Mittwoch, 11. Mai 2005
False Teachers in and on our Environment?
If I were a Christian believer, I'd be truly worried. At least after having read Thomas Brooks "Seven Characteristics of false Teachers" (http://www.mountainretreatorg.net/eschatology/7char.html). Edit the text a little , and you can easily get the impression like he was describing the current debate between "Neo-Malthusians" and "Cornucopians" or "Abundance Ecologists".
My version of updating his words goes like this:
"That the Denial Lobby labors might and main, by false teachers, which are their messengers and ambassadors, to deceive, delude and forever undo the precious environment of men. They seduce them, and carry them out of the right way into by-paths and blind thickets of error and wickedness, where they are lost forever. Beware of false prophets, for they come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
THE FIRST CHARACTER
"False teachers are men-pleasers. They preach more to please the ear than to profit the heart. They say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, 'Prophecy no unto us right things: speak to us smooth things; prophecy deceits' (Isa. 30:10). A horrible thing is committed in the land: the prophets handle holy things rather with wit and dalliance (playful come-on) then with fear and reverence. False teachers are like evil surgeons, that skin over the wound, but never heal it. False teachers are hell's greatest enrichers. Non acerba, sed blanda, Not bitter, but flattering words do all the mischief. Such smooth teachers are sweet brain-poisoners."
THE SECOND CHARACTER
"False teachers are notable in casting dirt, scorn and reproach upon the persons, names, and credits of most faithful ambassadors of Science and Reason. And the same hard measure had the Conservationists from the Scribes and Economists, who labored as for life to build their own credit upon the ruins of their reputation. And never did the devil drive a more full trade this way than he does in these days (Matt. 27:63). Oh! the dirt, the filth, the scorn that is thrown upon those for whom the immediate satisfaction of our wanton wants in today's world is not the only and primary concern!"
THE THIRD CHARACTER
"False teachers are venters of the devices and visions of their own heads and hearts. 'Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoken unto them: they prophecy unto you a false vision and divination, and things of nought, and the deceit of their heart' (Jer. 14:14). Are there not multitudes in every nation whose visions are but golden delusions, lying vanities, brain-sick fantasies?"
THE FOURTH CHARACTER
"False teachers easily pass over the great and weighty things, and stand most upon those things that are of the least moment and concernment to the future of mankind. False teachers are nice in the lesser things of the law, and negligent in the greater. 'If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of science, and to the knowledge which is according to healthy reasoning, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strife of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself' (1 Tim. 6:3-5). If such teachers are not hypocrites in grain, I know nothing, Romans 2:22."
THE FIFTH CHARACTER
"False teachers cover and color their dangerous principles and soul-impostures with very fair speeches and plausible pretenses, with high notions and golden expressions. Many in these days are bewitched and deceived, because false teachers put a great deal of paint and garnish upon their most dangerous principles and blasphemies, that they may the better deceive and delude poor ignorant souls. They know sugared poison goes down sweetly; they wrap up their pernicious, soul-killing pills in gold."
THE SIXTH CHARACTER
"False teachers strive more to win over men to their opinions, than to better them in their efforts for conservation. They busy themselves most about men's heads. Their work is not to better men's hearts, and mend their lifestyles."
THE SEVENTH CHARACTER
"False teachers make merchandise of their followers. 'There shall be false teachers among you, who shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the laws of nature as made by the Lord , and bring upon everybody swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. They eye your goods more than your good; and mind more the serving of themselves, than the saving of your future. That they may the better pick your purse, they will hold forth such principles as are very indulgent to the flesh. False teachers are the great worshippers of the golden calf (Jer. 6:13)."
"Now, by these characters you may know them, and so shun them, and deliver your brains out of their dangerous snares."
What gave me the inspiration to compare ancient religious wisdom with our contemporary experience in the environmental debate was, of course, Mr. Crichton's description of environmentalism as a surrogate-religion (cf. my entry of April, 26). However, as they say: "What goes around, comes around." And while some environmental movements undeniably show religious traits, his comparison does not adequately describe environmentalism as a whole.
The anti-environmental lobby, however, is fairly well characterized by Thomas Brooks' seventeenth century description of false teachers.
Textstand vom 15.04.2007. Auf meiner Webseite
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