It’s happened a number of times in the past few months. Maybe, it’s happened to you. Since I travel a lot, I use my DVR a lot. And since I use my DVR a lot, I find myself constantly the victim (not shifting blame here — it’s totally my fault) of commercials and weather forecasts from days gone by. I can’t count the times I’ve looked at Terri and said, “Why are there school delays tomorrow? There’s no snow.” I thought it incredibly odd that networks were still running ads for Easter sales weeks after Easter Sunday. Oh, never mind, my bad. I’m drawn into a false narrative for a moment thinking things that aren’t even true. Listen, a recorded newscast or an outdated Jos. A. Bank sale are one thing, but when it comes to the realities of life, that could be dangerous.
For example, bad intelligence leads to bad government, examples of government officials literally throwing away the rule of law everywhere we look. We see the governors and attorneys general refusing to defend enacted laws, and even parts of their state’s constitutions, based on their own personal viewpoints. Judges making legal pronouncements and interpretations which clearly have no basis in the constitution, but based on their own personal beliefs and philosophy. In America’s government, this kind of relativism has no place. The American legal tradition rests on the concept that there exists an established, absolute order. That authority is the Constitution. Every statute enacted by legislative bodies conformed to the principles contained in the Constitution. Any law or rule which does not is considered unconstitutional, and is thrown out as illegal. To understand the foundation of the American system, it is necessary to understand its history, its foundation, if you will. It is based on the belief that there exists such a thing as absolutes. Its origin is based on Christian Theism, so this is where we must look for our understanding. In the Christian faith, there is a belief in God who is the ultimate source of all truth. As such, the Bible is looked to as an absolute authority to be followed by humanity. Operating on bad intelligence here is dangerous to everyone.
Bad Intelligence leads to a bad outlook on life. Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.” Why is that, you ask? Why do the wicked flee when no one is pursuing? The proverb references Leviticus 26, where the Lord tells the Israelites what will happen when (when — not if) they don’t obey His commandments. He says: “I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing, they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall. They will therefore stumble over each other as if running from the sword, although no one is pursuing.”
What we see here is what happens when you live in a way God doesn’t want you to live. When we do something that we know is outside of God’s will, it chases us. Like Dickens’s Scrooge, the knowledge of our own sin can produce ghosts or shadows that haunt us, and we flee, even when no one is pursuing. When we operate on a bad worldview, we get into trouble. We want to Google it before we want to pray about it. And while there’s nothing wrong with using our brains to seek information, we’ll have problems if we don’t include God. When we seek God’s counsel in prayer with Him, and then do what He says to do, we can live life with enthusiasm and great joy.
Bad intelligence leads to a bad future. Eric Metaxas writes, “What’s the surest way to theological, spiritual and moral chaos? Ignoring the Bible, of course.” John Stott put it this way: “Many people are rejecting our gospel today, not because they perceive it to be false, but because they perceive it to be trivial. People are looking for an integrated worldview which makes sense of all their experience. We learn from Paul that we cannot preach the gospel of Jesus without the doctrine of God, or the cross without the creation, or salvation without judgment. Today’s world needs a bigger gospel, the full gospel of Scripture, what Paul later was to call ‘the whole purpose of God’.” Truth is, everyone has a worldview. They may not know that they do, but they do nonetheless. Everyone looks at the world from a particular point of view or vantage point. Often it is caught, not taught. Someone born in India is likely to be informed by an Eastern worldview, Hinduism. Someone born in Pakistan is likely to be informed by an Islamic worldview. In the West, until recently, most folks would have had at least a vaguely Christian worldview that they were operating out of. Today, however, most would have a secular humanist worldview, or a New Age worldview, and so on. But despite the fact that most folks catch their worldview like they do German measles — quite by accident, they still have one. Don’t base your future on bad intelligence.
Tim Throckmorton is the former executive pastor for Plymouth Heights Church of the Nazarene in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, and Portsmouth First Church of the Nazarene. He is currently senior pastor at Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio.