Musings of a Christian Geek about the Word, Geek Culture, Science, Music, Movies, and anything that is deemed noteworthy.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Destroyed for a Lack of Knowledge

We are living in an interesting period of time which has been unknown to the many generations which has come before. It seems like a new Dark Age is upon us where traditional Bible-based Christianity is systematically being phased out by a more progressive liberal spin, by Social Justice Crusaders trying to meld Christianity with academic racial philosophy, or by evangelical atheism. Where are the voices of Bible-believing Christians in a time like this? It seems like too many Christians are either hiding or compromising at alarming rates. On my social media feeds, I receive constant links to blog posts about how the old ways of Christianity are either too harsh or too hateful for different groups to bear. It seems the Word is not as important as the feelings of individuals.


My feeds still include remnant about how hateful Christianity is toward homosexuals and verses are being thrown at us like Matthew 7:1, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged,” while verses like Romans 1:26-27 are being ignored,

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Individuals and real hate groups disparage Christians for hateful rhetoric against homosexuals, women, minorities, or any other disenfranchised groups they can think of; though, at the same time, they favor countries and groups that actively stone gays, legalize rape, persecute minorities, etc. Sadly, it seems that this might almost be considered a post-Christian age where belief in Jesus Christ is tantamount to professional, social, and political suicide.

How did we get to this point in history? The quick and easiest answer to posit is the tried and true concept of ignorance. It is no secret that God Almighty disdains ignorance and has given us His Word to give us the knowledge to live through His Son. One of my most quoted verses on this site would be Hosea 4:6:

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Quite plainly, ignorance destroys us as believers and it allows for others to be be easily swayed against us.

One only has to look at a Facebook post on politics and the ensuing comments to understand that the average person is not very well-informed or knowledgeable about what is going on or history in general. Heck, many of the post threads make very little sense if you know anything about the political spectrum of Right and Left. I’ll have news feeds from individuals who will post something from the Conservative Tribune one hour and then post something from Occupy Democrats the next hour. To keep this from becoming solely anecdotal, here are some numbers to corroborate the story. Newsweek (2011), far from a Right-Wing periodical, reports that 71% of voters in the United States report that they would like government to be smaller; however, 81% of those voters oppose Medicare cuts, 78% oppose cuts to Social Security, and 70% oppose Medicaid cuts according to a Gallup poll.

Werleman (2014), from Alternet, who starts his article railing against the “horrible Christian-Right,” reports some staggering numbers of American political literacy. Werleman (2014) states that in a 2007 National Constitutional Center poll, two-thirds of Americans could not even name all three branches of the United States government. Other polls report that 91% of Americans cannot identify the Chief Justice, that 42% believe that the Constitution establishes English as an official language, and that 25% believe that Christianity was established as the official state religion (Werleman, 2014). Polls conducted within other Western nations paint similar pictures of their ignorant populations as well.

Sadly, Christians do not fare much better when it comes to knowledge of their beliefs. The Barna Group (2009) conducted a poll of 1,871 self-proclaimed Christians which demonstrates staggeringly depressing results. The poll states that 59% of Christians view satan as a symbol of evil but not a living being or agree somewhat with that idea. It seems it is true that the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince people he doesn’t exist. Strangely, this question is later contradicted with 61% of those Christians strongly believing that a person must choose between God and the devil with no position in between (Barna Group, 2009). 22% of Christians polled believe that Christ sinned while on Earth and only 55% of Christians believe that the Bible is accurate in all of the principles It teaches (Barna Group, 2009). Most unfortunately, the polled Christians were asked about whether the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and the Koran are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths and only 28% disagreed strongly with this sentiment (Barna Group, 2009).  
            
This all paints a bleak picture of the overall knowledgebase of the Western populace and makes it easy for people to be manipulated by charismatic leaders. Christians who view Christianity as one of many ways to reach spiritual enlightenment can be swayed easily by the notions of moral equivalency however much it flies in the face of what the Word says.

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. –John 14:6

Moral equivalency allowed by ignorance really is at the heart of many of the problems faced by the Church today and in the demonization of the Church in the public’s eye. Far too often, unbelievers and, sincere yet ignorant, Christians hurl accusations and rebukes with an uninformed and unjustified moral high ground at Christians who, in turn, cannot refute anything due to an ignorance of the Word and contradiction of waht they actually believe. I like to call this phenomenon the circle of ignorance which plagues far too many people evidenced by many a “flame war” on Facebook, Youtube, or the overall blogosphere at all times of the day.        

No matter how depressing it becomes, the answer is as simple as it was when God led Hosea to write to the Israelites that they were being destroyed due to ignorance. The answer is the study of the Word and coming to an accurate knowledge of God’s Will for our lives.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree {firmly} planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.

Barna Group. (2009). Most American Christians Do Not Believe that Satan or the Holy Spirit Exist. Retrieved from: https://www.barna.org/barna-update/faith-spirituality/260-most-american-christians-do-not-believe-that-satan-or-the-holy-spirit-exis#.V6-n61dJVd5

Romano, A. (2011). How ignorant are Americans? Newsweek. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/how-ignorant-are-americans-66053.


Werleman, C.J. (2014). The shocking numbers: Americans are dangerously ignorant on politics. Salon. Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2014/06/18/ the_shocking_numbers_americans_are_dangerously_ignorant_on_politics_partner/