For those of you who don’t know, I’m a part of the organization Changing Lives Ministry (CLM). On the 23st, I’ll be giving a talk about the verse 1 Corinthians 1:20. As a part of preparing for that talk, I decided to write a post on it here and just get all my thoughts out. That way I’ll be able to pick and choose things from here to put in my message, and hopefully output a more well-rounded and detailed analysis and discussion on what it means to deal with worldly influences. So here we go. Enjoy. 🙂
1 Corinthians 1:20 says, “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” This verse puts forth a very powerful and liberating message. We see that God’s wisdom surpasses all other wisdoms, and in that we can take courage. Just because what we believe does not agree with what everyone else says, and just because what we know is right does not fall in accordance with what science has deemed true, does not mean that we have to back down.
Humans are very opinionated beings. If you’ve ever had someone address you about something you believe strongly about, then you are familiar with the knee-jerk reaction that follows when you realize they have the exact opposite beliefs. Now, this isn’t so much of an issue when it comes to things like sports, movies, books, or other trivial things, but when it comes to arguing over core values that some humans have and others disagree with, we run into problems.
In respect to Christianity and the world, from the side of Christianity, there are two camps: Christians and the world. In fact, if you are a Christian and you see more than two camps, then there is a problem there. Either someone believes in Jesus, or they don’t. It’s as simple as that. Where things get complicated is when we examine values and principles that each camp may hold. It degenerates even further when you realize that within Christianity itself, not all Christians believe the same thing.
So where is the constant in all of this? What is the be all and end all? Look at what 1 Corinthians 1:20 says again. If God has made foolish the wisdom of the world, then who is left with wisdom? Think about it this way. Have you ever held a strong belief about something (not an opinion, but a belief), only to have someone come along and completely foolish with an argument (the truth) that makes complete sense? How was that possible?
It was possible because they knew something you didn’t. They knew the answer. They knew the truth. In the same way, God knows the answer. He knows the truth. So when He makes foolish the wisdom of the world, He does so because He is wiser. And guess what? We have God’s wisdom in our hands: The Bible.
Now, if it is as simple as all that, why can’t I just open up my Bible to Proverbs 31:30 and figure out the ultimate solution to acne? Because that’s not how it works. In everything there is a balance, and God makes that very clear. You may drink wine, but not get drunk. You may have sex, but only within the bounds of marriage. Just look at Ecclesiastes if you need more examples.
In a similar way, there is a balance with how we learn. When you were born, could you read? No, of course not. Could you speak? In baby-tongue maybe. Could you feed yourself? Could you clean yourself? No. None of this. Who taught you how to do all these things? You parents. As you grew up, who explained to you the Gospel message? How did you learn the stories of Moses and Noah and David? Probably your parents, Sunday school, your pastor, and others.
My point is this: When you were young, you gained wisdom not from the Bible, but from God through your parents, your pastor, your church, and other such things. Yes, not everything that a human says is complete garbage. If it were, there’d be no point reading this. What God says can come from many sources, and it is up to us to discern what is from him and what is from the world.
We get bombarded with truths and lies all the time. The ultimate tool we have to decide what is what is the Bible. That’s how we know that no matter how many arguments nudists make, walking around naked is not okay. It’s how we know that no matter how nice “pro-choice” sounds, killing babies is not allowable. It’s how we know that no matter how much hate and anger is thrown out against Christianity, we are right.
Guys (and I mean everybody here, not just the male population), in this world we have three certain things: God, prayer, and the Bible. Our spirit connects directly to God, having been made in His image. Our souls and hearts connect to Him through prayer. And our mind connects to Him through the Bible. He works in many wondrous ways, and we will never know just what to expect, but we do have those constants, and we can rely on those.
I don’t have the time here to address every debatable issue. There are just too many. Modesty, homosexuality, abortion, transsexualism, and others. What I can say is this: Whenever you hear someone say something, check it back with the constants. When you are about to do something, check back with the constants. The constants are your friend. They are constant, and they do not change. Their truths remain steadfast forever. Isaiah 40:8 says,
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.
Let that be a reminder to you as you go about your daily lives.
Now, I don’t know whether you read to the end of this, and I don’t know how much of it you already know. I don’t know what you thought,.or whether I helped you. But I just want to say, wherever you are in your walk of life, stay strong. There are other ships out there weathering the same storms, and we’re all following the same compass. Let’s make sure we all reach the same port.