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Intellectualism vs. True Religion. Your thoughts?

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Active
I have been pondering this subject and I would be interested in your thoughts. I don't have a lot of scriptures prepared but may have more later.

What are your thoughts on intellectualism as it relates to religion? We are told to search the scriptures for answers. There is much theological debate which isn't necessarily bad, but it is bad if we are simply living a "mental" religion.

Thoughts?
 
Loyal
I have been pondering this subject and I would be interested in your thoughts. I don't have a lot of scriptures prepared but may have more later.

What are your thoughts on intellectualism as it relates to religion? We are told to search the scriptures for answers. There is much theological debate which isn't necessarily bad, but it is bad if we are simply living a "mental" religion.

Thoughts?
As for myself, I hate the word 'religion' as applied to faith in Jesus the Savior....To me religion is a morass of do's and don'ts, mores, and superstitions, myths and outright lies...Fed by death.
I understand what you mean though. So lets look at our intellect first...The Word says that the intellect is not capable of understanding the things of the spirit.
Romans 8:4-6 (CJB)
4 so that the just requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us who do not run our lives according to what our old nature wants but according to what the Spirit wants. 5 For those who identify with their old nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 Having one’s mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one’s mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom.
1 Corinthians 2:13-15 (CJB)
13 These are the things we are talking about when we avoid the manner of speaking that human wisdom would dictate and instead use a manner of speaking taught by the Spirit, by which we explain things of the Spirit to people who have the Spirit. 14 Now the natural man does not receive the things from the Spirit of God — to him they are nonsense! Moreover, he is unable to grasp them, because they are evaluated through the Spirit. 15 But the person who has the Spirit can evaluate everything, while no one is in a position to evaluate him.

So then, when we try to learn the Word, or walk with God using our own intellect, we get really tangled up, and get lost. Possibly forever.....

Well, I'll stop there and let you digest that....
 
Loyal
What are your thoughts on intellectualism as it relates to religion

you know what the bible says true religion is,

James 1:26-27
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
 
Loyal
The intellect being applied in the christian faith is not bad in itself, for in Cor 12 it say "8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; "

Yet often intellect is at odds with faith in believers, for many have more faith in intellect applied to the word, than they do actual faith in God through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is to be our helper to know more about God. Arguments and division arise over the intellectual dividing of the word of God, but in the first century, it was the Holy Spirit that moved the church forward like a forest fire on a hot dry day. Left to only God's word found in scripture, ppl often are only vaguely better off than the standard jew of Jesus' time on earth.
 
Active
I personally have more problem with the belief that ignorance equates with spirituality. In other words the more ignorant I am about things in the Bible, the less Bible study I have done, then the more the Holy Spirit can just open it all up to me when I get ready to teach or preach. People can be misguided with a little knowledge just as much with a lot of knowledge.

Jesus Christ had a tremendous intellect and used it against the Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites. And that beginning at age 12. The apostle Paul, before he was converted, I believe was very intellectual. But his spiritual condition was driving him away from God. Once converted God did not make him ignorant. God now had him and used the intellect he had in a powerful way.

The greatest danger, I believe, in our intellect is that it concerns knowledge. And knowledge is power. That includes Bible knowledge. This is why God had to give Paul a thorn in the flesh because he did have a great amount of revelation and knowledge about God and the Scriptures. And such knowledge will destroy any one unless God first destroys them through some method. And He knows how to do it with each individual.

So, I believe we should become as knowledgeable about God and the Scriptures as we possibly can, but knowing also that such knowledge must be kept in submission to the Holy Spirit and His leading. The more we know about the Bible and God, the more we can be used by Him. But also, we attract the attention of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

It is interesting that 'knowledge' played a role in the fall of the human race. (Gen. 3:5-6) "...and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise...."

Quantrill
 
Active
I don't see Christianity as a typical religion. It is not intellectualism vs true religion for us. It is intellectualism vs relationship. In Christianity God wants a bride. Wants a child. Wants our hearts. Matt 15:8 These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Granted James 1:27 says 'religion undefiled' before God is x and y, but that is still religion. Intellectualism = religion.

