Wisdom and the Smartest People Ever

 

How did the smartest people ever to exist screw up our country and our society so badly?

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden pose with the full Cabinet for an official group photo in the East Room of the White House on Sept. 10, 2009.
Seated from left: Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr.
Standing second row, from left: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan E. Rice, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki, and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Back row, from left: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag, and Council of Economic Advisers Chair Christina Romer. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph.

We value intelligence and knowledge.  With good reason.

Intelligent, thoughtful illumination has an uplifting effect on individuals and a civilization. We’ve seen that many times throughout history.  The founding of our American Republic is one such stellar example.

Back in the 1980s, I recall someone lamenting how the most qualified and best candidate to never become president was Adlai Stephenson.  Certainly, the Democratic Party has been trying since Stephenson to claim the mantle of “intelligent.”  Democrats are always the smart ones – smarter, better policies, and as a result morally superior.

Now, it’s hard not to notice that the pinnacle of the left being smarter than everyone came to us with one Barack Obama, with his incredibly über-intelligent, superior group of advisers and administration.

Nobody was ever smarter.  Ever.

Except they really weren’t.  For smart people, they actually did some of the dumbest things ever in public life.  The tragedy of so many believing they were the smartest people ever may haunt us for years.

There is a huge disconnect between the true concept of wisdom and the smartest people ever.

Culturally, valuing knowledge and intellect has three main sources: the Greek philosophers, the Bible, and the Church.  There were others, but these three more than any other sources provided the basis for the respect for knowledge and wisdom in our culture.  The concept of highly valuing the realm of the mind became imbedded in the West because of them.  Jordan Peterson loves to praise how clean our lives are, how things work so well, and how wonderful we have it.  He lets us know in so many ways that all this bounty came from our belief system, one where we cherish achievement of thought.

Wisdom is the subject of Solomon in the Book of Proverbs.  Some central quotes:

“Seek wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.  Find wisdom.  Though it cost all you have, get understanding.”

“Does not wisdom call out?”

“Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

These, and so many other lines from Proverbs, form the genesis of why we prize intellect, or wisdom.  If the search for and the study of wisdom can bring us so much, then indeed it was right for our culture to value it.

What we call the Protestant work ethic came straight from Solomon.  Perhaps it should rightfully be called the Jewish work ethic.  The important thing to note is that having that value imbedded in our civilization makes things better, makes things nicer, and does great things for us and our culture.

Our culture.  It’s why we are prosperous, live longer, live better, and have so much in depth in so many areas of life.  C.S. Lewis called the Bible our “instruction manual.”  If you follow the manual, the human machine works at its best, tuned finely for maximal effect and output.  The wisdom of Solomon was a huge part of the manual.

Enter the deconstructive left.

Leftists authored this divorce from wisdom.  They divorced themselves from the “instruction manual” and its source.  They began the effort to take away the moral underpinnings from our culture.  The great Greek philosophers were no longer to be held in high esteem.  Likewise, the great Church figures, and the Founding Fathers, they were simply dead white males who should be made fun of.

The deconstruction has been slow but effective.

The eight years of Barack Obama were the West at its low point.  My take: I never thought our culture could turn so wrong so fast.  Things happened in our government and culture during those eight years we never deemed possible even ten years ago.  Destructive trends, destructive ideas, destructive social movements.  All at their peak through the Obama years:

*The destruction of our health care system through the oh, so smart Obamacare.

*The worst economy since WWII, in any measure – jobs, GDP, unemployment, spending, etc.

*The worst race relations since the 1960s.  Race-baiting, straight from the top.

*The worst foreign policy ever.  Iran.  Cuba.  ISIS.  Help our enemies.  Betray our friends.  Bolster Islamists; destroy American confidence and its military.

*The most corrupt administration ever.  By far.  We’re just now seeing how bad.

*A turn in leftist immigration policy – its clear intent to replace the current electorate with a malleable, ignorant new electorate willing to believe the leftist siren songs so the left can have unchallenged power.

