Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
Do you ever wonder why the world is such a mess?
There is a reason for it.
Do you ever scratch your head at some of the inane things that are often said by highly educated folks in places like New York or Las Angeles? Or how is it that so many folks living on either coast so completely don’t understand the vast majority of the rest of our country living in the “fly over” states?
How is it that so many of the folks who head up so many of our educational, cultural, governmental, and corporate entities seem able to come up with such bizarre stuff? And then, if someone might happen to disagree, either look at them as though they are ignorant children or portray them as nasty folks for daring to dissent with what everyone knows to be true?
Did you know there is a reason that so many people think followers of Jesus are a bit loopy. (I mean besides the fact that so many of us have turned Christianity into nothing more than a list of do’s and don’ts and rail on anyone who isn’t keeping our list. That’s a topic for a rant of its own.)
Paul talks about this very topic in the Bible. It is a long passage. But take a moment and read the whole thing.
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead. And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people, or birds and animals and snakes.
So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other’s bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever.
The truth is that in spite of how poorly many of us Christians represent the person of Jesus, in the end folks won’t be able to use that as an excuse. The reality of God’s existence is evident in the world around us. People who insist on having “proof” that God exists before they will acknowledge him only need to open their eyes and look around.
Of course when you’re looking for an excuse, any excuse will do. For someone who doesn’t want to believe it doesn’t matter what “reason” for not believing they fix on. One excuse works just as well as another.
But after reading that bit from the Bible, is it any wonder that so many different religions have sprung up here in the last two thousand years? We humans have been hard wired with the desire to worship something, anything, even if it is ourselves. When folks reject God it is not uncommon for them to eventually begin to make up their own ideas of what God is like.
Many of the newer religious sects claim for their authority the fact that their founder was visited by an angel who delivered to them a divine message. Yet Paul has strong words about that too.
Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including myself, who preaches any other message than the one we told you about. Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches any other message, let him be forever cursed.
You may think that the idea of someone bowing down in worship to a statue of a bird or a snake is silly, something that never happens anymore. Fair enough. Yet, if you think about it, how many folks do you suppose place inordinately high value on the world around us? There are definitely some who place a higher value on earth, and the other living things on it than they do on other people. They focus their energies on protecting these things at the expense of people’s welfare in the interest of caring for “Mother Earth.”
Some really do choose to worship the environment. How else do you explain inane statements like cigarette smoking is a significant contributer to greenhouse gases? I mean I’m no fan of smoking, but that is just silly. It seems to be a statement from someone who is claiming to be wise but has become an utter fool instead.
When we choose to reject God and instead focus on disproportionally emphasizing the things that God made, God in his mercy lets us go off in that direction. He could by rights strike us dead when we reject him, I suppose. But instead he chooses to continue to give us opportunities to change our mind and follow him.
The Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding.”
James even lets us know how we can get more wisdom if we find we are lacking it.
If you need wisdom–if you want to know what God wants you to do–ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.
Rejecting God is a very dangerous business. We may believe we are doing the smart thing by doing so. But the irony is, the smarter we feel we are getting, the dumber the things we do and say as we get further from the wisdom of God.
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