Let Us Reason Together


Background:

The Creator at Work

 The Bible teaches that God is the great Creator of all that was, is and ever shall be.  God created man “… in His own image.” (Genesis 1:27).  As such, God endowed man with a form of His own characteristics including the ability to reason.  Christians believe that God’s Word, The Holy Bible … and not human reasoning … is THE FINAL AUTHORITY regarding all matters of faith and human practice.

God created man “in His Own image.”

Though we are created in His image, God’s reasoning is different from that of man.  God’s reasoning is unfathomable, PERFECT, without flaw, always right (Job 11:7-8, Romans 11:33).  God placed Adam and Eve in a perfect environment in the Garden of Eden with only one stipulation … they were not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17).  But that wasn’t enough for them. They believed the lie of Satan reasoning that if they ate of the tree they would “… be like God …” (Genesis 3:5).

In the face of today’s political turmoil in the USA leading up to the November 2012 election, I am greatly concerned with the daily stream of untruthful rhetoric coming from so many of our national leaders and their supporters. The airways are filled with lies, attacks and political ads designed to pit the classes against each other … all based on faulty reasoning.  Why is it that so many of our leaders and potential leaders lean totally on their own understanding and reasoning without consulting God Almighty for His direction?  In a word, the simple answer is because of  “SIN.”

Because of man’s sinfulness he often disagrees with God’s reasoning and places himself above God violating the first of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:3).  Blind ambition blocks and twists man’s ability to reason.  When politicians do not consult God about direction on important matters such as those affecting the future of our country, more often than not they make bad decisions.  Through my sixty-nine years of observation, it is easy to conclude that many currently serving in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the United States government have abandoned Godly reasoning altogether in favor of satisfying selfish motives … and these motives are more often than not sinful.

Scripture: (all Scripture ESV (English Standard Version), unless otherwise noted)

Job 11:7-8 – “Can you find out (fathom) the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty?  It is higher than heaven— what can you do?  Deeper than Sheol—what can you know?

Romans 11:33 – Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

Isaiah 1:16-18 – 16  Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil, 17  learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause. 18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”

Isaiah 1:9-11 – If the Lord of hosts had not left us a few survivors, we should have been like Sodom, and become like Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom!  Give ear to the teaching of our God, you people of Gomorrah!  11  “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of well-fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of goats.

Acts 17:2 – And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures.

Acts 17:11 – Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

Acts 18:19 – And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there, but he himself (Paul) went into the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.

1 Corinthians 6:12 – “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything.

Discussion:

This article is not a scholarly attempt to provide a full discourse on reasoning.  Rather, it is an attempt to shed light on how human reasoning without the inspiration of God and His reasoning can easily be faulty.

Since I refer so often to “reason” and “reasoning” throughout this article, here’s how Webster defines “reason”:  the power of comprehending, inferring, or thinking especially in orderly rational ways.

I realize that many well-known writers have penned a multitude of articles and on what is involved in “reasoning.”  Thomas Paine published his still famous and widely distributed book promoting deism, “The Age of Reason“, in three parts in 1794, 1795 and 1807.  Deism called for “free rational inquiry” and rejected some of the important tenets of the Bible such as the miracles and the Bible’s teaching that there was only “one true faith”.  As for me Paine was/is absolutely wrong on both of these points.  Regardless of man’s position, depending on man’s reasoning ability to interpret scripture is an attempt to put man on God’s level and most assuredly is not possible.

God invites man to reason with Him.  Reasoning with God requires that man respect God’s position and His far superior perfect knowledge.  Man must reason with God on His terms.  Doing the opposite or leaving God out of our reasoning altogether is a guarantee for disaster.  Isaiah the prophet recorded the words of the Lord in Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord…” as he promised that our scarlet sins would become like wool (white, cleaned, forgiven).  Of course, this requires that we accept the Lord Jesus as our personal Savior (see How to Become a Christian).

Isaiah lived in the eighth century B.C. during the resurgence of Assyria as a major power.  He prophesied in Jerusalem in particular to King Ahaz (Israel) and King Hezekiah (Judah) and two other kings.  Many of his prophesies spoke directly to the political situation during Isaiah’s lifetime.  Isaiah reminded them of how God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah  because of their wickedness (Isaiah 1:9-11). Isaiah knew that Israel and Judah were headed down the wrong path as each shunned God and placed their faith in human leadership … leadership that reasoned that alliances with ungodly nations such as Egypt would protect them from the overwhelming strength of Assyria.  Both Israel and Judah continued to depend upon their own reasoning and each fell into captivity of their enemies.  Could the USA be any different?

