[forthright] Come, Let Us Reason Together

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2007 12:39:32 -0500
Forthright Magazine
http://www.forthright.net
Straight to the Cross


COLUMN: Reality Check

Come, Let Us Reason Together
by Stan Mitchell

"All propaganda has to be popular and has to adapt
its spiritual level to the perception of the least
intelligent of those for whom it intends to direct
itself" (Adolph Hitler, Mein Kamph).

The secret to propaganda, in other words, is to
bring all of society down to the level of the
lowest common denominator. It must appeal to the
basest prejudices, the shallowest thinking.
Hitler's propaganda was a mix of fabrications and
half-truths. It took Europe's most organized and
advanced civilization and dumbed it down till it
was the dictator's dupe.

What could be worse than a dictator who imposes
thought control on his people?

Here is a possibility. What about a society that
imposes limitations on itself, a sort of ignorance
by peer pressure?

It is said that the early Christians out-thought
their contemporaries. Christian leaders didn't
say: "Be shallow, unthinking, gullible dummies."
They said: "Test all things. Hold on to the good"
(1 Thessalonians 5:21).

They didn't say, unscrew your heads when you enter
worship. God doesn't want you to understand his
will, he just wants you to love him with all of
your heart. Instead, Jesus told them to "love the
Lord with all your heart, soul, ... and mind"
(Mark 12:30). The Bible does not glory in
ignorance.

They didn't say: "That song's words are too
difficult. We want songs we can understand," or "I
loved your sermon, it was so simple." They said:
"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord" (2
Peter 3:18).

Bertrand Russell, the skeptic, once sneered: "Most
Christians would rather die than think ... in
fact, most do."

There is no contradiction between knowing God's
will and loving him; those who love him will know
his will! It's not as if knowledge is cold and
indifferent, while feelings are warm and loving!
Ignorance of God's word is the danger. Learning
half-truths and reinforcing prejudged conclusions
of scripture, that is the danger in the church!

The church is not in the business of leveling our
understanding and service down to that of the
average twelve-year-old. It's in the business of
raising all of us to God's level!

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