- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about reasoning?
God does not call us to blind faith, but rather, He wants us to use the wonderful minds He has given us, to reason with His Word, Is 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” He promises we will be rewarded for our effort, as the truth will wipe away all of our sins. This is a bold promise, who but God could make it? How can we prove it?
Proving the existence of God and the truthfulness of His promises is a rather simple matter. It begins when we stop pretending we know there is no God. Pretending we can know there is no God when we have never reasoned with His Truth, is a rather foolish position, Ps 14:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” Accepting the word of someone who also has not reasoned with the truth is equally foolish, Col 2:8, “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.” Too many of us only seek the counsel of those willing to tell us what we want to hear, 2 Tim 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;”
God has given us the Bible, sent us the Holy Ghost, and provided a universe with all of the seen and unseen things within it; so that we are without excuse for our unwillingness to reason with all that He has created, Rom 1:20, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” He is not hiding in heaven or speaking in secret, He has left us many witnesses to His righteousness and love, if we are only willing to seek Him, Is 45:19, “I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”
God draws us to the faith required to complete the race He has set before us, but He never asks us to have unreasoned faith. If we reason with all He has created, we will find the real faith, which is grounded in Truth. God calls us to be ready to explain our faith to anyone willing to listen, 1 Pet 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” He wants us to shine His light into every corner of this world, Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Anything but reasoned faith will be unable to withstand the tests brought by the skeptics of this world, Matt 7:26-27, “And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” Without real faith, we will become the lukewarm Christians God warned us about, Rev 3:16-20, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
It is the reasoning with His Word, which leads us to follow His advice. Once we are walking by reasoned faith, our experience will lead us to the solid ground of His Truth, and it becomes the foundation of the house of our faith. This foundation is necessary for the house to withstand the floods of doubt and the winds of dispute brought by the skeptics of this world.
The path to true reasoning requires an honest evaluation, without unsubstantiated preconceived ideas. So, we must pick up the Bible and read it as a scientist would. Testing what we read against every available piece of information, not just the information that supports a preconceived opinion, 1 Thes 5:21, “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” Once we begin this reasoning process, the Truth of God’s Word becomes ever more evident. When He tells us not to lie, Ex 20:16, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour” we can look around this world and see the good produced by truthfulness and the evil produced by lying. When He tells us not to murder, Ex 20:13, “Thou shalt not kill” we can see how following His Word would save lives, remove fear and make this a better world. When He tells us not to worship other gods, like money, fame, or power, Ex 20:3, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” we can see how following His Word would reduce conflict, make us more compassionate and bring each of us more peace. We could go on, however, the point is not for us to read a blog and gain what we need to live this life, but, rather, to inspire us to read the Bible for ourselves, to reason with it. We are to form our own opinions, opinions based on our own honest evaluation of God’s Word, Jn 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” We can be free from the lies of this world and free to know the truth of God’s love, which is generously offered to everyone.
This world says, “Only the well educated are smart enough to properly reason with the things we see in this world.” God says we are all capable of finding His Truth, if we will only reason with Him, Matt 7:8, “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” God’s Truth is not reserved for some elite group of people; He freely offers it to everyone! However, those who think themselves wiser than God will only find foolishness, 1 Cor 3:18-19, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” Many of the wise refuse to humble themselves and thus are unable to find the Truth, Ps 25:9, “The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.” Some people want the respect of the other people they see as wise, more than they want the Truth God offers to all.
Once we have faith grounded in our own reasoning, we will be able to hear that still small voice of the Holy Ghost over the screams of doubt, which are predominate in this world, Heb 3:7-8, “Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:” It is the hardening of our hearts, which allows the screams of doubt to overwhelm that still small voice of the Holy Ghost. It is our reasoning, which mutes those screams allowing us to hear the Truth of God’s Word. Once, we hear that gentle voice, we will find the path to God’s will for our lives and we will be able to complete our part in His plan, which leads us to His peace and joy.
Comments, opposing opinions and suggestions for future topics are all welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.