Too Smart for God

Does it seem to you that Jesus is a long time coming?

And, does that sometimes make it harder for you to stand up to those who mock your beliefs?

And sometimes, late at night, in the dark, after a long, long day, does it raise a moment of doubt in your own mind about the truth of this faith we hold dear?

Yeah, I get that.

And the irony is, according to Peter, that the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with us – not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. So, the very thing they mock (where is he if he’s coming back? It’s not going to happen, you know) is being done on their behalf – so they might have the opportunity to come to faith before it’s too late. (2 Peter 3:8-10)

Because He will come.

This will all end.

I’ve read the end of the story and Jesus wins.

Say that into the dark when doubt visits your room. Light trumps darkness and Jesus will come.

Peter continues to say “The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.”

He will come.

For one hundred years, Noah constructed a boat in the middle of a desert while people laughed. They weren’t laughing when the door slammed shut and the water rose up around their knees.

Jesus said in Matthew 24 that “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Yesterday, someone I hold dear posted a link to a report on CNN linking atheism and liberalism to higher IQ’s. I get it. Some of my friends believe they’re too smart for God and they are none too subtle in their implications about my intelligence.

One of my smart, successful acquaintances once scolded me for filling my son’s head with nonsense and messing up a “perfectly good kid”. Then he went on to tell me how he tried to “talk some sense” into my older teen and correct some of the thinking he’d learned growing up in my house. My son had never mentioned this conversation to me and I wondered how it affected him when this successful, affluent man tried to talk him out of his faith.

“I just felt sorry for him, Mom.” My son told me when I asked. “I didn’t want to tell you because I figured you’d be pretty mad at him but don’t worry. It just made me sad for him.”

There are intelligent reasons to believe in Jesus Christ but I’m not going to be saved because I’m smart. I’m going to be saved because I received mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Are you surrounded by people who are too smart for God? Are there mockers and scoffers in your life who belittle your faith and deride your contributions to conversation as lacking intelligence or compassion?

That can be hard to take but you’re in good company – God’s people have been mocked and belittled since the days of Noah.

I once led a Bible study and two women encountered each other there. They were from the same family and unbeknownst to one another, each had come to faith in Jesus Christ but had kept it secret from their relatives. When I asked why they were so secretive they answered “Oh, everyone will laugh at us like they used to laugh at our older relative who used to go on and on about Jesus.” Then both women wept together about the times they had joined the others in mocking the faith of this devout older woman who had gone on to be with the Lord.

Remember when we used to make fun of her?”

“Remember when we used to laugh at her with the others and her childish faith in Jesus?”

“I wish I could tell her now that I’m sorry and that I understand.”

“One day, we will.”

On this side of that day, there will always be those who stand and mock. There will be those who consider themselves too smart for God. There will be those who work to tear you down because you believe in a God they cannot see and you wait for His return that is a long time coming.

But that day will come and that will all end – the mocking, the scoffing, the waiting.

It will not seem so smart that day to have rejected God’s offer of mercy and forgiveness – the offer of His very Son.

When people think I am stupid for what I believe, when they tell me they are too smart for God, I don’t feel dumb – I feel sad

for them.

He will come.

Maranatha.


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10 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Heather says:

    I have run into this view so often that smart people can’t believe. I imagine it is hard for the “smart” person to believe, just like it is hard for the rich man, They have so much ability to trust in themselves in this world that they are blind to their own spiritual neediness. Yet, at the same time, I know so many brilliant people who know the Lord. Some even have a high IQ. One of our best friends is a man who is a biomathemetician who works in cancer research and spoke to researchers from all over the world in Cannes, France. Yet he is so humble because the Lord is in his heart. The argument that you can’t have a high IQ and be a Christian is ridiculous. It is all a matter of the heart. But again, I know so many brillian Christians, and most are not brilliant because of their IQ, they are brilliant because of God’s love shining out from them, and because of the wisdom that comes from the Spirit. I am so thankful for fellow believers of all kinds.

  2. Throughout history, there have been lots of smart people who believed some really dumb things. Fortunately, God is able to peel the layers of the onion in all our hearts and minds and reveal what really lies beneath. When that is exposed – no matter what we used as a covering: smarts, money, innocence, evil, good works, religion, or independence – at our core, we were made for God and our need for Him is as raw as the fleshy heart of the onion.

