The Problem With Ignorance
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." -Hosea 4:6
"For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding" -Proverbs 2:6
Kevin Navarro says in his book, The Complete Worship Leader, "The more we know of God, the more astonished we are with his love. The problem with modern Christianity is not familiarity with God but ignorance, unresponsiveness, and apathy." I believe that this is a major reason for the crisis of the American Church and her battle for relevance in a postmodern culture. Many, many people are turning away from the Church out of hurt, anger, or reasoning. Many say that Christians are hypocrites and do not practice what they believe. Many say that their problem with Christianity is Christians. Mahatma Gandhi is famously quoted as saying, "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Church congregations all over America are struggling to grasp onto cultural relevance with their fancy new programs, their edgy music, their non-traditional buildings, their inoffensive sermons, and their hipster pastors.
But how many congregations do we see seeking relevance through the proclamation of truth?
Not nearly enough. Many churches in America have fallen into idolatry, worshiping all the aforementioned grasps at relevance, or even worshiping relevance itself in an attempt to keep people in their buildings. You see, this is really a paradox. These grasps at relevance actually show these churches to be something other than what they should be. The Church, by trying to be relevant, makes herself out to be a gathering of hypocrites and therefore loses her relevance. This is idolatrous. If the Church would pursue both truth and God's presence above relevance, then relevance would inevitably come. To quote C. S. Louis, "Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither."
So why aren't more congregations pursuing truth and the presence of God? For the answer, let us look to Kevin Navarro again: "The primary reason those who claim to be born again fall into idolatry is ignorance of the written Word of God. There is an illiteracy today unchallenged in our Christian churches." To simplify, the Church doesn't know the bible! How abominable! We are God's temple, called to be his salt and light in the world. How are supposed to do that if we do not even know what God says? How are we supposed to do that with oversimplified sermons? How are we supposed to do that with a focus on a specific musical style or a specific kind of building? How are we supposed to do that with anything apart from knowing God's Word?
Proverbs 2:6 says that the Lord is the one who gives wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, yet many attempt to go into the world and witness about Christ without spending time with him. This is ineffective and ruins Christ's reputation. Seek after his knowledge and wisdom. James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." God will certainly bless you with knowledge of himself and Godly wisdom if you are willing to pursue it. Hearts will not be won over by anything less than Truth. Do not be "destroyed by lack of knowledge," but strive to learn about God. Sure, His Holy Spirit will give us words to say where we do not have them, but we cannot be expected to be effective in this world withoutknowing Him deeply.
So, brothers and sisters, until that glorious day when we shall "know fully, even as [we] have been fully known," (1 Corinthians 13:12) seek to pursue knowledge of God's Word, and knowledge of God's presence. It is only by this that we will be relevant in a world that has been hurt by the Church.