I am talking about normal Christians who do have a working mind. It is a sin for them not to use it. Sure, some folks might be smarter or brighter than others – maybe even have higher IQs and the like. But that is still no excuse. Some Christians will just have to work harder at this and put more effort into it. This is true of all areas of life. In Christ we are to grow and mature in all spheres.
The English humourist P. G. Wodehouse once said: “Some minds are like soup in a poor restaurant—better left unstirred.” On a more serious note, the renowned English Christian John Stott said this: “Knowledge is indispensable to Christian life and service. If we do not use the mind that God has given us, we condemn ourselves to spiritual superficiality and cut ourselves off from many of the riches of God’s grace.”
Yet my title may concern some folks. ‘Wow, did he just say it is a sin not to think? Yes I did. And in this case I am writing to a Christian audience. ‘So where do you get that in the Bible?’ some might ask. Hey, easy as. You might recall that someone helped us greatly in this regard.
A lawyer came to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” Wow, the greatest commandment. So it is a very good thing indeed that Jesus answered him. He said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:34-40; also found in Mark 12:28-34 and Luke 10:25-8 – all appealing to Deuteronomy 6:4-9).
So there you have it: the greatest person who ever lived is asked what is the greatest commandment. Every single one of us should stand up and take notice. Loving God with the totality of our being is the answer. And that includes using the mind that God gave us.
It is with the mind of course that we think, as well as reason, question, evaluate, discern, judge, test, reflect, remember, and ascertain. Clearly, if we refuse to think and if we refuse to use our minds, then we have just violated the greatest commandment there is. And that my friends is sin.
Why this article?
I have written often about this issue before, so why bring it up again? Well, often my circumstance can dictate what I write about. And often what I go through can come in waves or clusters. For example, if I write a piece on dealing with hatred and persecution, it might be because I just received a whole bunch of ugly and vile comments or hateful emails in the space of a day or two.
In this case I came upon 6 or 7 rather extreme cases of Christians who clearly seem not to be able to think. Some really outrageous and stupid remarks or comments all came my way in a very short period of time, so I felt the need to once again write on this topic. As I said on the social media the other day:
One of the great sins I see today in the Christian church is the blatant refusal of far too many believers to obey the greatest command of Christ: to ‘love God with all our minds…’ The number of utterly stupid, uninformed, ignorant and just plain idiotic comments I see almost daily on my website and on the social media does my head in. It makes me want to weep. I want to ask God for his forgiveness for the way we misrepresent him and drag his name in the mud with our brainless and reckless remarks and beliefs. Lord, forgive us! Please Lord, let your people think!
As to the recent batch of comments that came my way, I best not go into much detail about them. However, it can be said that some of these were so appallingly bad, so moronic, and so off base, that you really have to wonder what some believers have lodged between their two ears. I cringe when I see some of these remarks. How can some believers be so clueless and so brainless?
Worse yet, some of these Christians actually seem to delight in and are proud of their ignorance and foolishness and lack of understanding. One of these folks said to me, “Also i like to keep it simple”. That much was clear. But there is a big difference between being simple and being simplistic.