Thursday, December 16, 2010

Heart vs. Mind: A sad but necessary battle

It takes two to tango, but it takes
an anthropomorphic brain and an
anthropomorphic heart to cha-cha.
I am a religious studies major in college. Let me say that in plain English... I (being me) STUDY (put long arduous hours of procrastination into) RELIGION (cults, sacred v. profane, yada yada) FOR (a preposition, relatively unimportant in this clarification) A (an article without an "n" at the end, meaning the next word will start with a consonant) LIVING (future vocation in this case). This naturally gives me somewhat more knowledge in certain fields and areas than the majority of humans. I do not want to confuse this with "know-it-all" syndrome, as I do not "know it all," and I unabashedly admit it. But when it comes to certain things such as Jewish history, the sociology of religion, and the Free movement within modern Christianity, I am certainly fairly well educated.

That being said, the academic Me is kind of a jerk. Sure, knowledge is cool, but with the quick absorption of knowledge comes a slow trickling of wisdom. Knowledge of Hebrew certainly is handy, but it can only get one so far. The same can be said for historical knowledge, cultural knowledge, and hermeneutical know-how. Intellectualism is the hot air that inflates the academic ego. Without the wisdom required to selflessly apply that knowledge, spirituality becomes a "smarter than thou" contest that breeds only an ugly condemnatory spirit. There comes a point where the heart must share some of the burden of faith and spirituality.

On the flip side, however, are many in the American Church today. They live by heart alone. This is awesome, minus the "alone" part. I am personally acquainted with many who believe only what they are spoon-fed and refuse to formulate their own faith outside of small-town Wyoming protestantism. I was born in to this, and I am truly thankful for having been immersed in this culture for so long. But there eventually comes a point where Heart and Mind MUST come together.

So I say to you, be you from Podunk or from Queens, use your heart and mind together. Read, learn, question, formulate, and analyze with your mind. Act, love, put in to action, believe, and thank from your heart. Know why you believe what you believe. Once you know, believe with all of your heart, and use your knowledge not for self-proclamation of your own intelligence, but instead to guide others ever closer to Christ.

Regards from a healthy schizophrenic,

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