What is the most effective way to move a group of people in any given direction? Strong leadership. Let's face it... if you get the right leader in position, it doesn't matter 'what' direction you want people to go, the right leader will move the people in that direction. As a famous leader once said: Tell a lie with conviction, and often enough; in people's minds it will -become- 'truth'. And people will follow.
The opening words from Jeremiah (above) were written about Israel. But it is also true of that today which is called "church". The "church" is like a bunch of lost sheep. Today the term used is "sheeple". People who have abandoned personal individuality and self-responsibility, are easily swayed, accepting the authority of someone with presumed knowledge, easily led around by whoever impresses their senses and emotions, without properly investigating whether what is being fed to them is truth or falsehood.
In politics, if the person is good looking and is comfortable in front of the TV camera and knows how to give rousing speeches, the people follow. If somebody with the expertise claims to have a "poll" of what other people think, people are swayed by the polls, and they like to go "with the flow". What do -they- think? Ok...well then... I agree with -them-. Even better if a person can claim to be quoting 'experts' such as scientists, NASA, college professor, talk show host, etc.
In religion, if the person has been to Bible college and seminary and can produce certain 'letters' after their name, it means they are an 'expert'. They know -because- they went to an institution and learned from other -people- who, themselves, have those 'letters' behind their names, because they, in turn, went to some prestigious institution where others with 'letters' behind their names taught them. You know: SCHOLARS
For the "church", then, this lineage goes back through the centuries to the "great men" and "church fathers". For Israel it goes back to this Rabbi and that Great Rabbi. It all has to do with -books-. The book this rabbi wrote, the book that seminary professor wrote, the writings and thoughts of so-n-so from the Vatican in the days of pappa so-n-so; or the "bishop of such-n-such" city.
What about the -BIBLE-???
One day several years ago, while in conversation with a 'minister' of a local church, when I wasn't as excited about all the -books- he was interested in and reading, but expressed that I focus my attention on God's Word, the Scriptures, not all the writings of the famous men handed down through history and tradition, his response was something on the order of: "That's how error creeps in!"
Error creeps in by reading the Bible, and NOT all the famous books???
"But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will remain in Him." (1Jn2:27)
What about the -BIBLE-???
Oh, but we understand the Bible through the -lens- of our Presbyterian scholars. What did Luther or Calvin say -about- the Bible? St.Jerome or St.Augustine? These "great men" had such wisdom... -they- keep us from the error that we might otherwise get into if we read -only- the Bible.
But what is the purpose of a lens? It 'bends' light. Whatever light waves are coming along straight? The lens -diverts- the straight path into whatever the lens was designed to do. When a person has bad vision in their own eyes, the lens can -correct- how the eyeball has distorted, such that the person can see -straight- again. But the fact is that, whatever enters the lens does not leave the lens the same. It is -changed-. And so God's Word comes straight, and the man "of the cloth" -diverts-, through his favorite lens, the sheeple's attention to this mountain, that hill, that other knoll over there, this pyramid, that obelisk.
And as a result, the sheeple are lost. And it is the fault of the pastors, priests, shamen, and whoever else the sheeple look to. And they are sheepling in -droves- down the "broad way" leading to "destruction" (Mt7:13)
Are the sheep without any recourse? Of course not!
The people of Berea...
When some people produce 'translations' of the Bible (e.g. Defined KJV), they publish as one of their goals that they make sure the translation agrees with the "traditional" doctrines of the church. But from where do doctrines come? If they are -CHRISTIAN- doctrines, do they not come from God's Word, the Scriptures? But if there are doctrines that are not based on the Scriptures, by definition, they are not "Christian" doctrines. And so, should not a 'translation' of the Bible come from the -text- of the Scriptures, not the traditional doctrine?
But where do differing doctrines come from. If they are not from the Bible, they are the imaginings of man, in his own vaunted presumptions. And where are the cesspools of human thought as devised by the scholars? Those universities and seminaries where the scholars also get those 'letters' to place behind their names.
But Paul exhorted...
But what is happening today? They have -many- doctrines, but are trying to come together in 'unity'. But since they all believe different things, they are 'abandoning' doctrine, IN ORDER TO come together. Instead of all repenting of their false doctrines and embracing the Bible, they are ripping the Bible to shreds with mutated translations, ignoring God's Word, and reverting to their Tower of Babel; Babylon at Rome. Pope John Paul II in his Encyclical "Ut Unun Sint" (that they may be one) in 1995 concluded that "oneness" of the church would be achieved when all the denominations and religions had come together under the umbrella of Rome. The current Pope Benedict recently reaffirmed that when he stated that the whole purpose of the "one world religion" push is to bring everybody back to Rome. And when we understand what that means, and the history of Rome, we understand that the "one world religion" is actually Babylon, of old... originally started by Nimrod. Their goal is "unity in diversity".
But Godliness is Unity in God's Word. Jesus prayed...
Now, when Israel departed from God's Word, He dispersed them, nationally, throughout the world, and punished them at the hand of pagans. Babylon pursued them through the Crusades and various pograms and persecutions. That which calls itself "church" refuses to acknowledge Israel because "they sinned against Jehovah", therefore they are DONE FOR. The church has "replaced" Israel in God's plans. And in many ways, they think that persecution (and Holocaust) of Israel was "deserved" because God has now (permanently) rejected Israel.
But what does God say?
"In those days, and at that time, says Jehovah, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and it shall not be found; and the sins of Judah, but they shall not be found; for I will pardon those whom I spare." (Jer50:18-19,20)
"And I heard another voice from Heaven saying, COME OUT OF HER, MY PEOPLE, so that you not share in her sins, and so that you not receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to Heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her." (Re18:4-6)
Related article: We are the Scholars - You are Stupid!