Points to Ponder: Fools are not necessarily stupid
Points to Ponder
Fools are not necessarily stupid
I almost took the bait last March. A prominent Christian organization sent by email a report about some comments made by Bill Mahr. He's the host of HBO's Real Time With Bill Mahr. The organization quoted Mahr's rather insulting words about religious people in general and Christians in particular, and expected me (and other "outraged" Christians) to respond. Believe me, such things do tempt me. I'm always ready to jump and defend my beliefs; however, I keep St. Augustine's words in back of my day planner to make me stop and think.
"Heal me of this lust of mine always to vindicate myself."
Sometimes it's best to let peoples' comments shine back upon those who said them. Often that will accomplish more than an attempt to refute them. Mr. Mahr in an interview on MSNBC's Scarborough Country, said that all Christians are crazy and are unenlightened.
We are a nation that is unenlightened because of religion... I think that religion stops people from thinking. I think it justifies crazies... I think religion is a neurological disorder...
He said that Christians, because of their neurological disorder, "do not believe in science and rationality". He said that the Bible is a book of fairy tales, calling the account of Jonah a fairy tale the same as Jack and the Beanstalk. On and on, he went.
The source of the report, the American Family Association, encouraged Christians to respond, offering a few suggested lines one could use. Then I thought of Psalm 14:1. "The fool has said in his heart, 'there is no God'. They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good" (also repeated in Psalm 53:1 NKJV)
As I jotted some notes for a possible response, other passages came to mind "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." (Proverbs 26:4-5 NKJV)
Wisdom and discretion must guide us. Sometimes it's best to not respond. In other cases, it's right. In the Christian faith we are going to appear to be "unenlightened" to those who are wise in their own eyes. The world's wisdom is learned from the world, but godly wisdom is given by the Spirit. (see I Corinthians 2:9-16) To lower ourselves to the world's level of reasoning to convince them we are not of the world often proves otherwise.
"If a wise man contends with a foolish man, whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace." (Proverbs 29:9 NKJV)
Now, fools are not necessarily stupid, as the modern use of the word may imply. A fool, in the biblical sense, simply goes about life without regard to God or His existence.
People who know the Lord strive to run everything through the tenets of our faith and the Word. The fool has said in his heart there is no God, no One higher than himself to whom he will give an account.
Paul dealt with the wise guys of the world in his day. He was not impressive in appearance or a particularly good speaker, but he had "the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew..." (I Corinthians 1:7-8).
The assurance we have from Scripture helps put into proper perspective the rantings of Bill Mahr and others like him.
"For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are" (I Corinthians 1:26-28 NKJV)
Don't get mad or become defensive in response to the insults and falsehoods you hear. God knows the truth, and if we are abiding in that truth, He will cover us.
"If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." (I Peter 4:14)
Being a fool for Christ is actually the most enlightened thing you can do.
This column can be found on the web at: www.fumcl.org. Pastor Whitmore is not affiliated with Picket News, nor does he submit material directly to our publication. We regularly reprint interesting articles found at his public web site and encourage all readers to visit for similar material. Source: American Family Association