April 19, 2003
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth
not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth. II Timothy 2:15
Integrity Over Intellect
By Jack Northart
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, that is to say, it is "God-Breathed" (II Timothy 3:16). Far too many people in the world believe that it is not God's Word. They believe that it is another fine piece of literature among all of the other fine pieces of literature. They believe that it cannot be God's Word because it has "so many" contradictions in it. Or that it was written by mere mortal men, therefore, it will have errors and omissions of the true facts, and various writer's opinions. These people who believe this have the right to believe this if they want to. The question is not whether they have the right to believe, the question is: are they right? The answer to that is no, if the Word of God is true when it gives the testimony of itself.
II Peter 1:20, 21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [Gr. idios, meaning one's own] interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
These holy men of God were holy because they simply believed what God said to them, and they wrote down what God instructed them to write. God was the divine Author, they were the writers.
So if God is the author of His Word, and God is perfect, then His Word must of necessity be perfect too. So why are there apparent contradictions in it? (See The Grapevine Issue 2, 16). As the translations have made their way down through the centuries, and languages of the world have changed, there is a need to get back to those original scriptures as God spoke it into being so long ago, to get to that perfect Word of God. Since it is perfect, then there cannot be any contradictions in it. It has to fit. And it is all God's Word or none of it is God's Word.
The Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary defines integrity as: "1. Uprightness of character; probity; honesty. 2. Unimpaired state; soundness. 3. Undivided or unbroken state; completeness." I would say that when it comes to the integrity of God's Word, that all of those definitions would fit. God's Word is reliable. This is the integrity of God's Word. You can stake your life on it. It is sound and whole.
Intellect, on the other hand, is defined in the same dictionary as: "The sum of the mental powers by which knowledge is acquired, retained, and extended, as distinguished from the senses; the understanding; the intelligence." Intellectual people have received a very great social status in our day and time, as they have throughout history. They have been given the best seats in the houses of higher learning. They are regarded as gods among many, including themselves in some cases. They are the best at argument and debate of almost any subject. It is people of great intellect that are looked upon, many times, when answers are sought to problems of the moral, financial, social and even spiritual sort. There is nothing wrong with being intelligent. But when the intellect is lauded above the integrity of God's Word, calamity will result.
Truth is unchanging. God's Word is truth. When anyone with a higher intellectual mind is devoid of the truth of God's Word, that mind will be deceived. And the higher the intellect, the greater the deception.
I Corinthians 3: 18-20
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
God gave every person freedom of will. Therefore, each man is responsible both morally and spiritually for his own conduct. To the extent that a person decides to discipline himself according to the ways of the world, the farther he will remove himself from the ways of God. But the more a person decides to discipline himself to the ways of God and His Word, the more his life will take on glory and virtue.
II Peter 1:3
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
Moral progress generally fails to keep up with material and intellectual progress. Therefore, man is usually not morally good enough for the task to which he is called because of his lack of the true knowledge of the Word of God, or because of his lack of desire to believe God's Word. His impulse is to gravitate toward those of higher intellect in this world, and neglect God, Who is the Highest Intellect of all.
I Corinthians 1: 25-29
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
As Harry S. Truman once said, "Every trouble that humanity is heir to is set out in the Bible. And the remedy is there too, if you know where to find it." I believe it's time to face the truth about truth. The integrity of God's Word must always be our foundation for life and living. Our obligation as Christians is to choose integrity over intellect.
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