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GOD versus Google

September 24, 2007

So I’ve been doing a lot of studying lately. Reading my bible – good stuff, of course! Reading more than usual, which still isn’t enough if I’m being totally honest here. Over at FC there is plenty discussion and debate over the reality of God, the truth of His word, proof of His existence. When discussing these topics with non-believers it sometimes feels I’m just chasing my tail. I have found myself in recent days trying to explain spiritual things, impossible in and of itself, to non-believers with my overwhelmed Google brain. Its been getting me nowhere! I’ve been attempting to marry the two and they just don’t mix.

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2 verse 14, “But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the spirit means.”
I’ve been researching a ton of things on the internet, looking up new big girl words πŸ˜‰ in the dictionary, and reading the bible when I ran across this in 2 Cor 2: 1-3, “When I [Paul] first came to you, brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified. I came to you in weakness – timid and trembling.” This is not to say that I shouldn’t be well educated, well studied and prepared. Paul himself was a brilliant scholar. But he knew to forget everything except Jesus. He shared the simple message of Jesus and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide his words. So I’m realizing that although being very well educated is important it can also negate and complicate the simple truth of Gods message.

The wisdom of this world can be a deadly trap and trip me up if I’m not careful. I could easily become puffed up and self inflated with head knowledge and grow completely numb in matters of the heart and spirit. I could easily lose touch with the miracle and mystery of His wonder. I don’t want to become that person.

Paul says in 1 Cor 1: 20&21, “So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.”

I am not dumb, I am not unedumicated, I am not foolish or weak because I don’t know 16 letter words. I know a 3 letter word that trumps them all, GOD! He is enough for me. He will speak for me when I am faithful to speak the simple truth of who He is.

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30 Comments leave one →
  1. September 25, 2007 6:12 am

    The only 16 letter word I know is “sacrilegiousness” which is profaneness by virtue of committing sacrilege.

    Why any religion would encourage its followers to avoid knowledge escapes me. Actually that isn’t true but the reasons I can think of are all cynical and unpleasant so I choose not to share them.

  2. September 25, 2007 7:05 am

    I agree Hover. I know of religions, or religious leaders, who forbid their followers to do many things. Its always been odd to me.

    The bible I believe in certainly does not suggest that I avoid knowledge. It says do not lean on it alone and get too puffed up. There is a big difference there. Paul said he didn’t “use” lofty words, not he didn’t “know” lofty words.

    Some of the most brilliant people I know are Christians – some of the most dumbest people I know are Christians too πŸ˜‰ Some of the men and women I know in my life absolutely blow me away with their intelligence. I stand back and think, “Wow, he’s a Doctor; brilliant! He’s also an usher in his church and volunteers at the food pantry to feed the homeless. To be so intelligent and yet humble enough to know that there is something bigger than him.” That is something I take notice of and respect very highly!

  3. September 25, 2007 7:53 am

    Its the knowledge that slips down into our hearts that makes the most difference

  4. godsgal1 permalink
    September 25, 2007 10:30 am

    Hi Sweety, I will take your Godly wisdom and unconditional love, and gently spirit over wordly smarts any day! Love you!

  5. September 25, 2007 10:30 am

    When working with unbelievers, I tend to lean more towards building a relationship with them first, and then look for opportunities to share my faith with them. If I begin beating them with scripture, I’ve found that the ears and heart close much more quickly.

    It is my hopw that they can see Christ in me, and that will be an attractive proposition for them.

  6. lazrus2 permalink
    September 25, 2007 10:51 am

    I agree with your comments as well as dougruhs in his perspective on witness–though ‘words’ can sometimes give opportunity to prove that we ‘live’ as well as say/write them. I also might add that though the apostle Paul sometimes seemed to downplay ‘knowledge’, he was probably one of the most knowledgeable people of his day, yet counted it all ‘worthless’ compared to ‘knowing Christ’ even if that be best gained through suffering (Phil. 3:7-11). He probably could have argued any scholar under the table, but chose instead to be rejected and ridiculed as Christ was to learn how to know HIM more. HE is the author of all wisdom and created our minds and hearts to seek HIM. He will do whatever it takes to draw us back to Him, not in order to belittle us but rather to elevate us to our created destiny (His likeness). “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you.” (1 Peter 5:6)-NLT
    D-

  7. September 25, 2007 12:23 pm

    Good reminder! Especially for those of us who are taking seminary classes. πŸ™‚ It’s a good balance–study up, know your stuff, but also know that you’re not going to persuade people by reason alone.

  8. September 25, 2007 12:59 pm

    Tam, great response to the first commenter kicking off this topic. I don’t think Christianity looks down upon having the knowledge either. I’ve read that it’s not wise to get in a battle of words with someone who has a hard heart, or deaf ears. I think Paul is simply instructing to keep is simple, for the very reason of not getting to caught up in the ‘words’. I think actions speak a lot louder than words myself…and hope most true Christians remember to walk the walk before they start speaking. Because no matter how simply they approach the subject of Christ, if they’re not living ‘it’–no amount of words will convince anyone the truth.

