Old School

by Rich Bregitzer
(St. Louis, MO)

1 Corinthians 1:18-24


1Co 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1Co 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
1Co 1:22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
1Co 1:24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

For several years now there has been a term that has grown in popularity and that term is also the name of today’s message: Old School. What does it mean if something or someone is “old school”?

Basically to be old school means that you do something in a way that is no longer practiced or that you pay homage to something from yesteryear. For example if I still use a landline instead of a cell phone someone may say I’m old school. Or if I have a jukebox or a victrola in my house instead of an MP3 player or iPOD someone could say my taste in technology is old school.

Old school is basically the same as being retro only that retro carries a more hip asterisk next to it. Retro is something other people might actually aspire to be where as most folks don’t necessarily want to be referred to as old school…at least not on purpose.

It strikes me that the new school camp is usually the group on the cutting edge of what is the greatest and latest craze. Often the new school folks are trendy, fashionable and very much in the know when it comes to whatever it is that is current.

As this information age that we live in progresses you may have noticed that it is becoming harder and harder to keep up with the pace.

I remember when I was 20 or 25 years old that I never thought I would outgrow the popular music; that I’d always be part of whatever was happening in the world around me, but then one day I discovered that I didn’t know the latest song…and I definitely didn’t know the latest dances.

What really struck me was I didn’t particularly care either and then it dawned on me; I was no longer cool, no longer part of the new school.

Now I don’t know about you, but I see a similar trend happening all over this country when it comes to places of higher education. It seems to me that I find more and more enlightened young people falling for whatever the new trend in teaching may be.

I am a fan of open-mindedness, but not to the point where your mind is so open that your brain falls out. And so I am bothered by trends, especially in the area of religious teaching or by the latest fashionable practices in church services.

I have said this before and I’ll say it again. The church should affect positive change in the community and should evolve to do so. However, the culture should not negatively impact the church.

I believe in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians that he is admonishing them to be wary of new fangled teaching when he says:

1Co 1:19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
1Co 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

When he says “Where is the philosopher of this age?” he is very much calling into question the ramblings of the arm chair theologians and new school students bent on learning, learning, learning, but never lifting a finger towards practicing faith with service to God and/or others.

When the world looks at us and sees us pointing to Jesus on the cross the new school group can’t seem to accept the fact that that is, as the scripture says, the power of God. Meaning the power that brings to us salvation.

So, they theorize away the cross, they intellectualize away Jesus and they make God into something figurative.

What does Paul say about these so-called wise people, these scholars, these modern day philosophers that see the message of the cross as old school foolishness?

Well, in verse 18 he says those that think so are perishing and in verse 21 he says that since those practicing worldly wisdom did not know him that it was the foolishness of the old school Gospel message that had been tested and found tried and true that would lead to salvation for those that would believe it’s so-called “foolish” message.

I have a group of people that I know that are so bent on keeping up with the times; they devour books on religion, take classes to keep sharp and enter in to every discussion and debate they can.
They remind me of the Jews and the Greeks that Paul mentions in verses 22-24 where it reads:

1Co 1:22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
1Co 1:23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
1Co 1:24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Not only are these people making things more difficult for themselves by ignoring the simple meaning of Christ on the cross, but all their studying leads to very little doing of any kind of good for anyone.

They argue points, but they don’t change lives and so in their inability to accept the old tried and true “old school” message they, according to Paul, stumble.

For those of us that know that the ability to call ourselves God’s children is due to the sacrifice on the old rugged cross we find the answer is not a new one, but one that is the old, old story of Jesus and His love…or as the “old school” scripture says in closing “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.”

I have said this before: wisdom is the application of knowledge and contrary to new school thought, it is not the storing up of knowledge.

So, if you’re here today I would encourage you to be as old school as possible in your relationship with God, our God…God of the old and the new alike.

Amen

Comments for Old School

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Nov 21, 2010
Great Truth
by: Ronald Jenkins

Great truth on life in the world. I relate and relate to the one who suffered on the cross for us. Been there. God bless you and good job.

Nov 16, 2010
KJV
by: Anonymous

The King James Bible is "old school", too.

Click here to add your own comments

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