I am a simple man. From the earliest days after my ‘new birth’, I have approached my faith in the simplest terms. Perhaps this approach came to me naturally. My father had to quit school in the fifth grade and work to help support his family. While lacking in formal schooling, he was a wise man. He was a hands-on man and approached things on a practical rather than theoretical basis. That same pattern shaped his religious life. He was simply a good and godly man.
I have had the privilege of higher education that my father never had. After graduate school, I spent thirty-three years as a faculty member of a highly respected private Christian Liberal Arts university. The university was located in the same town as a notable theological seminary. I’ve enjoyed friendship with profound thinkers in the secular and the theological realms. I have been surrounded by, and I am respectful of, ‘academics’ in both worlds. Yet, my longings have been for simplicity in my life and in my faith.
We live in a complex and challenging world. If my father was alive today, I think he would express his advice to me with the following verse: “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3, NKJV). He would likely say, “Walking with Jesus is not quantum physics. Keep it simple”.
The Apostle Paul addressed this matter with the early church. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:18-21, NKJV).
In my effort to live out my faith on the basis of simple truth, I gravitate to plain and easily-understood scripture. An example of such a scripture is, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Romans 12:12, NIV). Now that’s a word my simple heart can understand and live by.
Prayer: May our minds never “be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”.
~ Brother Roy