Monday, February 29, 2016

Why They Persecute the Saints and the Prophets

JST Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that thus judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

That verse is the key to understanding why professed believers persecute the saints and the prophets, when combined with this, from Lectures on Faith, Lecture Sixth.
[T]hose who do not make the sacrifice [of all things] cannot enjoy this faith, because men are dependent upon this sacrifice in order to obtain this faith; therefore, they cannot lay hold upon eternal life, because the revelations of God do not guarantee unto them the authority so to do; and without this guarantee faith could not exist.
[T]hose who have not made this sacrifice to God, do not know that the course which they pursue is well pleasing in his sight; for whatever may be their belief or their opinion, it is a matter of doubt and uncertainty in their mind; and where doubt and uncertainty is, there faith is not, nor can it be. For doubt and faith do not exist in the same person at the same time. So that persons whose minds are under doubts and fears cannot have unshaken confidence, and where unshaken confidence is not, there faith is weak, and where faith is weak, the persons will not be able to contend against all the opposition, tribulations and afflications which they will have to encounter in order to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ Jesus; and they will grow weary in their minds, and the adversary will have power over them and destroy them.
These professed believers judge the saints and the prophets according to the wickedness of their own unbelieving and disobedient hearts.  They read their own fear, doubt, disbelief, pride, lust, covetousness, and judgementality into the words and actions of the saints and the prophets and conclude that the saints and the prophets must be trying to gain power over them by lying.  Of course they must be lying, you see, because the conduct of the saints and prophets is incompatible with the doubt and uncertainty these "believers" feel in matters religious, which feelings are their standard of judgement, and of course it's for power, since displays of piety or knowledge are how "believers" signal their virtue and moral superiority - that is, jockey for social status - among themselves.  In fact, there is typically little more to their "faith" than the acquisition of social status, including positions of authority, within the community.  Confidence towards God, coming from these "believers," is a pretense, thus they interpret the confidence of the saints and prophets as insolence or arrogance.  So, when argument fails to overcome the words of the saints and the prophets, social pressure gets applied, followed by physical pressure, followed by death - thinking, perhaps, they do God a favor by permanently silencing these lying upstarts, trolls, and troublemakers.

These "believers" can be discerned by their inconsistent principles, loyalty to men, misunderstanding and misapplication of the scriptures, contention, anger, offendedness, moral outrage, mockery, scorn, watching for iniquity, and attempting to make men appear offenders for a word by use of the liar's art.

They find the truth distasteful, or even hateful, and distressing, since it threatens their positions and security, both social, financial, emotional, and intellectual - the stuff they really value.  They are incompetent, and don't know it.