*The worst of pay to play.  Leftists at the trough of government sucked deep.  The Clinton Foundation sucking the deepest.  Follow the money if you dare.

*The moral preening of Hollywood and the media.  All the while, they lived and played in the cesspool of Weinstein and Matt Lauer.  #MeToo was caused by them and still is.

The list is longer and should be a book by itself.  The list of failures could get to over a hundred easily.  And yes, it was that bad.  Like frogs in the simmering pot, we were being cooked.  “Transformed.”  Also known as destroyed.

So how does all this horrible stuff happen under a group of people who were considered by our elites, our media, and themselves the smartest people ever?  How did our media get away with calling so many major failings wonderful?  Cow patties strewn around the pasture on stale bread were described as culinary treasures.  It was, and is, sickening.

How is it possible to morph from JFK to Barack Obama in one generation?  From revering wisdom to wearing a dunce cap in fifty years?  That is surely what so many did.

The Book of Proverbs gives an answer.  It gave us the overwhelmingly beautiful description of wisdom, but it also gave us this clear warning: “be not wise in your own eyes.”

On the surface, that doesn’t seem like much.  But it’s really the key to understanding what has happened to the left.

They became arrogant.  Filled with hubris.  A group of narcissists who believe their own P.R.  They really were the smartest people ever.  Obama himself, and those surrounding him, really believed it.  It’s a Greek tragedy written for today – a group of narcissists in charge of the levers of power, doing terrible things in the name of good.

Most of them thought there was no reason to heed the “instruction manual.”

They replaced centuries of wisdom with their own image and called it good.

They replaced generations of wonderful ideas with degenerate, unworkable, truly horrific notions that had never worked anywhere else they were tried.  These ideas had failed miserably so many times.  Except they were now so smart and morally superior that they would surely make them work.  The pinnacle of smart.

And it showed for eight years.  And it was covered up for eight years.  And it was reported as wonderful for eight years.  Stupidity linked with hubris was mistaken for wisdom by so many of our elites.  And that’s all it was.  True wisdom and its rewards are described beautifully by Solomon.  It needs be sought, to avoid these horrors.

Wisdom should be exalted – just not the fake kind as espoused by the left.

Source: Wisdom and the Smartest People Ever

Charles Stanley – The Truth About Salvation

 

1 John 5:11-13

Satan wants both Christians and non-Christians to be confused about salvation, but for different reasons.

When it comes to unbelievers, the devil’s purpose is to have them think they’re saved by doing good works—in other words, by being a “good” person. His motive is to keep the lost man or woman lost. This is an all-too-effective strategy, even among many who attend church regularly. Assuming their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds, they consider themselves heaven-bound when in reality, they’re actually on the road to horrifying, irreversible disappointment (Matt. 7:21-23).

Satan has a different purpose for creating confusion among God’s followers. Though Jesus taught that salvation can never be lost (John 10:28-29), the enemy sows seeds of doubt in an effort to keep believers off-balance—wondering what the Lord will do next, fearing His judgment, and working ever more feverishly to earn His acceptance. More than a few Christians have burned themselves out in this misguided attempt to please the Lord. On top of that, they have allowed Satan to enslave them with fear and short-circuit their effectiveness for God’s kingdom.

The solution is to know the Bible and trust what it teaches. Scripture is clear that we’re saved by faith, not by works (Eph. 2:8-9)—and that salvation is permanent (Rom. 8:38-39). God wants His children reassured about these truths, confident, and spiritually productive. His desire is that our relationship with Him will be so exciting and joyful that we reflect Jesus to those around us.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 4-6

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — The Secret of Peace

 

Read: 2 Thessalonians 3:16–18 | Bible in a Year: 2 Samuel 16–18; Luke 17:20–37

The Lord of peace himself give you peace. 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Grace is a very special lady. One word comes to mind when I think of her: peace. The quiet and restful expression on her face has seldom changed in the six months I have known her, even though her husband was diagnosed with a rare disease and then hospitalized.

