Saturday, January 7, 2012

Back to School.

It can be rough, loving God in the midst of a culture of intellects. The academic world in general does not think much of the ignorant, indoctrinated Christian kids who stick out like sore thumbs in the postmodern age. And I say this as a student at a private, conservative college nestled in the Bible belt. If I can feel the condescension thickening the air whenever God is mentioned in the classroom, I'd rather not think about what some of my brothers and sisters are experiencing on other campuses.

To be fair, I'm sure a large portion of the animosity directed toward us is our own fault. If we were known for loving as Jesus loved instead of for our hypocrisy and judgment, what would the world have to complain about? Well, I'm sure they'd find something, since we've been duly warned that people will hate us for our faith (Matthew 10:22). But the point is, in many cases it is we Christians who have brought the bad name to Christianity. Just something to consider before we run around pointing fingers.

Still, there's something more going on here. And that something is the pride that comes when we make the mistake of thinking we're smart. Because "knowledge puffs up" (1 Corinthians 8:1). Empowered by learning new things and making new discoveries (which, by the way, are good things, in and of themselves), we begin to believe that we know all things, that we are entitled to all mysteries. This is especially true in the academic world, where knowledge is treasured and elevated even above the money and power that the rest of the world craves. And anyone who challenges this "standard knowledge"--for instance, by suggesting that there is an invisible God out there orchestrating the universe, or that some guy rose from the dead and floated up into the sky, promising to return--is either denounced as narrow-minded or patted on the head like a child and sent on his or her way.

Which is why I find it so comforting to read verses like: "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength...But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong," (1 Corinthians 1:25, 27). Yes, some of the stuff we believe is pretty ridiculous by the world's standards. Laughable, even. It defies logic, reality, sanity. But personally, I think that's what makes it so darn fun. :)

Careful, now. Don't fall into the trap. Christians can do this just as easily, perhaps even more so. We think we know it all. Every Biblical interpretation down pat, every truth uncovered. As a result, we refuse to listen to other people's opinions with an open mind and heart. But God has always been bigger than anything our finite minds can comprehend, and He's full of surprises. So pay attention; you just might learn something new.

1 comment:

  1. We are in hostile territory, the very country founded on Judaic/Christian values has in just my generation done a 180 degree u turn and now it applauds perversity and saves its harshest rebuke on Christianity. "Newspeople", comedians, politicians, the entertainment industry ad nauseum, enthusiastically bashes our beliefs but holds other religions, that which God calls an abomination, abortion, pre-marital sex etc. etc. in high esteem. The moral decline is one of free fall, and yet mankind has always been the same, its just that now the perversity is out of the closet and waving its freak flag high. But your last paragraph was the one that struck me the most. I need humility, the full understanding that I know nothing fully, so I need tread softly, gently when in discussion with other Christian friends, for I believe in Christ as the only way by which I may be saved and by his grace and mercy my fervent prayer is that I may stand in front of my maker one day, writtebn in the Lambs Book of life, not just because of punishment otherwise, but mainly because our maker is so good, full of love and grace, along with justice and to spend an eternity under his wing, worshiping him, bathed by his glorious light. I know little, so I dare not judge or think I have the handle on all doctrine, because I don't. I need to keep an open mind and if I disagree with a fellow Christian Lord keep me open to the very real possibility that they could be as correct in their interpretation as I think I am, put my disagreement on a back burner, pray for illumination on the subject if my maker deems to enlighten me and not be too concerned if I still don't get an answer. For HE is the potter I the clay. He can show or not show me whatever HE will. And I am fine with that. So Lord I pray that I emphasize our agreements and leave it to you to do as you will, while I recall all the many, many points of agreement with my brother or sister and love them. Thanks for your insight as the formerly blind man said to the Jewish leaders, "I only know that I was blind but now I see" And Christ did it, Christ did it all. God bless.