Before the enlightenment kings ruled the world, then intelligence came in and blue bloods went out. Kings were chosen by royal birth and for the greater part of human history superstition ruled the day. The reformation combined with an increase in knowledge made a huge impact on European societies.
In the last one hundred years knowledge has been on the increase. There have been great advancements in all the sciences, and for technically advanced countries life has become much better. The Church, however, differs considerably from the world in its purpose for instruction. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy and said,
“But the aim of our instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.” (1 Timothy 1:5)
Certainly, there is nothing wrong with making work a little easier, helping people medically, and being able to travel further and faster. In fact, all of the increase in knowledge has been a gift from God. However, how and why knowledge is used are other matters. God can be acknowledged and obeyed in the advancement of new technologies or He can be ignored and disobeyed.
All Christian instruction is to produce love, which proceeds from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Knowledge that is produced for God’s glory does not have as its goal some self-centered advancement that ends in sinful pride. The person who spends endless hours practicing the piano in order to play well, gets as his or her reward the ability to play. The reward of instruction is the gift of service.
For this reason Jesus said, “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matthew 23:10, 11). There is no place for pride in the Christian life. Pride is the root cause of all sin, and sin is an affront to the God’s holiness.
In contrast to pride the aim of Christian teaching is a pure heart, which means no mixing of sinful and godly purposes. Love always has as its purpose God’s work and glory, and God never elevates a man above Himself. Christian instruction should always help people to have a good conscience, which means it leads people to the cross and resurrection of Christ for power to live a godly life. Furthermore, good Christian teaching produces a sincere faith within those that are true Christians. Sincerity is the quality of being free from pretense, deceit, or hypocrisy. There is nothing Christian about an insincere faith because there is nothing real about pretense. A person is either real or else they pretend, no one can be both.
Christians do not rule the world, but if they did there would be no wars, no starvation, and no false religions. The true Christian allows God to rule, and when He rules knowledge is used for good and not evil. A Christian ruler would not and could not force anyone to believe, therefore, his rule would be fair and loving. One day Christ will return and from that day on all knowledge will be for love’s sake only. Oh glorious day!