Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason challenged organized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible. He proposed that reason should take the place of revelation.
More recently, the modern age of scientific inquiry was supposed to unlock all of the questions mankind had struggled with. Logic and reason were supposed to prevail as science and technology ushered in a utopian existence.
Of course, none of this actually occurred. In fact, the recent health care debates show just the opposite. That is just one of the polarizing issues in existence today, but it shows how people are too busy yelling and not spending enough time listening on both sides.
People have rather become more emotional and less reasonable as they have pushed God out of the public eye. Those who still bother to have a belief in a god (lowercased, not the real One) have effectively put him on a shelf to await the next 9/11 where they can cart him out once again and sing “God Bless America”.
It’s that way even within the religious community, it seems. As I stated in “The Blind Leading the Blind”, there are some who are so busy telling you what you believe that they don’t want to hear the facts.
Still, this isn’t really new. As is mentioned in another blog I came across, Blogging Theologically (non-COG), the author writes in “Discrediting the Truth” that “one of the easiest ways to discredit the truth? With a false witness.”
The author quotes from Ac 16:16-18 where a fortune teller is following Paul and gang around Philippi yelling, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” The author’s point is that she was telling the truth. However, in so doing, she was actually discrediting and hindering the Gospel message. It was a sneaky way to undermine the message.
I want to focus in on the fact she was yelling. As long as she was yelling, the message could not be preached. It didn’t really matter if she was right or not, she was still hindering the work of God to the point that Paul finally had enough and cast the demon out of her.
Obstinance, fear, yelling and lies show an extreme lack of respect. Neither political party is guiltless in this.
Logical and rational debate means keeping your emotions under control. It means respecting another’s viewpoints. It means listening.
It is said that we are given one mouth to speak with and two ears to hear with because listening is twice as important as speaking. I wonder if anyone was listening when that saying was said.