The Right To Remain Silent
From T. Austin Sparks, a recent email: "Why must Christians who have the knowledge of the Scriptures in the letter, run about here and there to seek advice from others on matters which vitally affect their own spiritual knowledge? I do not mean that it is wrong to get counsel, wrong to know what other children of God of experience think or feel about matters. But if we are going to build our position upon their conclusions, we are in great danger. The final authority and arbiter in all matters is the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the anointing."
My thought on this is, it depends on who you're going to for advice. And do you know the Voice of the Shepherd well enough to not get the wool pulled over your eyes by deceiving religious spirits?
This brought to mind Ecclesiastes 12:11-13. "The words of the wise are like goads, and the anthologies of the masters are like firmly embedded nails driven by a single Shepherd. But beyond these, my son, be warned: There is no end to the making of many books, and much study wearies the body. When all has been heard, the conclusion of the matter is this: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this is the whole duty of man."
This is certainly the case, but there needs to be some balance in this. I've seen people go off in their own direction, thinking that all they need is "Jesus and me," (yours truly being one case) and wind up more or less shipwrecked and off course, leaving behind the Scriptures.
There is also a place for being in the body of Christ, with access to the wisdom of the truly wise such as the ancient Fathers, and those manifesting saintliness (Christlikeness) who have long walked in the Lord - which we should respect, cherish, and seek. That's because this is no cake walk and we need all the knowledgeable help we can get.
Today everybody writes books, makes DVDs, has a You Tube channel, and so forth. But how much of that is life sustaining Wisdom? These are 21st century forms of the "many books," in other words, as Ecclesiastes mentions. Everybody is thinking he has something to say, when the wiser course might be to watch, pray, and learn to listen - the "Right to remain silent."
I see this as the balance of having the Scriptures as our map, and the Holy Spirit within as the "HGPS", the "Holy Ghost Positioning System." Both should agree and confirm each other, providing discernment and direction. And we should welcome those who became holy and wise long before us, and seek such counsel, since it's easy to become tripped up by personal pride, and fall headlong into error, especially in today's spiritual climate where just about anything goes.
"Now these things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So the one who thinks he is standing firm should be careful not to fall." 1 Corinthians 10:11,12.