Dec 1 2002
" Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow....If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: but if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured ...." Isa:1:18-20
Thus God sought to reason with Israel to turn from her rebellion to receive the salvation He graciously offered her. He sent His prophets again and again to plead with His people to repent, but they would not. Thus God scattered them worldwide to be hated, persecuted and killed by the millions in an orgy of anti-Semitism that still continues, now directed especially at the partially restored nation of Israel.
God still offers salvation to the world, warning in His Word that His holiness will compel Him to pour out His judgment upon those who flaunt their rebellion in His face. Lovingly He pleads, but does not force anyone. He wants true Christians, as His servants, to reason with unbelievers as Paul did with Governor Felix: "of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come" (Acts:24:25). Felix "trembled" but put Paul off because it wasn't "convenient" to submit to Christ.
Paul asked the believers at Philippi to pray that he would be "delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for not all have faith" (2 Thes:3:2). Those who turn their backs on the faith without which it is "impossible to please God" (Heb:11:6) are unreasonable and wicked. The rejection of the revelation which God has given all mankind—in creation, conscience and His Word—leads to wickedness and is the cause of all sin and suffering. Dostoevsky in Brothers Karamazov writes, "Without God everything is permissible and crime is inevitable."
Mankind has every reason to respond to God's love. Every reason! Yet most people, no matter how well educated, intelligent or confident of their capabilities, are unreasonable —and prove it by living unto themselves day after day, forgetful of God. Such is the way of this world; and it often characterizes even those who claim to belong to Christ.
According to the latest polls, the vast majority of Americans claim some "religious faith"and a far higher percentage attend church in the U.S. than in any other country. Yet their "faith" is generally little more than personal preference—hardly a reason for one's hope for eternity! Most religious people are as unreasonable in their "faith" as those who reject God are unreasonable in their unbelief.
Yet everyone, even an atheist, exercises a form of "faith" daily. From a doctor's prescription in a hand we can't read, a pharmacist mixes compounds whose names we can't pronounce; then we ingest it by "faith." We all must trust others (pilots, for instance), putting our lives in the hands of people who know what we don't know and can do what we can't do—and who sometimes make fatal mistakes.
When it comes to spiritual truth and the question of where one will spend eternity, there is no margin for error. Faith in a false god or religion cannot be rectified after death. The opinion of any pastor, priest, rabbi or church is worthless. God alone has the final say. This is reasonable beyond question (see TBC Jan '01 and Jun '02 Q&A for simple proofs that God exists).
It is unreasonable to believe that man is nothing more than his material body and that death ends one's existence. The conceptual ideas which we express in words are not physical, nor are we. The paper and ink conveying this article have nothing to do with the ideas being expressed. They could just as well be communicated by audio- or videotape, by radio, or Morse or binary code.
Only a nonphysical intelligence—not matter —can form conceptual ideas and express them in words. Neural activity in brain cells does not originate our thoughts or we would be at the mercy of our brains: "What will my brain think up next?!" Wilder Penfield, one of the world's leading neurosurgeons, declared, "The brain is a computer programmed by something independent of itself, the mind."
This nonphysical entity which we call "mind" belongs to the soul and spirit living temporarily in the body of which the brain is but a part. The nonphysical person who makes autonomous choices is as independent of the body as the thoughts which he originates and expresses in words. This thinking mind is also referred to in the Bible hundreds of times, from Genesis:6:5 to Revelation:18:7, as the "heart": "keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life" (Prov:4:23); "O fools, and slow of heart to believe...all the prophets" (Lk 24:25); "If thou believest with all thine heart..." (Acts:8:37); "if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved" (Rom:10:9).
The body returns to dust, but the decision-maker who lived within it for a time is an endless being and will experience either eternal bliss or eternal agony, depending upon the choices made in this brief life. Therefore, one must be absolutely certain before one dies of where one will spend eternity. After death it is too late to repent.
Yet most people either don't think about eternity, delay until it is too late, or follow a church or spiritual leader without adequate investigation on their own.
To take a chance on eternity, to trust in a vague hope, to be anything less than absolutely certain is the most unreasonable thing one could do. And yet this is the situation for most people. Ask the average person what he or she thinks happens after death, and the vast majority will admit they aren't sure. To arrive at death's door without certainty of where it leads is the height of folly. Such persons act unreasonably .
Darwin would be shocked to see his theory shattered by DNA, a recent discovery. We each begin as a single cell smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Instructions for building the body are encoded in the DNA in an ingenious language which only certain protein molecules can read. These are instructions to that microscopic cell (and to all those it will produce) for manufacturing trillions of living cells out of nonliving materials and arranging them in the precise relationship with one another to eventually function as a human body.
Obviously, the DNA itself did not originate (and can't even read) the information it carries. Those words point irrefutably to an Intelligence which alone could design the body. This "instruction manual" could not grow out of a series of chance evolutionary developments over billions of years. Such a theory is totally unreasonable . Yet it is forced upon schoolchildren around the world by bigots who are so insecure that they will not allow an alternate view to be expressed. Their partners in pushing God out of His universe claim to believe in Him but forget Him constantly. This is most unreasonable !
