Anti-Intellectualism’s Prison

by Michael C. Sherrard

Religious freedom is on the decline. There is no doubt about this. Social sexual issues will slam the prison’s door on religious freedom. And the lack of desire for wisdom and knowledge within the church is the jailor.

Solomon pleaded with his son to not scorn wisdom. Wisdom ought to be sought, and when it is sought it is found, and when it is found it pours out its treasure to its seeker. But when wisdom is ignored, it laughs at our calamity and mocks us when terror strikes. I fear we are nearing the sound of wisdom’s mocking laughter. We have not sought wisdom as we should.

Prosperity breeds contempt for wisdom. And we live in a prosperous time. It is even a prosperous time for Christianity. In this prosperity, Christian ranks are filled with those who desire an institution that can meet their needs more than a body where they can learn and grow and serve. We have become gluttons for the work of others. We would not know what to do if someone was not “pouring” into us.

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The pursuit of the knowledge of God is replaced in many with a pursuit of something that merely works. And by works, often what is pursued is a version of Christianity that brings forth the American dream rather than the Kingdom of God. This prosperity and selfish attitude has caused a slumber, a slumber in the proverbial classroom, and the church is now awakening to an exam for which it is not prepared.

The culture war is nearly lost. Secular morals are winning the day, and Christianity is fading into obscurity in the market place of ideas. Scientists own the platform, celebrities have an audience, but religious folk are being relegated to the kids table. The entire world, it seems, has subscribed to the notion that people of faith have nothing valuable to say when it comes to the important things in life. Just sit in the corner, they tell us, and try to make milk come out of each other’s nose (that is what we did at the kids table growing up) and do not bother us while we talk about grown up things.

There was a time in American history where the pastor and the politician were on a level playing field. There was a time when clergy were thought to have answers. And it was not just because people didn’t know any better back then. It was because many men and women of faith were intellectuals. They knew their bible and their history. They could speak about theology and chemistry. Now many believers are ill equipped to speak about anything that does not have a mascot in a meaningful way…

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