Sunday, July 17, 2011

Multitudes of Bad Counselors

Cultic movements and ideas are almost exclusively reliant on presupposition and a static, black and white handling of the bible - not to mention life in general. For those of you who've come up in P/QF, and are now beginning to question and examine things you've always just blindly accepted, I want to discuss something that you need to be prepared for, especially if you dare to leave the cultic system.

In the 40 hours prior to her scheduled flight to come here, or, prior to her disappearing and becoming unreachable, my ex had 26 incoming calls (and God only knows what else) from patriarchal Imbiblers. It was a desperate, coordinated effort instigated by her father. In fact, just an hour or two before the barrage began, her father told her outright, "I'm gonna fight this - and I'm not gonna play fair." She lacked the discernment to connect the dots between his warning and the events that followed, being a product of her cultic, legalistic, narrow-minded, dominionist indoctrination of an upbringing. I eventually heard a couple of the voicemails - so I know the BS these people were shoveling on her. Boatloads of guilt, fear, and patriarchal BS. These people were and are cultic fruitcakes, and I question, legitimately so, whether they genuinely know anything about Christ or the functioning of the Holy Spirit at all.

One of the last things my ex ever said to me (a few months after her disappearance) was, "When all these people called at the last minute, all saying the same thing, it had to be God!" Her mind was completely cooked by this point, completely oblivious to the fact that she'd been utterly played and manipulated. I mean, I could've had a hundred people call her, and my people would've told her that her people were cultic nutjobs - and my people would've been right - but I wasn't interested in manipulating her, especially through mystical manipulation. My one desire was to see her discern. She couldn't.

She was told by these people "How can all of us be wrong about this and you be right?" The answer was a simple one: By all of them being wrong and her being right. It wasn't rocket science. Sometimes the "majority" is merely evidence that all of the fools are on one side of the argument. Numbers aren't a guarantee of quality.

The verse they used to back this up...

Proverbs 11:14 Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

For this verse to work in the manner it was used, it requires a basis of presupposition that ALL counsel is good counsel, and then the verse must continually remain in presupposed stasis. The fact of the matter is that not all counsel is good counsel. I'd dare say that it's dangerous to even believe that most counsel is good counsel. Numbers are no guarantee. I think a proper handling of this verse (under the new covenant) would be to consider it an encouragement to actively seek good counsel and then discern - not to just blindly accept all counsel as good. Also, it absolutely can't be forgotten that the proverbs were written under the old covenant to a Holy Spirit-less people, people with no access to the wisdom of God unless they found it through the very few people who had access to God.

Remember, when the veil was torn everything changed. A God who had always been separated from His people was now available to all, His wisdom given to us in Christ, His personal presence and guidance given to us through His Spirit. God can now speak directly TO you through the mediation of Jesus Christ. We aren't reliant on other men (in a system where only a limited few have access) to relay TO us the messages of God - such as was the case in the OT. I think a responsible look at the OT must be through such a lens.

Attempts to sew up the veil are nothing more than attempts by other men to position themselves between you and God. Control. Such things are anti-Christ in every quantifiable way.

I'm all for seeking counsel and heartily recommend it - even from parents, despite people concluding from my writings that I think parents should be avoided (how stupid) - but, I'm even MORE in favor of personal discernment. If a thousand people tell you the same thing, but it doesn't register or reconcile with your heart...follow your heart. Your heart is no longer separated from God, deceitful and wicked (this is an OT idea - written when the veil was still intact). The Holy Spirit now dwells in you. It's up to you, not up to others, to discern for yourself between valid emotion and infatuation, between the liberating compulsion of the Spirit and the compulsive guilt of the legalism of men.

A heart in which the Spirit of God has taken up residence is a beautiful thing to follow - and is never to be feared. That's something I felt (and still feel) strongly enough about to post it permanently near the top right of this blog.

