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In The Name Of Rationality And Reason

April 30, 2008 
jon_c.jpgBy Marie Jon'
"Nothing can be more contrary to religion and the clergy than reason and common sense." — Voltaire

We can reason and rationalize just about anything, including our lack of exercise and bad eating habits. We rationalize insensitivity to others' feelings because we live in a world that has become coarse and crude. Are we reasonable? Are we rational? How often does an alcoholic rationalize: "I can have one drink?"

Marriages and homes are destroyed by acts of infidelity. Some men rationalize that watching pornography has no detrimental effect on their libido. Nothing could be further from the truth. God created us to enjoy sex, and within the bond of Holy Matrimony it is among the greatest of blessings. However, lives are destroyed by addictions that often begin as "innocuous" glances at pornography over the Internet.

There are no societal "guard rails" to prevent people from doing the most mean-spirited things to one another. The YouTube generation has validated all manner of horrible acts and violence on the Internet. The terrible beatings of youth and preteens we've seen this year alone are appalling. What has happened? Where has the collective human conscience gone?

America is awash in criminality from our cities to the countryside. Street gangs roam the inner cities; our police deal nightly with mass murder. This phenomenon has even proliferated into rural areas. Illegal aliens disobey the laws of our land by continually crossing our borders. This culture of criminality is a natural gateway to other forms of crime.

Yes, rationality leads people to think out of the "moral code" box and do things that end up hurting themselves and others.

Our children are no longer safe attending public schools. America's schools have become venues for the worst acts of violence, including murders and suicides by troubled, pop-culture indoctrinated youth. Drugs, of course play a huge role in our society's problems.

Are we living with the outcome of bad judgment, which too often happens when we replace the Word of a creator God with reason and rationality, using that as our moral guide? Do you suppose that is the reason our society is rapidly breaking down? What might our world be like if we tried to follow the Lord in all aspects of our lives?

Secular Americans ask, "who needs God or His teachings?" They reason that we can figure things out on our own by using our brains. We know the difference between right and wrong.

Evidently we don't.

A lesson in history revisited can bring a point into focus. Though we have seen where social and political liberalism and permissiveness have taken our country, there are numerous examples from the past we can draw upon, and learn from the mistakes of other "great societies."

Voltaire's Insane Folly: "The Terror"

The French writer and philosopher Voltaire frequently criticized the Church and the French institutions of his day. As a result of his actions, he was imprisoned and exiled. Voltaire declared that he would never be free until every last king and Christian priest was put to death.

His objective was to crush that which he viewed had no merit. Voltaire believed that Jesus Christ was inferior. Voltaire and a small band of plotting schemers set out to destroy all organized religion, murder every minister and priest, dismantle civilization, and return mankind to a primitive and savage state.

You see, this revolutionary thinking was centered around the idea of creating a republic based on the principles of reason.

Reason would take the place of religion, creeds and God. Without religion there would be a grand new utopia. Voltaire was an elitist progressive of his day. He was determined to remove all vestiges of God from society.

How do you think Voltaire's insane folly played out? It wasn't too long before the French were murdering each other in the streets. The violence became known as "The Terror." No one was safe. The Reign of Terror began September 5, 1793, and ended July 28, 1794. People were lawless and godless. Many of the revolutionary leaders themselves were beheaded.

At the height of this depravity, tens of thousands of people were executed by the guillotine and by hanging. During one month alone, an estimated 1300 people were mocked, dragged through the streets and killed. People were casually brutal, their acts horrific and deplorable.

Parisians began to complain about the hideous executions. It was diminishing the value of their neighborhoods. Real estate values were suffering. Imagine for a moment how the drive-by media headline of today would read: "French Property Values Drop Because Of Beheadings and Torture."

Perturbed land owners complained that the stench of stagnant blood which arose from the stones of the nearby town square was becoming a concern. They worried that the putrid blood might become a health problem. They continued to gripe about their property values going down as the wholesale slaughter of human beings became commonplace.

All of this insanity was perpetrated by those who based their actions on reason, and reason alone. Something went terribly wrong when they decided to remove God and His Ten Commandments from their society, wouldn't you say?

We may think of ourselves as being rational and capable of reason, but we really aren't. We might be able to think rationally, but that doesn't mean we will. People know rationally that they shouldn't get involved with street drugs. They understand that drugs are addicting and extremely dangerous, yet some take them up anyway.

More and more of our youth lack self esteem. They abuse their bodies with drugs and promiscuous sex. Unfortunately, along with this type of immoral behavior come venereal diseases. Chlamydia and Genital herpes are just two of many sexually transmitted diseases our youth are exposed to because they have bought into secular progressive notion that sex, like illegal drugs, can be used recreationally. Are they thinking rationally when they abandon their own survival instinct?

President Bill Clinton knew that having an extramarital relationship with a White House intern was wrong and potentially damaging to his presidency, yet he did it anyway. Rationality and reason obviously was not enough motivation for him to live decently.

We all need something more profound and significant than our own humanity to give meaning to our lives. That someone is Christ. Yes, we need that special power from outside ourselves that can only come from a loving God.

Strongly held religious beliefs give us our moral code. The Lord pointed us to the principles of good and evil. He taught us right from wrong. Only His principles go beyond what reason by itself can never offer us. The words of Christ explain why reason and rationality are not sufficient guides for our conduct. The French Revolution is proof that evil occurs when man is left to his own devices.

In the Sermon on the Mount Christ gave us the greatest moral code ever. Its origins were God Himself, not mere fallen humanity.

It is written: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth." (Matthew 5:4) One day the Lord of the entire universe will say to His faithful, "You have it all." The children of God shall inherit the earth. One day soon, a brand new earth will be created. Old things shall pass away. "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away."(Matthew 24:35)

Understand that there is something terribly wrong with our world. We can no longer finagle and wheedle in our efforts to repair it. Read the newspapers. Every day, someone commits yet another incomprehensibly terrible act upon another.

"The Good News" is that Jesus Christ gave us something so much more superior than rationality or reason. He promises us the power to live out His moral code. It's one thing to know right from wrong, but it's another to live a righteous life before God and others.

The Savior didn't just hand us a unique way to live our lives. He gave us the power to have a new life through Him. His Holy Sprit will guide us every moment of every day — if we invite Him to do so. If we listen, we can hear His voice, because He speaks to the contrite heart.

The French Revolution provides insight as to why secularism did not work for the revolutionaries; neither will it work for us. We require something greater than the "goddess of reason."

Mankind was created to have communion with God. Please claim His enduring love today. Then cultivate faith in God. He is coming again, soon.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

"I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

"He who was seated on the throne said, I am making everything new! Then he said, Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.

"He said to me: It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life." (Revelation 21:1-5 NASB)    
 

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The Goddess of Reason

The French Revolution provides an insight as to why secular reason and rationality did not work for the revolutionaries, and therefore neither will it work for us. We all need something greater than the "goddess of reason." 
 
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