The Truth About Us ‘Morons’

Several years ago, I started a routine where on most work days, I send out a brief text to the several young people – blood-related, blended family add-ons, and “other” – that at one or more times in our family history could reasonably be called “our kids.” (It’s complicated…)

These texts almost always contain an interesting historical event as well as a few verses of Scripture that – to my way of thinking, at least – are tied to the events long past. My goal is twofold; not only do I want to let each of them know I am thinking of them that day, I want to do it in a way that gives them an opportunity to be exposed to Truth. Whether I actually achieve anything significant or not by tying the Word of God to the history of mankind is not at all a question for me; Isaiah 55:11 makes it abundantly clear that the Word of God never goes out void, so I know that God is doing something with my pathetic little attempt to stay connected to all of our kids.

Entrypoint for Sept. 5, 2014

My text this morning read as follows. (As a point of reference, I only ever include a smiley-face emoticon when my mood warrants it.)

🙂

Have a great week, all!  🙂  On this date in 1636, Massachusetts Puritans founded Harvard College, America’s first higher education institution. Believing that all truth is God’s truth, they set out to build a college to train future ministers, and this just a mere six years after arriving from England. Even in our secular day (ironically) the motto of Harvard is the Latin word “Veritas,” which means “Truth.” Romans 1:18-19: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.

I am fully prepared for this effort to be assessed critically, but it’s tied to my core belief that the unfolding of human history and the story of God as revealed in Scripture are inextricably intertwined. Before I became a Christian, for example, I found the book of Romans daunting and “not particularly relevant” to what I was reading in the headlines. Like most young people, I adopted and endorsed a thoroughly-secular worldview that included a “free” sexuality, “intellectual” pursuit and a desire to “live a full life” beyond the strictures of a clearly-outdated collection of primitive theology.

My conversion to Christ was blood-bought and painful.

Inner rebellion dies hard; to this day, I can still feel my pride rise up whenever someone in the church calls me to biblical faithfulness and reconciliation. Nonetheless, Christ has been faithful to “wipe clean the lenses through which I see the world,” and today’s headlines seem no more to me than constant verification that everything Jesus said was true. It was, in fact, the pursuit of truth that finally won me back to the fold.

Things were never so clear to me as when I was witness to a seminary student asking Jerram Barrs why he ultimately abandoned his secular worldview to become a Christian:

“I did not give my life to Christ because I wanted to be religious. Quite the opposite, in fact. I gave my life to Christ because as a human being I very much wanted whatever I believed to be verifiably true.”

His story strongly echoing my own, Barrs simply laid down the gauntlet in a very well-spoken and erudite fashion: Human beings are free to believe whatever they wish, but beliefs founded on personal preference rather than ultimate truth are destined to shift like the wind. We cannot even live up to our own standards, thus we must constantly adjust our beliefs to accommodate present circumstance. Many ideas about the well-lived life – some of them artfully spoken and tremendously appealing – are no more than chaff in the wind; like so many other systems of thought and action, “modern” beliefs will one day be interred with their last adherent.

Yesterday, Pastor Dave Cover preached powerfully on the place of Truth in the life of the Christian. Far from a series of instructions on “being nice” or “living like a good person,” the Christian faith demands that we make a decision about its truthfulness (or lack thereof). If you did not catch yesterday’s exposition of 1 Corinthians 1:18-31, simply and provocatively entitled “Morons,” please visit The Crossing website to download and listen.

In a time when uniquely-Christian creedal confessions can bring about the very worst sort of intolerance from college campus administrators – not to mention armed factions operating elsewhere around the globe – I honestly cannot think of a more important task than determining once and for all whether one’s commitment to Christ is cultural, “hereditary,” or otherwise lacking in enduring power. If Christ has not been raised, then your faith truly is in vain. That sure seems to me like something you ought to figure out sooner rather than later…right?

1 Corinthians 1:18-31 (ESV)
“Christ the Wisdom and Power of God”
For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

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? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

One Comment

  1. Sarah Gilliam said:

    Warren–We met Jerram Barrs back when he was new to the Francis Schaeffer Inst. and we were at the Kirk of the Hills; he is very eloquent and quite a spokesman. Thanks for your thoughts. Sarah Gilliam

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