If you follow current events, every day there is at least one news story that sounds like an April Fools’ joke. Unfortunately, most of these are true, a sign of the dumbing down of America. Take for example a recent press conference by the mayor of New Your City. Mayor Bill de Blasio was shocked on April 20, saying it is “unconscionable” that criminals released early from prison over coronavirus fears would commit new crimes. De Blasio could not understand how someone who was shown mercy could quickly become a repeat offender. Can someone say, “hello McFly.”
For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God, 1 Corinthians 1:18.
In the middle of the first century, the apostle Paul made a head scratching statement. While the educators, philosophers and scholars of his day likely scoffed upon receiving news of his comment, Paul’s words have proven to be prophetic. From a historical context, a painting from the Italian Renaissance points to this transition. Raphael’s School of Athens includes two well known philosophers. Plato represents the old school of thought, pointing up to heaven. Meanwhile, Aristotle is symbolic of the new age, pointing within. As the centuries have past, many have rejected God in favor of science.
For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing, 1 Corinthians 1:19.
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Paul uses the expression “baffle and render the wise useless.” Perhaps, Paul was referring to mere intellectual assent. This occurs when individuals have a logical appreciation for God, knowledge without belief. On average, there is 18 inches between the human heart and mind. Yet, until the heart and mind are on the same page as Roman 10:9-10, faith is merely a concept. When individuals are brilliant, logical or wealthy, trusting in an invisible God seems foolish. While in college, I came across a stat that said 85% of people who decide to follow Jesus do so before the age of 18. Thus, the older you get, the harder it becomes to surrender. When people resist God, foolish statements and dumb reasons often follow.
by Jay Mankus