On Rationalism, Godliness, and being Corrected

I was recently accused in a conversation, of which I was not a part, of being “uncorrectable”, by someone whose opinion I value as they drift in and out of the course that God has laid for me. I value his opinion because I have, in the past, been able to engage him in meaningful dialogue, and what’s more, prayer. But that does not make the situation difficult for me, I’m not above the justified reproach of my peers, and I never like it to be said of me that I walked away from something, or ignored it because it displeased me. The very difficult thing about such a statement is that it could potentially create a circular debate if I attempt to understand it, particularly if I feel that I wind up at different conclusions than it posits. It would be said, “see, he is retreating into his rationalistic behavior; this is the very reason that he is uncorrectable.”

So, because of that, I have no interest in mounting any kind of “defense” against said accusation, because I feel no need to defend myself, and I am not slighted greatly by people positing things about me, so I’ll merely be talking about the nature of correct-ability. as it relates to rationalism. I’m not defending myself, but rationality. I am offended on it’s behalf, not for my own sake.

Firstly, it’s no secret to anyone that knows me that my epistemology is largely based on rationalism, and I’ll briefly explain why: Rationalism is defined as being a position that holds reason as the supreme methodology by which one can acquire knowledge and understanding. Truth.

Stepping back out of academia and into my life, the short and the long of it is that I believe in a God that calls himself “Truth” and tells me to follow.

The relationship there in my mind should now be apparent. I believe rationalism is, by it’s very definition, the pursuit of Yeshua.

Now, there is no humility in rationalism, per se. Neither is there pride… It’s understood between responsible thinkers that the objective of discussion and dialogue is to determine the most True thing. To divine via our Minds, to quote Phillipians; whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute. And to, as the texts tell us, dwell on them.

A couple of additional verses on the matter; I provide them as a way to engage an intended audience that is probably skeptical of this position, not necessarily as posits.

Romans:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Proverbs:

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”

As an aside, it gives me great pause and concern to see people, and moreso, People in leadership positions at churches that are categorically incapable of applying these ideas to their interactions. *leaders* of the Church, *Leaders* within the church and youth groups, that are not cognizant of the intellectual and academic responsibility they -must- show, even in the face of *very* irrational people, because it is their place in the kingdom to call people to Godliness that have not the vaguest notion of what that entails.

So, We’ll move onto correct-ability. How do you tell a Theological rationalist that he’s wrong about something? Which one of these rings most true?

A) Tell him people think he’s an ass, or at least that he acts like one, and that they hate him.
B) Make emotional appeals to his family relationships.
C) Assume you have the authority to tell him what to do and how to think.
D) Make broad, declarative, absolute statements about God’s will.
E) Put aside yourself, seek Him, and engage the Rationalist in the pursuit of mutual enrichment and truth, and be humble enough to admit to being wrong or lacking yourself if your posits fall apart when faced with counters.

Here is the very subtle, and dare I say it, evil part: In the pursuit of Truth and God in seeking Him, the very act of doing so will prove to the misguided corrector that the rationalist is uncorrectable, because it is very likely that there will be an improper understanding/definition of what it means to be “correctable”

Like so many other things, Society has wound up 180 degrees backwards. Don’t be conformed, renew your mind, and *think* about this:

Who is more correctable?

A man that floats through life believing that experience shapes his mind, and that an attempt to lock down on practical, applicable truths, would merely close his mind off, so he prefers not to think deeply on things, chastises others for “thinking too much”, and ultimately, in the assertion of his own whims of the moment and the concerns of his emotional well being and relation to others… possibly his own momentary comfort, or the ease of his life, becomes a noncontributing, emotionally driven hedonist in pursuit of nothing but his own shallow happiness, that will either back down from rational thought, or be offended, defensive, or protective from perceived attacks on his personal sovereignty, when that rationalism stands in reproach of his Godless actions.

Or.

A man that believes that rationalism is the best, most Godly way to live, that the attempt to subdue the self, be it emotional, or experiential, in pursuit of real Truth, what he might call the kingdom of God on earth, that it is the purpose of his mind to, like his mouth, close on things that are nourishing. As a result of his application of hierarchical truths, he’s prepared to explain to others the rationale, purpose, and pith of his actions. He is understandable, precise in his words and actions, and because of that understanding, his position is easily relatable to those people that are actually interested in looking for truth beyond themselves, beyond humanity, and their own feelings or relationships.

The thought that society sells is that, because the later man is prepared to take up a course of thinking to its logical progressions, afterwards prepared to defend his wisdoms, and that the first will listen to those that are close to him by virtue of their relationship, that the first man is the correctable one, and the second is uncorrectable.

And that is a lie. It is a corruption of the Truth, to put it as boldly as I can.

The Truth? The truth is that, far from initial notion that the rationalist is uncorrectable, he is the *only* type of man that is truly correctable, it is, in fact, a *requisite* to be rational for a man to receive correction from you, if you have real correction to give, and that in the case of the first man, he is not correctable, he merely is manipulatable.

I weep, and weep, and weep, that the church seems much more interested in the first man by virtue of that very fact.

bedebebedebebebdbeThashalFolks.

Take it away, Schlitt.

Look at the front page, turn on the tv
They fire another round at you and me
Their guns are loaded, they’re taking aim
Nobody told them we’re not all the same
No paranoia, nobody could
Just write it off as being Hollywood
The innuendo between the lines
Leaves no confusion ’bout what’s on their minds
(Chorus)
I won’t go underground
I won’t turn and flee
I won’t bow the knee
I won’t go underground
I won’t turn and hide from the rising tide
I won’t go underground
I won’t compromise what the world denies
I won’t go underground
And I’m not ashamed of the cross I’ve claimed
They’re taking notes on what we say
You know they’d like to lock us all away
Can’t stop the movement, can’t make it slow
Persecution always makes us grow
They got my number, it’s no surprise
I’m here and wearing no disguise
Bring on the lions and heat up the fire
It’s not enough to stop this man’s desire
(2nd Chorus)
I won’t go underground
I won’t turn and flee
I won’t bow the knee
I won’t go underground
I keep holding fast till the very last
I won’t go underground
*I will turn my cheek, I will boldly speak*
I won’t go underground
I am not ashamed of the cross I’ve claimed
I know the Spirit behind this force
It’s not surprising if you know the source
I pray for freedom for helpless ones
And I keep standing till the new day dawns
And I won’t lay low as the hatreds grow

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2 Responses to “On Rationalism, Godliness, and being Corrected”

  1. noseintheair Says:

    I am properly and rationally impressed.

  2. Agreed.

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