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

Monday, October 22, 2012

The One-Eyed Man [Apologies to Erasmus]


Irony Alert:  Not for the Faint of Heart.

[This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream.  I am not responsible for what goes on in the mind of the One-Eyed King.]

In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed man was King.  He was often confused, and one day sat alone in his parlor, thinking deeply about the things that confused him.

“I am a Christian,” he said, “but I wish I could understand more.  Christianity seems so simple to some, especially those who have no eyes, but I get confused at times.  Jesus died on a cross and that seems to be very important to Christians.  But why did He die?

“It seems to me,” the One-Eyed King said to himself, “that before Jesus came God spoke to Moses and gave His commandments to Moses.  This gave the Jews a special relationship to God.  But what happened?  Why did Jesus come?  It seems that Moses defined the will of God for the Jews and, therefore, for mankind, for in the Jew all the families of the world were to be blessed, as God told Abraham.  But how could they be blessed if they did not live by the law that Moses gave the Jew.”

He thought about it for a long, long time.   It was very hard for him, but after one very hard day of thought, with his head bowed and his one eye staring at the ground, he suddenly jumped to his feet.

“I see! I see!” exclaimed the One-Eyed King.  “Jesus came to lead us to Moses, to show us how important the laws given to Moses are for the good of mankind.   Men live by the law.  The Jews did not do what Moses commanded them, and this was the reason that Jesus came. If the Jews had been better at obeying Moses, then Jesus would not have needed to come.  Jesus died on the cross to teach us that we really need to take Moses seriously and keep every one of his laws.”  He came to show us how to do the law and to give us power to do it.  Wow!  (Tears of joy streamed from his blind eye.)

“God promised Israel a land flowing with milk and honey.  They would be very rich just as Abraham was very rich.  Jesus didn’t want His people to be poor, so He died so they could be rich.  This is what that saying of Paul must mean, that Jesus ‘though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.’   Jesus humbled Himself and was poorer than the foxes so that Christians could have three or four houses, one for the summer, one for the winter, and another for skiing and still another for European vacations.  It fills even my blind eye with tears to think that He loved us so much.”

“God is also very concerned about holy days,” the One-Eyed King continued, as he got up from his chair in his parlor and walked out upon the veranda.  “The Jews didn’t do well with this, and never seemed to be able to get this right.  They did their own things on the Sabbath Day and thought their own thoughts and sought their own pleasure.  This was very distressful to God, who wanted them to think His thoughts and seek His pleasure one day of the week.  If they did that, then they could live the other six days as they pleased, thinking their own thoughts, seeking their own pleasures, and doing their own things.  

"Moses told them how important that holy day was and how everything depended upon it.   If they kept that day very holy, then they didn't really need to think about what it meant to be holy the rest of the week.  Preachers really need to concentrate on what you don’t do on the Sabbath Day, because God really cares about what you don’t do on holy days.  Besides, if you get the holy days right, then God will make you rich.  Riches are very important.  Jesus died so we could be rich.  If you get the seventh day right then God will bless you so much that you will be much richer than the poor suckers who work all the time.  Jesus wants us to be rich.

“Especially important are two worship services on Sunday.  Christians should earnestly contend with one another over how much rest they should get on the Day of Rest.   God is really concerned about this.  After all, He rested on the seventh day and knows how important rest is.  It is so important that Jesus died on the cross to teach us that we should have at least two services on Sunday.  It is very hard for me to see how Sunday is the seventh day.  I guess I would need both eyes to see that.  But I see enough to know that I am very agitated in my soul that some churches only go to church once on Sunday.  How can I have rest in my soul when I know they are not resting.  How evil is that?

“But I am very certain that God is very concerned about people having pleasure on the Day of Rest.  I should be very restless in my soul if I think that someone is having any fun on that day, especially in Colorado where Broncos play.  Christianity absolutely depends upon Christianity having a day of rest so they can be mournful on that day, because Jesus died for this.  I know that I will never have rest and peace in my soul until everyone is having rest and peace and no personal fun on Sunday.  It my duty, as I see it with my one eye.

“The Jews were to be a peculiar people, but they were not peculiar enough at times.  They interbred their cattle, mixed the seed in the field, rounded the corners of their heads, and marred the corners of their beards.  Some even wore garments made of different kinds of cloth—in the same garment, would you believe!  If they mixed their cloth how could they be expected to be separate from sinners?

