Facebook posts seem to provide plenty of fodder for discussion on belief. It’s quite often in fact that a status or quote elicits a response in me, but more often than not I don’t comment. I can never think of a reply succinct or witty enough to make my point without causing offense or taking up the whole page.
However, in the past week or so two things have irritated me so much that I have to write something! I’ll write it here instead to get it off my chest I suppose, but also perhaps to prompt some thought in anyone reading. The first is a quote, and the second is a comment made by someone in response to a discussion about optimism vs pessimism.
Before the quote, I must mention that I haven’t read the quote in context, and I don’t know if it is true to it’s original intent when read in isolation. However, it sums up a widely held position in the church today, so regardless of what J G Lake intended it to mean, it’s literal meaning is one commonly held and is what I’d like to comment on.
“When a Christian tries to live by reason he is moving out of God’s country into the enemy’s land. We belong in the miraculous and the supernatural realm.”~ J G Lake
It goes without saying that there followed a number of ‘likes’ and hearty comments of agreement. My favourite was a tongue in cheek dig from my friend: “sounds reasonable”.
I would like to know by what means the writer, the quoter and the ‘likers’ came to the conslusion that reason is the enemy’s land? Surely it was by reason that they reasoned it?? Surely it was reason itself which enabled them to become literate and educated (terms used loosely)? Is there not some inconsistency here? If reason is of the enemy, and reason was the means of them discovering this, then it follows that their conclusion is not to be trusted. A conundrum yes?
The problem I have with all of this is that this view of things undermines God given intellect. This kind of belief excuses all sorts of ridiculous behaviour, phenomena and outright stupidity, by which people can defer to ‘the Spiritual realm’ and not have to hold themselves to any sensible thought about it’s validity. God has revealed Himself to us through Jesus Christ..has made Himself knowable. He has shown Himself through creation which mankind has studied and continues to discover. The fact that God has made Himself knowable, means that He can be revealed to our minds.
I’m not saying there is no supernatural realm, no place for faith or mystery. What I have a problem with is the idea that the supernatural is right, the mind is wrong. I am a whole person. All of me is wonderfully made, and there is no part of me that God hasn’t included into Himself in Christ. His work is complete and perfect and wonderful. I love that He has given me a mind. I love discovering Him with it! I love learning and reasoning and understanding.
And the second:
“An optimist operates from the spirit realm, he sees in faith; a pessimist operates from the soul realm, he lives in the natural and is not a partner with the Spirit!”
Yes. I proudly live in natural realm. I was born here. It is the home God has created for me. It’s a beautiful creation, nature delights me and I don’t want to live anywhere else to be quite honest. I also quite like the soul God gave me. Our bodies are incredible and it’s ability to adapt and heal fascinates me. I love the raw messy humanity of it…I love the great leveller of the fact that every person on earth uses their bowels and has to clean their ears out once in a while. I’m so tired of hearing that the spiritual is better, and the natural is embarrassing and a necessary but temporary evil. The natural realm is perfectly natural! It’s our habitat! He created it for us! What the heck is wrong with it???
Why this constant separation, this cutting me down the middle? Why this constant defining of good and bad?