In the pursuit of the knowledge of God, the freedom to succeed is also the freedom to fail. If you create a system to restrict the possibility of failure, you restrict the possibility of success by the same stroke. Creating such systems is the nature of men when they are ruled by the powers of darkness: they set up stakes and bounds and buy up authority to guarantee that none are molested or made afraid. The intentions are ostensibly good, but the disappointing results should make us all doubt the value of good intentions.

I think this applies to most government programs, and many religious organizations.  In the Church, these systems operate under the umbrella of Correlation. They encourage the appearance of success by restricting the freedom needed to achieve the real thing. They script questions and answers to ensure that “pure” doctrines are taught. They attempt to restrict searching to “approved” sources.  The irony is that it helps nobody.  If someone is being directed by God, then they need no such scripting. If someone isn’t being directed by God, following a script won’t help them. The inspired people either become rule breakers or they ignore inspiration in favor of the institutional path. The uninspired get to believe they are righteous because they followed the script, and their repentance is short-circuited. Everyone loses.

Knowing God requires the kind of fearless unfettered searching that will only be satisfied in God’s own embrace. It requires the kind of searching that consciously ignores the restrictions men want to impose on the search, so one can receive messengers from Father. It requires the bravery to search into and comprehend the darkest abyss.   It requires that the seeker not be satisfied by the appearance of success, or by any counterfeit success.   It requires that hope be founded on a cloud of witnesses from heaven (true testimony), not simply on aligning your convictions with social norms (“i know the church is true” testimony).

Teaching people true principles and allowing them to govern themselves allows for success or failure.  Attempting to govern them, mistaking the appearance of success for true success, guarantees failure.   In fact, such well-intentioned unrighteous dominion enforces failure with the instruments of institutional power.

 

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