Voice of the Kingfisher speaks out …from a different perspective
by Elinor Montgomery
Reason versus Revelation
July 30, 2011
When man walks with God, he walks in the power of life, which Satan cannot take away. But man also was given free will, and the choice as to whether or not he would listen to the voice and revelation of God, or open his mind to the reasoning of Satan. He lured Eve into reasoning for herself, though she attempted to argue from the place of revelation from God, which He had given to her. But Satan knew the weakness of the flesh, and he targeted it with reason. Thus began the age of reason and the ensuing battle between it and revelation.
Thomas Paine and Elias Boudinot were merely participants in the age-old argument, which rages within the hearts of men. Does one listen to one’s conscience, into which the Spirit speaks with revelation, or does one listen to the reasoning of Satan who speaks into the mind of a man when he does not have the Word of God planted in him for protection?
The Bible is the stumbling block for the man of reason, better known as the academic or secular humanist of our modern world. But, make no mistake! The root of his thinking reaches all the way back to the Garden of creation, where Eve listened to the argument of Satan, which stated that God does not mean what He says; therefore, one can conclude that His Word is not truth. The barrier, or wall of truth, must be scaled in order to get to the other side of it where the door to reason is wide-open.
Most scholars begin their arguments with the premise that God is not to be trusted and, therefore, they can pick and choose from His Word to suit their purposes. Immediately, the door is opened to Satan’s reasoning, and there are no limits to where the argument can take the mind.
The scholar, Thomas Paine, was, himself, like two different men – the one before he passed through this open door, as the author of Common Sense, published in 1776, and then the man who had passed through to the other side as the author of The Age of Reason, published in 1794. In the first book, he wrote by basing his argument on the pages of Scripture. In the second book, The Age of Reason, John Adams accused Paine of being a ‘blackguard’ who wrote out of the depths of ‘a malignant heart’.
Because the depths of Paine’s argument for reason are one with Satan’s argument in the Garden, he gets lots of attention today from the atheists and misinformed, religious men of every stripe and color. His works produced what can only be described as a deist manifesto to its core.
He acknowledged how much man owes to Newton, declaring that nature was the only form of divine revelation, for God had clearly established a uniform, immutable and eternal order throughout creation. If such were true, how does one account for the Theory of Thermal Dynamics, where the things of the earth are actually found to be in a downward spiral leading back to dust?
He rejected the religion of Christianity and denied that the Bible was the revealed Word of God. He condemned many of the Old Testament stories as being immoral, which, in fact, Jesus affirmed to be truth, and went on to claim that the gospels were marred by discrepancies. Again, because he fell into the same trap as Eve, though he, like she, recognized the existence of God, it was with the qualification that He does not speak truth and is not the God of truth, which He claims to be.
Where did the meanderings of the mind lead Paine? Of course, he was led into the same liberalism from the Word of God, which is used as the foundation for the arguments of the modern-day liberals such as Al Gore, the green proponents, and the pacifists. Paine was the first to advocate a world peace organization, and rather than call him a Founding Father, he would be better labeled as a father to the United Nations.
The left-of-center socialism of our day would have been his political venue for expressing his thoughts, today. He would have loved the shelter offered for his liberal views by today’s liberal universities and liberal, religious institutions that call themselves Christian churches, which have become home to all forms of liberalism.
On the other hand, Elias Boudinot feared for America, being afraid that such views would take root, as they have today, and eventually destroy the liberty of its people, which the Founding Fathers sought to establish with the Constitution of the United States. He saw the inaction of the tens of thousands of churches and Christians as allowing the manifesto of Paine to take root in his country. Since the church did not do so, he finally took it upon himself to respond with a remarkable work of scholarship called The Age of Revelation.
He saw the force of the vain Paine’s genius as being pointed at the youth of America in an attempt to gain their following, the same old tactic Hitler had employed, just before World War II. In my study of Boudinot, I discovered amazing things about an amazing man who seems to have been written out of the pages of American history for his godly stand and the arguments he made to support it.