Weep with Job: "...my familiar friends have forgotten me. They that dwell in mine house...count me for a stranger...an alien in their sight...they whom I loved are turned against me" (Job:19:14-19). So much for human fidelity. But God did not forsake Job.
Hear God's tragic lament: "I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but...my people doth not consider....they have forsaken the LORD...(Isa:1:2-4); [M]y people have forgotten me days without number" (Jer:2:32). Nevertheless, God continues to plead in love and mercy—but His patience has limits.
That this world pursues its political plans, and individuals their ambitions for this brief life, scarcely acknowledging that God exists, is beyond comprehension. That the God who created this universe and graciously gives us "life and breath and all things" that we possess (Acts:17:25) should have so little place in our thoughts is ingratitude that cries out to the heavens. In a word, it is unreasonable —an unreasonableness that flaunts itself in the face of God and His appeal to reason with us.
The entire human race is given over to unreasonableness. The universe assaults our consciousness daily on all sides with a panoply of the most obvious and undeniable evidence that it had to have been produced by a Master Designer and Creator. To deny the evidence and to persist in flaunting evolution in God's face is unreasonable in the extreme!
In spite of finding no shred of evidence to support their theory, and in spite of the fact that the scientific evidence against it mounts with each new discovery, evolutionists persist in denying their Creator. Stubbornly they scour the earth to find evidence to justify their rebellion—and, failing to find any, manufacture it. This is dishonest as well as unreasonable !
To deny that God produced the instructions within DNA and to insist that natural selection produced the eye and brain, when they could not contribute to survival until they worked, is the epitome of unreasonableness . To promote the lie that thousands of insects, bugs and species of fish and animals somehow evolved one into another, and that this process left innumerable stable varieties with no intermediary forms, when there ought to be trillions if evolution is true, is unreasonableness of the most corrupt kind.
And what of the thousands of kinds of plants from ivy to trees, flowers, fruit, melons, berries, each fulfilling a unique role—to say nothing of the bees and other flying creatures that pollinate them, etc., etc.? To suggest that these somehow evolved from one another without leaving any evidence is inexcusably unreasonable !
Homosexuals and lesbians flaunt their perversion in "Gay Pride" parades. Pride for a disgusting depravity which cuts life expectancy by 40 percent or more and would result in the extermination of the human race if everyone adopted it?! Are they hoping that cloning will perpetuate their kind? This is one more sinful example of the unreasonableness plaguing mankind.
Multitudes who call themselves Christians deliberately disobey Christ's basic teachings and His example. Numbers of pastors and theologians profess to teach from a Bible which they deny is infallible and sufficient, or claim that portions of it are inspired but no one can be certain what God has really said. This again is unreasonable .
To demand "tolerance" in morals is the height of unreasonableness . One can't even play a game without rules. Suppose an NFL player who was whistled down for an infraction calls the referees "intolerant" and claims that he was "sincere," and therefore immune from the rules. This is ludicrous. Yet multitudes do exactly that with God. They carry on as though no matter what they think, say or do He will suspend His justice and allow them into His heaven if they claim to be sincere . Such people (and there are millions of them, including many who call themselves Christians) are incredibly unreasonable .
Recently I was in the hospital overnight for an operation to eliminate a periodic "flutter" in my heart. I enjoy talking with the nurses and doctors about what really matters. I was shocked at how many nurses declared, "I can believe whatever I want."
My response was, "Undo the I.V., let me out of here!" That reaction met with perplexity: "What do you mean?"
"I'm not staying in a hospital where nurses and doctors can believe whatever they want!"
"I meant about religion. Obviously there are definite medical procedures...."
"Oh, there are rules for caring for the body, but for the eternal soul and spirit, you can believe anything? God has no rules for admission to His heaven? That's unreasonable !"
Such is the irrational thinking engaged in by the majority of people today. They can be very sensible and careful about things in this life, but when it comes to eternity they literally throw reason to the winds. We must confront them with their unreasonableness and on God's behalf attempt to reason with them about eternity and salvation.
The night before His crucifixion before a jeering mob, this despised and rejected Christ, having no home, slept on the ground in the one homespun robe He possessed. Yet more than a billion people are convinced that a man who is cheered by huge crowds wherever he goes, who has hundreds of the finest silk robes embroidered with gold, who lives in a Vatican palace of 1,100 rooms, and has a summer palace of the same size and numerous other residences—that he represents the One who hung naked on the cross. That is as unreasonable as one can be.
Sadly, most people, though they expect others to "be reasonable," are not reasonable themselves when it comes to the soul, spirit, God and eternity. Most religious people are content to let pastor or church or some other religious leader or guru tell them what to believe—they don't take time to check it out for themselves. This, too, is unreasonable .
Peter declared that we are to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh...a reason of [our] hope" (1 Pt 3:15). Our faith in Christ should be so evident that we will be asked this question often. And our reply is not to be a "testimony" of how we were saved (though that is worthwhile), but the reason for our confident faith"sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed..." (Titus:2:8).
The God of the Bible provides more than sufficient reasons for believing in Him and in His Word. He invites mankind to reason with Him. He forces no one to accept the salvation He has provided in Christ. He wants our hearts. May our lives and words convince many of the truth and reasonableness of "the faith once [for all] delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). TBC
Audio version of this newsletter is here .