Is Ignorance Bliss?

Ecclesiastes 1:18

There’s a line in Batman Begins that jumps off the screen to me. Mob boss Carmine Falcone is talking to a minion of sorts who started to ask too many questions. “Ignorance is bliss my friend. Don’t burden yourself with these secrets of scary people.” Is ignorance bliss?

Is Ignorance Bliss? Ecclesiastes 1

The character’s point in the movie: If you don’t know, then you can’t be held responsible for it.

Generally, most of us accept the catch phrase as true. After all, ignorance is bliss, right? If we are innocent and don’t know about something, then nothing bad can happen to us. It’s almost as if we’d rather know nothing, so we can always be innocent and safe.

What’s more, there’s a verse in Scripture which I think augments a concept of this viewpoint.

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Divorce and Abandonment for the Sake of the Kingdom of God

What Jesus Really Meant by "Leaving Wife or Children"

When I started following Jesus, I divorced my life plans and abandoned everything I knew. I ditched all my friends at the time (I still miss them). I quit pursuing the marching percussion arts (I miss playing drums). I immersed myself in the Bible and surrounded myself with new friends who were followers of Christ. I was single at the time, so I didn’t have a wife to leave behind, neither did I have any children.

Divorcee and Abandonment for the Sake of the Kingdom of God

While there was pain in this time, there was also newfound comfort. The new friends I made were great! I even met my wife around this time too! That’s a brief overview of my experience, but I don’t think the metaphorical comparison is what Jesus meant when he made this statement:

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Why Saying “Don’t Be So Heavenly Minded That You’re No Earthly Good” May Not Be Good Thing

And the Kingdom of God Mentality that We Desire to Communicate

Besides poor grammar, “don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good” communicates that thinking about heaven and living in anticipation of arriving at heaven is a negative thing. As with any group of words, the context in which these words are given help determine the actual meaning.

Don't Be So Heavenly Minded That You're No Earthly Good

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Do You Fall Asleep When Praying?

God's Peace May Bring Rest and Sleep

Do You Fall Asleep When Praying

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”

When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour is near, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Matthew 26:36 – 46 NIV

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Time and Chance Happen to Everyone

I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.

Time and Chance Happens to Everyone Ecclesiastes 5

Ecclesiasties 9:11 NLT

Time and chance happen to everyone.

Bad crap happens. Dangers are a part of everyday life. And it’s just the way that it is. See Ecc. 11:3.

Today’s analogies would be:

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By Your Goodness or God’s Goodness?

Starting & Living the Christian Life by the Goodness of God

We are obsessed with being good. This idea of being good shows up all the time in our culture:

Your Goodness or God's Goodness?

“Was he good?” (Asking the babysitter how your child’s behavior was…)

“How’d he do?” He did a good job. (Talking about someone performing in sports, academics, etc.)

When we do a good job, it means that we have lived up to and fulfilled the expectations set before us. Often, these expectations are unwritten and non-formal. Nonetheless, there is a bar to reach or a standard to live up to that is required in order to be good.

Other ways we show this relative goodness in our culture is by saying “he’s a good man,” or “she’s a good woman,” or “they’re a good Christian.”

Good Christian? Relative to who? Relative to what? Often, when saying someone is a good Christian, the thought process becomes one as follows:

“Well, they read their Bible more than most. They pray more than most. They go to church more than most. They dress nicer than most. They talk better than me. The give more money than me. Etc…”

What Defines Goodness?

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Has God Given You a Hope and a Future?

Jeremiah 29:11 - Out of Context Means it Doesn't Mean What we Think

As followers of Christ, we tend to believe that we should be protected by God from everything evil and blessed with everything good. So, we read the Bible and quote it saying, “God has promised me a hope and a future. He has plans to prosper me.” However, we fail to realize this wasn’t a promise to 21st-century believers.

Has God Given You a Hope and a Future? Does God plan to prosper you?

Here’s why we say that:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Other translations phrase it like this: “plans to prosper you and not to harm you.” And generally, whenever we hear money, I mean prosper, we tend to think money, money, money! Along with that money comes time and freedom that apparently can’t be found elsewhere…

When reading the Bible, there are certain rules of literature we must pay attention to. Historical happenings (what was actually going down at that moment in history) and original intent (what the author meant to say to his original audience) are a couple of things we need to consider when reading a passage from the Bible.

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