Ignorant of Ignorance
It is one thing to be ignorant, but when you are ignorant of your own ignorance, it is truly a sad situation! Ignorance in any sphere of life can cause people to embarrass themselves by their behavior. People may be sincere, yet reveal that they are ignorant of their own ignorance. The field of science provides us with an example on page 220 of a book entitled Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries by the popular TV host and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
A now famous science fair experiment that tested anti-technology sentiments and associated chemical phobias was conducted in 1997 by Nathan Zohner, a 14-year-old student at Eagle Rock Junior High School in Idaho. He invited people to sign a petition that demanded either strict control of, or a total ban on, dihydrogen monoxide. He listed some of the odious properties of this colorless and odorless substance: It is a major component of acid rain; it eventually dissolves almost anything with which it comes into contact; it can kill if accidentally inhaled; it can cause sever burns in its gaseous state; it has been found in tumors of terminally ill cancer patients. Forty-three out of 50 people approached by Zohner signed the petition, six were undecided, and one was a great supporter of dihydrogen monoxide and refused to sign. Yes, 86% of the passersby voted to ban water from the environment.
A much greater danger is that of being ignorant of one’s own ignorance of God’s will. Consider these examples:
- The Israelites were ignorant of their own ignorance:
- Regarding whose ways were right (Ezekiel 33.17-20)
- In their rejection of God (Hosea 4.1-6)
- Concerning God’s love (Malachi 1.2)
- The Ninevites were ignorant of their own ignorance of good and evil (Jonah 4.11).
- Blind leaders and blind followers were ignorant of their own ignorance of what defiles a person (Matthew 15.14).
- The Jews were ignorant of their own ignorance concerning righteousness (Romans 10.2-3).
- False teachers were ignorant of their own ignorance regarding the day of the Lord (2 Peter 3.5).
- The Laodiceans were ignorant of their own ignorance of their lukewarmness (Revelation 3.17-18).
When we defend our right to practice religion by a standard of self-authority (Judges 21.25), while denying the same right to others because they choose to practice religion by a standard of Bible-only authority, are we not ignorant of our own ignorance?
What of the condemnation of “judging” by “passing judgment” that “judging” is wrong? Are not demonstrating an ignorance of our own ignorance?
What is the purpose of baptism? In rejecting it as necessary to salvation while submitting to it for other reasons, all the while affirming that it has nothing to do with salvation, are we not ignorant of our own ignorance?
What of affirming that “one church is as good as another,” then condemning those who affirm that Christ built only one? Is this not demonstrating an ignorance of our own ignorance? If one church is as good as another, why do you speak evil of that one? If that one is really as good as….why do you fear to attend when invited to that one?
Could it be that, in reality, you believe that your church is the only one that is right? Your attendance habits speak volumes on that matter.