  3. Sherry says:

    I just finished my blog post and thought I’d pop in. I am thankful for the confirmation from God. Great minds think alike and you and I are obviously tuned to the same network. God is moving in the hearts of his children. I am looking forward to meeting you soon 😉

  4. We draw water from the same well, sister! I’ll see you on the other side.

  5. Greg says:

    “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty” (1Cor. 1:27). No worries; we’re in good company! 🙂

  6. Dave says:

    I think it’s coincidental that you wrote this post the same day I posted the link to the research study.

    I certainly don’t condone those who mock you for your beliefs, but do you condemn those who curse and harm in the name of god/religion? Many people were mocked, tortured, or killed in the name of god throughout history. I think there are far more people who are oppressed because of religion than religious people being mocked by non-religious people. (In the US, for example, atheists/humanists are outnumbered at least 9-to-1). I don’t have a beef against the notion of believing in god, but, as imperfect humans, the way that many people serve their respective god(s) or practice their faith can be dangerous or oppressive.

  7. Dave, we are in agreement about many things.

    I would condemn (if it were in my power to) those who harm in the name of god/religion. I believe God will, indeed, one day call them to account (God said in Genesis 9 “5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. “

    There certainly is oppression that occurs in the name of religion but while people love to say that religion has been the cause of much killing, etc, they neglect to look at the actual history that shows more killing has occurred simply because of greed, a desire for property, land, power or in the name of atheism (the workcamps in China, the killing fields of Cambodia, the gulags of the USSR, the missing of Argentina, El Salvador, etc.

    God is not a notion – He is. People do screw up other people’s lives with their warped expressions of faith – most often based on their own prejudice and not an God ordered rule. That is precisely why I hold to an understanding of God that seeks to follow Him as He has revealed Himself and not as I want Him to be according to my own feelings or moods.

    I don’t suffer from being mocked as much as I suffer for those who do the mocking. I’m going to be fine but they are missing out on the greatest truth of the universe. Don’t let some screwed up humans stand between you and the God who loves you completely.

  8. Dave says:

    It would be pretty tough to take a tally of which “group” (you could make the same argument for some of the examples you cited as deviations from what the ideals of atheism/humanism is and should be) was responsible for more death, but I have to disagree with some of the points you wrote. “He is” isn’t evidence. I respect you and your opinion a lot, but even you must admit that we are independent thinkers (you might call it God-given “free will”) that can critically consider truth vs. fact. You say it is so because you believe that – granted, I can’t prove that he isn’t either, but the burden of proof isn’t on me.

    Also, while, yes, there are many cases where people become extremists that aren’t really following “God’s rule” – they are still inspired by their notion of what “God’s rule” was. It doesn’t matter to those they harm if they did it because of the true following of God or their interpretation of what that is. By the way, if God created them in his image, isn’t God then a harm-doer?

    I know that, at best, I am playing to a draw with you because I will not change your beliefs and you will not change mine. I hold no ill-will. Do good for fellow man, and I strive to do the same. That is all either of us could want from each other during our lifetimes.

  9. I hold no ill-will for you, my friend! I love chatting with you. You’re a wonderful young man with a fine mind. You’re also a student of history. Look at the size of the Jewish people as an ancient people and the number of times hostile nations have attempted to eliminate them through history. Their very existence is proof of God.

    Isaiah predicted the leadership of the Persian leader, Cyrus, some 700 years before Cyrus was born.

    God took the burden of proof on Himself and there is evidence all around for those who want to see it. There are a lot of reasons to fight against an acceptance of the reality of God but it’s a losing battle and a dangerous wager in the very long run.

    We are created in His image – male and female. I don’t think it’s about having noses or fingernails or blue eyes as much as it is about having passions, a desire for relationship and a drive to create. We have value – each of us has value.

    That’s why I put this stuff out into the world. If I didn’t care about you, bro, I’d just keep it to myself. I have nothing to gain by “winning you” over to my side (there are no extra credit points in church) but you do.

    Don’t let this subject go without first hand examination, Dave. Don’t take someone else’s point of view. Check out Lee Strobel. He was a legal journalist who set out to disprove Christianity so he could talk his wife out of it. He ended up researching his way into a relationship with Jesus. “The Case for Christ”.

    I totally respect you and understand your perspective but don’t give up on God.

  10. Cheri says:

    “There are intelligent reasons to believe in Jesus Christ but I’m not going to be saved because I’m smart. I’m going to be saved because I received mercy and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.”

    Truly, it all comes down to this statement, doesn’t it?

    This post was encouraging. Thank you,

    Cheri