The Need for Wisdom in an Age of Intellectual and Spiritual Insanity

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Albert Einstein's name has become synonymous with genius. Einstein didn't drive a car, so he had a chauffer to take him from place to place. Once while on a lecture tour speaking about his theory of relativity, Einstein's chauffer said: "Dr. Einstein, I've heard your lecture on relativity so often now, I believe I could give it myself." "Well, why don't you do it," said the brilliant scientist. "The people at the next university have never seen me and they won't know who I am. You put on my clothes and I'll wear your uniform and cap. You introduce me as your chauffer and I'll introduce you as Dr. Einstein."

Everything went according to plan. The chauffer delivered the speech flawlessly. Einstein was sitting in the back of the lecture hall, enjoying it immensely. Then, something happened neither the chauffer nor Einstein had expected. With some time left to spare, a question-and-answer period was allowed that precipitated a complicated, technical question from a mathematics professor that involved mathematical formulas the chauffer couldn't possibly understand. Lacking the intellectual knowledge to get out of the jam, the chauffer, nonetheless, responded with considerable practical wisdom, saying: "Sir, the answer to your question is so simple I can't believe you asked me to answer it. Anybody can answer that question. And to prove my point, I'm going to have my chauffer come up and address it for you!"

Never has there been a day when wisdom, both intellectual and practical, was more needed than today. Yet, we're not seeing much wisdom. In fact, we're seeing just the opposite. No verse of Holy Scripture better speaks to our time concerning the need for wisdom than Proverbs 1:20-23: "Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: she crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she utttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? And the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you."

Radio commentator Michael Savage is right when, in the title to his latest book, he claims Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder. It may sound savage, but Savage says in his book that the liberalism of today is "made in much the same way as a sausage -- it's a blend of fascist, Communist, and socialist ideologies from twentieth-century Europe, with a pinch of Nazism, all ground together, yet retaining the flavor of its various parts." That's an excellent description of the crazy political ideologies of liberalism!

Only those whose judgment has been profoundly diminished -- whose ability to think and carefully weigh the facts, after witnessing the rioting of Muslims around the world over something as silly as a cartoon -- would still believe Islam is essentially a peaceful religion. Only those who are not thinking straight would believe redefining marriage to allow same-sex couples to marry could ever be in the best interest of the nation. Only those who've been brainwashed by the screwy philosophies of our time would defend abortion, pornography, euthanasia, gambling, premarital sex, stem-cell research on embryos, the legalization of drugs and prostitution, removing the influence of prayer, Bible reading, and the Ten Commandments from public life. This is all a form of madness!

In Proverbs 1:20-23, King Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived except for Jesus Christ, says that God calls men to wisdom and He makes it easily accessible. Wisdom "uttereth her voice in the streets," "in the opening of the gates" and "in the city," he writes. Yet, the "simple ones" still love "simplicity," the "scorners delight in their scorning and fools hate knowledge." The great Bible commentator Matthew Henry writes concerning the rest of this text (v.23): "He [God] invites them to repent and become wise ... 'Turn you at my reproof,' that is, return to your right mind, turn to God ..." God has promised to pour out His Spirit of wisdom on those that look to Him. "The means of this grace," says Henry, "is the word" [the Word of God].

Real wisdom comes from God. Those who turn from their sins to Christ, the living Word, find it. And those who live by the inerrant written Word, the Bible, discover it. Other voices are simply unreliable and can lead to a darkened understanding, a defiled mind and conscience -- much like what's demonstrated in the many arguments of the atheists, the evolutionists, the theological modernists, and the secular humanists of today.

Many years ago, when mules were still used on the farm, one young farmer's mule got sick. So he called his Uncle Joe, who once had a mule, and asked him what to do. "Uncle Joe," asked the young fellow, "didn't your mule get sick one time?" "Yep," said Uncle Joe. "What did you do?" asked the young man. "Well, I fed mine turpentine," said Uncle Joe. Immediately, the young man hung up the telephone and went and fed his mule turpentine. To his surprise, however, his mule died. The young farmer called his Uncle Joe right away. "Uncle Joe," he thundered over the telephone, "I thought you said you fed your sick mule turpentine." "Yep," said Uncle Joe, "I did." "Well, I took your advice and it killed my mule," said the young farmer. "Yep, killed mine, too" said Uncle Joe.

One should be careful from whence he/she seeks wisdom. There is only one voice that will never lead us astray; only one voice of genuine wisdom -- God's voice, the One who calls out promising to give wisdom liberally to those who seek it (Proverbs 1:20-23; James 1:5). To look elsewhere ultimately leads to a form of intellectual and spiritual insanity!

This article originally appeared on March 20, 2006.

Rev. Mark H. Creech ( is the executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.