I took a class recently before testing for a government issued license. The instructor illustrated the violation of the Principle of Reality in such a big way it left a burr in my saddle that has not gone away in ten days.
So, this is not like my usual teaching article. It is a rant. At your expense. I suggest you go read something else if you are having a fine day. You don’t need to expose yourself to my toxic mood.
The prof was a master of his field. He was quite the outgoing, visionary type, and throughout the two-day training, he shared endless stories about the wonderful things people have done with this license. His stories were true. Many licensees have done amazing things.
However, at the same time that he was hyping the upper limit of the license’s potential, he was teaching to the lower limit.
Specifically, he knew all of the questions on the government test, and he was training us to pass the test, not to know the principles.
At every turn, he dumbed it down as far as he could. He talked about the real world we would find out there and repeatedly hammered home all of the techniques for getting the answers we would need from some other means, without ever having to actually learn what we were going to be licensed to do.
It reached a low with the math. There were only two math problems on the test, he told us. One required division and the other required multiplication. One of the ladies just couldn’t wrap her head around the formula (which was pathetically simple) so he came up with a short cut for her.
Take the two numbers on the test question and multiply them, then see if any of the multiple choice answers matched. If not, try dividing. Whatever you do, don’t think.
Even that was beyond her. She wasn’t sure which number to divide by and which to divide into. He and she wrestled with that until she finally came up with the solution: divide the little number into the big number.
The prof was exultant and promptly dubbed that “Anna’s Theorem.” He celebrated that relentlessly the rest of the class as proof of what a good prof he was. Even Anna could pass the test now.
And she did.
Both Anna and I passed the test. According to the U. S. Government, we are now fully licensed to do certain things.
We are also both ignoramuses. Neither one of us is at all prepared to do more than the barest minimum in the field of our license. Neither one of us can come even remotely close to the heroic achievements of the people he celebrated.
He was marketing non-reality. He celebrated the actions of highly disciplined people who had worked hard to hone their craft, spending their own money and endless hours to learn 100,000 different facets of their trade that will never be on any test question.
It was utter non-reality for him to equate their achievements with the pitiful investment of effort needed to learn 35 test questions well enough to bag a license.
Unfortunately, he is not a rare bird.
The world of marketing is largely about nonreality. Using this mouth wash or that soap, or the other hair product is not going to revolutionize your dating life. Buying this suit or getting that degree does not guarantee a successful career. Purchasing a new home in the right neighborhood is not going to eliminate the need for some long, hard parenting over 18 to 48 years.
The picture is no better when we look at the church. Whether it is the prophetic, or deliverance, or inner healing, or impartation, or spiritual maturity, or marriage conferences, or ordination to the ministry, the pattern persists. We share the extreme upper 1% of the glory stories and offer the simplest, easiest way forward, implying that there is a rational connection between the two when there is not.
Why are we so afraid of saying that some part of the Christian walk will require hard work? Why don’t we talk in terms of taking ten years to master some aspect of the Christian disciplines? Why is it unthinkable to set the bar high?
And where is the outcry from the millions of people who bought the lie that Christian excellence was just two steps away from them, only to find themselves still mired in the ordinary 20 years later?
And what would the Church be like if millions of Christians were not reaping the consequences of violating the Principle of Reality. At the end of the day, no one ever breaks God’s law. We only confirm it.
Enough already. I don’t have time for this rant. I need to get my nose in the $100 worth of books I bought after the class, so I can learn what I need to know to go forward.
Copyright March 2011 by Arthur Burk