If you haven’t read the original Huffington Post article that inspired this and the previous blog, do that, too!
ARE CHRISTIANS LESS INTELLIGENT THAN NON-BELIEVERS?
The answer is yes.
Hold your horses. Hear me out. The answer is Yes, Christians are less intelligent than non-believers IF…
Think about what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:12-19
But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
That’s seven “ifs” in 8 verses. What it basically boils down to is this: Christians are less intelligent than atheists IF there is no resurrection. It’s plain and simple. If Christ was not resurrected than our entire faith crumbles and we are “of all people most to be pitied.”
There is SO MUCH riding on whether or not Jesus of Nazareth really was not found in the tomb on that third day. My entire worldview, my whole support system, my entire career and faith system stands or crashes with the resurrection.
If there is no resurrection, then nothing matters. If there is a resurrection, then everything matters. So it’s up to each and every person to choose – am I going to live like the resurrection happened? As for me and my house, we choose the path of faith, hope, and love based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
DOES IT MATTER?
One thing I appreciate about the HuffPost article is right there in the headline: Does It Matter…
While I disagree that belief in a Higher Intelligence is the cause of lower intelligence, there does seem to be an underlying issue within the article as a whole. How much of a priority should “intelligence” (as defined by the “intelligence community”) be in the life of the average world citizen? Does a child in sub-Saharan Africa orphaned because of AIDS and on the brink of starvation need a lesson in quantum physics or microbiology? Does it take an astrophysicist or a brain surgeon to provide food, water, shelter, and education for this child?
How many orphanages have been opened by theoretical physicists? When people are on their death beds, do they call on all their atheist friends to remind them that the end of existence is coming and that there is nothing worth hoping for in that moment? Is work done in a chemistry lab more important than work done in a soup kitchen?
Is intelligence the highest goal for humanity?
See, intelligence is probably easier to measure and quantify than other aspects of human life. But how would we measure wisdom? What formula can be applied to predict love? How do we calculate compassion or analyze altruism?
THE HIGHER GOAL
I realize that if someone doesn’t believe in God, the Scriptures, or the resurrection, then increased education and intelligence may be the highest goal they may hope to achieve. To that person they have become their own god. Self-advancement is the only logical course of life.
However, the resurrection shows us that there is a better way. There is a higher goal. I’m not just talking about “getting to heaven when you die.” I’m talking about life in the here and now on planet earth. So what exactly might be a higher goal than mere intelligence?
Whoever pursues righteousness and love
finds life, prosperity and honor. (Proverbs 21:21)
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:54-58)
I’ll say it again as I close. If there is no resurrection, then nothing matters. But if there IS a resurrection, the EVERYTHING matters. (Including intelligence.)