One of the most surprising and insightful messages he delivered was that which he gave on the Mosaic Law. He declared a simple but much overlooked truth about it. It was a body of laws, which was produced all at one time, and remains without addition or alteration since the time, when it was given to Moses. By this very nature, it renders all other forms of government, which one might call, ever changing with the times, to be nowhere near its equal, with its ability to resist the changes of time. American society was based on this Law and herein lay the source for her greatness. It came out of that book of truth, which Paine so denigrated.
Whereas Paine ridiculed the Bible, Boudinot confined his arguments against Paine to the essential facts of the gospel. He attempted to expose the falsehoods and misrepresentations of Scriptures made by the man, by revealing his extreme ignorance of the divine Word, not knowing they contain the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes (see Romans 1:16).
Thomas Paine gets the attention of the liberals who own the universities and the media today, but almost no one mentions Elias Boudinot. While Paine is considered to be a Founding Father, in truth, he never served in office in any civil capacity in America. His only effective office was in France. To the contrary, Boudinot was a law graduate who served three terms in Congress, served as President of the Continental Congress, was director of the United States Mint and, upon retirement from politics, became a trustee of what is now Princeton University and founded the American Bible Society.
Boudinot was an opponent of slavery and the man who proposed a resolution to President George Washington, on the day after the House of Representatives voted to adopt the form of the First Amendment Religion Clauses, that the President issue a Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. This was to allow all Americans to join as one voice for returning to Almighty God their sincere thanks for the many blessings He had poured down upon them. His resolution was affirmed on September 25, 1789, and the rest is history.
Do these two men of history not reveal to us much about the age-old battle between reason and revelation? Man will believe the reasoning of man on any day, before he will believe the revelation of God. After all, it was from the sound of God’s voice while He was walking in the Garden, which Adam and Eve ran to hide themselves from His presence; sin will cause that reaction every time. They had crossed over from revelatory truth to the other side of the wall between life and death, to embrace the lies at the root of reason. They had just become part of the first religious belief system and no longer stood on the truth of God’s word.
Boudinot, though the scholar he was, would never understand why Christianity’s lack of response to Paine miffed him so much. Boudinot did not yet have the revealed truth about religion, which can only come from the Lord, who is the only One who has the right to open up the scrolls of understanding. This is what is called revelation, and all truth comes only from the revealed truth of God, the very Author of revelation.
It was revelation that put Joseph in his place of authority in Egypt, made Daniel third ruler in the land of Babylon, and was the source for the voice of every prophet and apostle who ever lived. It will be by revelation that the bride of the church will separate from the religious systems of this world to purify herself in readiness for the wedding feast to take place at the wedding of God to man.
It is by reason that man will enter into the Titanic of civilization, thinking himself so wise and so full of his own importance that he will dare to believe even God is unable to put a deadly gash in his thinking, which can take him down. The warnings have always been there, that an iceberg lies straight ahead. He gave us the book of Job, showing us just what will be taken from man when he dies, and what God will restore through the resurrection of His Son, Jesus. According to the words of one, wise Elihu, “By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen (Job 37:10).”
The rich and the famous, the master-ship builder and the ship line’s managing director were all on board at the time of the disaster of that great ship, Titanic. Satan, the author of reason, will go down in the judgment boat to come, along with his followers, into the seawaters God separated from the dry land of the Garden. This was done before He ever brought forth His human being who was to know only good and none of the evil of the spirits of the sea, which are foundational to the knowledge, which comes from reason.
We are, and have been, from the advent of life on earth and Creation, preparing for that great and dreadful day of judgment when all will enter the greatest ship of all ever made by man – that great vessel of titanic proportions called the Ship of Reason about to be judged by the God of Revelation. Will you go out in a lifeboat of revelation, or will you go down with the ship of fools in reason, thinking yourself a wise academic, when, really, all you are is a fool who has refused the revelation permeating every page of the Book of Life?
It is a heart of stone, which will go down through the darkness of the depths to come to rest on the floor of the ocean. Speaking of the serpent, God said, “His heart is as hard as stone (Job 41:24).” The choice is yours between having a stone-cold heart of reason or a soft and pliable heart full of revelation.
I would rather read The Age of Revelation by Elias Boudinot any day, as opposed to reading the rantings of Thomas Paine who exalted the humanism of reason at the expense of truth.