Let’s bring in a common example of faulty human reasoning.  Have you or one of your children  been personally involved in a conversation such as this:  “Oh, it won’t hurt you to try this just once!”  What a trap authored by Satan!  Too many teenagers are unwittingly dragged into a life of drug abuse by swallowing this line of reasoning.  If your friends are doing what is wrong in the sight of God, then my advice is to dump them and stay out of situations to begin with that will compromise your faith and your reasoning.  My wife and I taught our son early on that he should never put himself into the position of being too embarrassed to say no when his peers were trying to drag him into their sin.

The ability to reason is a gift from God.  Much of learning in areas such as science, mathematics, technology, engineering, information and computation systems, accounting, actuarial science, statistics, rocket science, etc., requires a significant human ability to reason.  God created us to reason.  My entire business life required intensive reasoning and I am thankful for God’s gift.  How dull would it be to live a robotic life without the ability to reason?  As Christians we are to strive to be more like God with every ounce of our energy.  Unfortunately, our sinfulness is constantly in the way of accomplishing that goal.

After Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus and left his life as a Pharisee bent on punishing and even killing Christians, he became a fervent disciple for the Lord spreading the message of salvation through Jesus Christ on multiple missionary journeys.  Paul often reasoned in the Jewish synagogues with the religious leaders (Acts 17:2, Acts 17:11) to advance the cause of Christ.

Reflection:

Let me give some pictorial examples of how twentieth century leadership’s evil and twisted reasoning ran amuck with disastrous human consequences.  How many can you name?  Hover your cursor over the picture to reveal the names.  Answers are also presented below at the end of the article.

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I think that we all can agree that man’s reasoning can lead to disastrous tragedy.  A tyrannical German leader coerced an entire nation to blindly follow man’s reasoning resulting in World War II and causing the death of millions upon millions of innocent people and leaving millions of children dead or orphaned.  A perverted religious leader led 909 of his deceived followers to commit what the leader called “revolutionary suicide”.  The total included over 200 murdered children.  What an outrage!  A Chinese Communist leader massacred an estimated 40-70 million people in the name of The People’s Revolution.  The Supreme Court of the USA decided that the aborting of unborn children was constitutional resulting in the senseless murder of 53 million babies through legal abortions through 2011.

Two current examples of man’s ridiculous reasoning in direct conflict with the teachings of Almighty God and His perfect reasoning are abortion and same-sex marriage (see On Child Sacrifice,   On the Sanctity of Life and Abortion,   Lifestyle Choices and Biblical Truth,  The Sanctity of Marriage.)  Each human life, born or unborn is precious to God.  He creates each one In His Own Image.  How can we stand by and so callously allow the murder of our children?  The Bible clearly defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, not a man and a man, nor a woman and a woman.  How can so many reason that same-sex marriage is right when God specifically forbids it?

Godly human reasoning doesn’t mean compromising the Word or your Faith … it is quite the opposite.  Godly human reasoning supports the Word and your Faith.  I completely agree with Christian author Don Stewart featured in the Blue Letter Bible when he states:  “The Bible is not against reasoning. To the contrary Scripture encourages people to reason. What the Bible is against is unaided human reason that attempts to judge Scripture. Reason must always submit itself to the truth of God’s Word. This is the way that God intended it to be. “

My favorite religious leader is evangelist Dr. Billy Graham.  He is 93 years old being born on November 7, 1918.  Dr. Graham is mostly confined to his home in North Carolina due to his failing health.  Yet, Dr. Graham continues to regularly communicate through his prayer letter with the outside world about God and His forgiveness through His son Jesus Christ.  Here’s an excerpt from his July 24, 2012 article – My Heart Aches for America:

“Just a few weeks ago in a prominent city in the South, Christian chaplains who serve the police department were ordered to no longer mention the Name of Jesus in prayer. It was reported that during a recent police-sponsored event, the only person allowed to pray was someone who addressed “the being in the room.” Similar scenarios are now commonplace in towns across America. Our society strives to avoid any possibility of offending anyone—except God.

Yet the farther we get from God, the more the world spirals out of control.

