I Know
Saturday, July 31, 2010

“And this is my prayer, that:  that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…” (Phil. 1:9)

 

                C. S. Lewis said in Mere Christianity, “If you are thinking of becoming a Christian, I warn you, you are embarking on something which is going to take the whole of you, brains and all . . .” He was not some 20th Century scholar who was fighting anti-intellectualism (which was clearly becoming a problem in the 20th Century church), but a biblical scholar who understood the teachings of Paul and Peter.  He knew that what the Bible teaches and what these two martyred apostles prayed for most fervently in their churches was that their people would gain knowledge.    Dallas Willard said in Knowing Christ Today, “Belief cannot reliably govern life and action except in its proper connection with knowledge, and with the truth and evidence knowledge involves.”

 

                Christianity is competing against the mightiest religion of our time.  That is a religion ordered and controlled by the government and they want you to believe that what is taught is our schools and institutions of higher learning is is based on what is knowable – truth.  Our children are taught as fact that which stands upon the shakiest of science and alternate views are not allowed in most schools today.  Our children are raised to learn the simple formulas of mathematics, physics and chemistry are the only truth that is verifiable.  And the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) lesson is that the truth claims of Christianity exist only by faith, therefore exist only as “an opiate” to calm us in the storms of life.  And because this teaching of our government run secularist religion is all most of our children hear as truth, the teachings of Christ are dismissed as fiction in the realm of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.  And those who believe such things are intellectually like children, who only believe because it makes them feel good.  Thus, because it is only a fiction to help us wrestle with the problems of life on this earth, such teachings as the miraculous Christ who walked on water, changed water into wine, calmed the seas, healed the sick, and rose from the dead, have no place in the public square.

 

                When we think about what has happened, it is no wonder that Paul prayed continuously for knowledge for his people.  In his day and in ours, faith was relegated to something as other than knowledge, which is (as Dallas Willard says) “something, in fact, which falls far short of knowledge.”    The result of this is simple.  Christian teachers and pastors are now faced with having to, by charisma or fear, to coax people into a saving faith.  They are robbed of being able to teach Christianity as fact, truth, and reality upon which we can and must have knowledge.   And the natural outcome of this is a Christianity that is dying in the Western world.

 

                One of my pet peeves (which I write of often) is the churches’ prayer lists.  I would venture to say, if you went to 1000 churches tomorrow and gathered their prayer lists from the church bulletins, you would not find 1, not one, prayer request for knowledge for the people.  You will find lots of prayers for healing, business success, protection of soldiers, victory in battle, help for victims of the oil spill, and an occasional prayer request for our leaders (the only one in the NT Epistles).  But you will not find a single prayer request for what we need the most, knowledge of the reality of Christ and the teaching of the Apostles.  For if Aunt Matilda dies without knowledge of Christ, she is eternally lost; if a business is a temporary success operating on earthly principles, those principles will eventually sink them (note: BP); if our soldiers are protected from enemy fire in the physical realm, but are unsure about the only teaching that will give them eternal life the prayers have only postponed the inevitable; if we win the battle and make another group or nation just as far from Christ as we are, what have we accomplished really; if the victims (pelicans and all) of the oil spill get BP or government relief and they don’t have a living knowledge of Christ are they really better off; and if we build our nation outside of the knowledge of God, do we really think God will let us stand?  Yet, we ignore the prayers of the spiritual realm taught by the Apostles and Christ, and we settle into the prayers of the physical realm which (no matter how important) have no lasting value.

                 Let me close quoting C. S. Lewis again.  He wrote:  “God has room for people with very little sense, but He wants everyone to use what sense they have.  The proper motto is not ‘be good sweet maid, and let who can be clever,’ but ‘be good sweet maid, and don’t forget that this involves being as clever as you can.’  God is no fonder of intellectual slackers than of any other slackers.”  And I would add to Lewis, that until we return to teaching with knowledge and power of the reality of Christ, we will find ourselves powerless to prevail.

 


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Victor, ID 83455
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