The function of the too liberal is: to urge you to make self-destructive
decisions and call it
reason. A self-destructive decision is not to believe in God, because
you were built by nature
to believe, and to not believe negates part of the validity of your
nature. It is an unbalanced
thing to do. But I urge you to believe in a spiritually balanced faith
and therefore to be
more balanced in your living. This means adding spiritual awareness to
The critique of pure reason is that it does not last. Reason aids by supporting something bigger than itself. Therefore to try to make your life and self into a Temple Of Reason is inadequate in the long run. Rather it is far wiser to see yourself as the Apostle did himself, a “temple of the Indwelling Spirit of God.” And treating yourself as such with reverent exhilaration and honor.
God stands alone and glorious, but reason cannot stand by itself. It needs something, person, family, or cause, to attach itself to. Only then is reason seen in its ordered place and therefore in its glory. The use of reason is to aid and support us in living, not to live for reason, as a means of grace should not become an end. If so, things are at cross-purposes.
Whoever lives for reason is a cold person but whoever includes reason in his thinking is better for it. As the Apostle says, “Think on these things.” (Philippians 4:8) To think on, you must reason. But to use reason to be self-destructive, you are not being reasonable. God did not give you reason in the hope of your self-destruction by suicidal thinking in self mutilating yourself ,and thereby making you warped, skewed and defective. (But of course you are free so to do.) It is the same, for example, with atomic energy that God gave awareness of it to some through grace, but it has been used to curse mankind. Now if you use reason outside of the higher purposes for reason, all you are really doing is bombing yourself. And what was meant to be grace has been frustrated by man.. “do not frustrate the grace of God” it says in Galatians 22:21 and “receive not the grace of God in vain.” (II Corinthians 6:1)
Reason: you were given your ability for faith to a purpose, and to remove God can warp and upset the balance of your life. But you were meant to live a balanced life and have a spiritually ordered and balanced faith-life. Yet there are those poor things in grace, love, life and true reason who would prefer to mutilate their inner being by no belief than to admit belief into their lives. Scripture tells us, “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)
So I urge you greatly, not to remove God by false reasoning. Stop before doing a self-destructive thing. Do not use reason wrongly: that is frustrating grace by perverting reason to the wrong end. You are only making a bomb out of reason to drop on your inner being. You may well have to survive in the ruins of your life thereafter. Do you want a Hiroshima of the heart? If so, you drop it by reason, which is absurd because God the Creator through common grace knew what He was doing when He put the desire to believe in your heart. He was creating you in a nature that could be fulfilled by grace, and therefore make the material life a fuller life by the addition of a spiritual life.
This is the cry of Job: “Where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28: 12) I suggest the place of understanding to start from is with God the Creator who made us. If you want to reason, and you should, reason in grace, but do not use your reasoning in a sad manner to frustrate grace. For Nature’s God to create us with a desire and ability to believe was grace, only using reason not to believe is frustrating grace by the wrong use of reason. The plan of God was that man be created with a power to believe that nature might be fulfilled by grace.
Now, I reason with you! Is this wise? Is this not the fool who in his heart says there is no God? Then the sophist tries to plead what is self-destructive is what is reasonable. Being self-destructive is not reasonable behavior. It shows a person to be in a low degree of grace if any degree. It is then using reason to frustrate grace. But this is a common thing. People reason on how to misuse or selfishly use what is given by grace. Such is the sinful nature of man.
I hope you can see this. But if you cannot, we must wait as one does for the apple to fall from the tree. You cannot force grace on others. If you try to force or hold a gun on an apple, it turns red no faster, but it makes you a laughing stock. That is the way it is with grace. You may pass all the laws you wish. You may fight all the wars you wish. You may threaten others until you are red in the face. You may propagandize, educate, cajole, implore. But grace will not be rushed. James 1:4 says, “let patience have her perfect work.”
Now you may not like this, because things today are hoped to be done instantly and quickly. We are talking the maturity of spiritual development and not the making of material things. Grace cannot be forced. When you raise the Spirit, the dust must be allowed to settle. After the day of dusting, the settlement of the dust takes time. Grace dusts, but time settles it.
That is what is so very comic about our time. People think they are going to force grace, bribe grace, have some instantantization of grace. But this is not the way spiritual things usually seem to go. And this is why the heathen rage! (Psalm 2:1) Rage they do, truly, but some things are in the hands of God who is a mystery. Now you must think on what is in the hands of God and what is in the hands of men that God may dispose of or be predisposed towards.
But keep cool. Do not be alarmed when the enemies of God throw up their hands. They neither understand Him or even want to. They choose to live in preferred darkness, and they must be blessed and loved, but left to Heaven or the grace given them to percolate..
But as for you, living by spiritual light in a cave where others prefer darkness, surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses who have gone on before, you know that God is immortal, invisible and Him only wise. (I Timothy 6:16) You are wise if you rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. (Psalm 3 7:7) Remembering to “count them happy which endure.” (James 5:11) So rest in God, waiting with a good attitude for nature to be fulfilled by grace, and the natural person to be fulfilled by the spiritual person, not to achieve perfection but be bettered and improved.
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.