While the title is a bit facetious the subject was first addresses on national TV by Fox anchor Bill O’Reilly and his guest commentator John Stossel.
Who would believe that a visit to Fox news would find O’Reilley and Stossel actively debating a recent study by psychologist Miron Zuckerman of the University of Rochester. In fact Zuckerman only combed through some 63 earlier studies, none which were his, and came to a conclusion, however spurious it may be, that those with higher IQs are more likely to be non-religious.
Zuckerman was careful to point out that the study does not mean religious people are dumb, but only that people with higher IQs are more likely to trust in their own intelligence rather than place their trust in God.
At the least it was amusing to see O’Reilly and Stossel bantering and joking about which of them was smarter than the other. O’Reilly said he was a believer, but not very religious. He exclaimed that while he went to Mass mostly every week he would not be found on a street corner carrying a sign. The indirect slam against street preachers was unwarranted considering that today getting by with a little weekly dose of religion, is considered part and parcel to the great apostasy taking place in the U.S.
O’Reilly and Stossel have proven that while some theologians may be good at analyzing the news, most newsmen make very poor theologians.
If O’Reilly knew his Bible he would have refrained from the insult to the seemingly lowest kind of servant. In God’s spiritual economics the street preacher is on a higher plane than doctors of divinity who have abandoned the proclamation of the gospel for a modern pitch on religion. Bill has openly stated that he didn’t use the bible to establish the premise of his soon to be released ‘Killing Jesus’ so at least he is being consistent.
All of Christianity is sure to be casting a watchful eye to the release of Bill’s latest excursion into the life and death of Christ, set to be released in September of 2013. For most believers, not referring to the bible’s impeccable history to write his book is already a strike against him.
For those whose faith in God takes them to the study of God’s word, this comes as no new revelation. The idea of man trusting his own wit is fairly addressed in scripture from every aspect and angle. Doctrinally and prophetically the matter is both explained and its prophetic implications are fully covered. Starting with a little known passage, Jesus declared that most believers would be a bit behind the more worldly in – worldly knowledge.
When addressing the use of money and stewardship Christ appendaged his words with this.
“…for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Lk 16: 8b)
For the purpose of this article it must be said that nothing said here includes anything about any religion except biblically based Christianity. It would take a rather high spiritual IQ to comprehend, but Christ did not enter our time and space to give us a new religion. He came to offer salvation as a substitutionary lamb, sacrificed to cover our sins. Thus, Christ is the way of salvation, not the initiator of a new religion.
We produced religion around his finished work, but he did not require us to do that. In fact the constructs we have overlaid upon the simple gospel are sometimes the reason people miss its import and power.
The Shortest Distance between Two Points - Is not the Path We’ve Chosen
Explaining the vast difference between knowledge and wisdom has been one of the sub-plots of my life.
The short version is simply, that the accumulation of facts and figures is knowledge, but the ability to use what is known, however great or small, in a practical way, is what is known as wisdom. The dirt farmer who ekes out a living has a good domestic life and lives as happily as he can, is to be considered wise. The Ph.D. who knows a lot, is divorced a few times, visits his therapist once a week and might be found on the O’Reilly show commenting about the IQ’s of the religious may not be very wise at all.
Christ’s requirement to enter the kingdom of God doesn’t discriminate against a person’s IQ. In fact he said it is, ‘childlikeness’ not a prideful sense of one’s own intelligence that is the primary prerequisite to entering the kingdom.
“And said, Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 18: 3)
Being like a child has to do with trust, not intelligence. It is quite clear that you can be a dumbbell or a brilliant scientist, but without childlike faith you will not be entering the kingdom. God welcomes both the academically challenged and the genius, but he does not elevate or lower either because of their level of mental acuity.
Scientists have generally closed a door that tends to hamper their discoveries. They see the world as permanent and as a result they only deal with the book of how – empirically derived knowledge. Christians are warned that this world is temporary and while they allow for, and fully enjoy the book of how, they also fully trust the book of why – the bible.
Man gets over exuberant in his pursuit of many things and leaves the revelation of God behind and that always goes wrong. In religion it produces Elmer Gantry type preachers, Jim Jones like cult leaders and a few bad Popes. In science it produces bloodletting, phrenology and big pharma that has at times recklessly taken many lives.
Combining revelation and empirical search has produced the greatest discoveries in history. Science and faith are not mutually exclusive except for purposes of politics and the ulterior motives of secularisms prophets and defenders.
The faithful cannot be satisfied with a few moon rocks since they have a far greater promise on which to stand. “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” (Mt 5: 5)
In the meantime, at least when faith is present as science makes a new discovery – the faithful know who to thank!
Homeostasis and Epistemology - At War in this World
The general body of knowledge in a secular world is bound to exclude spiritual things. It has already been addressed in Christ’s proclamation of Luke 16: 8b, where quite clearly Jesus limited the knowledge of the world to its own time. (Generation) What happens to man’s knowledge when Christ returns? Will it be useful, will it be needed?
The quest for knowledge, philosophically or empirically derived will not go on forever when an omniscient God takes up residence with man. The one with all knowledge will be here to fill in the spaces.