My heart aches for America and its deceived people. The wonderful news is that our Lord is a God of mercy, and He responds to repentance. In Jonah’s day, Nineveh was the lone world superpower—wealthy, unconcerned, and self-centered. When the Prophet Jonah finally traveled to Nineveh and proclaimed God’s warning, people heard and repented.”

Like Dr. Graham, my heart aches and is so burdened with the message of this article.  America is just like Israel and Judah.  Our leaders continually depend upon their own reasoning without regard to God’s Word.  Preachers preach.  Listeners listen.  Nothing happens.  How long will God put up with us?  How deep does our nation have to sink before God has had enough?  Who will stand on the Lord’s side and be counted.

In  1 Corinthians 6:12 Paul said “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the control of any.”  Joshua emphasized that people must make their own choices.  “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15)

My prayer is that one by one we will realize what a mess we are in and turn away from our sinful ways.  Pray for our leaders to turn their lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Carefully consider your vote in the November 2012 election.  Vote your convictions, but make sure your convictions line up with God’s reasoning.

One final admonishment from God’s Word: Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.  May God help us!!

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20th Century Twisted Reasoning Leaders

Click on the links to explore more information:

  1. Mao Tse Tung – Chinese Communist Revolutionary
  2. Idi Amin – Military Dictator of Uganda
  3. Adolf Hitler – Dictator of Nazi Germany
  4. Saddam Hussein – President of Iraq
  5. Fidel Castro – President of Cuba and First Secretary of the Communist Party
  6. Jim Jones – Founder and Leader of the Peoples Temple – Jonestown
  7. David KoreshBranch Davidian religious sect
  8. Osama Bin Laden – founder of al-Qaeda
  9. Kim Jon Il – Supreme Leader of North Korea

About jimdavenport

Jim Davenport resides in the USA in Northeast Georgia, is a member of a Southern Baptist Church and is a retired Christian business man. Jim and his wife Charlotte have one son and daughter in law, Keven and Amy, four grandchildren - Ashlyn (Davenport) & Josh Murphy, and Mason & Rebecca Davenport. We have three great-grandchildren, Rhory Camile Murphy, Rhett Levi Murphy and Sawyer Joshua Murphy. Jim and Charlotte own a mountain get-away home located on Lookout Mountain in Alabama where they spend many spring, summer and fall days working in their raised bed organic garden. Jim has served as a Deacon and Trustee in his local church most of his adult life and on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Shorter University, an intentionally Christian institution located in Rome, Georgia. Jim has a passion for the word of God and has always believed that Christian principles should guide every aspect of his life. He also loves Christian music and often served as a tenor soloist in his church. One of the highlights of his life was the nearly 20 years he spent singing with The Good News, a Southern Gospel quartet. Jim served as an Information Technology professional his entire working career of 50 years holding senior positions in and consulting with hundreds of world-class organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Jim remains as President and CEO of InfoSys Solutions Associates, Inc. and is a retired partner of IT Governance Partners, LLC, both of which are “Trusted Advisor” technology and business consulting firms. Jim has authored a number of books available at www.jimdavenport.me/jims-books. His blog has ben read by readers from more than 170 countries. Jim holds both a BS and an MS in Mathematics from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and completed Management Development Training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
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4 Responses to Let Us Reason Together

  1. John Hayes says:

    Excellent message both intellectually and spiritually written. It has inspired me to do the right thing when casting my ballot.

    Like

    • jimdavenport says:

      Thanks,John. I believe the window on freedom as we have known it is continuing to close! Our leaders no longer trust in the Lord for direction. Rather they look within themselves and make selfish compacts with each other to stay in power and gain more control over the lives of the citizens. The Lord will not let this continue. I am praying for a spiritual renewal like no other we have seen in our lifetime. Jim D.

      Like

  2. Haven Brownlee says:

    Thank you for this post, Jim! I pray our country will come back to God! Haven

    Like

  3. Bernie says:

    A timely post Jim – I am already wrestling with what to do with my presidential vote as both parties either seem to offer policies and/or participants greatly at odds with Who and what I believe in. Our hope lies not in political parties nor in their presidential candidates … our hope lies IN Christ Jesus! May the Lord guide our nation in choosing leaders that will fulfill the plan and purpose He has for this country and its people … may we once again become a country that chooses to serve rather than be served. Bernie

    Like

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