a small local church, and we do our best to live our lives before God and to turn peoples’ heart back to Jesus through relationship, preaching and example in a urban / rural African context. As much as I enjoy intellectual and theological discussion I do not consider myself well studied in scripture. After examining the reasons for my feeling uncomfortable with the lengthy debate which you and your respondents commit to, I came to the conclusion that such matters, although important theologically, are beyond the understanding of most people on earth who have not been exposed to sufficient education or biblical teaching.

        I have been blessed with considerable education (not in theology), yet I battle to keep on top of these basic issues that seem to tear at my faith. I happen to enjoy reading and trying to get to the bottom of an issue to form a standpoint, but I can’t imagine that these debates will ever be understood by the majority of people who are uneducated and do not look at life through intellectual lenses (no disrespect intended). Surely the millions of unbelievers that God wants the church to reach will not be persuaded that Jesus is their King by such intellectual debate, especially as it seems to bring division more than unity.

        I wonder what the ordinary members of the early church, as described in Acts, did on a day to day basis as they went and preached the word as they knew it. They didn’t get involved in deep theology and extensive debate, but simply preached their testimony and what they had seen, built relationally, and operated with spiritual authority and power as led by the Holy Spirit. This is not a criticism of the debate you stimulate, but an observation. Paul raised a bunch of ‘higher’ theological issues with the churches but I would guess that these were not on the radar of most unbelievers or new converts.

        The question I have rolling around in me is why are the very basics of our faith; heaven and hell, salvation and others, subject to so much confusion (in me anyway). Surely God would want these basics to be absolutely clear and not open to debate.

        Kind regards


        Dear Richard:

        Absolutely, God did not want the masses and multitudes to understand His Truths. That is why Jesus gave all His public ministry through impossible to understand parables that not even the Apostles understood. And that is why God's truths are like great treasures that must be searched long and hard to acquire.  Only, "the wise shall understand" (Dan. 12:10), and that wisdom has absolutely nothing to do with "intellectuality."  The entire Christian community of theologians would absolutely laugh anyone to scorn who would suggest that L. Ray Smith is an "intellectual."  Be sure to read my opening paper at the top of our home page "YOU FOOLS! YOU HYPOCRITES! YOU SNAKES!" for a better understanding of this topic, also my paper "Twelve Truths to Understand God's Word."  Even Peter confessed that Paul wrote things that for most people were "hard to understand" ( II Pet. 3:16).

        God be with you,




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