As a nerdy kid that loved books and science fiction it is interesting for me to see how the childish things of my youth are now mainstream and celebrated in the normal adult culture. I am not sure if this validates my personal inclinations for learning and entertainment or if it is a sign of the end for western culture. Time will tell. What does aggravate me is the formulaic cast of characters that are a routine cutout based on Spock from the original Star Trek. House, Big Bang Theory, or Scorpion for example host “smart” people who are so “intellectual” that they need dumb emotional people around them to help them understand normal society. The forerunner Spock who is an alien from a race of beings that held no emotion but functioned only with logic and reason represents something our science loving culture increasingly believes is a positive direction as represented by the super smart heroes who save the day on film. The outright and sometimes subtle side effect of these reason and logic wonders is that they portray God as imaginary and thus accordingly only the stupid people believe in something not directed by math and science. The end conclusion of this worldview is that “Religion” is for stupid people and “Science” is for smart people. This narrative has become interwoven into the Hollywood and media cultures to an obnoxious level. The conclusion is that logic and reason are superior and incompatible with emotion, faith, and empathy. That conclusion as with most things seen on TV does not hold up to real people and real situations. The reality is that faith, emotion, empathy, logic, and reason are all needed and all work together as part of who people are.
We are all emotional people who rely on faith every day of our lives. Logic and reason only people do not exist in real life because that is not how we are made. Yes I said “made” as in to deny the creation is to deny reality itself. The idea that one can detach from emotion and function on pure reason and logic is simply absurd (some people reading this are getting emotional right now). Think of the smartest person you know or better yet think of the person you know who thinks they are the smartest person. Most likely you will find a very emotional and possibly sarcastic person. Ricky Gervais fits this as an example quite nicely. He is an atheist and comedian that Verizon just hired to be a spokesperson (Verizon has serious issues with marketing in my view). Ricky thinks of himself as a very smart and logical person. He will talk down to those that do not share his views and that is how his ad for Verizon works. He tells the viewer how great Verizon is and diminishes the competitor because they are only faster than Verizon in places like Kansas. The implication being only New York matters to the entire country. This kind of person roots their arguments in the appeal to a majority through emotion and shaming. He does not use logic or reason as the TV cutout Mr. Spock would have done it. Here is another example of this appeal to support his “logic and reason” worldview through emotional browbeating. Equating the belief in God to the same intellectual level as a Nazi is an interesting message but it is a far cry from the fake logical prototype in the movies.
On the flip side of this supposed logic and reason group is the supposed stupid religious group that Ricky and those in his camp are targeting. As a nerdy teen that loved science fiction I too disliked religion and still to this day dislike many “religious” things. Religious things in my view is any activity that one does because an authority said to do it and because it is the way things have always been done. It is following a formula and a process to be received by God, enlightened, or to become one with whatever. Jesus rejected self-righteous religious things and that is what got Him sentenced to death. The religious of his day held political power, were well educated, and knew how to work the levers of power. These were not stupid people and Jesus was a threat to the power that they held through the hand of Rome.
For me I know that God exists because of logic. (Don’t go all emotional on me logic and reason crowd) For example if there is a creation then there must be a Creator. Or if there are laws, which the logic and reason crowd hold up as their god of science, then there must be a Law Giver. To deny the Creator or Law Giver then one must deny reality itself to remain consistent in the view that there is no Creation. I look at the things of the Church and seek to understand the why they might be necessary and why should I follow this or that rule. Some man made rules I have rejected outright because they have no foundation in Christ. The conclusion and the process for being religious is not blindness or stupidity it is a reasoned and conscious choice I make as I study and understand who God, the Creator, is and what my obligation to Him might be since He made, saved, and sustains me.
Jesus, who is God in the flesh, puts religion and relationship into these terms. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 ESV) I do the things I do and I live the way I live because of a relationship with God. I do not obey and keep the commandments that make me religious to save myself from the wrath of an imaginary God. I follow the commands and laws of my Creator that I love because He first loved me. My obedience and service to Christ, His Church, my Family, and my community come from an emotional reaction to a logical and reasoned choice built on a relationship.
My religion then is relationship driven not ideology driven. Relationships are more powerful than any Science or Religious fight because we were created to be in relationship with each other and with our Creator. My hope is that all would seek a relationship with Christ who created all the logic, laws, and reason, that the current culture worships.
…they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the [creation] rather than the Creator. Romans 1:25 ESV