We live in interesting times. With the Internet and communication for everyone, the whole world is communicating, That means we are arguing. Someone has said that we now have smart phones, and stupid people. Someone else told us that we have this amazing Internet where we can discuss any issues without collective intelligence, and we send each other pictures of cats.
And you might hear about those other people, and how stupid they are. “Stupid” is one of our favorite words for insulting other people. In the Bible, we read the word “Fool.”
Jesus knew this, and He didn’t like it:
Notice that Jesus used the word “racah.” That is important in the Bible.
Where I live, someone just used the word ‘stupid’ to describe his own actions. A man keyed a car, he scratched the paint with a key, in a parking lot. The car was an electric Tesla, and possibly he was protesting something. He turned himself in to the police, after his picture was posted on the Internet. The car owner had security cameras on the car, and the crime was posted on the Internet as a video recording. The guilty man confessed, “I wasn’t thinking. I made a stupid mistake.”
- RELATED: Edmonton man turns himself in, is charged after video captures Tesla vandalism: Global News
We also had a visit from the environmental activist Greta Thunberg. I was several hours away, in another city, and I’m glad I missed the event. The place was filled with people who thought some other people were stupid.
One thing surprises me about the rally. It was about everything, and sometimes nothing. People in the crowd opposed each other, and still marched together. Apparently some communists were selling books, and truck drivers rallied for their jobs. The guest speaker was accused of tampering with an election in a foreign country, and that might be why her talk was bland and neutral. Of course, the news media made money from the story, and they are owned by a large for-profit corporations. To me, it was like a protest circus with more than one event.
- RELATED: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg joins Edmonton climate rally: Global News
I know this city, and my belief is that everyone piled on to get free publicity. The word was out that a famous person was going to speak, and others who wanted attention showed up and tried to crowd in front of the cameras.
If you could ask anyone to point at someone who was stupid, they could easily find someone in the crowd; but those other people would point back. Probably no-one wanted to learn from the other side., they just wanted their free camera time.
So, who was stupid?
In the Bible, there are two kinds of stupidity, and the difference is important. The two words are from the Hebrew language:
Jesus did not like this one. Racah means empty-headed, with diminished intellectual capacity. That is purely an insult and an expression of intolerance.
This means to make wrong moral choices. It includes the idea of making those choices repeatedly, over time, until they become habits. That’s a ‘fool’ in the Bible.
The man who keyed the expensive car described himself as that kind of fool, and I have had my times of ‘nabal’ stupidity. Some memories are painful.
I wasn’t at the rally with Greta Thunberg, but the news videos show me that ‘nabal’ type moral failure is a common human condition. Everyone at the rally accused someone else of that kind of stupidity, often someone else at the same rally.
I don’t see any hope in the crowd.
Our human condition is ‘nabal’ stupidity. I am a Christian because my human ‘nabal’ condition needed divine intervention. Left on my own, I am just another one of the stupid people. If there is any improvement now, I can’t take the credit. Jesus makes the repairs in me.