Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 10th August 1997
From the Pastor: Wisdom and Folly I
Traditionally wisdom has been held to reside with upper classes, the educated
class, or the ruling class. Today that outlook is cried down as "elitism" (as if
shouting a derogatory slogan is sufficient refutation). In its place wisdom is
held to reside with the people, the masses, or the social consensus. This is the
guide to political policy, to morality, truth and falsehood in all kinds of
matters, including religious.|
Of course, it should readily be seen that the opinions of the masses are
shifting sands: they can be, and are, manipulated by minorities such as media
journalists, pressure groups, or politicians who themselves may have no more
real wisdom than the average citizen.
Moses, in anticipation of the apostasy of Israel, or if you like, the shift in
its social consensus, expressed the yearning, "Would that they were wise ...
that they would consider their latter end." (Deuteronomy 32:29). This is
a large part of true wisdom, to consider one's latter end, both individually
and collectively. Failure, or worse refusal, to think about final ends
is therefore the height of folly. What then is the final end of a life of:
Self-serving? sexual indulgence? alcohol consumption? addiction to gambling?
or last but not least, irreverent Godlessness? The outcome can only be
permanent loss and death. The truth of the proverb cannot be escaped,
"There is a way that seems right, but its end is the way of death"