Sunday, September 20, 2015

An ignorant woman and an arrogant fool

Sunset in Idaho
Image DistanceBetweenCities

Let us call the elderly woman of our story Faith. She is a widow living alone in the farm house located in the Gem State of Idaho. Her children have long left home with little interest in cultivating potatoes. They have often invited her to move to the city and its services in order to be closer to them. But she loves the wide nature, fresh air and freedom of country life managing quite well despite having already passed her 80th birthday.

It is late afternoon and she is sitting outside with her grandson - let us call him Albert - who is visiting his grandmother on his way to Pocatello. He studies there nuclear energy in the University. As a top student, Albert is aiming high in life and is working hard on his doctoral in the Nuclear Energy Institute lab.

"Oh Albert" the grandmother says with much joy in her heart, "look at those twilight hues! See how the sun setting behind the mountains colors the sky in so many hues of orange, yellow and red in a way that best painters find difficult to imitate." Faith then continues by praising God "the works of our Lord are truly marvelous and show His love of beauty and His good will towards man making so many things for us to enjoy!"

Albert is a bit annoyed by the words of his ignorant grandmother who "fills with religion her lack of knowledge". True, she has had only limited education from the basic school she attended so many years ago as a young girl. But still, does she not know that sunlight travels a longer distance in the evening and morning which causes multiple scattering of violet and blue light passing through air molecules? Or any version of that common scientific knowledge? Clouds, dust and haze affect the process of turning blue sky into the fascinating display of reddish hues. Albert, of cause, knows much more than common people about the particles in the air down, photons and atoms. Therefore he sees clearly the total ignorance of her grandmother Faith in this matter.

Tapping the wooden chair nervously with his fingers Albert nevertheless answers to her politely "yes, Grandmother, this sunset is beautiful and truly a wonder of Nature!" They continue enjoying together the display of lights and colors on western sky as evening approaches.

Ignorant faith and arrogant knowledge
By giving glory to God the Creator, uneducated grandmother experiences joy and happiness just by looking at the setting sun. The Nature talks to her about the wisdom and greatness of its Maker and the One who has promised to take care of her now and forever. In her ignorance of modern science she is not different from Biblical persons living over 2000 years ago who knew nothing of Sir Isaac Newton or photons but correctly praised the God of Israel for His great works seen through the eyes of faith.

Arrogant knowledge, such as presented by people like the Albert of our story, was also known long ago when the books of the Bible were written. The famed letter by Paul addressed to the early Christians in the hub of classic civilization called the city of Rome dates to the first century AD.  The chosen Apostle of the Pagans wrote that such an arrogance towards the Truth is not at all a trivial matter
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Romans 1:18-23 NIV

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