Head-Knowledge. I hate that word. For a long tim…

Head-Knowledge.

I hate that word. For a long time now I have been hearing that word used. It isn’t used to define the word “understanding.” It isn’t used to point out an aspect of Christianity that is important to have. That word (and its companions) is used to cheapen the gospel itself. The use of this word draws a line between Bible reading and study/understanding history/learning the words of Jesus/parables/memorizing a passage of Scripture and the so-called “simple” things like “love,” “practical application,” “the spirit of God,” and walking by it. Why has this happened?

I know that there is a genuine concern about people who learn a lot to become conceited or arrogant. I imagine we have met someone in our life that was like that. But why isn’t arrogance and pride our common foe? Why instead do we slander doctrine and truth to build our case for humility and simplicity? Why not confront haughtiness and embrace learning instead?

I hear this word used from our pulpits, from our fellowship coordinator armchairs and read it in our writings. But I find it strange that our Lord and his companions didn’t speak of this word as evil. Jesus so often was concerned with the motive of the man’s heart. However, he never set on one side the knowledge and on the other the application of that knowledge. It was all the same. They were united like faith and works, breath and life. There is no teaching of Jesus that is not practical. There is no proverb or prophecy that should not shape our life. There is no description or genealogy that should not give us vision and breed excitement. God does not separate doctrine and practice, things important amongst things trivial. Why do those who desire to follow that same God make that make a distinction for Him?

I think we understand by now the importance of love and the dangers of its absence. So does there remain a fear that if we learn more we will lose our love? As we know Paul speaks about the situation when knowledge without love “puffs up.” But then Peter tells us that we must add to our “moral excellence, knowledge.” Jesus told the religious leaders to not get caught up in dividing things into the minutest detail and yet forgetting the weightier matters of the law such as justice, mercy and the love of God. But then he says that one should do the major things while not neglecting the others. I have heard sermon after sermon on the new way to worship God – in spirit and in truth – and have been instructed time and time again to not neglect the spirit that God has placed inside of me while I have never heard one single sermon on the “worship God in truth” part of that same statement.

What are we afraid of? Becoming haughty like our predecessors and former colleagues? There may be good reason to be aware of our history and be on our guard, but let us be on guard against arrogance, pride, haughtiness, egotism, conceit and the like while yearning for understanding, delighting in doctrine, wishing for wisdom, and treasuring truth.

It is the love of the truth that will separate those saved and those not. Hopefully we can get this knowledge in our heads.

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