  9. September 25, 2007 1:27 pm

    Krislinatin, Don’t they say the longest distance for anything to travel is from the head to the heart? Or something like that… Great point!

    GG – Thanks! It’s a good thing – cuz i ain’t that smarter πŸ˜‰

    Doug, thanks for pointing that out. That is key to remember. I want to be a person who speaks truth in love without saying a word at all.

    lazrus2 – great comment! Amen and Amen! “He will do whatever it takes to draw us back to Him, not in order to belittle us but rather to elevate us to our created destiny (His likeness). β€œSo humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time He will honor you.” (1 Peter 5:6)-NLT” Those are hard words for some to hear/read – but I absolutely agree…

    Faith, you can’t “reason” spiritual matters. There doesn’t seem to be any logic or sense to it for so many. So yes, having a balance is key and knowing when to draw on them is wisdom. Thanks!

    blessed1, Character is better caught than taught. I love that saying and your comment reminded me of it. The bible says in a couple of places how our running mouths can get us in trouble. Somewhere in the old testament (I can’t remember its address) it says, basically, shut up and turn off the flow! Funny and true πŸ™‚ I know I can run my mouth with pointless words when I’m feeling defensive and I really have to watch that and just lean on the Spirit to take over. And thanks for your kind words!

  10. September 25, 2007 5:28 pm

    AMEN! without the HOly Spirit living in us, there is nothing but foolishness to the whole thing. We virtually need Jesus for everything, even reason.

    I think that too much of anything is not good for anyone. Sometimes we try to hard to do what only Jesus can do. Love ya! you rock,, and stay in the Bible…I would not make it one day without the WORD!

    Don’t kick any dead horses, they just won’t get up! My Grammy used to tell me that all the time, as I could just kick a dead horse all day! πŸ™‚

  11. September 25, 2007 9:18 pm

    You are a godly woman.

    Thank you Father for revealing yourself through this blog.

    In Jesus name amen.

  12. September 26, 2007 4:11 am

    1 Corinthians 2 verse 14, β€œBut people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the spirit means.”

    I loved that! HA, sounds familiar:)Great girlie:)

  13. September 26, 2007 4:33 am

    Tam, can you explain to me what “spiritual” means? Is it a quality of a person that somehow comes from religion or is it something that one has that allows them to be religious?

  14. September 26, 2007 7:49 am

    What we’re talking about here is God’s Spirit. When one has confessed/acknowledged Him, the Holy Spirit then dwells within us. It has nothing to do with religion but everything to do with relationship. I wouldn’t say it is a quality because you can not attain it by “works”. It is by faith we believe (I know that faith thing is hard for you Hov) I understand πŸ˜‰ I know there’s a similar discussion over on FC re: “spirit”. We all have a spirit – but we’re talking spiritual matters which in this context is Gods Spirit dwelling in the believer…however or whenever it is one becomes a believer. oops, that’s a bad run on sentence…

  15. September 26, 2007 7:59 am

    I admit to having trouble with the very idea of faith. Particularly the idea of spirit. I mean, what is it? Feel free to explain it to me as you would a slow child. πŸ˜‰

  16. September 26, 2007 8:38 am

    You’re not a slow child Hov – funny! I understand why it’s hard to understand. It was for me once too! Only because of what 1 Cor 2:14 says in my post. Those who do not have the “Spirit”, the one I explained in my comment above, they cannot understand spiritual things. It’s like showing the color Red to a blind-folded person, they just won’t see it until they remove the blind-fold. I happen to believe we have a soul and a spirit. My spirit was dead in me until I acknowledged God and gave credit where credit is due. I came alive in a whole new way. Saw things in a whole new way. It’s a spiritual awakening. But I’m anxious to see how inWorship will answer your question too over on FC regarding the spirit.

  17. September 26, 2007 3:38 pm

    Me too…I’ve got to get on that πŸ™‚

  18. September 27, 2007 7:40 am

    It can’t be that difficult to explain surely? You can describe the colour red to a person as being similar to orange and purple, you can give it’s wavelength in the visible spectrum if you are speaking to a blind person. True, it won’t do justice to the glory that is red but it’ll give a starting point.

  19. September 27, 2007 8:26 am

    Yes Hov, but what if you’ve never seen color before?

  20. September 27, 2007 9:24 am

    From where I stand though, Hover, I have explained it. However, I do understand still why you don’t get it. Again, it is clearly explained in the verse in my post. But let me put it this way. I have experienced something that has created a brand new “color” (so to speak) – you have never seen this color before, it is a compilation of every color “known to man” and then some. Unless you experience it with me – you won’t see it. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist though because I am l living it and see it – so I know it does.

  21. September 27, 2007 9:36 am

    I love talking about what people are learning in the Word.