The promise made by the great prophet Isaiah, who speaking under the power of God’s Holy Spirit, was that anyone who needed to know something in the days of Christ’s entering our history again would be instantly answered. We will not need billions of dollars and an army of scientist to research for decades. To wit:
“And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” (Isa 65: 24)
There is no end to knowledge, but there is an end to time as we know it. That is where the battle rages between homeostasis (The effect of time on man) and epistemology (The body of knowledge in total,) it is time that wins the battle, according to scriptures. Man will ever be seeking knowledge, but the truth, according to prophecy, will be missed at every turn.
The apostle Paul informed his young disciple Timothy of this fact when he declared that men would search but never arrive at the much sought after conclusion of their search.
“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2Tim 3: 7)
Believers are not part of the war between earthly knowledge and the effects of time. They have in a single stroke been transferred out of the fray by an experience called being ‘born again.’ The knowledge of truth has been summarily dumped on them in a single moment of time in what is known as revelation. It is part of a transactional event where they give up their sins and God gives them his Holy Spirit. Call it conversion, being born again or getting religion, when it is real, it ends the warfare, the strife and confusion. The truth is found – what is that truth? Observe very carefully.
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (Jn 14: 6)
Where are the Scientists in the Millennial Kingdom?
Let’s start with a reasonable disclaimer before entering the description of the kingdom repeatedly promised by scripture to arrive with the return of Christ. Science is not intrinsically bad, it has untold benefits for mankind and it will until the return of the Lord.
It is human pride that spoils science. Man discovers a few of the elements and facts of God’s creation, but forgets, or in most cases, simply refuses to acknowledge God. Rather, the new found knowledge builds their own ego, reputation, grant and funding powers and general prestige among their peers and the public. Little wonder the godless of this world are referred to as the children of pride. (Job 41 34) Unfortunately the father of the children of pride just happens to be the god of this world, otherwise known as Satan.
We are reminded that those touting the importance of a high IQ are the same people who don’t even acknowledge that Satan exists. Since he is the one guiding their secular world in total (Lk 4: 5, 6) just how smart is that. When you are laboring under a worldwide pervasive deception under the ‘father of lies’ (Jn 8: 44) a high IQ doesn’t count for much of anything.
The everything from nothing evolutionists and the Gene Rodenberry crowd that fantasizes ‘warp speed’ to overcome the mind boggling distances in space may think they are brilliant, but it is more the case of their being rocketed on their way by pride and secularism’s best rant, with little chance of a return trip without a major catharsis to turn them around. Momentum is powerful, but it is hardly wisdom.
Here is a bit of wisdom. This conclusion is entirely accurate and scripturally sound although it is unlikely to be believed by today’s high IQs and prideful secularists. Scientists are both welcome in the millennial kingdom and beyond and they will be as honored and welcomed there – but their profession will not be needed, at all!
When the Peak of Man’s Knowledge Meets the Peak of God’s Patients
The prophet Daniel said at the time Antichrist begins his rule just prior to the return of Christ knowledge would be increased. (Da 12: 4)
It is not a mere chance meeting, but it is partly the new-found knowledge of man that capitulates to aid the rise in evil and the entrance of the anti-Christ. The same spiritually dumbed down secularists who scoff at the existence of the Devil will by no means recognize that they are being ruled by the Devil in the flesh. A perfect secularist, he (Antichrist) will affirm every godless belief of man in the last days of history as we know it, and will eventually make every religion totally illegal for a period of three and one half years. (2Th 2: 4)
IQs will win the day, for a moment in time, but the victory is short lived. Moments after the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, everyone will instantly know that most of what they believed was pure bunk. Origins, morality, false, formal and redeemer-less religion, and of course, secularism will all be seen for exactly what they are - the pride of man.
Professions and Disciplines - Not to be found in the Millennial Era
This is by no means an exhaustive list because the rule of Christ over this world, before eternity begins, is preceded with the removal of Satan, the antichrist and the false prophet. Not only will men not be tempted, but the product of yielding to temptation will also be non-existent. Here is a short list of some of the professions and problems that will not be found during that time.
Doctors and ambulances, hospitals, the search for cures
Police, fire and first responders
Universities and schools of higher learning, research facilities and labs
Psychiatrists, therapists, counselors for trauma and loss and mental institutions
Nursing homes, mortuaries and funeral parlors
The forgoing list is not derived from mere speculation and extravagant biblical exegesis, but they are very specific and detailed promises made by the mouth of the Living God. Christ and every prophet have clearly stated that God sends his only begotten Son back to rule the earth he created. Christ is not the ruler of some fifth dimensional pie in the sky paradise where spirits float about on clouds with harps.
As a footnote I can say that I personally have always been amazed that those who can explain Einstein’s, ‘mass-energy equivalence’ equations, cannot see the simple math it takes to figure the odds.
While we don’t expect people to be converted by these odds, they are a testimony against the pride of man. If every Christian in the world is wrong about the salvation offered by Christ, they can still face death and will ultimately lose nothing. If the unbelievers are wrong - they can only lose everything. These odds say, it is far better to remain dumb, than to go to hell - with a high IQ!
It is for certain that thousands of former scientists, policemen, researchers’ et al will be welcome in the coming kingdom, even a few news anchors like O’Reilly and Stossel, but they like everyone else, must first come to terms with this most basic of all biblical declarations.
“He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1: 11- 13)