“Do you fancy yourself a philosopher?” I remember being asked that by a friend at the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. At the time I simply answered yes. It was a time of walking in my own understanding, a time when I chose to back away from my clear calling into ministry in general and missions in particular so that I could start a career that suited my desires and glorified me. I am naturally more introverted and contemplative. I like to read and respond to the works of others, just like Marx responded to Hegel and Feuerbach. But over the last few years I have moved out of the realm of philosophy and into a deeper relationship with Jesus.
Philosophy is a very interesting field. While most post-modern philosophers (a title which, to be honest, now encompasses anyone on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media soapbox with which to enlighten the world with their perspective [irony noted]) do not get paid, we all have something to say, however, reading much of what is said it’s not difficult to discern who should be considered and who should be ignored.
Philosophy in it’s essence is considering your life or the lives of others and the world around you. It’s to think deeply and intentionally to rationalize the crazy that is the world in which we live. Here’s the problem with philosophizing: Seeking truth within ourselves and our minds will get us no where. Thinking deeply and intentionally without the guidance of the Holy Spirit is like a sailing ship trying to navigate an ocean during a torrential thunderstorm. The ship gets tossed and turned around and it’s disorienting. We need something (i.e. God) that is steady which we can fix our eyes on and get our bearings.
We are a species which suffers from total depravity. Whether you like it or not, it’s the truth. We are selfish, we are arrogant, we are hateful people to one degree or another. I have come to learn that philosophy, as a general rule, is a dangerous thing. It’s an examination of the deep thoughts in our depraved minds, and many of these depraved men and women who promulgate these ideologies end up bringing pain and suffering unto those who cannot protect themselves. If you don’t believe me, just look back over the twentieth century. The rise of a grand variety of “isms” gave us two world wars, a Cold War which has left us at five minutes to midnight, violent revolutions around the world, and an environment within America itself that is becoming increasingly hostile to the sound doctrines of the Christian faith.
I am not writing this to be a political message, but a warning to my brothers and sisters. Do you fancy yourself a philosopher? If so, check your doctrine. Be sure you are in line with God, who never contradicts his Scriptures. I encourage you to ground yourselves in the truth of the gospel of Jesus and be engaged with others. The depths of a depraved mind can be a terrible thing, but Christ has already won the victory, therefore, rejoice and know that He is with you to the end of the age.