Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Corinthians 8 - Love vs. Knowledge

Paul says, knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.

At church today, I asked several people what they thought Paul meant. The consensus seemed to be that human knowledge is too easily linked with pride. Pride towards God: “I know what to do, Lord, I don’t need your help,” as our brother Marcel paraphrased. And pride towards our fellow man: “I know more than you do, shut up and listen.” It was pointed out that if “knowledge is power” then the love of knowledge can be a respectable fa├žade for the love of power, a demonic stronghold if ever there was one.

Like all created things, knowledge is good. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” says  one translation of the Proverb. Paul often urges us to grow in the knowledge of the Lord. Neither Paul nor the Spirit are anti-knowledge. They just hate falsehood and pride. And the opposite of pride, is love.

Our brother Jeff pointed out the contrast between puffed-up knowledge and building-up love. Puffed up knowledge tears down relationship; only love can build it up again. Love of knowledge is the disease, love is the antidote.

Perhaps a few souls have been intellectually argued into the Kingdom. But they are a handful of sand compared to the mighty ocean beach of souls whose who have willingly pulled their intellectual barricades aside from within in surrender, to allow love its gentle, triumphant entry.

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