Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason” Part C
The post continues from WHY WOULD A MAN HANG HIMSELF? — PART 3B, and this post is the final installment in this series. Here we will consider examples of the failure of reason with respect to our self (For an explanation of the gods of sex, stuff, state and self, see AN ABUSE OF THE IMAGINATION.).
Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason”: SELF
Those who worship at the altar of stuff take pride in the quantity and quality of their stuff. Those who worship the state take pride in the power of their government and their position within it. But one who worships himself measures everything against his own desires.
Here is an example from john zande. He tells us what Jesus — God — should have said. It is so comical we have to wonder how serious he is.
In the roughly 12,000 days this self-named Middle Eastern God walked the earth he didn’t once mention bacteria, pasteurization, or the importance of dental hygiene. In the roughly 1,000 sunlit days Jesus was on his ministry, speaking to sets of desperately eager ears, he didn’t once explain the sun, the composition of the atmosphere, clouds, or sooth people’s fears of the terrifying blights of lightning and thunder. In the roughly 1,000 long, long television-free nights Jesus had to say something new or useful, he didn’t once look up and explain to his friends the moon (and the tides), the stars, the planets, our position in the solar system, the galaxy, the nature of gravity, light, radiation, or on a more practical note, dispense the formula for sun block. In the three years of his ministry he didn’t point anyone in the direction of morphine, teach a soul about the nature of asthma, epilepsy, genetics, the periodic table, volcanology, the causes of headaches, muscle cramps, prenatal care, plate tectonics, architecture, evolution, or tell a single living being about the science of corrective-optics. (from here)
When we put our self before God, why do we do so? Because God is God, true opposition to His will is not possible — unless He allows it. Satan opposes God because he wants to be God, but few of us make such a deliberate decision to oppose or simply ignore God. Instead, we decide to pursue pleasure, do anything we can to avoid suffering, and fail to consider the cost.
Why do we suffer? No one has a complete answer, and I suspect most pastors will state as much. With regard to the havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy. Don Merritt observed:
I’ve heard people say that God must have a plan in all of this… but what could it be?
Personally, I do not pretend to have any of these answers. In fact, I’m not even sure they are the right questions… there are lots of things that I neither know nor understand. Having a close family member in harm’s way, I have paid this disaster more attention that I might otherwise have had however, and I have wondered what God’s thinking is about these kinds of things.
Alas! He hasn’t seen fit to share His thinking with me… or has He?
We often like to boldly discuss God’s plans for our lives, but in truth, God’s plans are only made clear in His Word, and there only in a generic sense: His plans for us all. Does He have specific plans for me or you? Maybe, maybe not. (from here)
But we do have partial answers. insanitybytes22 suggests we choose our own suffering.
I really do choose my own suffering, what to get angry about, who to grieve for, what to feel sad about. Suffering is not all bad, it serves a purpose. Our grief when somebody passes away, is a statement of our great love for them. What we get angry over, defines what we care about. How we respond to events is a declaration of our character, a statement about our determination. Our suffering paints a picture of who we are and what we choose to emotionally invest in. It is also a measure of our own resistance. (from here)
However, one commenter, Tina Blackledge, partly disagreed.
The bottom line, suffering is from Satan and is a direct result of a broken creation. The earth is Satan’s playground and he has reign here until Christ returns, which I pray is soon. Until that day Satan will continue to cause further fractures, decay, and misery into creation. He wants to turn the tide so that his most valuable weapon, a fallen child of God, will spread his poison throughout all of humanity. More damage can be caused by bitter child of God, who has given up on his/her faith and turned their back on the Creator. So, yes, our choices do cause us suffering but please do not stop there because there is so much more going on than the consequences of choices we make. (from here)
Satan does have a role in suffering. He caused Job to suffer. Job lost his property. He lost his children. Painful boils covered his body. And his friends told him he had no one but himself to blame.
In a small way, because of a severe allergy, BJ can relate to what Job suffered.
I cannot imagine the pain and anguish that tormented his soul as he cried out to God while simultaneously arguing with his friends. He really did expect to die. There are moments in his speeches that can only be read from that light. Even more than an end to his misery, he wanted an explanation for it. He wanted justice. From deep within the pain and torment afflicting his pain and his soul, Job was crying out, “Why?” The closest I can come to understanding that pain was the night when I fought minute by minute, breath by breath to simply inhale and then exhale. Inhale, and then exhale. I too spent much of that battle asking God why. (from here)
Job accepted his suffering, and he learned from it, but God never gave him an explanation. Yet through the Bible we see what Job did not. Therefore, in his notes on the Bible John Wesley is able to offer this observation as to why God gave Satan permission to persecute Job.
It seems strange, that, God should give Satan such a permission as this. But he did it for his own glory, for the honour of Job, for the explanation of providence, and the encouragement of his afflicted people in all ages. (from here)
Sometimes we do know why we suffer. Rob Barkman reminds us that our Lord punishes us for bad behavior.
Revelation 3:19 KJV
(19) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Although we have a tendency to forget this…. One of the greatest blessings that a Christian can receive from the Lord is the blessing of His chastisement. Keep in mind, the chastening hand of the Lord comes upon us to renew a right relationship with Him, to restore our Godly testimony in the eyes of others, and most importantly show us His love. (continued here)
Sometimes we must even choose to suffer.
Jesus spoke repeatedly to His disciples about taking up their cross (an instrument of death) and following Him. He made it clear that if any would follow Him, they must deny themselves, which means giving up their lives—spiritually, symbolically, and even physically, if necessary. This was a prerequisite for being a follower of Christ, who proclaimed that trying to save our earthly lives would result in our losing our lives in the kingdom. But those who would give up their lives for His sake would find eternal life (Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35). Indeed, Jesus even went so far as to say that those who are unwilling to sacrifice their lives for Him cannot be His disciples (Luke 14:27). (from here)
Christianity is always under assault somewhere. Sometimes those attacking Christians can be quite grisly.
The latest video horror apparently released by the Islamic State (Isis) shows the mass beheading of 21 Egyptian Copts in Libya and underlines the alarming spread of the jihadi group far from the familiar killing fields of Syria and Iraq. (continue here)
Here in America as James Atticus Bowden observes, Christianity’s opponents are usually more subtle.
I downloaded the transcript of the speech delivered by President Barack Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, February 5, 2015. I wanted to see his exact words for myself.
Barry Soetero had some good things to say. Not kidding. But, he dripped his poison into everyone’s ecumenical coffee.
POTUS’s killer lines were, “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”(continue here)
The Bible tells us we are God’s children.
John 1:12-13 New King James Version (NKJV)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Just as our children sometime suffer, not understanding why we ask them to do something they don’t want to do, we too suffer. Then, just as we ask our children to have faith in us, we must retain our faith in God.
Romans 8:28-30 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Other Posts In This Series
- Part 1 => Our Tiny Perceptions
- Part 2 => The Problem Of Pride
- Part 3A => Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason”: Sex
- Part 3B => Examples Of The Failure Of “Reason”: STUFF and State
This is for an ornery commenter who goes by the moniker of scout. He keeps asking about the title. The answer is at the beginning of IF YOU GIVE A MAN ENOUGH ROPE, HE’LL HANG HIMSELF.