Spiritual Words

1 Corinthians discusses something that may be of interest to writers, words and rhetoric. Any you may not particularly like what it says.

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to proclaim the gospel, and not with eloquent wisdom, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 1:17 NRSV

It is not the power of words, but the power of God that is important. The pen might be mightier than the sword, but how can it be mightier than the Almighty God? 

See, I think that I just used rhetoric right there. Is it the wrong approach when proclaiming the Gospel?

One of the reasons, I think that some people have a difficult time “believing into God” is because God is so unlike anything else. Much of the time, we use words to enhance things that may or may not be that great in reality. This is the business of advertising; as well as it is creative writing, music, accounting, etc. But God is so different from all these things because we can’t exaggerate Him. We can really only understate His magnificence.

So should we be like the Puritans and ban all creative ways of spreading the Word? I do not believe so. Why would He have given us all different talents and passions if he wanted us all to do the exact same things?

But the question still lingers: how do we reconcile the Lord with art? Or at least, the question lingers in my mind. The answer, I believe, is faith. 

Faith? Isn’t that vague and simplistic? What does that really mean?

Well, faith would ensure that we are using the implements of this world as a means to an end, rather than an end unto themselves.

Faith is faith in God, that He will speak through us, rather than us speaking through our work. 

But maybe there is something to be said about simplicity as well:

1 Corinthians 1:27

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

Matthew 18:3

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


So the walk with God is, in worldly terms, a regressive one. We are renouncing our old beliefs, our old perrogatives, maybe forsaking centuries of “advancements” that have led us into the modern era. We are going back in time, not forward, traveling perhaps over land and sea to the very place where Christ was crucified.

I’m sorry if this wasn’t literal enough for your tastes 🙂

And apparently, this journey may be a lonely one.

1 Corinthians 2:15

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.

“No one else’s” scrutiny? Not even the scrutiny of other believers?

I must note this verse sounds more depressing in the Recovery Version. The word “scrutiny” used here can have a negative connotation, so maybe we don’t want to be scrutinized. But I suppose I brought it up because 1. I don’t understand it, so it must be important. Maybe some “spiritual words” that I am not equipped to understand at this time. 2. Because I myself feel misunderstood all the time. 3. Because maybe it’s okay to be misunderstood. Where words will not save me, the flesh of Christ will. 







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