Thursday, March 19, 2009

Shaking up common wisdom

Every society has their common wisdom about how the way the world works. Round where i live during the college semester, one of those pieces of wisdom was that earthquakes do not and cannot happen here. Apparently they do- twice in a few weeks. Thankfully nether was dangerous (both about 4.6 on the Richter scale) which is not enough to do damage but certainly enough to freak people out. People are now rethinking their ideas about the earthquake risk.

Like those earthquakes, Jesus seems to have a way of shaking up what we think. He forces us as Christians to rethink the wisdom we’ve always known. This became especially obvious as i read the beatitudes section of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:3-12) in preparation for my War ethics class. Thinking about some of the objections that would likely come up in tutorial about it i realised how different the people Jesus and common wisdom of our society say are blessed are.

The common wisdom says, “Blessed are the happy, those who think positively and know their potential because they will get everything they desire.”
Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted”

The common wisdom says, “Blessed are the powerful for they will rule the world and everyone in it.”
Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth”

The common wisdom says, “Blessed are those who are skilled at exploiting people to their own advantage, for they will soon rise to the top”
Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy”

The common wisdom says, “Blessed are the impure for they have the most fun”
Jesus says, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.”

What long held assumptions have you had to reconsider in light of what the bible says? Where are some biblical “earthquakes” needed amongst the church today to conform us more to the truth of God?


  1. "Blessed are those who give 10%, for they can do anything they want with the other 90%"

    I am also called to give where there is a need; when I feel compelled by the Holy Spirit to offer help.

  2. Yep, that's definitely one that's pretty common. There is an unbelievable amount of incorrect beliefs and attitudes about money in Christian circles, some of them quite damaging. I intend to do a post about some of them, once i can reduce the "crazy rant" factor of some of my attempts so far.

  3. For the record, I love me some crazy rants!