Proverbs 14:15 The simple believes every word,
But the prudent considers well his steps.
16 A wise man fears and departs from evil,
But a fool rages and is self-confident.
When we consider the passage linguistically we learn that the Hebrew word for “simple” can be translated as thoughtless or naive. We could easily say that this all points towards what we call being gullible or as in the title “credulous.” We have before us the description of not only the simple but also the simpleton. Because of this credulity the simple is willing to believe all kinds of evil.
Now of course when the passage talks about the simple believing every word we make the distinction between believing every word of God and every word of man. Obviously to believe every word of God is faith and it is that to which we are called. The man who believes every word of God will never be found being the man described above as a simpleton because in believing every word of God we are kept from believing every word of man.
So, this yields the principle right out of the gate that should we desire to avoid being credulous or simpletons then we need to be those who have an understanding of God’s Word. In believing every Word of God we will be kept from being someone who is found to believe every word of man.
Something else we should note here and that is the reality that if we are those who believe every word of God the simpletons will routinely call us simpletons.
What… you mean to tell me you really believe that stuff about God creating the world in 6 literal days? What… you mean to tell me you believe in floating ax heads … Jesus walking on water
What you mean to tell me you believe in dead people coming back to life & people w/ glorified bodies
So, we have to come to terms with the fact that simpletons who believe every word of man will routinely accuse us who believe every word of God as being simpletons.
The credulous fool believes in every report which comes to him without examining closely the matter at hand. Does the Government exist to help you? The simpleton believes it. Does a mask stop the cooties? The simpleton believes it. Is there a raging pandemic that is the 2nd coming of the black plague? The simpleton instantly believes it. Are there reports of anthropogenic global warming? The simpleton considers it a closed case. Are vaccines benign … is vaccine theory even true? The simpleton says yes.
Because this is the nature of a simpleton… of a fool. They believe every word that comes to them no matter how far fetched because they will not examine the claims. You see the simpleton has no fixed worldview that can sift false claims. Not standing on the Word of God he has no place to stand in order to examine competing claims and so he just accepts them all. The simpleton having no fixed worldview he is at the mercy of false advisers and the ubiquitous propaganda.
Of course, this is why propaganda can and does work. We live in a simpleton culture and propaganda is the means by which simpletons can be lined up to all believe the same horse hockey. They have no fixed worldview and so are so much putty in the hands of those who control the media outlets. The simpletons can be made to believe that carrying around flowerpots balanced on top of their heads will be a prophylactic against catching some scary-bug. How do I know this? Because they have convinced people against all reason that wearing cloth over their face is a prophylactic against catching the ChiCom virus. Of course, this proves we are living in times that routinely finds us cheek by jowl with the simpleton.
We could also comment on how credulous are unbelievers are regarding super-naturalism. We live among people who refuse to sanction the most certain facts of Christ’s history and who yet will pin their faith on some laughable philosophical theory such as deconstructionism, where the explication of the theory is overturned by the very tenets of the theory itself. The Deconstructionists will argue that the author of the text is absent… indeed there is no author and so all texts are playgrounds that exist in order to find any meaning the reader might bring to the text and yet by that theory the Deconstructionist author is absent and so I, as the reader, can make his text mean that the author is always present and so texts have original intent we have to abide by.
Or about the ecumenists who insist all religions are the same? If ecumenicism is correct… if Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, Judaism, etc. are altogether the true faith then any expression of any singular one of these wherein the claim is made that the others are not true is by necessity a false religion.
And at that point, ecumenicism is self-refuting on its own principles and is not true.
Down this line, many simpletons will rail against the God of the Bible and the supernaturalism of the Bible and yet will believe in supernatural nonsense like “spirit-cooking,” or Tarot cards or para-psychology.
We are living in a simpleton culture.
But let us give some precise examples. Some of this I covered in the last nine months but I will expand a wee bit from them.
Remember we are talking about what the simple will believe. We are now giving some concrete examples we could file under Scientism. Often Scientism – that theory that Science can be absolutized as a means of knowing or coming to the truth – is appealed to by the simple. Of course Science is based on the theory that experimentation and observation leads to truth. However, the simpleton doesn’t realize that Science is only as good as the theology it presupposes.
Is all significant knowledge about the objective world empirical in nature.’?
The most obvious and philosophically significant reply would be that if all the significant knowledge about the objective world were empirical in nature it would not be the case that we could know that all the significant knowledge about the objective world were empirical. Why?
Simply because the statement “all the significant knowledge about the objective world is empirical in nature” is not something that can be known as a result of empirical testing and experience.
Therefore, according to its own strict standards, the statement could not amount to significant knowledge about the objective world. It simply reflects the subjective (perhaps meaningless!) bias of the one who pronounces it.
I mention this because as living among simpletons, simpletons want to tell us that this or that is demonstrated by science but science, as it is practiced today, is not the be-all end-all of truth. Indeed, science is only as good as the theology that it presupposes. In point of fact, in the words of Gordon H. Clark, “Science is always false though often useful,” need to be remembered at every turn.
