“… to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness…” (Titus 1:1b NIV).
One of the most prevalent ideas that has infiltrated pop culture and has done considerable damage to the Church is the idea that to have faith, you must reject knowledge. Christians are portrayed continuously as backwoods rednecks, uneducated, illogical, unsophisticated, and just plain stupid. It’s assumed that people with faith have tossed their brains out the window and have become gullible imbeciles willing to believe any huckster that namedrops “Jesus.” Meanwhile, the enlightened, educated, elite professionals and experts in philosophy, science, and sociology have risen above the simple-minded and rejected the absurd notion of faith.
This attack on Christianity in our culture has been very effective. Many people I’ve personally interacted with about faith have hesitated to follow Christ because they think you have to check your brain at the door to be a disciple of Jesus. Let me assure you, nothing could be further from the truth! Faith and knowledge are not mutually exclusive– they belong together and always will. The Bible never calls us to blind faith. Jesus came to open the eyes of the blind, not just physically, but spiritually. God is the author of truth, and He invites us to discover, study, and learn real knowledge of the truth. The Christian life is not one of emotional experiences only, but also of genuine enlightenment. Faith and truth are friends, not enemies!
As children of the Author of Truth, we should never be afraid of learning, education, study, science, or knowledge. All truth is God’s truth, and the more we grow in the knowledge of the truth, the more our trust in God is strengthened.
But, let us not fall into the trap of fruitless study. The Apostle Paul wrote about this in 1 Corinthians 8:1, “Knowledge puffs up while love builds up” (NIV). Yes, we are to grow in the knowledge of the truth– the truth that leads to godliness. In my lifetime, some of the most knowledgable Christians I’ve ever known have also been some of the least godly– the least kind, the least loving, the least gracious, the least patient, the least humble. What’s the point of all their knowledge if it is not producing godliness in them?
As I read these words in Titus, the Lord nudged my heart with this question: Is your knowledge leading to godliness? My prayer for the week is that He will bring to my mind and yours areas where we can grow in faith, knowledge, and godliness.