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A vehicle for venting on philosophy, religion, and the general state of things. Proprietor: C. W. Powell

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"In thy light we shall see light" [Ps. 36:9]

The Tragedy of Eyes that Do Not See

I knew that my children understood my reproofs when I heard them reprove each other. Even a small child's injunction not to slam the door, showed that he understood the lesson, even if he slammed the door himself. The minute he could condemn his brother showed that he was a moral being accountable for his actions.

"Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:" (Jer 5:21)

"And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth." (Joh 9:39-41)

Only those who have a moral sense can be held responsible for their actions. The fact that someone can judge another is proof that he is not without moral sense. The additional fact that he judges unjustly shows that his moral judgment is in bondage to sin.

Jesus said that if his enemies were truly blind, they would not have any sin at all, for who judges a tree for moral failures? But they said that they could see; hence, they could not escape the truth that they were sinners, for they were condemned of their own consciences.

Paul said the same thing in Romans:

"Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?" (Ro 2:1-3)

Having eyes is a good thing, and is far better than not having eyes. But what good are eyes if we do not use them to see things. "Use your eyes," my father used to say. "Can't you see?"

Israel professed moral and spiritual superiority. They boasted that they were a "guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law" [Romans 2:20-21].

There are people who use guilt to attack those whom they consider threats to them. They want to get the attention off themselves. They don't want the light turned on, and so they do not want preaching and teaching of the word that exposes the heart and the true nature of the law of God. They do not mind being the center of controversy and ruckus, as long as it is about somebody else's sin, real or imagined.

Every human being knows that it is wrong to lie, steal, hate, and so forth. This is the reason that they either deny it altogether, or invent elaborate justifications. We are very inventive in this.

This guilt keeps many from criticizing others and they lapse into a kind of moral agnosticism. They see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. They refuse to give witness to moral evil because they know their own sins might be exposed. The effect of this makes it very difficult to get people to bear witness in crimes against the state or against the church. They are bound by guilt. They have eyes, but they refuse to see. They will not speak because of their own secrets. This is one of the reasons that totalitarian governments in both church and state need to have plenty of guilty people around..

But even worse, perhaps, people use guilt to intimidate and bully others. The Pharisees were very good at this. "They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out." (Joh 9:34) They would not instructed by the man who had been blind.

Jesus had healed the man, restoring his sight.
He became a symbol of those who has eyes and could see, a witness against those who had eyes but refused to use them.

It is easy to identify these religious bullies. Most of them you will find in church, complaining about faithful preaching of the Scriptures. They do not want the light turned on. They will be experts on the failings of those whom they cannot control.

But Jesus turned the light on. "And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind." (Joh 9:39) They crucified him for it.

"None are so blind as those who will not see." Author Unknown

What is the cure that frees us from guilt, from bullies, and from our own apathy? The only cure is this:

"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." (Pr 28:13)

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1Jo 1:9)
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