Words Without Knowledge

"How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?" (Job 19:2) This is Job speaking. Answering his "friends". Really, his accusers: Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar and some young upstart named Elihu. If you read through the book of Job and see where the characters' hearts lay, noting their motive for saying things that would warrant such a response, you'd get a good picture of "words without knowledge". That's what God calls it by the way. It would seem that God was sitting by, observing the conversation. He then answers Job and calls it like He sees it. And I would just like to point out that the way God sees something is the way it actually is. All the perspectives, all the viewpoints, all the opinions pale in comparison with what God sees from His omniscient vantage point. "Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2, emphasis mine)

When Job asks "How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words", couldn't you see Jesus saying that? All of these tags and labels that we've placed on church activity and denomination end up (in my opinion) "break[ing Him] in pieces". His church, His body.

"Is Christ divided?" (1 Corinthians 1:13)

At this point in my life, I feel the most direct when I simply tell someone that I am a Christian. Denominational distinctions don't really make much sense to me as I wasn't really raised in a "church setting". I understand the teachings of Luther and Calvin and John Wesley, and in spite of the fact that I have great respect for each of those men, in no way would I want to refer to myself as a/n [adjective form of founder's name. I'm a Christian. I hope I'm not coming off as hypercritical and closed-minded. And I certainly don't mean any offense to any card-carrying members of those denominations, but Jesus is the One. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith". (Hebrews 12:2)

If you're called to study out the finer points of theology, then more power to you. If you can't get enough of elucidating the distinctions between infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism, if you're perfectly content to be a professional soteriologist and if the exegesis of God's word is where it's at for you, then do it. But "whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him." (Colossians 3:17) And if you don't know or care what those words mean, I don't either. Any of Job's interlocutor's would have potentially made a fool of the average Christian. That's certainly what it seems they were looking to do to Job. And even Job's motive to defend himself doesn't seem to be the best motive to which one would hope to aspire. But God asks His pointed question: Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?

The knowledge of God almost seems like an oxymoron, because God never seeks to be known by the mind alone. Not just the mind. And not just the heart, either. Heart and mind are to be in concert. After God does the impossible by actually recreating our spirit and making us into a new creation (see 1 Corinthians 5:17), we are asked to bring our mind up to speed with His thoughts. His thoughts as recorded in His word. The knowledge of God is something we arrive at spiritually first. If it's not there spiritually, it won't do the possessor any good at all. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor?" (Romans 11:33-34) Can't you just hear God laughing heartily?

So yes, I know that God calls individuals to help explain the doctrines found in the Bible. And depending upon whether or not someone truly knows God will determine the level at which they perceive Him already at work in the world and in His Word.

"Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual." (1 Corinthians 2:13, emphasis mine)

"For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." (1 Corinthians 1:21)

In closing, a quick thought. Job's friends, it says, "sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great." (2:13) I wonder, had they held their peace for a moment (or a day) longer, could God have shown them (and Job) what took the entire body of the book to reveal? Food for thought.

Countering Opposition (Childish Things part 1)