Saturday, July 11, 2015

Knowledge without understanding

The other day I heard a phrase that went "knowledge does not necessarily mean understanding." The statement immediately took me back to freshman English, where we were made to memorize all the grammar rules, yet no attempt was made to show us how to apply said rules. Our teacher made the mistake of assuming that knowledge automatically meant understanding. So ultimately much of that knowledge did not help become better writers and communicators. I'm sure this is something that many people should take into consideration, including the church. I have no doubt that there are many who have fallen victim to empty knowledge. I've run into many who knew so much of the history of the Bible, but no applicable understanding of it. I've run into so many who get so hung up on theological definitions. For them it's all about accepting a rule, and expecting others to do the same. Yet they can't even see how they are violating the very definition they idolize through the unloving system they try to force submission of that standard. If they truly understood what they claimed to believe, there would be more living of the word, and less lecturing of it. 

It's precisely why the church should stop relying so much on lecture, policy, and politics to try to change the world, for it imparts only empty knowledge and surface change, or as Jesus called it, whitewash. 

The church needs to start to inspire people to seek understanding for themselves. Through narrative, art, action, and example. To teach more like Jesus did. So that, we can eventually, bridge the gap between knowledge and understanding. Of course we must understand it ourselves to do that, not just know it.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. -Matthew 23:27-28

a man whose heart is separated from his head