I think one of the gravest errors of all time is classifying the Creator and everything that has to do with Him under religion, thereby separating the Creator and interactions with Him from everyday existence. I do not think it is a religious matter or a matter of piety as of wisdom. It is not something that needs to or can be separated from anything, unless of course we have a wrong conception of the whole matter.
I cannot but turn to the scriptures here. First, I believe its claims, including its claims of divine inspiration or origin. Secondly, because I believe its claims, I accept it as the truth by which everything else is measured. In the beginning, we understand that the fall of man came about as a result of deception. That suggests an outwitting, not a non observance of a religious doctrine. It was a mental game between the deceiver and the deceived. The sin was that we were not wise enough to recognize the deception. We allowed ourselves to be deceived into thinking what was not right and we acted accordingly. We were created by God to be like God and we were outsmarted by the enemy into thinking we were less. We fell short of God’s expectations of us, wisdom-wise. Everything the Creator started to do from then onwards was to enable us to be wiser, to have a better grasp of reality. Jesus Christ came for precisely that reason. He said I am the way, the truth and the life. This implies He is the way to follow, He is the ultimate reality and He represents how to live. Lack of wisdom would imply following a wrong way, lacking a grasp of reality and living in a different way when we should know better.
The things of God are not religious matters but matters of wisdom and intelligence. If I am in an open field and I am honestly and sincerely convinced I am in a house, I will act like I am in a house and it does not change the fact that I am in an open field, even if several of us think and act the same way. The more of us who think and act like we are in a house, the more easy it is to think that yes, we are indeed in a house because that is all we talk about and those who try to tell us we are in an open field will be the ones that seem insane. They would need wisdom and tact to show us we are in an open field, lest we crucify them. In order for us to safely interact, they may need to temporarily use the same language as us, including referring to the sky as the ceiling even though they know that no, that is not a ceiling, it is the sky. Our honesty and sincerity about being in a house adds to our hopelessness. We would need to have our thinking corrected, in order to act correctly. In the Yoruba language, it is called “ironupiwada”, which literally means changing your thinking to change your ways, your actions, your behavior. It is the same word translated into repentance in English but I think “ironupiwada” is more like it. It is not a matter of wickedness so much as inadequate thought or a lack of grasp of reality, which is even much harder in an age where deep reflection is like swimming against a fast flowing river. When you see things the way they really are, not the way you think they are, you will act right. You will see boundaries where they exist and possibilities where you thought there were boundaries and that will influence your behavior.
One of my favorite portions of scripture is where King Asa of Judah formed an Alliance with the King of Syria instead of relying on God, who had helped him defeat a large army. The prophet came to King Asa and said “Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.” It was not an impious or “sinful” decision so much as an unwise decision. It was unwise because it was a decision that would lead to wars and failures and defeats, and King Asa should have known better. This King was so foolish that he even imprisoned the prophet who came to tell him he was going in the wrong direction!
It is said in scriptures a number of times, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” It is not the beginning of holiness or righteousness or piety or religion but of wisdom. That is very telling. God is not a matter of religion but a matter of wisdom. We cannot begin to be wise when we exclude or ignore a most vital fact or piece of information, namely, that God exists. This may be partly why God calls himself “I Am”, as though the fact of His existence should not be missed. I think this applies equally to those who believe in God as well as those who do not. When I ignore or exclude God from a transaction, I am being foolish and functioning beneath my intelligence, because I have ignored that which holds all things together.
The scriptures also say that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. That makes sense if we are gods in God’s image who should know. The first thing to know is our source, our origin, our essence, our reality. If we miss that piece, we have missed a vital piece and because we are gods who should know, there are consequences of not knowing. It is a matter of wisdom to know and be acquainted with our maker, not a matter of religion.
I have always wondered for example why the scriptures say those who do not believe will be recompensed for not believing, because I thought unbelief is just a matter of not having enough information or facts to base faith on (when Thomas insisted on seeing the nails in his hands before believing, Jesus said those who believe before seeing, are blessed). When I started to realize however, that we are in God’s image and likeness, I began to understand that God has very high expectations of us. He expects us to know that He exists because He has built into us the capacity to know and if we do not know, it is a sin, it falls short of his expectations of us and we deserve retribution. If you have clear rules within an organization or a team or a family and everyone is intelligent enough to know the rules and someone disobeys the rules, should they go unrewarded? I think not. The Creator demands imitation from those He created to be like Him and that makes sense to me.
Everything about God is a matter of wisdom. Faith is a matter of wisdom, righteousness is a matter of wisdom, love is a matter of wisdom. Wisdom is about doing the right thing, making decisions that are beneficial to you and everyone else. For me, following Jesus Christ is a matter of wisdom, because there are positive consequences of doing so. For example, the scriptures state, “godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and that which is to come.” Following godliness is a matter of choosing a way to profit now and hereafter. That is not a matter of religion but a matter of wisdom.
It takes a higher level of intelligence to appreciate a higher level of reality. We all have that higher level of intelligence – we are spirits, capable of knowing and relating with our Creator. When we ignore or refuse to relate with Him as we should, we are either functioning below our intelligence or we are unwise. It is even more tragic when those of us who know our Creator act foolishly because technically, we should function like gods on earth, wisdom-wise, because our spiritual antenna, which is the highest level of human intelligence possible, has come alive. Technically, when we are on the scene, the world should not need God to show up, we should suffice. Those of us who should be wise have a very long way to go.
Wisdom is the principal thing. And in all our getting in 2011, may we get wisdom.
– Posted using BlogPress