Values–You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means

I got a B in Philosophy in college. The reason for that is because I got a B in everything in college, except History, where I got A’s.

I do not claim to be a philosopher or one who knows all the ins and outs of philosophy, but I’ve read quite a bit of it and find it interesting.

It’s amazing how much Christian lingo is not biblical but is rather the result of accepting human philosophy. The Apostle Paul even warned us about this:

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

If you follow Christ you cannot follow human wisdom at the same time.

I heard a thing about Nietzsche’s philosophy the other day. Although you may not know Nietzsche, of perhaps you only know him because he played for the Packers, I’m pretty sure you’ve heard some of his philosophy.

“God is dead” was said by Nietzsche. He also said, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” which I first saw on the back of a t-shirt for a high school running team.

Nietzsche was an atheist who was convinced there was no God and thus, no morality. He was especially opposed to Christianity. Definitely anti-Christ.

It is interesting how Christians have taken one of his MAIN WORDS in his philosophy and adopted it for our own. The word is “values.” Nietzsche, who didn’t think there was morality, no right and wrong, thought people should do things based on what they value.

Nietzsche’s big idea was “will to power.” He said,

“My idea is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force (–its will to power:) and to thrust back all that resists its extension. But it continually encounters similar efforts on the part of other bodies and ends by coming to an arrangement (“union”) with those of them that are sufficiently related to it: thus they then conspire together for power. And the process goes on”

You have things you value, so you go get them. Others want the same things and the powerful will gets it. It’s better to be the masters than the slaves. Nietzsche’s philosophy has driven some of the most awful governments in our history, culminating in the Third Reich. Nietzsche was the philosopher to mention the “superman” concept that Hitler went nuts with.

Modern culture has followed Nietzsche’s philosophy. People don’t talk about sin anymore. You can’t judge someone’s behavior as right and wrong. The closest we get to morality is talking about “values.”

Christianity has followed this as well. “Family Values” was a large theme of the “Religious Right.” We talk of Judaeo-Christian values. Even the self-esteem movement, based on you valuing yourself highly, has become the root of much Christian self-help, health and wealth, doctrine.

The Bible does talk about things having value, the blood of Christ has untold value, but it never uses this word in relation to morality. The Bible speaks like this

evil deeds vs. good deeds
righteousness vs. unrighteousness
light vs. dark
sin vs. faithful obedience
right vs. wrong

God does not base His judgments on what you value. The Law, which explains His righteousness, is not based on what people value. What you value matters very little.

Even your supposed “family values” pale in comparison with, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

There is one part of all creation that God values more than all else and that is His Son. If you value Christ, you line up with His righteousness, morality, and revelation of right and wrong. Nothing else competes.

Call righteousness and sin what they are. Don’t fall for the world’s philosophy that chalks it all up to personal value, whatever works for you. That is of the devil.

Nietzsche was wrong. He valued the wrong stuff. He has now fallen silent before the living God. He has met Him who is of Supreme Value and Nietzsche is nothing in comparison.

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4 thoughts on “Values–You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think it Means What You Think it Means”

  1. I’m glad you were able to see so clearly the foolishness of worldly philosophy, and can state it clearly to help others.

    “There is one part of creation that God values more than all else, and that is His Son.”

    How would you relate that to John 3:16? It seems there that “God so loved the world that He gave His Son”. If God valued His Son more than the world, why would He give Him?

  2. All things were made by Him and without Him was nothing made. The Him is referring to Christ. The Creator is greater than the creation. The fact that the Creator made creation is what gives creation its value–it’s His. By Him, the Son, all things consist. The only thing worthy of redeeming creation is the Creator, as nothing in temporal creation is valuable enough to redeem creation.

    It is the high value of the Son that makes what the Son made and holds together have value. If His creation had more value, then we ought to worship the creation rather than the Creator.

  3. Sure, that is sensible. But then, why did God give something that’s very valuable (His Son) for something that was practically worthless (a sinful world)?

    That may seem like a kindergarten question, but I find it interesting still, because it goes so contrary to our ideas of value, trade, and a “good deal”.

  4. I believe that is the ultimate question: “Who is man that thou art mindful of him?” I imagine love and grace are involved in the answer. Love and grace rarely make economic sense.

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