Weekly Thought – November 11, 2014
Fred often spoke about the need for intellectual integrity in Christian leadership. He pointed out the perplexing problems which lie as potential traps. Too often we develop a head for God, but not a heart. Pride in knowing the “God of the Universe” impairs our humility. “Thinking we’re not accountable to the rest of humanity because God, by His grace, has chosen to bless us is the surest way to spoil all He’s done.” This week the focus will be on more of Fred’s thoughts about intellectual integrity.
As we pray about our plans for the Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute in the coming years, we ask for your prayer support, your encouragement, and your financial gifts. Thanks to so many who send emails, call, and even write with pen and paper! Please join us in praying for our future BWFLI locations and team members.
What’s Your IQ?
In a conversation with a former pastor, he asked a very telling question, “Smith, I respect your intelligence. How in the world can you still believe in the authority of Scripture?” I knew he would argue with a rational defense, so I simply said, “There was a time when I thought about taking your position because there was so much in the Bible I found distasteful. I realized it was this distaste, not disbelief, that prompted me. I didn’t want to believe the parts of Scripture that commanded me to act. I didn’t want to lose control of my life and make obedience more important than knowledge.”
I think a lot about the level of integrity in the Christian leadership community. Sadly, the integrity quotient is not commensurate with their intelligence quotient.
Think about people who point to Christ as a “perfect example.” They are badly overengineering the product. I have a high-powered German sports car, and if I could find a highway with no speed limit, my car would be perfect for it. It cruises at 100mph. When I’m forced to hold it to 55mph, it doesn’t operate right. I have spent a lot of money for wasted precision.
Similarly, if God meant Christ to be simply a perfect example, the Son was way overengineered. Any human being who is better than I am is a good enough example for me. I already have Mother Theresa, what do I need with a perfect example? I’d be much better off becoming the disciple of someone only 15 percent better than I am than getting depressed by a perfect man. If Christ is only an example, nobody needs him; but if He’s a sacrifice, everyone does.
One other observation: There is a theological problem in assuming because we are all creatures of God, we are children of God. I believe we are all created, and only through the new birth, we become children (sons and daughters). If we all start out as sons, there is no reason for the new birth. And without that, there is no need for Christ to have come.
This week think carefully about: 1) Who is Jesus to me? 2) How am I demonstrating intellectual integrity? 3) What do I think about the difference between creature and child?
Words of Wisdom: “If Christ is an example, nobody needs Him; if He is a sacrifice, then everybody does.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Now the Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We saw his glory– the glory of the one and only full of grace and truth, who came from the Father.” (John 1:14 NET Bible)