Fooled Or Foolish


This week I am once again participating in the Christian Carnival, hosted today by Annette at Fish and Cans. Some interesting articles again this week. I might recommend David R Wells article “Half-Calorie Christianity” posted at Revelation 3:10 – Blog. Here’s a flavor of the article:

It seems to me that these half calorie Christian leaders are treating the Bible like the old saying of “take the good and leave the bad.” That is very dangerous. The Bible is full of instructions and they are all meant to be followed.

David’s article is actually a good lead into this fooled/foolish topic.

In his Colossians letter, Paul talks a little about his struggle on behalf of the Church — that believers will gain “a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself.” He goes on to explain why he’s putting such emphasis on Christ: “I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument.” [Emphasis here and in the following verses is mine]

A few verses later he adds,

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. (Col. 2:8)

As if that’s not enough, he revisits the issue again:

Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the head (Col. 2:18-19a)

Paul is making a case for Christians to focus on Christ and who He is so they won’t be fooled by the false teaching that had begun to seep into the Church.

It’s such a timely warning for today too. Health-and-wealth Christians or name-it-and-claim-it believers pull helpless, hurting people into their wake, but so do the universalists who promise no hell. Others, with arrogance, teach that Christians don’t sin. Another group wants to re-image Jesus, and a bunch more want to ignore the entire book of Revelation.

False teaching to the left, false teaching to the right, and so many Christians being fooled.

At the same time, there are Christians holding other Christians up to scorn because their work for Christ isn’t artistic enough or profound enough or nuanced enough or purposeful enough. It seems we’ve forgotten what Paul says in 1 Corinthians:

but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, … so that no man may boast before God. (1 Cor. 1:27, 29)

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think we should purposefully go out and do a poor job of the tasks God gives us so that He has a weak thing with which to work. The fact is, He already has a weak thing with which to work — humans.

Not so long ago, I had what was at the time, an epiphany: I am small. I wasn’t so much thinking that I am a small, unimportant human among the powerful rich, famous, and politically connected. Rather, I realized my smallness because of God’s bigness, His unfathomable bigness.

Then He makes it clear in His word that His plan is to use His people — all of us small ones. Jesus, the head, wants His body the church to hold fast to Him so that we can grow with a growth which comes from God (Col. 2:19b). With growth comes fruit and the fulfillment of the Christian’s directive to make disciples.

None of it happens because we are clever or eloquent or intelligent or personable or influential. The Church grows with a growth which comes from God.

Jeremiah sums this up nicely:

Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD. (Jer. 9:23-24)

It seems to me, the foolish, though they may be criticized by fellow Christians for their inadequacies, are the people God can use, and the fooled — those so enamored with the “traditions of men … the elementary principles of the world … inflated without cause by their fleshly mind” who don’t keep seeking Christ — are the ones who aren’t available.

Published in: on October 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm  Comments Off on Fooled Or Foolish  
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