The Origin of
PERHAPS the answer is -- that they have become captives to fleshly pride, the need for the "attention and recognition of men", or the deceit of "the wisdom of THIS world (system)" !! They may also have an inordinate need to be sheltered and protected - to be freed from the responsibility of thinking and making decisions for themselves - and prefer letting "authority" do it for them. They desire to again, "enter into the womb", and be safe and secure, feeding on milk at the breast of "Holy Mother Church".
For though you should in fact be teachers by this time, you need someone to teach you the beginning elements of God's utterances. You have gone back to needing milk, not solid food. For everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced in the message of righteousness, because he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, whose perceptions are trained by practice to discern both good and evil. **** Heb 5:12-14
However, you might ask, "YES, but they have 'good hearts' and act from noble intentions. Doesn't that count for anything ??" Here I will scandalize you by answering, "NO, it does NOT. Nothing at ALL !!"
In Matt 16:21-23, Jesus was telling His disciples that soon he would be taken from them and killed. Peter, full of misguided zeal and personal love and concern for HIS Master and Teacher, tried to dissuade Jesus from taking THAT course of action. Rather than Jesus responding, "Peter, you have a good heart and I thank you for your concern and good intentions" -- He rebuked Peter sharply and said to him, "Get away from me Peter. Your words come from Satan (the deceiver) and NOT from God. Your thoughts reflect the philosophy of THIS world (and ITS god), and NOT of Heaven and MY God !!"
The KJV Bible doesn't actually use the words "intelligent" or "intelligence" anywhere. As rendered in the NIV and NET bibles, they are G4908, "prudent" and G5428, "prudence".
The Biblical concept of "Wisdom" is probably acceptably close enough to serve the purpose here. The Bible makes the following observations regarding this "Wisdom":
As Satan tempted Eve in her "desire for special wisdom" that would elevate her (and Adam) to "know all things and thus become like unto God", so has the "god of THIS world (system)" infected the thinking of the ENTIRE society of THIS world with his deadly deceit and poison.
God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was ......... desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband and he ate it. ** Gen 3:5,6
By his good conduct he should show his works done in the gentleness that wisdom brings. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfishness in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and not hypocritical. ** James 3:13-17
The scripture makes it ABUNDANTLY clear as to the place of HUMAN wisdom, "intelligence" and the thinking of "this world (system)" in HIS economy !!
On that same occasion Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will." ** Luke 10:21
They became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools ** Rom 1:21,22
For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and I will thwart the cleverness of the intelligent" Where is the wise man? Where is the expert in the Mosaic law? Where is the debater of this age? Has God not made the wisdom of the world foolish? Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. ** 1Cor 1:19,20,26,27
Guard against self-deception, each of you. If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise. For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, "He catches the wise in their craftiness." Again, "The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile." ** 1Cor 3:18-20
However, PLEASE do NOT take the above statements as a condemnation of GODLY discernment, wisdom and understanding !! MANY twist the scriptures to their own end to justify themselves and to make the speaker (writer) seem to be senseless and foolish. It is most certainly NOT God's desire to have a family of gullible, simple-minded children - unable to think and reason for THEMSELVES - believing EVERYTHING that they are told (by AUTHORITY), no matter HOW absurd and senseless it may be.
NO -- quite the contrary !! He wants us to:
Put off the old man with its practices, be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and be clothed with the new man that is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of the one who created it. * Eph 4:23; Col 3:9,10
I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ will give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him -- since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened -- so that you can know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints. ** Eph 1:17,18
I am sending you out like sheep surrounded by wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. ** Matt 10:16
Actually, it IS TRUE that, in THEIR way and according to the "spirit that rules in THIS age", the "children of the world" ARE more "intelligent" and shrewd than are the "children of light". They learn from their father (the "god of THIS age"). He is the master of conceit, cunning, deceit, lies, and vanity.
Contrary to the pathetic, cartoon caricatures that both religion and this world have portrayed Satan as being, he IS NOT some foolish, pathetic red Satyr, complete with tail, hoofs and horns - ranting and drooling at the mouth. In the beginning, Lucifer was created as the highest excellence of God's power, wisdom and beauty (the Light Bearer) - next only to God Himself in His Kingdom. Thus Lucifer rebelled and fell, intoxicated by his SEEMING intelligence, power and greatness - and his obsession to elevate himself above the being of God and hopefully, rid himself of Him completely !!
For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their contemporaries than are the people of light. ** Luke 16:8
Does this not sound like the Liberal, Intelligentsia community of today - obsessed and intoxicated with their idol of "SELF", reviling God in ALL forms, and endeavoring by whatever means possible to free and rid themselves of that "abominable confining specter" -- so that THEY themselves may by "gods" ???
The universities, theological and religious institutions, and "the media world" are packed to overflowing with the "intelligent and the wise". The greatest God-hating and God-denying atheists of preponderous and impressive intellects populate THESE institutions !!!
The Scribes and the Pharisees, the murders of Christ in the flesh (Adam and Eve FIRST killed Him in the Spirit), were the most "intelligent" and educated of Jewish society. Jesus told them that they were "children of their father" -- the devil.
The Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox churches have turned out a bumper crop of theologians and ecclesiastics who truly hated the living person of Jesus Christ, but adored and worshiped their religious institutions, their power and position, their man-made idols, and their INTELLIGENCE.
Hitler - a man of impressive capability, intelligence and cunning - almost rose to the position of World Ruler (Dictator). True, he was a psychotic madman, but one does not rise to that position of power and achievement without impressive credentials. Almost single-handedly, he moved Germany from a place of poverty, destitution and world-scorn to a place of world dominion, power and rule. Truly HERE was "a son of his father (Satan)" !!
So, next time that you are tempted to be impressed by mere INTELLIGENCE, consider the quality and origin of the commodity which you are commending and applauding --- be it from THE God --- or merely from the "god of THIS world" ????