I wrote about the Botkin sisters' Fool test the other day. Aside from the obvious slant and nonsense of it, one of the more discouraging things about it was that of the 90 bible verses (some of which were multiples) used to support the ridiculous notions they presented about wisdom, 85 of those verses were from the OT. Total black and white, surface interpretation reliance on verses like these...

Proverbs 28:26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Proverbs 12:15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.
Proverbs 15:5 A fool despiseth his father's instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

Regarding the first, the veil has been torn, and allow me to say again that a heart in which the Spirit of God has taken up residence is a beautiful thing to follow - and is never to be feared.. Regarding the second, we now have personal access to the GREATEST counsellor - the Spirit of God. Regarding the third, add some context; not all fathers give good instruction, and if a father gives poor instruction, it isn't wise or prudent to follow it. There's no "biblical" guarantee that all fathers are wise men, are good fathers, or give good instruction. Now that you personally have the Holy Spirit, it's your responsibility to discern - not to blindly obey.

I repeat: OT passages must be viewed through the lens of being written to a Holy Spirit-less people. We aren't Holy Spirit-less people. That one issue of context changes quite a bit, don't you think?

If you are a young man or woman within the P/QF world, and you've reached a crossroads, no longer willing to just accept what you're told by your parents as if it comes from the mouth of God Himself, prepare yourself for a barrage of "counsel", from immediate family, extended family, old "friends", family friends, maybe even people you haven't heard from in years. They'll all be singing the same tune. My experience with my ex and the experience of many of the readers here serve as evidence that this will happen. In all likelihood, it WILL happen.

Their counsel will most likely be the counsel of legalistic men living as if the veil is still in place. Don't let their sheer numbers relieve you, in your mind, of your responsibility to discern between good counsel and bad. 

Never, ever, allow ANY counsel, whether one, a few, or a multitude, the opportunity to place a veil between you and your Creator.


  1. There comes a point when I know I've heard from God and I just can't listen to those who stomp around, waving their arms any longer. Listening causes confusion. Confusion becomes a weapon in the hand of those who would manipulate your soul for their own gain.

    The only way to obey God sometimes is to stick your fingers in your ears, duck your head and run straight to the Father. Later, when you're healed and strong enough, you can listen to all the blather in the universe if you want. And, at that point, God is more than happy to nudge you gently if you've gotten a bit sidetracked on the way to freedom.

  2. This proverbs 11:14 verse shouldn't be in question, but rather the family's interpretation. A "multitude of counselors" means getting many points of view rather than many copies of the same point of view. It's only when you weigh all your options that the best decision can be made.

  3. "A heart in which the Spirit of God has taken up residence is a beautiful thing to follow - and is never to be feared..."

    Love it!! Thank you so much for this!! In the churches we were in for the past 10 years, the term "follow your heart" was always considered the worst thing a Christian could possibly say (or, one of the million worst things. ;-) ) In the last church in particular, there was so much emphasis put on how evil our hearts are, how wicked and terrible we are, how unworthy, how vile, etc. etc. Never was it emphasized that God gives us a new heart, indwelt by His Holy Spirit, and has cleansed us from sin, so we don't have to wallow in the mire of sin anymore.... Never was it emphasized that he takes our broken lives and can make them beautiful, and we don't have to remain stuck in our brokenness. I think actually when we go on and on about how evil we are, it actually detracts from His glory because it gives the impression that He cannot transform or make beautiful, that perhaps His work wasn't good enough to really change us.

    Anyway, I love what you said there. And the emphasis that we are New Testament believers with the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Great post!

  4. "She was told by these people "How can all of us be wrong about this and you be right?" The answer was a simple one: By all of them being wrong and her being right. It wasn't rocket science. Sometimes the "majority" is merely evidence that all of the fools are on one side of the argument. Numbers aren't a guarantee of quality."

    That was jaw-dropping in both its profundity and its simplicity. Love it!

    Jim K.

