Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Human Reasoning


When Jesus walked the earth His words always seemed ethereal, confounding, and many times illogical. Some people scratched their heads trying to make sense of what He taught, while other became offended. His teachings soared above human wisdom and human reasoning, and they undermined what the religious leaders had taught. He even illuminated the Old Testament teachings and made them subservient to His own. He was so controversial that His life was sought many times and of course He was eventually put to death.

Jesus said that His kingdom was not of this world. And when He presented a prophetic glimpse of His soon coming death, peter rebuked Christ and proclaimed that they would never let that happen to Him. However Jesus told Peter that He was drawing from the well of human reasoning and not the Spirit realm. But when that same peter proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of the Living God, Jesus acknowledged that Peter had received that knowledge from the Father. As we can see there are two realms that battle each other and are completely at odds with each other as well.

Human reasoning is that which seems right unto a man and that which is logical and practical and fits nicely into the earthly system of things. That kind of reasoning is pervasive throughout the world. It will acknowledge religion and the existence of God, but it will not relinquish it lordship over men’s minds. It may allow a profession of faith in Jesus, but it will take His Words and buffer them with earthly practicalities and logical interpretations. And when His words are so dramatic and so incongruous with earthly wisdom and reason, then human reasoning will spiritualize them in order to render them irrelevant in the here and now.

And after many years of spiritualizing the Scriptures and making them good advice and moral parables, the Christian faith is mostly defined by the millions that drive to a building on Sundays or a handful of moral and economic issues. No one can legitimately suggest that the Christian community in the west is remarkable and startling in its lifestyle and attitudes. In fact, the dissolution of the faith has become so deep that many truths that are taught and practiced within the evangelical community are in fact unbiblical on their face.

Why has this taken place? Even without addressing the many heresies concerning universalism, or the prosperity gospel, or ecumentalism, the average “orthodox” church has morphed into a less than spectacular display of religious activity, building debt, and a Sunday morning service tradition that sees millions come and go as if they just attended a school play. But because it has been shaped over many years, the transformation away from God’s Word has gone all but unnoticed. And today, a believer, even a preacher, can spend a scant amount of time in prayer and be considered faithful. He can attend questionable entertainment venues and still be considered faithful. He can save up great amounts of money and still be considered faithful. He can complain about the economy or his circumstances and still be considered faithful.

And at the core of it all is human reasoning. Let us be honest. If we were to take God’s Word literally and apply it to our lives without any cultural compromise, our lives would have to change dramatically. And I don’t mean just a few verses, I mean the entire New Testament. If you would take the time to read through the New Testament in one week, you would get a glimpse into how we have distilled the power of its teachings into an innocuous life that seems only different in theology and much more compatible with the culture in lifestyle, attitude, and thought. Human reasoning has eclipsed the spiritual dynamic.

And the end result is that we are now following a religious construct rather than the Risen Christ. It has become all too absorbed and predictable, and human reasoning has become the interpretive vehicle for Scripture. Human reasoning muscles out the ministry and guidance of the Holy Spirit. And where there is no Spirit than what you have is a pragmatic system that not only outlines a life that succeeds in a fallen culture of hedonism, but it also sets up a system of evangelism which employs an Eli Whitney model rather than an atmosphere where the Spirit of God can call out a Bride for God’s Son. In fact, many evangelism programs have been birthed by men and women getting their heads together and implementing sales strategies with a smattering of verses and judging their methods by numbers. Again, human reasoning.

It is not reasonable to believe that the Creator came in the likeness of human kind. It is not reasonable to believe Jesus raised people from the dead, even after four days. It is not reasonable to believe that Jesus was born of a virgin. It is not reasonable to believe that His death made a way for eternal life. It is not reasonable to believe that Jesus resurrected. It is not reasonable to believe that the first shall be last in His kingdom. It is not reasonable to believe that one can be rich and yet be poor. It is not reasonable to believe that we can be the sons of God just by faith.

All these things are unreasonable to human reasoning, however they are absolute truth in the kingdom of God. It does not make any sense to the carnal mind, but to the Spirit they are eternal. Go ahead and reason it all out and you will eventually come up with an acceptable religious construct that appeals to the flesh and presents a palatable way to proceed in this temporal existence. But that will never be the way of Jesus. Never.

But the western church has adopted human reasonings and incorporated them into its theology and practice. As we wind down and approach the glorious coming of the Magnificent One the church runs to and fro without the Spirit. It is a pitiful spectacle which diminishes the gospel and presents the wisdom of man as the wisdom of God. I know, these words seem so harsh and so radical. But we will all see one day. And we will be measured not by how we interpreted Scripture, but we will be measured by what Scripture actually said.

“To die. To sleep. Aye, there’s the rub for in that sleep of death what dreams may come when we have shuffled off these mortal coils?”

Yes, eternity will have the last word and all the human reasonings of mankind will be nothing more than kindling for the fires of hell.

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