When I asked Grace the secret of her peace, she said, “It’s not a secret, it’s a person. It’s Jesus in me. There is no other way I can explain the quietness I feel in the midst of this storm.”

To trust in Jesus is peace.

The secret of peace is our relationship to Jesus Christ. He is our peace. When Jesus is our Savior and Lord, and as we become more like Him, peace becomes real. Things like sickness, financial difficulties, or danger may be present, but peace reassures us that God holds our lives in His hands (Daniel 5:23), and we can trust that things will work together for good.

Have we experienced this peace that goes beyond logic and understanding? Do we have the inner confidence that God is in control? My wish for all of us today echoes the words of the apostle Paul: “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace.” And may we feel this peace “at all times and in every way” (2 Thessalonians 3:16).

Dear Lord, please give us Your peace at all times and in every situation.

To trust in Jesus is peace.

By Keila Ochoa

INSIGHT

Paul, Silas, and Timothy were the first to share the gospel in Thessalonica. The response to the gospel of free grace in Christ was remarkably positive (Acts 17:1–4), but—as is often the case—the positive response to the gospel was accompanied by opposition and persecution (Acts 17:5–6; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; 2:2). Thus Paul was forced to leave the city of Thessalonica sooner than he had hoped (Acts 17:9–10). His concern for the new congregation there motivated him to write two inspired letters to that young church. As he completed his second letter, Paul stressed the peace that only Jesus Christ can offer (2 Thessalonians 3:16). The apostle was no stranger to trials, yet his confidence that everything would work out in God’s sovereignty gave him a deep, abiding peace that he wanted other believers to experience. The Prince of Peace is the source of the believer’s spiritual rest.

For further study on experiencing peace in the midst of trials see Navigating the Storms of Life at discoveryseries.org/hp061.

Dennis Fisher

 

http://www.odb.org

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Every Problem of Pain

“On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your pain today, Sir?”

Ironically, the question, a hospital’s attempt to understand and manage the pain of cancer patients, only seemed to cause my father more pain. He hated the daily inquiry that seized him almost as consistently as the sting of the growing tumor. It aggravated him deeply, more than I could say I understood. It was a philosophical quagmire for him that somehow mocked pain and amplified the problem of suffering. If he answered “10” in the midst of a painful morning, only to discover a greater quantity of pain in the afternoon, the scale was meaningless. The numbers were never constant, and what is a scale if its points of measurement cannot stand in relation to one another? If he answered “10” on any given day would that somehow control the ceiling of his own pain? He knew it would not, and that uncertainty seemed almost literally to add painful insult to an already fatal injury.

Considerations of pain and suffering are among the most cited explanations for disbelief in God, both for professionally trained philosophers and for the general public. If a good, powerful, and present deity exists, why is there so much pain and suffering in the world? Even for those who argue that the existence of God and the presence of evil can be reconciled, the vast amount of suffering in the world certainly compounds the dilemma. We can sympathize with Ivan Karamazov in his depiction of the earth as one soaked through with human tears. Imagine not merely one person measuring their pain on a scale of 1 to 10 but innumerable individuals: the temptation is to add all of these scales together as one giant proof against God.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – Every Problem of Pain

Joyce Meyer – Form New Habits

 

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! — 2 Corinthians 5:17 AMPC

God’s Word teaches us that when we receive Christ as our Savior and Lord, He gives us a new nature. He gives us His nature. He also gives us a spirit of discipline and self-control, which is vital in allowing us to choose the ways of our new nature. He gives us a sound mind (see 2 Tim. 1:7), and that means we can think about things properly without being controlled by emotion. The way we once were passes away, and we have all the equipment we need for a brand-new way of behaving.

God gives us the ability and offers to help us, but we are not puppets and God will not manipulate us. We must choose spirit over flesh and right over wrong. Our renewed spirits will then control our souls and bodies or, to say it another way, the inner person will control the outer person.

Without God’s help we have difficulty doing things in moderation. We frequently eat too much, spend too much money, have too much entertainment, and talk too much. We are excessive in our actions because we behave emotionally. And after the thing is done and cannot be undone, we regret doing it. But we can choose to form new habits, not doing something just because we feel like it but instead doing what will produce the best result in the end.