Some of them even didn’t have beards.  How excessive was that?  How could they possibly have been so rebellious as not to grow a beard so they could keep God’s commandment about not marring its corners? It seems so clear to me now,” said the One-Eyed King to himself.  “Jesus had his bearded plucked out so that we might wear our hair right.  Why else would Jesus have His beard plucked out but to show us that we need to pay more attention to our hair.

“How can you be godly if you don’t wear your hair right?  It is clear that every man must have a beard because how could he not mar its corners if he didn’t have one?  Why else do men have facial hair if not to not mar the corners.  Too bad about the women.  It shows they cannot be holy, but then, some women do have some facial hair, so there may be room among the godly for some of them.  But they should never shave or pluck their facial hair, for that would make them as wicked as the men who shave.  Shaving really mars the corners of the beard which is shameful.

“But women who do not have facial hair will never be able to have the blessing and be rich because they will never be able to get Moses right.  No wonder God doesn’t have much use for women because they will never be able to have beards with un-marred corners.  They will never be able to keep Moses perfectly.  I understand a lot more now that I am getting the hair thing right.  It’s too bad that my people do not have one eye so that can see it like I do.

“But then,” quoth the One-Eyed King.  “Moses didn't have it completely right, maybe.  Nature taught the Corinthians that it is a shame for a man to have long hair.  Nature must trump Moses who said they shouldn’t cut their hair.  How can a man not have long hair if it is a sin to round the corners of his head or wicked to mar the corners of his beard?  Why is it natural for a man to have a long beard but unnatural for him to have long hair?  Whatever was going on with the Corinthians?  I guess the sin is growing unnatural long hair on the top of your head, or perhaps in having unnatural short hair on your chin.  But it seems pretty certain that it is natural for most women not to have beards. No temptation there.  I guess that shaving his beard is a sign that a man doesn’t want to grow up manly but wants to be a sissy with cheeks like a woman.  But God does seem to care a lot about hair if Jesus died so we could get it right.  Jesus died to make us peculiar.  Didn’t He?

“It is really tough to have only one eye,” sighed the One-Eyed King.

“But then,” the One-Eyed King went on.  “Maybe Moses did have it right.  He said that Samson was strong and manly until Delilah cut his hair, and then he became a sissy with short hair.  When it grew out again his manly strength returned, it seems.  But I am confused,” the One-Eyed King mused.  “If it is shameful for a sissy with long hair to pray and honorable for a manly man to pray with his short hair, then why did God not hear Samson with short hair, but did hear Samson with long hair?  How could he have had faith when he was a shameful sissy and not have faith when he was manly?   And why did the male Nazarite have instructions about cutting his hair but a woman Nazarite receive no instructions about hers?  Could she cut her hair after her vow was over?  Although I have only one eye, I do know that the law of the Nazarite was for women as well as men.

“But why is it natural for my hair to grow long if nature teaches me it is shameful?   It must be something about the fall.  Adam must have had short hair because God made Adam good, not shameful.  Sin must have something to do with the hair.  Man cannot love God if he has long hair for that is naturally shameful.  But Moses said it is wrong to round the head or mar the corners of the beard.  It is certain that Jesus didn’t do that at all, for then He would have been shameful.  The hair grows long naturally, but if a man really loves God he will cut off that natural growth.  Somehow it is natural for the hair to grow out long so that it can teach us that it is shameful for a man to have long hair.   But he must do this cutting very carefully lest he round his head or mar the corners of his beard for then he will look like a heathen priest, which is shameful.  This is perfectly clear, even to a man with one eye.  I wonder if I could see it better if I closed my good eye.”

“But I am very tired,” the One-Eyed King said in his soul.  “I cannot think any more about this.  But one thing is clear to me.  The purpose for Christ’s death on the cross will be completely fulfilled when we all get Moses right.  This is what Jesus meant when He said, “the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”  Isn’t it?  What else could it mean?  It does have something to do with hair, though.

The attendants came at this time to help the One-Eyed King get ready for bed.  He slept fitfully and finally only slept when he vowed to continue his musings at a later date.

[This I beheld, or dreamed it in a dream.  I am not responsible for what goes on in the mind of the One-Eyed King.]


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