Me, you dear reader, your closest friends and mentors, your most disgusting enemies all richly deserve this term and any honest definition of it in any number of areas. Certainly with regard to making judgments on individuals, groups and entire tribes and nations right through history in my view and I suspect most thinking people -it fits.
It is often considered and at times surely used as a “slight”, a “stick in the eye”, a put-down and knee-jerk response to what you or I consider plain ‘ol stupid.
We will freely admit nobody including ourselves, knows everything about everything. A little more depth in thought and we’ll likely admit very few of us can rightly accept the term “expert” even in areas we may know a great deal more than the “average” person (whatever “average” may mean).
Today and many days I find myself considering Paul’s statement “If anyone thinks that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know…” (1 Corinthians 8.2) and he follows that up in verse 3 with “but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him.”
The context of that chapter happens to be about idolatry and in essence, the Corinthians who professed faith in Jesus needed some help, instruction, guidance about the issue and connected with that with regard to judging and miss-judging one another on the issues involved.
His initial statement speaks directly to the matter of ignorance and a deep and obvious need for humility. That dear friends, “doesn’t come with the water”! It is UNcommon for believers or pre/unbelievers to own ignorance as a reality on topics of discussion and especially if the issue is a controversial, contentious matter.
I am convinced there are a lot of understandable reasons many believers remain ignorant of the broader Church on earth, most have scant knowledge of either Church or world history, often even national, regional or local history.
We often are so in lockdown (now there’s a term ‘eh?) by choice of “only one or two close friends” or perhaps just those of our “tribe” are allowed -in-. In other words, we are only loyal to those who do not challenge our ignorance and/or imbalance in an area, subject, topic.
God indeed knows who loves Him- and even if we are convinced we also know, we do not know as He does!
The lack of humility, taking/making/choosing to step into dark waters of a wide spectrum of thoughts, writings and yes, history of both the Church/churches and larger world is something in my opinion far too many Christians have simply not given time and effort to.
I get it: personal pain, suffering, mental and/or physical health, pandemic, burdens involving family, work, even time to get rest and recreation, financial concerns and more tax us to the hilt. Who has time to study all the historical stuff? “I never liked history anyway!” and “We know so much more than they did then…” or even “A LOT more than those people over there!” of another tribe than the one we’re part of and comfortable with.
Yup. Got it. So “done learning”? Got it all figured out? Lockdown until we are face-to-Face with God?
As has been often said, the Christians at Corinth were some of the most blessed and gifted and some of the most messed-up, conflicted and un-transformed people -all at the same time! That’s likely why Paul wrote his two longest letters to them dealing with issue after issue and a great deal of it boils down to two things: ignorance and the great and obvious need for application.
I’m not suggesting you need a seminary or at least a TedTalk 30min. course on X, Y and Z, I’m simply saying the lack of education and a wider view of the wider Church (not only the one you like) and world (ditto) is something we need and need a lot more of.
What you may learn in the process is how to be gracious toward people you strongly disagree with -and maybe even begin to recognize your own ignorance and imbalances in the process.
Loving God is directly connected with loving people. Take one more slow read of those two verses above.
We’ve all a lot to learn.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn