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What I'm listening to on my Kindle reader
- Menachem Begin - his memoirs
It Simple, Stupid
Bob is a school teacher.
Sherry, his wife, walks over to Bob and gives him a huge hug.
"I just love you," she says as she squeezes him as tight
as she can.
Bob is elated.
The loving touch of his wife is always appreciated.
"But I just don't
get some of the things you tell me Bob, so as they say, just keep it
simple, stupid," she mutters aloud as she walks into the kitchen.
Bob has heard those words
before. One minute it's a
loving hug and the next minute it's keep it simple, stupid.
"These words hurt," Bob's saddened heart thinks.
"If she'd just take the time to sit down with me I could
explain what she doesn't get, but she doesn't take the time.
She never has. She
probably never will."
Over the years I've heard
many Christians repeat Sherry's words to Bob.
"Keep it simple, stupid" is the fundamental approach that
many Christians take when it comes to the Bible.
I realize that there are some theological concepts that are complex
and difficult to grasp. I
admit that some Bible teachers seem to enjoy impressing their audience
with their use of humongous theological terms that leave everyone with a
darkened understanding. I get why some want to keep it simple.
I agree with the Apostle
Paul. "Unless you speak
intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are
saying? You will just be
speaking into the air (1 Corinthians 14:9 NIV)."
I know Paul was writing about speaking in tongues in this verse,
but his point is applicable to what I'm saying.
Despite the fact that
there have been many sermons in Christendom spoken into the air, I believe
"keep it simple, stupid" is a product of our post modern dumbed
down culture that rejects a detailed, systematic, and analytical approach
to reasoning issues through to their logical conclusions.
For those so persuaded, attempting to understand truth is nonsense
because there is no universal truth to understand.
Truth is relevant. It
varies from place to place, from person to person, and from time to time. This
dumbed down approach to understanding issues has sadly crept into western
Christianity. In many sectors
of that which we call church today Biblical truth is a misnomer.
There is no fixed Biblical truth by which we must live.
The Bible is a book that is meant to inspire us, not to educate us.
I call this mentality inspired ignorance.
If we are to give a clear
and precise explanation for why we believe as 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
admonishes, we must understand what we believe.
If we are to be competent to instruct others as Romans 15:14 (NIV)
encourages, we must understand what we instruct.
The ultimate conclusion to "keep it simple, stupid"
prevents us from understanding our beliefs sufficiently enough to
competently explain them. The
result is that the truth Jesus commands us to teach (Mathew 28:19 - 20)
doesn't get taught. If the
truth doesn't get taught, people don't hear it.
If people don't hear the truth, they can't call on the name of the
Lord (Romans 10:14).
When God chose him to be the founding father of Old Testament
Jewish Law he was a well educated man.
Consider the Apostle Paul. God
chose him to be the founding father of Christian theology.
He defined Christian teaching more than anyone else, and that
includes Jesus. Paul was well
educated in Christian doctrine, Jewish tradition, and Greek philosophy.
Read Paul's letter to the Romans.
He systematically details Biblical truths.
The sad fact is that "keep it simple, stupid" prohibits
many of us from reading and studying the truths Paul teaches in Romans.
It leaves us with a dumbed down, inspired but ignorant, Christian
I don't believe all
Christians need a PhD in Christian theology.
I do believe that there must be some among us who are sufficiently
educated in the Word of God that we can respect and learn from.
If we're ever going to be able to explain why we believe as we do
we must give ourselves to the instruction of God's Word.
Understanding Biblical truth must be primary in our lives.
I also agree with Paul when he wrote, "Stop thinking like
children. In regard to evil be
infants, but in your thinking be adults (1 Corinthians 14:20 NIV)."
I can't say it any clearer than that.
We can certainly make
complicated Biblical issues easier to understand, but when we take
"keep it simple, stupid" to its logical conclusion; the simple
minded will eventually become stupid.
Sherry, in the above
story, claimed to love Bob, but her failure to take the time to understand
the things he said tells a different story.
In like fashion, if we tell Jesus we love Him as we raise our hands
in worship and then ignore much of what He has spoken to us in the Bible,
our actions deny our words of love. If
we love Jesus, we will sit at His feet and hang onto every last word He
has penned between the covers of what we call God's Word, the Bible.
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