Tuesday, October 5, 2010

CARD-CARRYING INTELLECTUALS OR CROSS-CARRYING FOOLS?

CARD-CARRYING INTELLECTUALS OR CROSS-CARRYING FOOLS?


A. Brother
©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“We do, however, speak a message
of wisdom among the mature,
but not the wisdom of this age
or of the rulers of this age,
who are coming to nothing.”
1 Cor. 2:6

Those of us who call ourselves Christians in this age have tried to do battle in the enemy’s way, and fight on the enemy’s turf, and now it is backfiring.

Ever since the “Scope’s Monkey Trial” in the 1920’s, when the debate about science and faith became an overnight public issue in the media, those who claim Christ have played this game of one-upmanship on the enemy’s playing field.  We have abandoned the “foolishness” Paul speaks about in the first four chapters of his first letter to the Corinthian church, and we have taken on the role of scientist and scholar, rising to Satan’s bait every time he lays down a challenge to the intellectual validity of our faith.
 
We have become the world, trying to justify Christ’s life and death and resurrection, and our belief in God, with human reason.  We have moved the battle onto the world’s turf, instead of being willing to appear stupid, foolish, ignorant, or uneducated in front of those who would ridicule the Truth.  This strategic disobedience to the Word of God has left us looking like reactionary hotheads, always fighting the next new challenge to God and His Word by the world, instead of being Jesus to the world, who never fought the enemy on this world’s turf or by this world’s rules, but who became foolish in the eyes of the world in order to save it.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness
to those who are perishing…
For it is written: 
‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’”                                                                                      1 Cor. 1:18,19

God is not challenged by man’ intellectual problems or arguments.  God is not afraid of the world’s wisdom.  God is not concerned whether we win or lose public debates about His existence, or about Creation, or about the purpose of man, or about science or the arts or politics.
 
God is in the business of saving the world through the foolishness of the cross.
 
Satan is in the business of trying to get Christians to compromise their dependence on the cross, and instead concentrates on trying to get us to involve ourselves in the wrong fight—the fight to intellectually and reasonably justify our faith to the world—a fight in which Jesus never engaged.  If we are to be like Jesus, and like the Father, we won’t engage in that fight either.

Hell is determined to draw even the chosen of God away from our complete and utter dependence on Christ and His sacrifice.
“It is because of Him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who has become for us wisdom from God—
that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. 
Therefore as it is written: 
‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’”                
1 Cor. 1:30,31

Are we stronger than God?  Are we wiser than Him?  Do we have the key to demolishing Satan’s grip on the world in our own minds?

Then, brothers, why do we fight as if God never spoke these things?

The world will NEVER understand how the cross of Christ works.  The worldly mind CANNOT get it.  This is because the truth of the gospel is spiritually discerned, and a man cannot discern it without the Spirit of God illuminating it for him.

“We have not received the spirit of the world
but the Spirit who is from God,
that we may understand
what God has freely given us.”
 1 Cor. 2:12

So, many have engaged in battles, in a huge war that continues unabated today, that God never intended us to fight.
 
Our disobedience has set us up for defeat.  We have accepted the enemy’s rules of engagement—what appears to be right to the intellect and reason of worldly men—and now face this constant reactionary fight to appear as smart and scientific and reasonable as the world.

What fools we have been, not for the sake of Christ, but for our own sakes.
 
Creationism versus the Big Bang Theory and Evolution.  The Christian origins of Democracy and Americanism versus Secularism.  Prolife versus The Right to Choose.  The Separation of Church and State.  The Bible versus Science.  Christianity versus the Muslim Religion.  Christianity versus Mormonism.

 “Do not deceive yourselves. 
If any one of you thinks he is wise
by the standards of this age,
he should become a ‘fool’ so that he may become wise.
  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. 
As it is written: 
‘He catches the wise in their craftiness;’
and again, ‘The Lord knows
that the thoughts of the wise are futile.’
  So then, no more boasting about men!”                       
1 Cor. 3:18-21

Brother or sister in Christ, do not be deceived.  We are to keep ourselves busy loving and caring for those around us.  We are to keep ourselves busy living simple lives of complete faith and dependence on the cross of Christ, and the Spirit of God.  We are to leave our chosen, worldly battlefields and walk as Jesus walked, without defense other than faith and obedience to the Father.
 
Do we have enough faith to do this?  Or must we maintain our own Maginot Line, like the famous and foolish defensive works the French relied on in World War Two?  When the Germans assaulted this vaunted bulwark of defense it crumbled, because it was built to defend against the wrong weapons.  So our faith is not built on man-made defenses.  It is built on the foundation of foolishness, the Cross, chosen by God on purpose to frustrate the intelligent, the wise, the learned, the accomplished of this world.  No reasonable man can enter the Kingdom of God.  He must thrust aside His own answers and ideologies, His own intellectual wisdom, and accept this foolish answer to man’s religion, and man’s attempts at wisdom.

“Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we preach Christ crucified:
a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those whom God has called,
both Jews and Greeks,
Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”                                                                                1 Cor. 1:22-24

Neither the demands of religion nor the demands of man’s intellect will be met by God.  It is only through the Narrow Gate of Foolishness that we can find life.

Christians are not Card-Carrying Intellectuals. 

Followers of Jesus are Cross-Carrying Fools.

Will you risk being foolish in the eyes of the world to abandon your fears?  Will you rest upon the finished foolishness of Christ upon the Cross, and follow Him up the same path to Golgotha, dying to your own pride, and your own need to be recognized as smart and wise in the eyes of the world?

Like Paul, those of us who choose this foolishness will abandon our attempts at fighting this worldly fight on the world’s terms.  He was a brilliant, highly educated man, and he learned as we must today, that none of it means anything.  The only thing that counts is faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love.  God’s love shown to us in the Cross, that foolish symbol of His unconditional acceptance of those who come to Christ in humility.

“My message and my preaching
were not with wise and persuasive words,
but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom,
but on God’s power.”                                                                 
1 Cor. 2:4,5

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