One of the most famous scientists who ever lived, Francis Crick, who was given the Nobel prize along with James Watson for discovering the DNA helix believes that life on earth originally came from other planetary systems as they seeded earth with crystals. Of course, this is the move of our proverbs simpleton if only because Aliens seeding planet earth still doesn’t tell us who or what created the Aliens.
Simpletons once earnestly taught and believed under the aegis of science that one could tell about a person’s character by feeling the bumps on people’s heads. This was called the science of phrenology.
Simpletons in Marxist lands once believed in something called Lysenkoism. This belief in “Science” so-called, led to the death of millions upon millions of people.
Consider Scientific Lysenkoism as named after Trofim Lysenko.
Trofim Lysenko of the USSR rejected the Genetics of the monk Gregor Mendel because it was bourgeoisie in favor of a theory that allowed him to contend he could change winter wheat into spring wheat just by soaking spring wheat in ice water.
Lysenko promoted the Marxist idea that the environment alone shapes plants and animals even going so far at one point to deny genetic impact completely. Lysenko believed that if your put plant and animals (and human were just animals) in the proper setting and expose them to the right stimuli, and you can remake them to an almost infinite degree.
Of course, this line of thinking was following the Darwinian evolutionary idea which is contrary to Scripture’s creation account. Lysenko became a classical mad Scientist in opposition to God’s truth.
Eventually, Lysenko gained the approval of Stalin and as a result, Soviet scientists who refused to renounce true science in the field of genetics were dismissed from their posts and left destitute. Hundreds if not thousands of others were imprisoned. Several were sentenced to death as enemies of the state. Scientific dissent from Lysenko’s theories of environmentally acquired inheritance was formally outlawed in the Soviet Union in 1948.
Science was outlawed in the USSR in the name of science so-called. The science of kind after kind which is found in Scripture
And God made the beast of the earth after his kind , and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind : and God saw that it was good. Gen. 1:25
was set aside for false science all in the name of science and the results were catastrophic.
Wheat, rye, potatoes, beets—most everything grown according to Lysenko’s methods died or rotted, records the book “Hungry Ghosts.” The famines resulting from this mad Scientist science killed at least 7 million people. Still Lysenko’s practices prolonged and exacerbated the food shortages. The Soviet Union’s allies suffered under Lysenkoism, too. Communist China adopted his methods in the late 1950s and endured even larger famines. Peasants were reduced to eating tree bark and bird droppings and the occasional family member. At least 30 million died in this Scientific starvation.
Being a simpleton can sometimes cost lives when the Simpleton spoken of in Proverbs gain control. And I put it to you that is what we are on the cusp of.
Simpletons who believe every word, in fear of anthropogenic global warming are pursuing a Lysenko like fantasy called the Green New Deal. The Simpletons @ World Economic Forum believes that it can tear down what remains of market economies in favor of one more bite at the apple of planned economies – only this time as planned for the whole globe. The simpleton cognoscenti desire, via transhumanism, to help human beings evolve to the next level of humanity via chip implants, assorted drugs, and surgeries.
Now as Christians we ought not to be among the simpletons who believe every words of man. We were rescued by the death of Jesus Christ from this falseness. Instead, we ought to be characterized, at least ideally, as the prudent in the second part of vs. 15.
You see the prudent, as contrasted with the simpleton marks his step. He can do so because he has a set Christian worldview by which to sift all truth claims that come his way. The prudent takes no step… puts on no mask… accepts no vaccine … without considering his way (8a). And by considering his way, he runs any truth claim through his Christian worldview. Is the truth claim that has come to him consistent with a Christian epistemology, axiology, teleology, ontology and anthropology? Is a truth claim consistent with what we know God’s word explicitly teaches and is it consistent with what can be legitimately deduced from Scripture. Is a truth claim consistent with Science as that science is based upon a sound theology anchored in Scripture?
As I have been noting throughout this message we live in an age of the credulous, the gullible, the naive, and the simpleton. And many who fall under this rubric are littered with degree letters after their names. They have been educated into imbecility. Some day they will be laughed at for their beliefs the same way that we laugh at abiogenesis today… the same way we would laugh at Lysenkoism today if it were not so tragic, the same way we should be laughing at every claim of Evolution… the same way that Global Warming should give us a good belly laugh, the same way we laugh at Medical Doctors once bleeding someone to help with a fever.
Now.. in closing let’s consider why we need to ponder these matters.
1.) Scripture talks about taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Well, these issues are thoughts that need to be made captive to Christ.
2.) Love of God means being in love with His reality and not the reality that these simpletons want to create by their fiat word. As such love of God should make us agents who delight in blowing away false realities created by man’s fiat word. Love of God means not putting up with a simpleton created world.
3.) If we are saved, men and women then we realize that we were saved from false realities created by simpletons. We understand that Jesus Christ died to saves us from the sin of living in sinful realities. Jesus Christ saved us from being simpletons. This is a matter of the Cross. Jesus Christ died that God’s reality would be honored by all men everywhere all the time.