“Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
– 1 Corinthians 1:20-29
That truly is an amazing verse; when I read that verse it really struck a cord in me. I have a number of friends who are “intellectuals.” You know who they are: smart, or things themselves smart, perhaps a little arrogant, or maybe they’re legitimately on the genius side of things. And they and their college friends sit around for hours, talking, debating, and discussing different moral, ethical, sociological, and even pathological issues. They debate fundamental questions that are GOOD questions, but they turn to all the wrong places for answers and come up with ALL the wrong conclusions. It is actually very sad to observe it. Even more so when it is a close friend. The thing is, when I read this verse, it really put things into perspective. I have attempted to enter into conversations among these sorts of people before, and two things happen.
First, if you don’t speak quite at their level, they automatically look down on you from the very beginning if you don’t present your case in a perfectly defended manner, and they disregard your opinion. Secondly, if you have the GALL to even suggest or mention . . . the . . . Bible . . . it is all over. Completely and finally. They will not even give you a second’s consideration from that point on, or they will begin a tirade about how illogical or inaccurate the Bible is. They will talk about it’s scientific errors and impossibilities, and supposed inconsistencies. Though it is true that VERY, VERY occasionally you will find someone willing to listen even when you mention the Bible. There are generally two reasons why they react this way: first, because they often believe religion and all other topics are separate things, when in reality they are not. What people believe about life and other issues is always based upon or motivated by their religion or worldview. What you believe determines how you will act. And second, because they don’t want to talk about God because they don’t even want to consider that God has anything to do with anything, if they even believe He exists. Because if He does then that means they have to answer to someone and they can’t just do whatever they want. And people wonder why they are always saying things like, “I’m just searching right now.” or they talk about how “freeing” this or that is – indeed, that’s really what they want want – freedom – no restraints, no laws, no responsibilities, no rules, no commandments, no God. And third, I have come to realize that the majority of people in this category are not really searching for anything. They simply want an excuse to live as they please. Perhaps they simply love to argue, they want an ego trip when they “win the argument,” or just simply think it is fun to discuss things and pass meaningless ideas around. And I say “meaningless” because without God it is meaningless. If you listen to, get involved with, or just observe enough of these kinds of conversations, you will see that it is really quite absurd, and it just keeps going around and around. The only thing that makes it difficult to see it is this: their terminology. Quite often they are using very sophisticated language and intricate phraseology. It is all too easy to become awed by this, while in reality it is just a smokescreen, albeit an effective one many times. When you listen to it, it sounds so deep, complex, and fascinating, but by God’s standards, it is all foolishness! And often by mere logical reasoning, it is often incredibly flawed as well.
I like those two verses in Proverbs 26:4,5 “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.” A contradiction is it not?
Not at all. It only seems that way. The point it is making is that there is a time for both but the Holy Spirit must be our guide in this. I think it is to this that we must hold. There is a time to step in and say something, but more often than not, it is best to say nothing. “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; and do not cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.” – (Matthew 7:6) Because as I said previously, they often are not really searching for truth or God, but just want to feed themselves more of whatever it is they personally get out of it, or just love the sound of their own voices. In the end, God will be the final judge and will put all things where they deserve to be. But let us not judge others harshly or we ourselves will be judged harshly.
“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt looses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot of men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand, and it gives light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify you Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16
So let us go out into the world to be a light in the darkness, and perhaps, if God allows, we can go out a little more prepared and a little wiser.