    I hear what you are saying about non-believers no understanding God’s word. This was a real life thing for me when my bro and I were talking. I was using scripture to support my arguments. He said, “But if I don’t believe that the Bible is the Word of God then your arguments hold not weight for me.” OUCH! My heart broke. This one the one who had such a huge influence on me in my youth as far as my relationship with God is concerned.

    So what do you do? Too many times we amp up the Bible and we do use ginormous words or “christianese” that make no sense to people. You are studying God’s Word, and that is the most important thing to do. You are praying for wisdom and knowledge and understanding to be able to share the Gospel with agnostics and atheists. You have stepped into something that most people would run away from while screaming with their hair on fire.

    I’m so proud of you. I want to be like you when I grow up.

  22. September 27, 2007 2:52 pm

    SolaceGirl,, that’s exactly it. My lack of belief in anything supernatural means that the bible is simple an old book rather than a divinely inspired message.

    Tam, I didn’t say that I was a slow child, what I meant was for you to explain it as you would explain it to a slow child. i.e someone without the shared knowledge of adult experience. Except that we share a common language and more complex thought processes so it should be easier.

  23. September 27, 2007 3:52 pm

    I understand the supernatural goes way beyond laws of nature and science. But personally, I think one who can live in the realm of nature as we see it, experience the effects of science and discoveries PLUS have faith in something even further beyond that, the spiritual – the supernatural, has some mighty big guts and faith! Our minds, thoughts, hearts and spirits are constantly being stretched and challenged to think outside the box and confines of mans limited knowledge- I find that completely captivating!

  24. September 28, 2007 4:39 am

    I’ve never experienced anything supernatural …. rather I’ve never experienced anything that couldn’t be explained as natural. More than that I’ve never heard of anything that couldn’t be attributed to either natural effects or to delusion. I suppose that this is going back to your original point that I won’t be able to see the supernatural until I stop trying to explain it in natural terms. I’m not prepared to suspend my disbelief when the natural world holds so many answers already.

    I concede that I may have missed the point somewhat and I’m happy for you to correct my viewpoint if you see a flaw in my logic.

  25. September 28, 2007 10:15 am

    Hov, I don’t believe there is a flaw in your logic – just limitations, a “stop sign”. Just like mine and everyone else’s no matter how “book smart” or “googlefied” we become.

    Because Supernatural goes beyond “logic” does not make it delusional. But if you’re suggesting spirituality is likened to being crazy – that’s fine. I used to see it that way too – so I get where you’re coming from, totally!

  26. October 1, 2007 2:28 am

    You know that I’d never call you crazy. πŸ˜‰ At least not in a bad way….

    I’m struggling to understand how something beyond science or logic can even exist. It makes sense to me that people would want there to be an all powerful and loving figure to take care of them but why would it need to be outside the known universe?

  27. godsgal1 permalink
    October 1, 2007 3:44 pm

    Hi Hov, the only thing I could contribute to that question, and the easiest way for me to think on it (LOL) if there is such a thing, is that if there were a problem in your brain, would you not want someone who knew the most about brains to operate? This universe is far beyond anything that man has even begun to tap into, and He needs to be beyond that in order for it to run effectively and efficiently. As out of control as this world feels in our “flesh” it is really completely in control, which is part of the peace that comes from being a believer. It’s comforting to me to know, that whatever is going on in my life or the lives of my children, ultimately it will all be ok because we are secure in Him. Can you see where having a God who knows how it all turns out and has so much love and an ultimate plan for humanity can bring peace?

  28. October 1, 2007 4:31 pm

    Hey Hov…Hope you’re doing well! I don’t believe God is “outside the known Universe” – He is everywhere, Omnipresent. And also living in me as a believer in Him.

    I’ve been thinking about your response a lot today. I’ve been on the road traveling most the day so I’ve had much brain time. And your question boils down, for me, to trust. I absolutely love it when my kids trust me on something they have no clue about. Something they were completely unaware of and could never even wrap their cute little heads around. I know my husband loves it when I trust him in matters that I don’t understand. I depend on him – and in the other instance my kids depend on me. One is counting on the other in complete trust!

    To the bottom of my toes I know God. I know He is real. When I admitted that on August 19, 1990 everything in me changed…everything. I instantly became aware of something larger. An awareness took place in the depths of me that I never knew existed – my spirit came to life. I see things differently. I approach things differently. I conduct myself differently. Not for man or the things this world is sure of – but for something bigger, beyond me, beyond even you.

    I’ve said before over on FC that when I come to the end of my life and find that there never was a God I can honestly conclude that I would not change a thing. I would have hurt no one on my journey to the end and you and I would meet the same fate. But if I am right, and I believe I am, then I will meet my Maker face to face and have a nice sit down pow-wow to ask Him a whole bunch of questions πŸ˜‰

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  1. Is Jesus Enough? « inWorship
  2. Indescribable? « inProgress

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