We do not have to live in regret. God gives us His Spirit to enable us to make right and wise choices. He urges us, guides and leads us, but we still have to cast the deciding vote. If you have been casting the wrong vote, all you need to do is change your vote. Forming new habits will require making a decision to not do what you feel like doing unless it agrees with God’s will.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for constantly changing me and making me more like You. Help me today to obey Your direction and make wise choices. Help me to form healthy habits that will produce good results in the future. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Abounding Therein

 

“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:6-8, KJV). 

Some years ago, while speaking at the University of Houston, I was told about a brilliant philosophy major. He was much older than most of the other students, having spent many years in the military before he returned to do graduate work.

He was so gifted, so brilliant, so knowledgeable that even the professors were impressed by his ability to comprehend quickly and to debate rationally. He was an atheist, and he had a way of embarrassing the Christians who tried to witness to him.

During one of my visits to the university, I was asked to talk with him about Christ. We sat in a booth in the student center, contrasting his philosophy of life with the Word of God. It was an unusual dialogue. He successfully monopolized the conversation with his philosophy of unbelief in God.

At every opportunity, I would remind him that God loved him and offered a wonderful plan for his life. I showed him various passages of Scripture concerning the person of Jesus Christ (John 1, Colossians 1, Hebrews 1). He seemed to ignore everything I said; there appeared to be no communication between us whatsoever.

A couple of hours passed, and it was getting late. I felt that I was wasting my time and there was no need to continue the discussion. He agreed to call it a day. A friend and staff member who was with me suggested to this student that we would be glad to drop him off at his home on the way to my hotel.

As we got into the car, his first words were, “Everything you said tonight hit me right in the heart. I want to receive Christ. Tell me how I can do it right now.” Even though I had not sensed it during our conversation, the Holy Spirit – who really does care – had been speaking to his heart through the truth of God’s Word which I had shared with him.

Bible Reading:Colossians 2:1-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I will not depend upon my own wisdom, my personality or even my training to share Christ effectively with others, but I will commit myself to talk about Him wherever I go, depending upon the Holy Spirit to empower me and speak through me to the needs of others.

 

http://www.cru.org

Max Lucado – His Perfect Love

 

Listen to Today’s Devotion

Jesus loves us too much to leave us in doubt about his grace. His “perfect love expels all fear!” (1 John 4:18 NLT).

If God loved us with an imperfect love, we would have high cause to worry. Imperfect love keeps a list of sins and consults it often. God keeps no list of our wrongs. His love casts out fear because he casts out our sin. Tether your heart to this promise, and tighten the knot. Remember of words of John’s epistle: “If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things” (1 John 3:20).

When you feel unforgiven, evict the feelings. Emotions don’t get a vote. Go back to Scripture. God’s Word holds rank over self-criticism and self-doubt. Do you know God’s grace? Then you can love boldly and live robustly. Nothing fosters courage like a clear grasp of grace!

Read more Fearless

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.

http://www.maxlucado.com

Denison Forum – Will the world end today? How Satan uses end-times speculation

“On April 23, the sun, moon, and Jupiter will align in the constellation Virgo to bring on the start of the biblical Rapture, according to the latest claims.” So the UK’s Daily Mail headlines, reporting that Planet X, sometimes called Nibiru, will bring about the end of the world.

We’ve been here before. Last September, I discussed a similar prediction that “the world as we know it is ending.” We had a comparable conversation back in 2012, when we survived the purported Mayan prediction that the world would end.

My interest today is not in discussing such speculative theories, but in considering their effect on our culture—and our souls.

We should prepare for eternity today

Let’s begin with a fact: this day could actually be the last day of history.

Jesus was blunt: “Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Our Lord could come back to our planet today. Or any of us could go to him. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

We need not fear the fictitious Planet X. But we need to admit the reality that we are one day closer to eternity than ever before. And we have only today to be ready.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Will the world end today? How Satan uses end-times speculation