In this digital age, wisdom and even knowledge are often downplayed in favor of information. Information, available in unprecedented quantities, is no longer seen as a means to a higher and nobler end, a tool by which we increase our knowledge so we might live with wisdom. Instead, information has become an end in itself. We have begun to believe that the accumulation of information some how leads to wisdom, that more information will solve society’s ills and improve our lives. We place our faith in information. In our hearts and minds, having more data and more information will necessarily lead to progress….
…The Bible seems to tell us that it would be far better to know fewer things, but to know those things on a much deeper level. Virtue is not in the accumulation of facts, in winning a game on Jeopardy, but in living a life marked by wisdom, by the application of knowledge. If we are to live in this way, we must be willing to step outside the torrent of information; we must be willing to understand that information is a great servant but lousy master.
Monthly Archives: February 2012
A couple years ago, when I was serving at Asbury United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Church ran a “Rethink Church” campaign. I don’t know how much rethinking of the church the UMC actually did (can some of you speak to that?) but that’s really what we all need to be doing. Whether we’re coming at it from an emerging church perspective, missional perspective, mainline perspective…we all need to be rethinking church: how we worship, how we run committee meetings, how we do mission work, how we offer pastoral care, how we think about leadership…there is so much we need to rethink.
The question is: are we willing to do so? Are we willing to put aside our own opinions and preferences for something greater? For being able to open the circle wider to allow even more participation by folks not currently a part of our communities? Are we willing to be more concerned about worship being something connects with younger people than whether or not we get to hear our favorite hymns on an organ that Sunday? I don’t know the answers – but if the church truly does think young people should be more committed to the church, we certainly need to be able to ask the questions and have the conversation.
The irony, of course, is that selflessness (not selfishness, its opposite) is precisely the posture that leads to more success. The person with the confidence to support others and to share is repaid by getting more in return than his selfish counterpart.
We should rightly object to the binary choice that both traditional and contemporary marriage seem to give us. Is the purpose of marriage to deny your interests for the good of the family, of is it rather to assert your interests for the fulfillment of yourself? The Christian teaching does not offer a choice between fulfillment and sacrifice but rather mutual fulfillment through mutual sacrifice. Jesus gave himself up; he died to himself to save us and make us his. Now we give ourselves up, we die to ourselves, first when we repent and believe the gospel, and later as we submit to his will day by day. Subordination ourselves to him, however, is radically safe, because he has already shown that he was willing to got to hell and back for us. This banishes fears that loving surrender means loss to oneself.