Guidelines For Living
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1 Corinthians 1:18
When the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a group of law students, he said that Christians are “destined to be regarded as fools in modern society.” “God,” said the Justice, “assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed.” Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society,” Scalia warned. “We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today,” he concluded, “it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”
Justice Scalia was called ridiculous; his comments called “out of place” by critics. One went so far as to say that he “undermines public confidence in his objectivity” on church-state issues.
Christians often face the same situation in higher education. Sociologist, George Yancey, who is a black Christian says, “Outside of academia I faced more problems as a black, but inside academia I face more problems as a Christian… it is not even close.” Yancey, a professor at Baylor University, conducted a survey in which 59 percent of anthropologists and 53 percent of English professors said they would be less likely to hire someone they found out was a Christian.
For the student of God’s Word, these instances should come as no surprise. Jesus said it very clearly, “So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.” (1 John 3:14) Opening his first letter to the Christians of the city of Corinth, Paul explained why this is the case.
“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.
Now, no one likes to be ridiculed and mocked. But the fact is, that the world is watching. It doesn’t expect to see what the Bible teaches that the Christ follower should do–because the countercultural response of the Bible is blessing! God’s Word teaches us to bless those who mock us. “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 8:9). The blessing that you give by responding in love and acceptance when someone ridicules you is significant. But the lasting blessing a Christ-follower receives from acting in obedience in this situation is far greater!
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers,” Matthew 5:11-12 encourages us. “Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”
A response might look like a simple, “I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t agree with you,” or blessing might mean you don’t respond at all. It does mean we don’t become bitter, because we know that we aren’t being attacked personally, but for Him Who is in us.
“I am a fool for Christ,” said advocate for the persecuted, known as Brother Andrew, “Whose fool are you?”