Spiritual Conceit

By John McCort

The tendency of people to form cliques and elite confederations is universal in its scope and has spanned the ages since the beginning of the world. The . church has not escaped this universally cancerous flaw in the characters of men.

Spiritual conceit is a major cause of strife and alienation in the Lord’s church. Some have the idea that they are on a superior spiritual level. They feel that they are tuned in on a special spiritual wave-length and somehow they are more mature spiritually than anyone else. This elite group feels that they must develop special insights that the “common” brethren do not have. While they bask on their theological pedestals in the radiant sunlight of their singularly “special insights,” they take potshots at the “ignorant brethren.” This form of conceit forces them to reject orthodox scriptural modes of worship and develop, some unorthodox doctrinal views so as to render them singularly peculiar. Any scriptural; however “unorthodox,” method of worship and doctrinal point of view is acceptable. Unorthodox methods of worship become intolerable when they are employed to set apart a group who are trying to form a spiritually elite clique whose initiation requirements consist of developing unorthodox insights which cannot be grasped by the brotherhood in general. College students especially need to be warned of the danger of becoming wise in their own conceits and of being overcome by youthful impetuosity and brashness.

Truth Magazine, XVIII:47, p. 8
October 3, 1974