  5. Resembles peer pressure we tell our children to resist.

  6. Ah, how well I remember having those Proverbs thrown at me. Even 14+ years later, it's still clear in my mind. At 20 years old, I was treated like a fool because I followed my heart and refused to let people intercede for me spiritually. I got the barrage of people calling me and writing me letters telling me to flee evil (apparently, marrying a man that loved me and God was an evil thing to do) and that I needed to listen to my parents since they knew God's will for my life. I heard the whole run down of it not being God's will if so many "godly" people were counseling me against it.

    What a bunch of horse poo.

  7. Hannah is right--it's just a sad, grown-up version of peer pressure and it's probably more damaging than the juvenile variety in many ways.

    Reminds me of giving the "everyone else is doing it" excuse when we were kids, and being asked in response if we'd jump off a bridge just because everyone else did it. Somehow they failed to apply the same logic at church. I wonder what your ex would say if someone asked her that question.

  8. Amazing. They are "sheltering" their children from the pressures of the world, just to damage them with the pressures of their own world.

  9. Steve Scott is right. A "multitude of counselors" means listening to many points of view, not just one groupthink repeated by many mouths.

    Listening to a "multitude of counselors" is exactly what the QF/P perpetrators do NOT advocate. They preach that their followers should actively run away from any counselor who doesn't mouth their own teachings. And they teach their followers to ostracize anyone who dares do otherwise.

  10. > "She was told by these people "How can all of us be wrong about this and you be right?"

    In Canada we have a term called, "Vocal Minority". It generally means a small group of people are being a P.I.T.A. to common sense up here. Her group is small. No offense to her or anything, but that group is small. When such a gruop is together, they are generally unanimous and they feel invincible until someone speaks up and says "Folks, there are ### million other people who aren't saying anything but don't necessarily agree with us."

    Elijah felt the same way. He did what God wanted, but he was the only prophet in the country and was a despised and hunted man. Jeremiah was similar. Micaiah was also told to prophesy the same as everybody else.

    Proverbs are often misused and twisted. The fault isn't the proverb, but the listener and the speaker's faults. One example of fake "multitude of counselors" referenced in the OT is in Jeremiah 29. The people liked to hear only the prophets they wanted to hear...

    v8-9 Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them," declares the LORD.

    Verses 15 onward tells about God's view of people who falsely say things in His name.

    1 Kings 22 is another example.

    v12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. "Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious," they said, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand." 13 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, "Look, as one man the other prophets are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably."

    14 But Micaiah said, "As surely as the LORD lives, I can tell him only what the LORD tells me." 15 When he arrived, the king asked him, "Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?" "Attack and be victorious," he answered, "for the LORD will give it into the king's hand." 16 The king said to him, "How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?" 17 Then Micaiah answered, "I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the LORD said, 'These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.'"

  11. "She was told by these people "How can all of us be wrong about this and you be right?" The answer was a simple one: By all of them being wrong and her being right. It wasn't rocket science. Sometimes the "majority" is merely evidence that all of the fools are on one side of the argument. Numbers aren't a guarantee of quality."
    Excellent. Loved That. Way to go. ;)

  12. I like what you're saying about personal responsibility here, because to me that's kind of the essential issue. And I can't help wondering if in some ways the whole system came to be due to trying to escape personal responsibility. That is, did these authoritarian parents have regrets in their pasts that they attributed to faults in their parents instead of to their own decisions? I don't know. Maybe that's not it. I'm not really sure. I mean, a lot of what I hear is, "I wish my parents had done for me what I'm doing for you, protecting you from things I regret."

    And by putting the responsibility on their parents they must assume that they are responsible for the mistakes their kids make. And if they're afraid they haven't parented very well, then the best they can hope for is to control the visible outcome. I don't know. I'm sure there are more factors and motivations, but this is one that seems somewhat plausible.

    And if everyone takes responsibility for their decisions and their lives instead of passing it off to someone else, it would certainly be a good step towards solving the problems, I think.

  13. Didn't you know Proverbs has 31 chapters because we are supposed to read one a day and start afresh on the next month? All that wisdom! So much fodder to use upon disobedient and rebellious children so you can call them fools all you want.