Thursday, August 16, 2012

The fear of man is a snare!

"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, US author & physician (1809 - 1894)

I sit here writing this while listening to some Bach and the falling rain outside.  I was out earlier this morning and while it was early, it was not so early that it should be so dark... So I took my trusty Smartphone out to see what the weather had in store for me, Thunderstorms - 90% chance of precip... Looking up, the clouds were rather thick and dark...  a fit beginning to this day...

Yesterday, my wife & two younger children left for Colorado to visit the Grandparents, and my oldest left for a short retreat to Northern Wisconsin.  I am alone at home.  Earlier yesterday I had been feeling down, and ran across a video message from Alex Jones ( which really made me feel bad, and quite helpless.  For I know a great many things, and yet I know so little!  And what can I do with what I know?  In 2008, due to the economic crash, I was awakened as to a lot of bad things going on in society.  So I begin to get Bunker Mentality.  What is bunker mentality?  Google it!  But what can I do, I kept asking myself.  And how easily I am swayed by the darkness outside, for I know the darkness within.

As I have wrestled over these feelings and emotions over and over again, I find that society has no answers.  And I think about that quip, "Ignorance is bliss" and I would sometime long to go back to days of ignorance, and faced with what looks like some very great darkness, who would not?  It's the same idea one gets when we look back, with rose colored glasses, at ones youth. But those glasses are rose colored, and the truth is not there...  How can you know what was true?  Though you were there, were you not captivated by your mind's interpretations of events as you had them explained to you?  Childhood is simple, because we are not able to grasp some things beyond the concrete, and once we have passed the concrete time of development we are under the tutelage of those who, also being influenced by their peers and surroundings give to us, their aspect of knowledge.  Again I say, where is the Truth? 

I reject outright the simple idea that truth is relative to the person.  As if "my truth" can be different than your truth and yet both ideas be truth?!  It's ridiculous on its face, and logic demands a better explanation.  As Ravi Zacharias likes to say, Even the relativist acknowledges the truth, that he should look both ways before crossing the street, for it's either the bus or me!  Both/and thinking will get you killed!  And I am surprised that we somehow think, within such categorical boxes, that we can have diametrically opposed ideas, and yet both be right.  This "Coexist" bumper sticker philosophy sounds great, until one realizes that what we believe matters, and we cannot co-exist, without having either a great conflict, or a great compromise.  Neither of which is pleasant to think on, and so we ignore the truth.  And since it was recently played, another example of this is John Lennon's song, Imagine.  The world thus imagined is so devoid of reality as to be completely un-reality.  But let's travel down this path for just a moment...  It really sounds like Utopia that he is describing.  Another look with rose colored glasses at what the world might look like, only if....

But an honest look at your own internal heart should convince you at least that this world (Utopia), could never exist... at least not if YOU were part of it.  Remember, I said an honest look.  At this point, I may have some readers checking out.  Offended that I would suggest they are less than the person they think themselves to be.  But even if today, they live uprightly (which I would argue they don't), they at least would admit some "youthful indiscretions" of the past.  I certainly can.  Consider the fact though that these "indiscretions" affected people then also, for the worse.  Those people have a past history too now, and ought they, and all of us simply put that in a box? Hiding the past does not remove it from reality.  Even if it could be so, it would not be right.  The truth of the matter is that because of our wicked heart, we have hurt others in the past, and apart from a change of heart, by the master of our souls, as recorded in Jeremiah 31:31-34, we have NO HOPE of such a utopia, and will hurt others again.  The myth of Co-existence is that while we do so, we will continue to hurt, maim, and kill others due to our sinful heart (see Jeremiah 17:5-10). Now I have done it... I dared state the problem is sin.  Anyone not offended yet? You will surely have to wrestle through this writing now!

If truth is not to be found within us, or our interpretation of events, then where can we find the truth?  We cannot simply say, in the Scriptures, as I am desirous to do, because someone will cry foul!  Is it not these same Scriptures which were written down by men, and if men are suspect, how can we trust the Bible?  I do trust the Scriptures.  And one of the best logical explanations of my confidence in them is a short but significant and logically cogent statement by Dr. Voddie Baucham, "I choose to believe the Bible because it is a reliable collection of historical documents written down by eyewitnesses during the lifetime of other eyewitnesses. They report [of] supernatural events that took place in fulfillment of specific prophecies and claimed that their writings are divine rather than human in origin."  This is a rational and cogent defensive statement of my belief in the Holy Scriptures.  Yet, if I choose to, I can still reject the Scriptures, as this explanation only gets to the probability factor.  This makes the veracity of the Bible highly probable, but not assuredly so.  So where can I turn?  Where can you turn? 

As I began this commentary, it was on my despondency of the times.  And I am profoundly confident in the Holmes quote above, so I cannot retreat into ignorance once again.  And though the quip may be true, ignorance may be bliss, but it is still ignorance.  So I must respond to the darkness.  I have a responsibility to do so for myself, and my family. 

Where is the source of the darkness?  Nothing but men. And as the Proverb states, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25)  In Acts 5 we read of both the fear of God and man.  Peter gives a statement to the leading authorities of the day, in Acts 5:29, "But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men."  So I really must come to a conclusion to the question of the source of truth.  For if the Scriptures be true, then I have a clear injunction to follow, and that is to trust God.

And the fact of the matter is that the Scriptures are sufficient, but only for those whose eyes have been opened to the truth, by the Lord.  Apart from looking honestly at your own heart, and recognizing the great wickedness therein, one cannot know the truth.  But if one humble himself, if he call upon the Lord, who will in no way cast out ANY who calls to him (John 6:35-38), the Lord will reveal himself, and the Scriptures are proven sufficient thereby.  There is no other way folks.  It is a matter of faith.

But this way, this way is so comforting!  For now I do not have to rationalize away my thoughts into tiny compartments.  Instead, I can trust the veracity of the One who has revealed himself to me in the Scriptures (He will do so for you too, if you but ask in humility), and no longer do I have to fret over the darkness within, for the light has come!   (Matthew 5:14 & John 8:12)

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