Reading “Dear Abby” in the Sunday paper (don’t laugh!), I was struck by the word she used to describe a man who disapproved of a friend's homosexual marriage. She said the man was “unenlightened.”
There are two rather different meanings to the word “enlightened.” The first is “to give information or understanding to someone in order to free them from ignorance, prejudice, or superstition.” According to this definition, an “enlightened” person would embrace religious pluralism while anyone holding to 'Jesus only' exclusivity would be “unenlightened.” (Call me “unenlightened.”)
For this, we are indebted to the “Age of Enlightenment” when it was presumed that man’s power of reason was better at explaining the world than an outmoded theistic, biblical worldview. Ever since, Christians have been relegated to the status of the "unenlightened" (still living in the “Dark Ages”).
But the second meaning of the word “enlightened” is “to give spiritual or religious revelation.” Accordingly, Paul prays we will be enlightened by the Spirit's revelation of God. (Eph. 1:17-18). In contrast, Paul describes people who walk according to the values of this world as blind and darkened in their understanding (Eph 2:2; 2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 4:18). And they call us "unenlightened"?