On intellectualism, well it is cart before the horse!! It is defined as knowledge without emotion.

On knowledge, if a subject interests us, we will study all there is to know about it. God has made our minds magnets for information. God has given us minds that are able to absorb a lot of information. So, He is certainly not against any n'th degrees of knowledge. Against any form of research. The more we want to learn the more we will be given. There is no closed book policy with God. Matt 7:7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

God needs us to answer questions of the lost. 1 Pet 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence. Many interpret this verse as just having your testimony ready. I believe it is every defense of Jesus that is needed. He is the hope in you. We need to defend Him / represent Him properly to the lost.
 
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Loyal
I personally have more problem with the belief that ignorance equates with spirituality. In other words the more ignorant I am about things in the Bible, the less Bible study I have done, then the more the Holy Spirit can just open it all up to me when I get ready to teach or preach. People can be misguided with a little knowledge just as much with a lot of knowledge.
Quantrill
I agree with a lot of what you said, but this idea that ignorance equates with spirituality just grates on me. When one person thinks another ignorant, just because he doesnt agree with him on disputable scriptures, well, the one thinking the other ignorant is basing it upon false reasoning, and pride of self. I have never, never, never, never, never, NEVER spoken with any christian who is ignorant. They may have not as much knowledge as another, but that doesnt make them ignorant. I think ppl, especially christians who are called to love one another, should not be thinking this of a brother or sister. Again, they may be less knowledgeable in some aspect, but ignorant? Lets just avoid the unfounded slurs.
 
Active
I agree with a lot of what you said, but this idea that ignorance equates with spirituality just grates on me. When one person thinks another ignorant, just because he doesnt agree with him on disputable scriptures, well, the one thinking the other ignorant is basing it upon false reasoning, and pride of self. I have never, never, never, never, never, NEVER spoken with any christian who is ignorant. They may have not as much knowledge as another, but that doesnt make them ignorant. I think ppl, especially christians who are called to love one another, should not be thinking this of a brother or sister. Again, they may be less knowledgeable in some aspect, but ignorant? Lets just avoid the unfounded slurs.
If I may speak up in Quantrill's defense, I think the point being made was... some just want to focus so much on "following the Spirit" that scripture almost becomes irrelevant, and there is no need (or desire) to study it. I have witnessed this at times, where it is almost a matter of pride how "little I know of the scriptures" but God can still lead me or give me inspiration to share and preach etc.

The problem with this is that in these cases, it is not strange for the "Spirit" to be speaking words that don't line up with the Bible.
 
Active
Oh and by the way... I don't like the word "religion" either... I thought of changing it after I typed the thread title but decided to just leave it. :smile:
 
Loyal
Oh and by the way... I don't like the word "religion" either... I thought of changing it after I typed the thread title but decided to just leave it. :smile:

I know what you mean, but but but according to the bible you just said you dont like orphans and widows :smile: which I know is not true just busting on you , but you see how the world has taken and given a new definition to the word. When the bible gives us a beautiful definition of the word that hardly anyone applies it to
James 1:26-27
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
 
Active
I know what you mean, but but but according to the bible you just said you dont like orphans and widows :smile: which I know is not true just busting on you , but you see how the world has taken and given a new definition to the word. When the bible gives us a beautiful definition of the word that hardly anyone applies it to
James 1:26-27
If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
:smile: Yes - "works" and "obedience" are almost bad words in some circles too. But I am not trying to derail this thread into that hot topic again. :grin::shocked:
 
Active
Quantrill -- wasn't Paul's thorn in the flesh his poor eyesight?! And -- what I've come across is people who feel that Anyone who really believes in God / Bible are ignorant. That when science and Bible conflict -- Science is correct.

And, yes, people who say they are 'following the Spirit' tend to go off on a tangent of some kind. They tend to put Bible / God's Word in second place.

