|Have you ever heard the expression, “check your brain at the door”?
Our God is an intellectual God. He is brilliant. He is infinite in wisdom. Why would He expect His followers to put aside their intellects and “check their brains at the door”? Throughout the Bible, we see the importance of “buying the truth and not selling it” and “getting wisdom and understanding” (Proverbs 23:23). In fact, God wants us to pursue wisdom and understanding. God does not want us to be stupid or follow a leader while checking our brains at the door. He wants us to use our brains that He gave us. If a leader who says they are speaking for God asks you to check your brain at the door, to not trust your intellect, and to listen to their teachings – you may want to run in the other direction, and fast. When you think about it, this is how so many sincere people have died in the past years via the cults. They did not test what they were being told by their leader. Instead, they listened and obeyed man to their own eternal destruction.
People have a tendency to follow man. However, Jesus wants us to follow Him and His teachings, not man and man-made teachings. That is the definition of a disciple taken from the Greek word mathetas – a learner and doer of Christ’s teachings.
From a section of Bill Johnson’s book entitled Following Your Leader Off the Map, Johnson teaches:
“Those who feel safe because of their intellectual grasp of the scriptures enjoy a false sense of security” (When Heaven Invades Earth, chapter 6, page 105). How can a Christian who studies the truth in the Bible and who uses his or her renewed mind have a “false” sense of security? Does Johnson believe the Bible is true or false?
“To follow Him [the spirit], we must be willing to follow off the map – to go beyond what we know” (Johnson). In the very next sentence, Johnson again speaks negatively of the intellect: “The Church has all too often lived according to an intellectual approach to the Scriptures, void of the Holy Spirit’s influence”.
Now, carefully compare the above teachings/doctrines to these Scriptures in the Word of God:
“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” (1 Timothy 4:16) This seems to say that we are to continue in Bible doctrine instead of following off the map. In doing so, we will save souls! God wants us to use our minds and that is part of loving Him. Luke 10:27 says the first commandment is to love God with our minds:
|“And he answering said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
|“Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Is Bill Johnson “rightly dividing the word of truth” when he teaches others that they “must be willing” to go beyond it? The Holy Spirit wrote the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21), so if someone is truly under the influence of the Spirit of Truth, won’t he or she “study” to know the Scriptures He (the Spirit) wrote? After all, the Bible commands us to use our intellect and study God’s Word. Why would a teacher want his followers to set aside their intellect that God gave to them?
What exactly is Johnson asking his followers to do when he encourages them to not trust their God-given intellect and “follow their leader off the map”? If Psalm 119:105 says that the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, would the real Holy Spirit ever discourage use of the Word as a map for our life? In the Bible, has the Lord ever told His followers to put aside their intellectual grasp of the Truth? If we are the Lord’s disciples, we will follow Christ and His teachings, and not listen to the voice of strangers (John 10:5). Do you hear your Shepherd’s voice?
The following is taken directly out of the Bible, including the words…”Security in Wisdom”.
New King James Version (NKJV)
Security in Wisdom
4 Hear, my children, the instruction of a father,
And give attention to know understanding;
2 For I give you good doctrine:
Do not forsake my law.
3 When I was my father’s son,
Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,
4 He also taught me, and said to me:
“Let your heart retain my words;
Keep my commands, and live.
5 Get wisdom! Get understanding!
Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.
6 Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you;
Love her, and she will keep you.
7 Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace;
A crown of glory she will deliver to you.”
10 Hear, my son, and receive my sayings,
And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom;
I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered,
And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go;
Keep her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked,
And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;
Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil;
And their sleep is taken away unless they make someonefall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness,
And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun,<sup class="footnote" style="font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; line-height: normal; vertical-align: top;" value="[a]”>[a]That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.19 The way of the wicked is like darkness;They do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth,
And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,
And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet,
And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
Remove your foot from evil.