Part of the series Who says…
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2015-06-08.
We do need to use our heads to understand and apply scripture.
Building on a foundation that God is, that He created the universe and that He ultimately is responsible for our children’s being, should provide ample substance upon which to build our faith. This lengthy series will identify the secular thinking that has eroded that faith.
Bible Reference: 2 Tim 3:12-17
In the movie Luther, when Martin Luther was challenged by the Catholic inquisition to recant his Ninety-Five Theses, he responded that he would recant, if his writings were in contravention of scripture and sound reason. Scripture and sound reason! To live by scripture alone disconnects us from the reality of life and to live separated from the truth of scripture leads to bondage. To live a balanced life we need to have both a foundation of truth (scripture) and the ability to think (sound reason).
One cannot disconnect scripture and sound reason as without sound reason, scripture is just words that can be bent to mean anything. This is what Martin Luther was alluding to when he applied sound reason to scripture. The church of his day had no problem justifying a whole host of things that could be supported using scripture but failed to make sense when sound reason was applied.
One the other hand, when reason is applied, it is not likely to be sound without the moral framework of scriptural principles. Anyone can justify themselves in anything. This is a natural inclination scripture helps us to overcome. The Bible can be summarized as Creation / Fall of Man / Redemption. If we fail to understand the “fall” part, the “redemption” part makes no sense. Therefore, if someone is never wrong, it is because they lack a biblical understanding of the fall. When we are unaware of, or choose to ignore, the fact that sin is in the world and therefore in us, we start to believe that we are faultless, infallible, perfect. Perfect people can do no wrong because they are perfect and since perfection is an attribute of God, we take upon ourselves a sort of “godhead”. God does not need to repent or ask forgiveness and if God does not need to do so, neither does the unregenerated man or woman. The term for this attitude is self-righteousness and it requires the Holy Spirit, not people, to bring this to light.
When people, who claim to be followers of Christ, do things that are clearly in contravention of the scripture, sound reason should inform us that these individuals may not actually be disciples but adversaries of Christ. Jesus said we would either be for or against him. Sound reason should show us that He, being God incarnate, is the same yesterday, today and forever. There is no “principle of the day” or “situational ethics”. Betrayal, lying, treachery, adultery, etc., are just as unbiblical and therefore, unacceptable today, as ever. Sound reasoning helps keep this in perspective, but if sound reasoning is not applied, nearly anything can be justified through the creative application of isolated scripture. You all know what I mean!
Our Christian responsibilities are very simple. We are to love others regardless of who or what they are or do, but we also bear some responsibility in lovingly telling them the truth, if, and only if, we are seriously concerned about their welfare and the welfare of others, excluding ourselves. The basis is scriptural. The application requires sound reason. Sound reason is not directed by feelings but by scriptural truth. This may appear somewhat circular, but you can’t really have one without the other.
Who says scripture is enough? People who may be so “heavenly minded” they are of no earthly good. Common sense dictates that we must use common sense, even when applying scriptural truth. God has never instructed us to be mindless nor to disregard sound reason any more than he has instructed us to neglect His word in our thinking. Disconnecting one from the other makes us puppets or fools. Either way, we are in danger of making big mistakes that could profoundly affect us or others in our community. Think (sound reason) and you will come to the knowledge of the truth (Scripture). If you don’t (no sound reason), you will just believe (what is likely unscriptural).