The reason 'we' do need to do Bible studying with a group is that 'we' Can learn from others. We all have our insights that we Should share -- and sometimes those Can be tainted. We tend to have our personal interpretations of what we want Scripture to say depending on what our 'pet' sin is. We want to do Our thing when Scripture says to do something Else. The Holy Spirit uses a variety of ways to teach / guide us.

Satan does NOT want us to be learning more and more about God / Scripture -- So-- he uses all sorts of things to distract us: the world, our own desires , temptations that satan puts in our way. .
 
Active
Quantrill -- wasn't Paul's thorn in the flesh his poor eyesight?! And -- what I've come across is people who feel that Anyone who really believes in God / Bible are ignorant. That when science and Bible conflict -- Science is correct.

And, yes, people who say they are 'following the Spirit' tend to go off on a tangent of some kind. They tend to put Bible / God's Word in second place.

The reason 'we' do need to do Bible studying with a group is that 'we' Can learn from others. We all have our insights that we Should share -- and sometimes those Can be tainted. We tend to have our personal interpretations of what we want Scripture to say depending on what our 'pet' sin is. We want to do Our thing when Scripture says to do something Else. The Holy Spirit uses a variety of ways to teach / guide us.

Satan does NOT want us to be learning more and more about God / Scripture -- So-- he uses all sorts of things to distract us: the world, our own desires , temptations that satan puts in our way. .
I know many believe Paul's thorn was his eyesight. It never really says. I have never thought it was but I won't go to the martyrs stake over it. It was given to humble him and it is hard for me to see how poor eyesight would serve that purpose. But I suppose it could have.

Yes, there are many unbelievers who believe the Christian is ignorant or crazy to believe such things. And of course those in the scientific field are really prone to take that position, and mock our faith as opposed to their evidence. But it is quite amazing that they in turn exercise a considerable amount of faith in their science.

Stranger
 
Active
I agree with a lot of what you said, but this idea that ignorance equates with spirituality just grates on me. When one person thinks another ignorant, just because he doesnt agree with him on disputable scriptures, well, the one thinking the other ignorant is basing it upon false reasoning, and pride of self. I have never, never, never, never, never, NEVER spoken with any christian who is ignorant. They may have not as much knowledge as another, but that doesnt make them ignorant. I think ppl, especially christians who are called to love one another, should not be thinking this of a brother or sister. Again, they may be less knowledgeable in some aspect, but ignorant? Lets just avoid the unfounded slurs.
Well, it grates on me too which is why I said it. You apparently misunderstand what I was saying. Or, I am misunderstanding what you are saying.

Stranger
 
Active
I know what you mean, but but but according to the bible you just said you dont like orphans and widows :smile:
Religion is not a bad word in the bible agreed. James 1:27 is an attack on false religion. Jesus in Matt 23 attacks Pharisees in false Judaism. Moses would not practice such. But even so, there is a difference between true / good religion and Christianity.

The very word religion creates a separation between mankind and God. Religion is the worship of a God or gods. Christianity is not a worship of God. It is a worship of God the Father. Not that worship of God is bad. Judaism was not bad. But we have moved on.
 
Active
Yes there is a danger in pursuing knowledge that a person can know everything about God, yet not know God at all.

But the answer is not to be content in ignorance, the answer is to submit heart soul and strength wholly to the love of God.
 
Active
@KingJ -- Christianity is what God has already done For us by means of the cross. Your comment "Christianity is not a worship of God, but rather worship of God the Father." God IS God the Father.

Judaism -- the Jewish religion -- does not believe that Jesus Christ has come yet. They are still waiting for His coming. They haven't recognized the birth of the promised Messiah. And, yes, that Is 'bad'. Because they / Everyone Does need to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The promised Messiah.

@Hekuran -- well , the love of God, yes, but God in His entirety. His love, justice , holiness. There is but One way into God's holiness -- through the blood of Jesus Christ.
 
Active
The word 'religion' has a root meaning 'to bind oneself' as a Christian, I have bound myself and my future hope to Christ Jesus.
 
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