[note re Frew W. Anson below]
Robert Kirby is a local paper "humor columnist" . . . who usually writes quirky, edgy, personal pieces about his relationship to the L.D.S. church. A recent column of his I read instantly struck me as a prime example of the difference between "reasoning to God" versus "reasoning FROM God". It is that all important (eternal life or death, heaven or hell) difference between a "worldview" humanist philosophy vs. Biblical spirituality; man-centered positioning vs. Lord-centric.
It is the mind-set of a Shawn McCraney vs. that of a Jason Wallace; the philosophers and their gods and theories in Athens vs. Apostle Paul asserting revelatory truth. . . .
Kirby referred to the recent LDS excommunication of Kate Kelly [it was a big story here] who was pushing to have women included in the Mormon priesthood. Because of the church's action Kate's husband has decided to resign his own LDS membership. Kirby went on (in his humoristic style) to describe issues that would cause HIM to resign. As in, what types of things would be "deal-breakers"? If "the church" reinstated polygamy, for instance, he says "this would be a deal breaker".
What I found striking was Kirby's including propositions from God Himself and Biblical scenarios (not just LDS) against which he would have to take a stand--and basically reject.
And here we have once again the perfect example of THE TWO contrasting positions a person in this life can and must take. There's only one of two ways to go. You are either with the Lord, or against Him.
The moment you begin second-guessing God and Biblical revelation . . . you have taken the humanist, man-centered path, which is the essence of THE rebellion which inaugurated The Fall. This is what Eve did. She doubted, questioned then modified God's command.
Again, the purpose in referencing ie., a Kirby or McCraney is not to "attack" the person but that they are public figures and so perfectly typify a certain philosophy and position (the man-centered, humanistic, Rebellious-with-a-capital-"R" worldview.)
When you hear the atheist, the agnostic, the New Ager, the Utopian, the Rebel etc., say (in reference to the long-time orthodox representation of the Biblical God) "well, if that's who God is, I won't worship THAT God" you have 1 Timothy 4:1 in action: "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall
depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of
Kirby writes, "I do not care how insistent God is/was that I build an altar and sacrifice one of my kids or grandkids to prove my love for him. I might just as well worship Satan instead."
And this is a frightful example of worldly wisdom . . . bordering, if not well within, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, the unpardonable sin (attributing to God the work of the devil)! He is in effect saying a God who would ask what was asked of Abraham is on par with Satan!
This is a common example (Abraham and Isaac) used also by militant atheists. Kirby is L.D.S. but his mindset is the same. From HIS reasoning he looks at the God of the Bible and considers Him as if Satanic He obviously does not really believe "without faith it is impossible to please God." For we are Told that Abraham's faith "was credited to him as righteousness".
The "reasoning TO God"/man-centered/humanist position hears what God says and mulls it over.
"Did God really say ___? The translation must be bad . . . no one really understands the Bible anyhow. I like this part and that part of the Word . . . but those other parts, not so much. It must be that they don't apply today. The God of the Old Testament . . . is not really God, but just an ancient, backward depiction of Him . . . the all-loving, all-accepting, non-judgmental Jesus of the New Testament as I conceive Him--THAT is the God I will follow."
A Believer, on the hand, believes. Not blindly. Biblical faith is surrounded by reason, logic, experience, thoughtfulness . . . but it is wrought in Spirit, the Spirit of Truth. And a final point where the follower at last says, "God, I believe You. I put my trust in You. I turn from my own limited, fallen, degenerate perception and submit now my will and reasoning to You first."
Then, when you (the believer/follower) read that there is, for instance, heaven AND hell . . . or that Abraham was prepared to sacrifice his son according to God's command . . . you rest assured that God has a perfectly good, holy, divine purpose to it. You don't start from your own opinion and try to fit God in THAT, and where it doesn't fit, reject it, calling it a "deal breaker". . . .
Kirby also decries God's command to the Israelites to conquer and destroy Jericho. That would have been another "deal breaker" for Kirby had he been on the scene.
Bottom line . . . the "wisdom of the world is foolishness to God." --1 Cor. 3:19
While "the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." --1 Cor. 1:18
A strong warning must be included in these observations. Those who start with a man-centered, interpretive position . . . trying to reason TO God . . . are bound eventually to submerge into a sea of errors, compounding them upon one another . . . until they are practically committing blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, attributing to God the ways and personality of Satan! Woe to such! Repent!
The other way is THE Way, which is to start from God's revelation, using IT as the standard against which to judge personal opinion, proclivities, worldly wisdom, subjective preference. . . .
"Don't you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough?" --1 Cor. 5:6
One way leads to corruption, madness, full rebellion and damnation.
The other Way leads to fellowship with God, eternal life and the perfection of Christ.
The crux of the matter, the heart of the matter . . . Kirby . . . is found in whether you reason TO God, creating your own "deal breakers" . . . or reason FROM God, Who Himself decrees what are the "deal breakers". Are your "deal breakers" derived from reasoning TO vs. FROM God? The difference is humanism vs. Bible, life vs. death, heaven vs. hell, truth vs. lies, Satan vs. God. . . .
NOTE: p.s. Thank you Fred W. Anson for your kind words. I have always appreciated the time and effort and thought you have put into breaking down the McCranyism controversy and providing related links and analysis. Those wanting to see an excellent in-depth review of the latest kerfuffle involving Pastor Wallace should visit your fine site: Beggars Bread at: