Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. Romans 10:1-3 (NASV)

Few societies throughout history have dedicated themselves to the education of everyone within the society as have we. This nation has long realized that an essential key to opportunity, to a better lifestyle, and to an improved life is education. To neglect people’s mental development curses a nation. How many nations aspire to teaching every person for years? Why do we? Education benefits the person and the nation.

We wish to encourage and challenge those who impart knowledge and those who gain knowledge. There are benefits, and there are dangers. We urge you to see both. To those of you who impart knowledge, may your task be a privilege. May it never be just a job. To those who seek knowledge, may knowledge always be a part of opportunity. May seeking knowledge never be just an obligation to get “out of the way.” To both groups, may education always be a challenging opportunity that only begins with school. May learning to think accurately be a key to personal fulfillment.

May none of us use our knowledge as the means for justifying evil. Most murderers justify their destruction of life. Most addicts justify their addictions. Most greedy people justify their greed. Most people who exploit justify their exploitations. When we justify our evil acts, we often lose sight of the consequences of our actions, or the impact of our actions on other people.

Paul even knew people who were extremely committed to their religious views, but were committed to zealous ignorance rather than honest insight. Their basic problem: they substituted their values for God’s values—and were not aware of the substitution. The result: they substituted their righteousness for God’s. Learn, but do not be foolish in what you know. Know, but never justify the existence of evil within yourself. Knowledge cannot make you a god, so never let what you know deceive you.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 30 August 2009

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