Our ‘Moronic’ Gospel

Posted on July 11, 2019

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By David Ettinger

Startling Title
I know the title of this blog is somewhat startling, but I can defend it and demonstrate how this is exactly what unbelievers think of the Gospel message.

Where We Find It
The word “moron” – in its Greek form – is biblical. It is found in 1 Corinthians 1:18 where the apostle Paul writes: “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.”

This is a familiar verse to many Christians, but I submit to you that the English word “foolishness” is not strong enough to convey Paul’s intended meaning.

The English “foolishness” comes from the Greek moria, from which comes the more impactful English word “moronic.” Moria can also be translated as “folly,” “absurdity,” “stupidity,” and “senselessness.” With this in mind, we can translate the first half of v. 18 this way:

  • “For the message of the cross is moronic …”
  • “For the message of the cross is folly …”
  • “For the message of the cross is absurdity …”
  • “For the message off the cross is stupidity …”
  • “For the message of the cross is senselessness …”

I know these are harsh terms, but this is precisely what Paul is communicating.

Why This is Important
Does this sound like splitting hairs to you? I hope not. I think knowing the more accurate definition of the Greek word moria is important because it gives us a deeper understanding as to why the Christian message is so despised.

The word “foolishness” simply does not convey the depth of hostility with which the world views the Gospel message. The word “foolishness” often is used in the context of “silliness,” as if saying of believers, “There go those silly Christians again, believing in that ridiculous fairy story about their God-man who rose from the dead.”

No, the animosity the world holds for the Gospel goes far beyond this. The world sees the Gospel – and its adherents – as moronic, absurd, stupid, and senseless, and they mean it in the worse way.

That by nature the human race is sinful and destined for eternal damnation is, to them, moronic. That Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins is absurd. That He rose from the dead is stupidity. That there actually are such things as sin, Hell, eternal condemnation, and a God who came to Earth in the form of man is absolute senselessness.

This what the Greek word moria tells us.

What to do About It
Now that we have a better understanding of what the world thinks about the Gospel message, let us be ever more diligent in praying for the lost. To “them,” the Gospel is moria ­– moronic, as it once was to many of us, me included. But God in His graciousness banished our blindness and placed us into the light of His Son, and we now adore the Gospel message of the Lord Jesus Christ.

May He do the same for those who regard His precious Gospel as moronic!

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