I was an 18-year-old freshman at East Texas Baptist University when I heard a touching story. One of our chapel speakers shared how a man blind from birth had been led to a skilled surgeon. After performing the meticulous operation, the man’s eyes were miraculously and perfectly healed. For the first time he could observe the beauty of God’s creation.
A few weeks later a beautiful and heart-touching act unfolded. Walking carefully into the doctor’s office were 10 men with their hand resting on the shoulder of one in front of them being led into the doctor’s office by the man who had been blind, but now seeing clearly. When asked why they were there, the man leading them and still overflowing with joy explained, “These are my friends. They have been blind from birth. I want them to see as I see.”
It may be difficult for you to understand, but even as I write, tears well up in my eyes as they did when I was a first-year college student. What an inspirational picture. Jesus said He not only came to “set the captives free, but to restore sight to the blind and free those who are downtrodden.”1 If there was ever a time when blind eyes need to be opened, it is now!
The story exemplifies what every Christian should be doing as it relates to their faith. We should be so excited about being able to see clearly the will of God and His ways along with the profound results of this transforming experience that we simply can’t wait to share with others. It is too special to be kept secret and withheld.
Even when threatened by persecution and prison, the New Testament believers in the book of Acts boldly proclaimed, “We cannot help but speak the things we have seen and heard!”2 It is sad to acknowledge, but much of the church today is not only asleep, they are by their failure to lead others into the light proving to be blind to the truth and their responsibilities. Jesus said, “You are blind leaders of the blind, and when the blind lead the blind they will both fall in the ditch.”
We are witnessing firsthand the tragic effect this has on the church and our nation. We are blindly being led into the ditch of defeat, despair, dissension, division and debt. It is amazing to watch those who are in the ditch trying desperately to make it more comfortable. In the Christian church, people seem to find false comfort in stained-glass windows, cushioned pews, and sweet little messages that move no one to action, but enhance the slumber. We air-condition the ditch, decorate it, install magnificent pipe organs, have big choirs, loud praise and gifted musicians and take pride in the gathering, but only a few dare to come out from under the covering of conformity and compatibility that leads to compromise and an ineffective witness. We hide the light under this bushel and refuse to put it on the lamp stand, then standing up ourselves and having stood to stand firm and truly pierce the darkness with the transforming light of God’s truth.
Christians were never intended to live in defeat. He left us here as sheep in the midst of wolves to not only pray, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” but to show everyone the very real possibility of this happening now, not simply after we die. We can be difference makers because a difference has been made in our lives! We are to flee from evil, not fear what the wicked say or think of us.
The church has been misled for years to stay out of the fray, stay in the pew or under it, content to remain in the shadows of ineffective unbelief rather than living in the shadow of the Almighty while not only declaring His truth, but demonstrating its effect.
Our nation’s leaders, for decades and with far too few exceptions, have been leading us into a ditch of hopeless dependence upon a government power that our founders told us at its best is in itself but a “necessary evil” because of the evil deeds of mankind, and their refusal to live under control. They understood that government, in order to function effectively, must be limited. People must remain free to not only live, but to be productive and charitable so they can really find the peace and happiness that they sincerely pursue. Government cannot provide it. Only God can!
Right now we are seeing what could prove to be a tragic knee-jerk reaction to very real and serious problems. Men are not seeking sane solutions. They are continually engaged in fruitless discussions, like a loud, clanging noise that is not the fruit of love, but self-interest which will keep men under their thumb and the church hiding, as Jesus put it, “under a basket or a bowl.”3
I am not denying for one moment that we don’t have some very real problems that need to be addressed, but in this knee-jerk reaction, we are likely to replace what people are concerned about and frustrated over with something not only ineffective, but possibly worse. This has been the tendency and practice for many decades. Some of the most serious problems began to rapidly grow when an inappropriate response to the Great Depression led the United States to begin a trend toward dependence upon the feeble, worthless promises of mere men rather than remaining free to become productive and prosperous with the church influencing people to avoid greed and unnecessary selfish indulgence while forgetting others. The nation began to build systems in which we confiscate the success of others and dole it out at the whim of politicians who find it easy to tell people who have any need, “We’ll get what they have and give it to you!”
The excess of some corporations ultimately led to excess in the demands of unions. The foolish practice of some who prospered led to a hatred for those who succeed because of the benefits offered by the free market. The reaction to very real problems will never be solved by foolish solutions.
Our founders understood that every able-bodied person should help bear the load, and that if we are going to love our neighbor and meet needs, that responsibility is not going to be assumed only by the upper end in society, but by every person who is able to help in any way, large or small.
We are intensifying class warfare that makes typical racism pale in comparison and people are finding it justifiable. Let me declare emphatically, WE ARE DIGGING A DITCH! We are not digging our way out!
This debt load is unbearable and many of the policies we are about to embrace, which foolish people have put forward as a solution to serious problems, are going to be passed on to our precious children and their children. Many elected representatives are spreading the lie that it is beneficial to forcefully take from the rich and give to the poor. The fact is, we’re going to disable their ability to continue producing opportunities and jobs, expanding opportunity for all and employment for many. They are also now setting in place the confiscation of any potential productivity of our children and grandchildren. I have 11 grandchildren, and they will some day have children and I detest the ditch that we are allowing to be dug deeper and deeper. This is happening because church and political leaders are blind leaders of the blind.
Greed and selfishness are problems clearly defined as sin. These problems are not only to be addressed by the church and its leaders, but, as believers, we have the only solution to the problems and that is changing hearts and changing lives. In the family of faith we have made people like us, rather than like Christ. We have made disciples of men rather than Him. God forgive us.
Isaiah said, “Who is so blind as my servant?”4 In a later chapter he said, “His watchmen are blind. They all lack knowledge.” (Knowledge of the truth that sets men free.) “They are mute dogs, and they cannot bark.”5 I believe they are refusing to bark because of the fear of man and the fear of opposition.
I, for one, will not remain silent. The horror and coming despair is too great to bear. Hear me loudly and clearly! I say this as emphatically as I can: Unless the church allows the glory of God to rise and shine, and stands together to rebuild the walls and restore the foundations, freedom hope and prosperity as we have known it, will vanish from the earth. I know God does not have to use America or the nations that have enjoyed some semblance of freedom to turn the tide. He can raise sons from stone, and He can speak through any available source. But I think it highly unlikely for the tide to turn without the influence of believers who have been blessed to see what a nation can do when it is established on Biblical principles and a foundation of faith by the founders of this nation. They came here seeking the freedom that only God can give, protect, and preserve. It will only be protected and preserved by those bold enough to take off the blinders, refuse to follow the blind, and ask God to open our eyes so that we may see clearly His will and walk in His ways.
Betty and I are pursuing Him with our whole heart every moment and seeking to lead others to follow Him with all their hearts. We love Him. We love you, and all those He desires to love through you. May God give us all eyes to see clearly the way out of every ditch that blindness has led us into.
1 Luke 4:18
2 Acts 4:20
3 Luke 11:33
4 Isaiah 42:19
5 Isaiah 56:10
Suggested reading 2 Peter 1:3-9