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Dutchess_III's avatar

Do you think intelligent people are a real danger to the church?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42438points) January 12th, 2015

According to this pastor they are. Warning. Repeat article from an earlier question. Just another take on it.

“....a nice kid, but one of those — he was a real smart aleck. He was a bright kid, which didn’t help things — made him more dangerous.”

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15 Answers

rockfan's avatar

Not at all, I’ve met extremely intelligent people who are devout Christians.

ucme's avatar

The three wise men were, I mean, what shite presents!

Blackberry's avatar

Religion is a lot like the military: they both can’t function unless they have obedient drones.

Buttonstc's avatar

It depends upon which church you’re referencing.

If referring to one ultra-fundamentalist group composed of YECs (Young Erarth Creationists) then, yes, I can see how they would view intelligent people as a threat to their narrow mindset.

But, if you are speaking of the church universal, then of course not. Intelligent people (particularly the young) are the future of the church. They’re the ones who will be at the forefront of changes necessary to prevent stagnation and narrow minded judgementalism.The thinkers in many denominations are the ones who are causing them to rethink their positions on same sex relationships and marriage.

Both the Episcopaleans and Methodists are going through major upheavals currently regarding this issue. And who do you think is pushing the hardest for change? It’s those who are intelligent enough to recognize that being mired in the attitudes of the past is ridiculous.

Just because one isolated Pastor is threatened because he doesn’t know how to handle an intelligent questioning kid says absolutely zero about the entire rest of the church.

The fallacy of that is so ridiculous it barely merits comment. It’s like asking about the legitimacy of a group like Westboro Baptist Church.

They (and this Pastor) are representatives of themselves ONLY and not the entire rest of the church. And thinking intelligent people recognize that.

zenvelo's avatar

The truly intelligent, those who use their brains in pursuit of enlightenment, are not a threat to any church. Those who feel threatened are those who do not really represent a church or a belief system, but rather those who are enmeshed in a punitive way of thinking, those who are incapable of nuance or intelligent evaluation or even able to step away from dualistic thinking.

That pastor is a bigger threat to his church than all the kids combined. Now everyone knows he is a bully who cannot represent a loving faith.

jerv's avatar

If so, then Pope Francis is their worst nightmare. Not only is he intelligent, he’s also insightful, tolerant, and (worst of all) progressive.

But no, I think intelligent people are only a threat to narrow-minded Fundamentalists.

stanleybmanly's avatar

There can be no greater threat to ideology than intellect, and this has consistently been the BIG problem for the Church since Paul was ambushed on the road to Damascus. Anytime doctrine is required to be accepted on “faith”, there will be those asking “why?” The Church’s relevance is increasingly threatened as accelerating discoveries bump up against rusty doctrinal truths, and it is probably a losing race for a clumsily bureaucratic institution to adapt its teachings to mesh with advancing frontiers of knowledge.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Buttonstc But I was strongly discouraged from asking intelligent questions at every church I attended.

JLeslie's avatar

Only if the church is trying to squelch people’s intelligence. Intelligence, science, God and religion can all be together harmoniously. It’s when one tries to force the other away that there is a big backlash.

Buttonstc's avatar

Then you were attending the wrong churches.

Correct me if I am mistaken about this, but what I’ve gathered from your past writings on the subject, the churches with which you were dealing were primarily of the type I described. Of course narrow minded fundies who are YECs don’t welcome questions because they don’t have any answers other than “Dont Question!”

Have you ever been involved for any significant length of time with any Episcopaleans, Presbyterians or even socially progressive RCs?

If your primary exposure has been to the narrow minded types then it’s easy to generalize and assume that that’s what the church is like.

But that would be a drastic mistake based upon only a small sampling. The church universal has brilliant minds active in many denominations. I only cited the two above because they have a general reputation for respecting scholarship and inquiry but there are tons of others.

If you’d like to get dome exposure to those who are not so narrow minded that they feel the need to deny the process of evolution out of hand, here’s but one example that will expose you to a different type of thinking, you might enjoy spending a little time perusing here:

www.biologos.org

But if you still have a need for further axe grinding and railing at the narrow minded fundies whom you keep insisting on referencing then I suppose nothing will help until you get it out of your system.

Yes, a lot of them are idiots and willing to defend it to the death (just like the fanatics of WBC) but they represent only ONE segment of a very very large and roomy church universal who respect education and have no fear of scientific inquiry of God’s world. As a matter of fact they welcome it and many times are active participants.

Do you honestly think that only atheists are scientists? I mean, really? Come on.

You might benefit from exposure to educated believers who aren’t wallowing in ignorance and proud of it. You might find it a refreshing change from you previous associations.

Or maybe not. If you’re bound and determined to paint all Theists with the same brush as the ones who burned you, there really is no point at all in discussion.

PS: I used to hang with the same types so i know exactly what you are talking about. But I grew up and found compatibility elsewhere. It’s a big wide world out there.

canidmajor's avatar

What @Buttonstc said, in italics, in bold face, repeat as often as necessary. It sounds like your experience has been so limited as to be virtually nonexistent.

Research the Jesuits, known for centuries as the group that promoted the highest of educational standards. Take a walk through this list and see if you recognize any names. These are not universities that in any way avoid scientific studies.

Dutchess_III's avatar

People who consider themselves leaders don’t like being asked questions that they have no answer for.
Anyway, I just let it all go. I do kind of miss it tho.

longgone's avatar

^ That is only true of insecure leaders.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good point.

jerv's avatar

@Buttonstc “Do you honestly think that only atheists are scientists? I mean, really? Come on.”

Honestly, I think that it’s the Christian scientists that are the greatest asset towards both. Science and religion are often at odds, but we have plenty who know all the facts that we think we know about science, compare them the the Bible, then prove that it’s possible to reconcile science and faith.

The YEC crowd who translate yom as “day” instead of “era” have some other funny notions, but I think it safe to say that most Christians at all levels of intelligence reconcile faith and religion with either “Old Earth Creationism”, or merely by taking the Bible as allegory instead of literal truth. Then again, you won’t see many of the YEC crowd in any of the hard sciences anyways.

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