Can You Reason?

Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made so that men are without excuse.

Romans 1:19-20, NIV


One of the things common to most people is that we hate it when people play dumb. By that I mean that there are things that people clearly understand or should understand, but they pretend that they don't. An example is when I worked at a restaurant and a manager told someone to wash the dishes. We might just wash one or two and when the manager got onto us we would act as if we didn't know that he wanted to wash all of them. The reason we didn't wasn't because we lacked the mental acuity to understand, we were just being stubborn and lazy.


Another attribute that most find unadmirable is when people are so biased on a certain topic that they refuse to look at any evidence that contradicts their opinion. These are the people who will vote for one party out of a strict and mindless devotion, regardless of the fact that they might be opposed in principle to what their guy actually stands for. Such people make lousy jurors because they have already made up their minds and cannot be shaken from their predetermined opinions despite overwhelming facts to the contrary.


And then there are the ones who know that they are wrong, but will still go in that direction due to peer pressure. The people that they want to be friends with and curry favor with expect them to believe and act in a certain way, so they do.


In all these examples we have one obvious common theme: These types of people have lost (or never developed in the first place) their ability to reason. They are the ideologues and blind devotees that will follow any wrong path without a single qualm. Don't try to use logic with them, because this is not a quality that they admire nor do they understand it. Such people will often have ill thought out prejudices and preconceived notions from which they cannot be moved. They believe that our nation's founders were all hateful colonialists who only wanted to enslave all men of different color and race from their own. They believe that the problems with society are not caused by sinful activities, but by those who call such activities sin.


And they believe that the world was formed by a series of random, cosmic accidents, explosions of eternal gasses, and that we all came from primordial "ooze" that evolved into everything from slimy slugs, redwood trees, and intelligent mankind. They certainly don't believe in anything as immature and superstitious as an eternal God, intelligent design, and an expectation by that Creator for His creation to act in a moral and just way. And why do they believe in an eternal gas but not in the eternal God? It's because they have lost the ability to reason.


In short, they are playing dumb. And while this type of playacting might win them influential friends, get their political candidates elected despite their obvious feebleness of mind, make them feel superior to the "fools" who came before them, and perhaps even get them hired at major universities, they are still without excuse. Furthermore, they will someday answer for their unreasoned prejudices and their mindless following of the popular crowds, if they do not change.


The sobering thing for us is that we too have found ourselves in that very position. There have been times that our preconceived ideas have convicted the innocent, that our blind devotions have created terrible problems, and that our playing dumb has left important work undone. And, if we will admit it, there have been too many times that we have failed to believe important things about God and His way for no other reason than we have been to lazy or stubborn to see the truth.


This is why it is so important for us to read the Word of God and to do what it says. If we fail to do this we can attempt to plead ignorance on that Final Day, but God has already told us in advance that a failure to correctly reason with the fine mind He has given us will render us without excuse.


So, what is the solution? How can we prevent ourselves from being without excuse someday? The answer is obvious, isn't it? We can begin to seek His will through His Word and then we can begin to employ that seemingly long lost art of reason. And, I think you will agree, this old world needs men and women of reason if it is to ever become something that is pleasing in the sight of our Lord.