Monday, February 16, 2015

But the Wise Shall Understand

I hadn't sent donations to Christian ministries before this year, simply because I hadn't had access to any significant amount of "spare" money (if you can call it that). Because of that, I hadn't ever gotten any exposure to the special efforts of charitable organizations to interact with those who rise above 'garden-variety consumer' of the goods they produce to sustain themselves. Now I have, and it's been interesting to gain that insight.

As I had mentioned here, I bought three orders of the 100-ct. bulk purchase of The Biggest Question with the intent of making their easy availability to me (I've stowed most in my car) an aid in the event of obvious tracting opportunities--can't give what you don't have, and in the absence of following up a conversation, a tangible message left behind is a way to hopefully leave a stronger impression on someone after a witnessing encounter.

This was apparently a big enough single expense to draw the attention of the team. Trish Ramos, who I can only assume donates her time to Wretched, seems to have had the responsibility of calling to thank donors at the end of 2014. I was surprised to get a voicemail that was very clearly individually sent, since I was addressed by name.

As a follow-up to the thank-you and a "please let us know if you're interested in further supporting the ministry or handing out DVDs," she sent a text with a few links n' things. At the bottom was a verse reference I didn't immediately recognize, so I was compelled to look it up.
Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.Daniel 12:10
It would seem a rather obscure quote, especially when you look at its immediate context. It's in the prophecy to Daniel about the Great Tribulation. So its immediate meaning is that it concerns a distinction between the 'wise' and the 'wicked' as demonstrated (through 'trial') in that time period.

But while that is the focus of the text, that's not the limit of it. There's a cool word called perspicuity, which in Biblical theology refers to the fact that a passage can be understood on many different levels, based on your intellect and background knowledge, without there being contradiction. A child can understand that Genesis 6-8 tells that the whole earth was covered in water by a global flood that destroyed all of humanity but 8 people. Andrew Snelling can understand it, too, he just has a much more in-depth appreciation of some of its significance because of his technical aptitude. The perspicuity of Scripture is the doctrine that says that the plain truth is understandable to everyone.

At the same time, that means that, while Scripture cannot simply be twisted to mean whatever someone wants it to say, it is often the case that one single-sentence statement of truth can mean multiple things simultaneously.

Daniel 12:10 is focused primarily on the difference between the wise and wicked, so that tells me that there is a comparison between the two that is not limited to the Tribulation period but extends throughout history. Simply put, when Biblical truth is concerned, the wicked will not understand it, but the wise will. And who are the wise? Those who are purified. Who are purified? Those who are saved by grace through Christ's atoning sacrifice. Who are those? Truly converted Christians.

While I pondered this, the reason for Trish's inclusion of just that verse began to settle out in my mind. The wicked won't understand what value there is in buying some DVDs to hand out for free to people who are quite happy living their lives without being harassed by annoying Christian fundamentalists. The wise person recognizes that there's nothing on earth more valuable than the message these DVDs contain, so that it's not about the purchase itself, but what the concern says about the wise man's heart: promoting the spread of this Gospel is the most worthwhile endeavor there is to be concerned with, and his preoccupation with pursuing the amplification of that message throughout the world and in his community and in his life shows that he is wise.

The wise shall understand. I understand why Wretched's The Biggest Question project is something worth supporting. Do you have a similar depth of understanding when it comes to why you support, promote, or ignore various community projects, organizations and movements that you witness in your life?

'Something to think about.

~ Rak Chazak

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