1 Cor 14.20-25 The Message
To be perfectly frank, I’m getting exasperated with your infantile thinking. How long before you grow up and use your head—your adult head? It’s all right to have a childlike unfamiliarity with evil; a simple no is all that’s needed there. But there’s far more to saying yes to something. Only mature and well-exercised intelligence can save you from falling into gullibility.
A Word of Hope
Eugene Peterson, whose modern-language Greek Scripture lesson is quoted above, did not consider his version of the Bible to be a paraphrase, but a translation. He often referred to himself as a “servant of the text” and I agree with that assessment. I can easily picture the Apostle Paul, frustrated by the fundamentalist and legalistic thinkers of his era, saying, “Grow up and use your head…your adult head!”
We are surrounded these days by people who persist in nurturing a childlike unfamiliarity with evil, people who are simply too comfortable with the familiar to consider the consequences of accepting a corrupt status quo. They would rather embrace it than take the responsibility for actually thinking for themselves and saying yes to exploring positive and healthy alternatives.
Fear of change and thinking outside of the narrow confines of fundamentalist theology spills over into all aspect of our lives if we don’t even attempt to use our adult heads. Individual lives have been ruined and families irreparably split because of our gullibility to belief systems that reject science and loudly proclaim they have all the answers. They cut us off from ever knowing the incredible yet wonderful aspects of God.
Today is Carl Sagan Day celebrating the famed astronomer, author, and science communicator. Many people still flatly define him as an atheist, but Carl Sagan, the poet, reveals to us that he explored worlds far beyond planetary systems. Here are some of his thoughts:
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. We’re made of star stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
May we be open to thinking with our adult heads today.
Minister for Children and Families
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare