Emotions vs. Reason
For Easter this year, my family and I were out of town. We ended up attending Easter services at Central Christian Church in Henderson, NV. After the opening worship band left the stage, there was a young man who came out and presented a monologue/poem/rap that highlighted a good deal of what Christianity is about. I was impressed at the broad spectrum of doctrine, challenges and truths that were professed during this brief presentation.
While following along with it, however, I began to start thinking about how this young man might appear to non-Christians. He was very energetic and passionate. Which got me thinking about how often we tend to view emotions and reason as being so very opposite from one another. As I wondered how the non-Christian would perceive this young man, it occurred to me that he would likely be labeled as a religious fanatic, to pick one of the less derogatory things people might think.
Why is it that we (that includes Christians) so often divorce emotion from logic? Are we so indoctrinated with the idea of Mr. Spock’s complete surrender to logic in the absence of emotion? There is really no valid reason why these two things should be viewed as being in such opposition from each other. After all, if we use logic to determine the best course of action and then follow that action, we often are pleased and happy about it. The one leads directly into the other.
In my case, as with a large number of others, I have spent a significant amount of time analyzing evidences and arguments with regards to such things as the existence of God, the reliability of the scriptures, the historicity of the Resurrection and a number of other beliefs held by orthodox Christianity. Using logic, I have replaced faulty beliefs about Christianity with beliefs that seem to better comport with the evidence. If I find that my reasoning has led to a false conclusion about something, I alter my conclusion. And with all that, I have concluded, based on the evidence I have seen and the arguments for and against how to interpret that evidence, that the God of the Christian Bible is the One True God.
Now, if I get excited or passionate about this God, or about Jesus, or about my faith, it has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not my faith is reasonable. Yet, if I show strong emtiotions with regards to my faith, some might perceive me to just be a fanatic who has not examined the evidence critically or really thought about the beliefs that I profess. That is a non sequitur. It doesn’t follow. While, admittedly, there are some who profess a seemingly fanatical belief in Christ who have not logical, foundational, rational reason for their belief, there are many others who actually do.
There are a lot of very poor reasons that people have for believing in Christ. That doesn’t mean that everyone who believes has poor reasons.
If you believe in Christ, what are your reasons for believing?
Grace, love and peace.