Friday, October 19, 2007

Have I Been Educated?

Pastor Buck posted a list on his blog with numerous comparisons of secular learning-vs-religious learning:

Have I Been Educated?If I learn my ABCs, can read 600 words per minute, and can write with perfect penmanship, but have not been shown how to communicate with the Designer of all language .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I can deliver an eloquent speech and persuade you with my stunning logic, but have not been instructed in God's wisdom.... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I read Shakespeare and John Locke and can discuss their writings with keen insight, but have not read the greatest of all books -- the Bible -- and have no knowledge of its personal importance... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I have memorized addition facts, multiplication tables, and chemical formulas, but have never been disciplined to hide God's Word in my heart .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I can explain the law of gravity and Einstein's theory of relativity, but have never been instructed in the unchangeable laws of the One Who orders our universe .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I can classify animals by their family, genus and species, and can write a lengthy scientific paper that wins an award, but have not been introduced to the Maker's purpose for all creation, .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I can recite the Gettysburg Address and the Preamble to the Constitution, but have not been informed of the hand of God in the history of our country .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I can play the piano, the violin, six other instruments, and can write music that moves men to tears, but have not been taught to listen to the Director of the universe and worship Him, ... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I can run cross-country races, star in basketball and do 100 push-ups without stopping, but have never been shown how to bend my spirit to do God's will, .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I can identify a Picasso, describe the style of da Vinci, and even paint a portrait that earns an A+, but have not learned that all harmony and beauty comes from a relationship with God, .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I were to graduate with a perfect 4.0 and am accepted at the best university with a full scholarship, but have not been guided into a career of God's choosing for me, .... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

If I become a good citizen, voting at each election and fighting for what is moral and right, but have not been told of (or believe) the sinfulness of man and his hopelessness without Christ,... I HAVE NOT BEEN EDUCATED.

However, if one day I see the world as God sees it, and come to know Him, Whom to know is life eternal, and glorify God by fulfilling His purpose for me, THEN I HAVE BEEN EDUCATED!

There is a marquee at a Baptist church in my town that says something like: "Success is gaining eternal life - all else is failure".

That kind of goes along with this "Have I been educated" theme. Looking at it from a purely rational perspective, which is all I have, some Christians would equate a person who has read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica, all 20+ volumes, as being less educated than a person who has read only the bible.

It would seem to me that Pastor Buck is equating education with religious belief. Lack of religious belief, lack of education. I will forever wonder how a persons faith can be equated with education.

Is there any non believer who he could then concede is more educated than even the most uneducated believer? Does mere faith in the God of the bible trump all the learning of an engineer or medical doctor, if they do not have a belief in the Christian God?

If that is what Pastor Bucks belief is, it is that primitive belief that kept humanity wading through the dark ages for 500 years. It is just that mentality that the Taliban possesses which restricts females from going to school.

That mentality, while it is music to the ears of the believer, terrifies the non believer. It truly frightens me to think that Christians in my community actually think a non believing college professor is less educated than the little five year old boy who got saved in last Sundays service.

Am I exaggerating? Only if Christians like Pastor Buck don't really believe what he is trying to tell us he believes.


Buck said...

Hi Bob,

In posting the piece by Carolyn Caines, perhaps I should have noted that I’ve always regarded it to be hyperbolical language to make a point. I, personally, have never met a Christian who believes that “if you are not a Christian, all your secular education is really not education at all.”

Authors often use hyperbole to provoke a response, and apparently something in Carolyn’s piece touched a nerve in you. I may be way off base, but it caused me to wonder if you have been hurt in some way by any of the associations you once had with Christians? I certainly hope not, but unfortunately, I have encountered “Christians” who sadly bear no resemblance to the One we claim to love and serve.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my small corner of cyberspace.

bob said...

Hi Pastor Buck,
Thanks for the note, and I do understand your intent, and if a response is what Ms Caines piece was designed for, it succeeded :)
though I am sure it was designed to get positive responses from believers rather than negative responses from folk like me.

No, you are not really off base in your wondering, well, just a tad. I was never hurt during my years in the church. But I was continually disappointed: disappointed in myself first, in my inability to live up to my expectations of the Christian life, then disappointed in what I saw in the lives of my fellow believers, and then finally disappointed with the complete and total silence coming from the God I worshiped.
But, that was just my experience.

I really had no intention of posting as much as I did on your blog. I do not feel comfortable taking up space when it is obviously meant for Christians. That is why I initially posted just a link to the comments at my blog. But Merris posted his comments to my blog on your blog. Oh well...didn't work as I had hoped.

Buck said...

Feel free to post on my blog to your heart's content :)

While most of those who frequent my blog are probably Christians... hey, anyone is welcome. I appreciate the open exchange. I definitely think it's possible for people to express disagreement without being in conflict.

One other quick comment... Your comment about your inability to live up to your expectations of the Christian life both piqued my interest and, strangely enough, resonated with me.

Our experiences may be quite different, but I've done some personal wresting in that arena myself... and I've come to the conclusion that there is a lot of unhealthy legalism in the body of Christ.

Sadly, churches are often filled with those who are quick to "crush you with impossible religious demands..." (Matt. 23:4 NLT)

I'll stop rambling for now. . . Perhaps we can swap stories some day.