There is a tendency to want to become "scholarly" — or to look to "Scholars" as authorities for God's doctrines.
We need to understand this point! For God has NOT chosen the scholarly to receive, comprehend, understand, and reveal to His Church His true DOCTRINES and customs. Some have not realized that fact.
While I was overseas carrying Christ's Gospel into nations around the world, my son decided, overstepping his authority, that he would like to see our Church doctrines re-examined, questioned, refined, organized and systematized in a more "scholarly" manner.
I presume that naturally he was prompted in this by the urging of a scholar more recently come among us — that is, compared to such men as Drs. Hoeh and Meredith, Raymond McNair, and Dibar Apartian — and not as thoroughly grounded in God's Truth. Intentionally unknown to me, and without authority to do so, he set Dr. Robert Kuhn, with the help of a few others, to work on the project.
God is emphatically not opposed to knowledge and understanding. But modern "scholarship" speaks a language all its own. Many of our substantial, understanding, "middle-class" (as the world classifies) members might need an interpreter to translate this "language of scholarship" into ordinary English.
What magnet draws one to want to become "scholarly"? The appeal to vanity leads many. I think it is normal for all of us to have inner feelings of inferiority. The "scholar" has been trained in the higher educational levels of universities, to acquire this badge of scholarship. It is not only a manner of speaking and writing. It is a way of thinking — an attitude. And I will say bluntly it is injected by Satan. It is a form of intellectual vanity!
The intellectual and scholarly professor — especially if he has a Ph.D — uses this acquirement to intimidate his students. The "scholarly" attitude and manner holds itself loftily above those being addressed. He is in an exclusive class that disdains the proletariat.
But what kind of men did JESUS call and choose to be His apostles? NOT the "scholarly" but men called by the scholarly as "ignorant and unlearned men." But that does not mean illiterate or devoid of knowledge. They were knowledgeable men of BALANCE, of GOOD UNDERSTANDING, common sense, and good and capable minds. They simply were not trained in the acquired higher social mannerisms and culture of the time, that ante-dated modern "scholarship" — injected by Satan in our time.
The Apostle Paul was perhaps better educated in the world's knowledge than the twelve, but by no means a "scholar," like the modern variety.
I suppose it is natural that I should have asked myself many times why God called such an unscholarly man as I. I have known scores of men of better minds, greater mental capacity, superior abilities, more stature and appearance and personality. Many or most of these were "successful" in the world, as the world evaluates success. Yet GOD CHOSE NONE OF THEM!
While I have known many of better minds, still I believe God gave me a good mind, and a natural gift of understanding — and a good deal of common sense. I am certainly no "scholar" nor an "intellectual." I am sure the "scholars" consider themselves very superior to me. But this I know: when God conquered me, brought me to BELIEVE in Him — and further, to BELIEVE HIM — believe what He says, I was willing to accept it. God revealed to me early that HE is a God who WILL NOT COMPROMISE. He will not WATER DOWN His Truth. It would have been easier for God to have compromised just a little with His Law — to just say, "I have power to forgive sins by simply SUSPENDING the PENALTY of sin." That way He could have prevented sacrificing His only begotten Son, and Jesus could have escaped the agony of a humiliating death. But rather than water down, or compromise one trillionth part of an inch with His Law, God paid our penalty in our stead by giving His Son Jesus, and Jesus paid the death penalty to save us from the penalty of our sins — the second death (man already was consigned to die the first death BEFORE Christ came "as in Adam all die.")
Therefore I know I was willing to let God put it in my heart NEVER TO COMPROMISE with His TRUTH!
If I am proved wrong on a point I will change. My mind will be open for truth new to me — and all this has been abundantly proven. Perhaps that may partly explain how Christ came to choose as His Apostle one who would consider himself a lowly worm.
I was discussing this matter of intellectualism and scholarship with Mr. Rader. Out of curiosity, grinning a little, I asked him, "How would you categorize me, in this regard?"
"Well, definitely you are not a scholar or an intellectual — but you are a well-educated man who has understanding, common sense, and BALANCE."
What is the magnet that draws certain ones to train for "scholarship?"
First, I believe it is that inner feeling of inferiority which I believe we all have — but we don't like to admit it. However, we desire to find a way to "ripe over it" to relieve our consciences, and, further, there is the magnet of intellectual vanity.
Nearly all "scholars," of course, have come up through the channel of this world's system of modern education. I suppose we seldom stop to realize this entire system has been swayed by Satan. Nevertheless, a college or university student finds himself suffering from being mentally and psychologically INTIMIDATED by professors who speak this "language of scholarship." The professor purposely makes the student feel uncomfortable and inferior. His own VANITY causes him to assume a superior attitude. This, in turn, stirs up anew the innate feeling of inferiority in the student. He begins to want to acquire this same "SUPERIOR" demeanor and bearing.
However, once a "scholar" he will seldom change his mind. He is right — he knows he is right — others are wrong — his intellectual vanity will not let him admit error.
Did you realize that in the world of jurisprudence, a jury of twelve is always composed of people of common, ordinary background — and never of "intellectuals" or "scholars"? Reasons? A lawyer will tell you the "scholar" does not have an open mind — and he will not change his mind on evidence.
Now the worldwide Church of God is composed, as was the first-century Church, of the average, common people — few illiterate, and very few "intellectuals."
But the theological seminaries, and the universities, especially on the higher levels, have fallen heir to the attitude, demeanor and the language of "scholarship." The Bible dictionaries, the commentaries, religious encyclopedias, and other such works are all scholarly, well organized, classified and refined.
I think my son was influenced into engaging in a "scholarly" project, to re-examine, question, refine (that is, water down and change) alter, organize and systematize the beliefs and teachings of the Worldwide Church of God — as he and the "scholars" would like to have them presented.
The entire project was carefully and deliberately kept from me. Men who might have seen the drift setting in, to COMPROMISE with God's TRUTH, yet present it in such a scholarly manner that the Church would accept it, were forbidden to contact me or be fired!
Dr. Kuhn, who tells me in writing he wrote most or virtually all of it, with some input, is a scholar, who, as stated above, had come more recently among us, compared to such men as Drs. Hoeh, Meredith and Zimmerman, or Raymond McNair, Dibar Apartian, etc.
Now HOW did Jesus Christ, as HEAD of the Worldwide Church of God, put HIS truths, doctrines and practices into this Church? The answer is, through His own chosen apostle!
But my son did not agree with Christ's Apostle. I did not know of the width of that disagreement. I remember that when I had preached a sermon, probably as far back as 1955, he strongly disagreed, though I soon forgot it. I did think he was almost wholly in agreement on biblical doctrines.
Now it happens that Christ put His doctrines in this Church through His own chosen Apostle. Had I known my son was so far out of harmony, he would never have held the office he held and abused.
Much in the "STP" is in error — much of it so subtly and in a minor way that it might not be noticed by many. I have undertaken to correct these errors. The "STP" is, of course, null and void. It CANNOT be salvaged. But I shall try to correct the errors, minor as well as major, as time permits.