Chapter 2 — Philosophy vs. Education
Round 2! Man there is a lot here. Following are my take aways from this section. I see a lot of what you were saying when you decided to compare Corinth and Kansas City with regard to this chapter. So here you go.
- Paul was relying on God through all of this rather than self-reliance. In KC there are many who look to education being more important. Living an earthly life. A good life. Yes, even an ungodly life.
- Paul didn’t come to Corinth as a philosopher (even though it was the Roman hotspot if you will). He didn’t come as a used car salesman either – or carpet salesman. He came to Corinth declaring the testimony of God – the Holy Spirit. As I have study this section I found that the Greeks and the Romans wanted a speaker who had that shiny veneer finish… the slick salesman… the guy with a golden tongue. But, Paul didn’t care – he choose to stay out of the way of Christ and the message. He didn’t want this to be about him – he wanted it to be about Christ.
- I think about many of the churches here in KC (and I don’t like to talk bad about the bride of Christ) that this might apply to. I also think about the Op-Ed piece I read in the LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0115-zuckerman-secular-parenting-20150115-story.html#page=1 ) and some of the responses people are making on both sides. (If you haven’t read it, I am sure you will find it interesting) Basically I feel that many people who attend church start to focus on human wisdom instead of godly wisdom. We allow preachers to weave a fantastic story, all the while forgetting to allow the Holy Spirit to open it in our heart. Many are lured into church with fantastic productions, great praise bands, and free coffee, but forgetting that there is a next step! Are we drawing them in for the free coffee and to boast a great number, or are we drawing them in for a relationship with Jesus. Sometimes it is hard to tell.
- I read this quote while research this as well, and it really stuck with me since it flows from the previous point – “If someone’s faith is in the wisdom of men, and not the power of God; if someone can be persuaded into the kingdom by human wisdom, they can be persuaded out of the kingdom by human wisdom also.” Boom – there you go wrapped up with a bow tie.
- I also have to wonder about saved and unsaved – about mature believers and immature believers. A lot of study, grounded in the bible, has to be done otherwise we will turn to our human self for wisdom. We will turn to science and the secular community to find purpose and meaning in life. That is why I firmly believe we need to have three people in our lives – . 1) Someone who is more mature in their faith, 2) someone who is at roughly the same point in their faith, and 3) someone who is not as far along in their faith. In other words, if all I have in my life are #1s and #3s, I will constantly struggle. The #1s are always further along than I am in my faith, and there will be times when I will feel like I am failing in some way because I compare myself to him/her. Sure they will be able to help me and mentor me. That is part of their role in my life. But if that is the only person I associate with, I will questions why can’t I be where they are. Why can’t I be right there in terms of my faith walk. Keep in mind that is just not a fair comparison. Everyone progresses at a different pace. The world didn’t just go from being non-Christian to Christian overnight. In fact, take a look at this website. This site shows that even after we are Christians, there are a lot more steps to go. It doesn’t end at the point of being again. You continue on. I continue on. http://www.angelfire.com/bc/normanhousechurch/EngleScale.htm
- I think about it like this – if I am playing a sport – there are going to be a lot of people who are better than me, a lot that are about the same as me, and a lot that are a little worse than me. I have my coaches and star players (the #1s), my other team members at my level (the #2s), and then some who are not as good as me – the JV player (the #3s).
- My coaches and star players are there to push me and challenge me. They teach me and offer advice. They are there to mentor me. They are better than me, and they are someone I look up to and aspire to learn more from.
- My fellow players are the ones that I can go to and talk openly without feeling like I am messing up all the time. I can say, “Hey! How did you do that?” “Did you get that?” “What did he just say?” “I just don’t get it.” And by talking opening with those fellow players you help each other out. You walk through the problem together. You start to realize that others are feeling the same way, or are struggling just like you. Sure we turn to our coaches and star players for help, but there are times when we need to turn to this group as well. We mentor each other.
- With regard to those that are not as good as you – the JV player. You are basically their #1. You are their coach or star player. You are now the one that they are looking up to and seeking advice from. You are the one that they are trying to learn from. You are the varsity player and they are the JV player. You are basically mentoring them.
- Personally, I have people in my life at all three levels who fill that role. In many cases I have several people in each of those categories. But, I will also say that in general I can point to a very small group of individuals who I can count on the most. I personally feel that it really helps to have all three levels in my life. If I were to leave out the middle person, I think that I would be floundering. Then if I were floundering, I wouldn’t be much use to those who are looking up to me for guidance. Then you throw in the frustration factor and life can take some very wild swings.
- Through the Holy Spirit we learn about God and His wisdom – not through earthly wisdom. This Holy knowledge is unattainable via human wisdom. It is unattainable through general research. We need the Holy Spirit to guide that part. That is why we need to look closer at the bible. To lean into our faith and those of faith around us. We need to study the bible and question each other. Am I reading what you are reading? Am I hearing what you are hearing? Am I understanding what you are understanding? If we rely on us, we are relying on earthly wisdom.
- As I continue to look over that op-ed piece, I cannot help but see what Paul is saying here. That our belief in Jesus seems foolishness to an unbeliever – basically because he can’t understand our faith and love for Christ because he is using earthly wisdom. I see it echoed throughout the responses to that article. I see it among friends who feel it is more important to worry about today than tomorrow and some friendly ghost in the sky. It is more important to make a ton of money than think about the afterlife. Why waste a brain cell they say.
- In the end, many in Corinth were pursuing wisdom, but Paul told them that it is the wisdom of God they should be pursuing, and only the truly spiritual will be able to understand it.