The Bare Soul
July 1, 2012
Salvation Without Reason
The following is the message
text and audio recording of a sermon titled "Salvation Without Reason" delivered
to the homeless
at the Kansas City Rescue Mission Chapel on June 28, 2012.
Salvation Without Reason
- June 28, 2012
II Corinthians 11:3 - But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
"Unless I can explain it, I refuse to believe it!" Such is the claim of many atheists I have encountered throughout the years. They refuse to believe anything that cannot be reasoned or rationalized by a scientific explanation. Regarding religion and man's need to believe in a creator, Sigmund Freud once stated: "The whole thing is so patently infantile, so foreign to reality, that to anyone with a friendly attitude to humanity it is painful to think that the great majority of mortals will never be able to rise above this view of life." While Freud and others like him who believe in reason rather than faith in God are woefully wrong, at least they are consistent in their beliefs. Conversely, many Christians say they believe in God and trust in Him for their salvation, yet act quite differently. It is one thing to say we believe in God and another thing to put that belief into everyday practice. For when we begin to reason out our day to day to affairs without much thought toward God, are we not behaving much like our atheist counterparts? That is why there are so many different religions in our world, including the religions of science and reason. Different brands of devotion attempt to marry aspects of religion with humanism, resulting in nothing more than a diluted form of Eastern mystic thought. All of these so-called "faiths" have the age old pride of Satanic ambition, desiring to rise above God and to wrest self-deliverance without the Divine's help (Isaiah 14:13).
Much of the problem in contemporary Christianity is that many believers say one thing and live otherwise. Many of us often live atheistically through reason rather than through faith and obedience. If we really believed the Bible, then we would not reason our way around scripture and accept it for what it says. Do we really believe there is a place of eternal torment for the damned? If we did, it would be criminal not to plead continually with those who do not know the Savior to turn off the road to destruction! Or, do we truly believe God will care for us as He does for the sparrows of the air? If we did, we would not be anxiously upset over a shortfall in our finances. Or, even worse, to discontinue our support towards God's work through our giving in order to make ends meet! We too often try to rationalize our Christianity, bringing an atheistic flavor into our belief system. After all, when Jesus told us to give to anyone and everyone who asks of us, wasn't this merely rabbinic hyperbole? (Luke 6:30) He didn't really expect us to give our house away if someone asked for it, did He? To be certain, there is God's reason enthroned in the mind of Christ which is thereby empowered by faith. If and when God would tell us to do such a thing, He would most certainly give us a faith and assurance this was His will. However, there are also times when we reason falsely out of fear of losing something or holding on to something in an insecure fashion. These instances are born in unbelief and smack of atheism. They are deeds of the flesh as old as the curse of Adam and the fall of mankind.
When we succumb to our own counsel devoid of God's help, we revert to the deception of the serpent as stated in our lead verse. If Satan can get us to reason with the word of God, then he has robbed us of the wisdom of the Lord. For many of us as Christians, we would never imagine to think of the Bible as anything other than the infallible, inerrant word that it is. Where we get into trouble is when we attempt to interpret it with minds of reason. If one looks at the Bible, reasonably, there are some passages which do not make sense. For instance, why would a loving God keep fruit that was desirous from Adam and Eve? Just as the deceiver asked Eve, "Did God really say?" in the same does he want us to question God's word and to reason it out in our own minds (Genesis 3:1). For in so doing, we will abort the mind of God's reasoning on our behalf and will give power to our own flesh (or our carnal minds) to do accordingly. This leads only to a life of faith in humanistic endeavor which can only end in hopeless futility.
The only reasonable salvation and belief is that of God and His plan for our lives. The reasoning of mankind, whether based in the world's religions or the religion of science, is built upon the assumption that the human race can come to the needed answers regarding all the world's problems. As C. S. Lewis stated, there are really only two viable religions in the world -- Hinduism and Christianity. While the former embodies every conceivable attempt to save ourselves through self-actualization, the latter relies totally on accepting the finished work of Christ the Savior. Every "Hinduistic" system attempting to work out mankind's salvation---whether religion or scientific, humanistic endeavor---is based on the age-old idea that God is irrelevant and that with enough struggle, mankind can save himself. However, Christianity's faith states how those who give up, give in, and give themselves to God are those who find the truth. As Christians---if we truly believe we are---then we must quit haggling about what God says and believe it. We must quit our atheistic form of Christianity by only believing parts of God's word and embrace it all. When we do, we will find a salvation that is entirely reasonable because it is full of the peace of God. Anything less than this is a self-made salvation with no hope of redemption. May we all cling to God's wisdom and truth, for in doing so will we find Jesus, our true salvation.
Lord Jesus, may we surrender daily to You, humbly asking You for Your wisdom daily. May You cover our minds with the mind of Christ and give us Your reasoning for everything we do throughout our day. May You convict us where we have so falsely relied upon ourselves and may we quickly turn these areas over to You and Your Lordship. For only in You is our hope. In Your Name, Jesus Christ the Almighty we pray, Amen.
Your Barefoot Servant,
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