Several years ago, I had another blog. It was a great deal less focused than this one — mostly because it started as a way to showcase my writing and digital art.
Gradually, I found myself blogging more and more about the Lord. In one post, I quoted a friend of ours who said Christians need to be less concerned about what we think and more concerned about what God’s Word says. Of course he meant that we too often impose our ideas on a passage of Scripture rather than expecting Scripture to shape our ideas. But I quoted him as saying something like we think too much.
One of my readers latched on to that quote and wrenched it out of context. She understood it as putting forth the idea that Christians shouldn’t think, but instead should blindly follow religious teachers.
Over subsequent months I read her blog. I grieved as I watched her transition from an evangelical homeschooling mom to an atheist placing her children in public school while she pursued a career. Throughout her posts, she insisted that seriously thinking about Christianity had led her away from it.
I kind of wonder, as I reflect on her rejection of Christianity, what exactly informed her thinking. How did she arrive at her conclusion that God doesn’t exist? She most likely believed that she came to her conclusion through her own logic, but even her own logic had to be influenced by something external to herself.
None of us should flatter ourselves that we think truly original thoughts, ladies. Our parents, teachers and friends all shape how we view the world. Additionally, the things we read and the media we consume influence our perceptions. We dare not presume that we can discern truth in and of ourselves.
The truth is that we Christians have a responsibility to think, and think critically. When a popular evangelical teacher, a blogger or even our own pastor says something, we must evaluate what we hear (Acts 17:11). We must avoid taking everything at face value, lest we be destabilized (Ephesians 4:11-15). The entire book of Proverbs insists on the priority of gaining wisdom, understanding and knowledge.
Notice that the Scriptures I’ve cited all speak of critical thinking that has its basis in God’s Word. The blogger who turned away from Christianity and embraced atheism would probably use that fact as evidence that Christians don’t think for ourselves. I would counter that she hasn’t really thought for herself either. Instead, she’s chosen to adopt an ideology that exalts human reasoning over God’s unparalleled wisdom.
The crux of the matter lies in human pride.
No matter how erudite we imagine ourselves to be, we should remember that our minds could never compare to the infinite mind of the One Who created the universe! What absolute arrogance to believe that Christians follow a simplistic religion that calls us to check our brains at the baptismal fount. Instead of dismissing Christianity as a mark of ignorance, why not recognize that God’s thoughts are so much beyond our own.
6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call upon him while he is near;
7 let the wicked forsake his way,
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him,
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~~Isaiah 55:6-9 (ESV)
The Lord in no way wants us to abandon our ability to reason. But He does call us to reason from His Word. He demands that we repent of our pride by informing our thoughts with the revelation that He gave us through Scripture.
Over the next few weeks I plan to write more articles on thinking. Not daily; my schedule for resting my back won’t allow for doing so. But I definitely believe we need to understand what the Bible says about how we use (and misuse) our minds if we want to be discerning women.