Lived > Learned

As I venture deeper into today's culture, I'm finding a sad & dangerous trend... it seems more and more that our churches, colleges, ministries and leadership may be becoming too smart for their own good.

What?! Too smart? Is that possible?

Allow me to explain, too much trust in knowledge can cause us to create a false confidence in what we know OVER who He is.  And, as a result we can become diverted and distracted away from our own personal testimonies and awe of God.

Instead, we then find ourselves placing our confidence in our growing understanding of  systematic theology and in our execution of shrewd apologetics.  We seem to think that a person is most probable to come to Christ as the result of losing a cerebral argument rather than as blind confession of trust. 

Lived faith is losing the battle to learned faith... tragic!

I don't think this alarming trend in today's "Christian" community is the result of living in an educationally advancing/evolving society.  I think it's a result of fear and, ultimately, sin. You see, this way of thinking isn't  nearly as new or modern as we might tend to think.  No, this is the same condition and attitude of the church that opposed Jesus during His earthly ministry.

Jesus was constantly attacked and criticized by the Pharisees. They viciously condemned his theology, doctrine and lifestyle.  Blasphemy was there battle cry against Him. But, have you ever asked "why were they really so worked up?" 

I think the answer is simple: Jesus was TOO REAL for them.

His LIFE exposed their sin, greed and pride. Their masks were ripped away from their two-faced lives revealing their staggering hypocrisy.  His expressed love and compassion left them feeling humiliated, threatened and afraid. They hated His holiness.  As a result, they were left with two choices: humble themselves and admit their sins or seek technical/theological issues that they could argue or dispute. They chose the latter...

"How terrible it will be for you experts in religious law! For you hide the key to knowledge from the people. You don't enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering. As Jesus finished speaking, the Pharisees and teachers of religious law were furious. From that time on they grilled him with many hostile questions, trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him. Luke 11:52-54.

More times than not, I have found that a person's deepest need is not intellectual but moral. They say they can't believe unless they understand but really they won't believe because they don't want to obey. And we get drawn into vain arguments for hours/days defending our faith instead of living our faith OUT LOUD.

Please understand, I'm not opposed to education. I believe that one stops living when they stop learning. Yet, I want to be clear that we will never understand enough to excuse us from radical faith. Education should serve us rather than the opposite. When a Bible college senior feels compelled/called and yet afraid/uncertain about the next step he is often urged to remain in school and get another degree... what? NO! Get out there, obey God and make disciples.  Being able to read the great commission in greek doesn't excuse you from doing it. Seminary and graduate school degrees can be useful and beneficial to many IF it's combined with practical life application. Such truth should be modeled by those teaching and granting such degrees. But one should never be urged to hide in education because of the fear of the unknown.  Walking on water makes no theological sense but we still need "Peter's" - those recklessly abandoned to the cause of Christ.

Reaching today's generation is possible and MUST be done - we're alive to do it!  But let's not get drawn into their pharisaic attempts to make us trade our faith for facts, our mission for methods, our love for literature, or our passion for position. We should be reading, learning and growing every day.  But let's grow towards God and not man. Let's be sure our love is growing daily through prayer & obedience to His Word!

If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty. Matthew 23:12 msg

Learn to live and live to love...  as a result, your heart will grow as fast, or faster, than your head.

 still learning to love, chilly

Q: Which one wins in your life: heart or head? lived or learned?