Blind Certainty

12Dec13

It takes rejecting blind certainty to consider an “outsider” your brother in Christ.

Blindness is a motif in the Bible signifying not only the physical inability to see, but a spiritual inability to see the truth of Christ’s message.  In the dark of sin, people are blind.  But Christ brings in the light.  Jesus says in John 9:39, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.”  In John 9 Jesus even heals a blind man.  Going from blind to seeing describes the conversion of sinner to believer in Christian-talk.  Unfortunately, some believers hold on to a blindness that totally defeats the purpose of that conversion.

“I like your Christ.  I do not like your Christians,” said Mahatma Gandhi.  In an article titled, Should we Apologize for the Church? for Relevant Magazine, Pastor Michael Hidalgo discusses why Christians are “so unlike Christ,” as Gandhi said.

Pastor Michael Hidalgo

Anyone would certainly choose Christ over the average Christian today.  He was perfect, blameless, the epitome of kindness and love.  Christians can’t reach that perfection.  Gandhi correctly notes that Christians are unlike Christ.  The most humble Christians acknowledge this too.  But there are Christians who forget it and take on a repulsive self-righteousness that makes other believers wonder if they should “apologize for the church,” as Hidalgo’s title references.

In the blind certainty that they are superior to weaker believers, hypocritical Christians will point fingers and judge as if they have the authority of God himself.  But it’s tricky; as easily as Westboro Baptist Church will condemn me to hell for listening to Beyonce, I become guilty when I wish hell-fire on them.  “All I am really doing is judging those who are judgmental, and being intolerant of those who are intolerant. In the end, I end up much like the people I want to distance myself from,” says Hidalgo.

It takes rejecting blind certainty to see that I am as capable of hypocrisy as the other Christian hypocrite sitting next to me on the pew.

“The Christian faith teaches all of us have messed up, done wrong and made bad choices. Admitting you have sinned is central to being a Christian. So, why do we so quickly move to the place of ignoring our weaknesses and pointing the finger at others? We must be willing to own up to our own mistakes and the mistakes of others.”

No way am I going to embrace Fred Phelps as a brother in Christ.  We have differences that go beyond culture.  I may apologize for him, however.  In the end, I’ll do as Romans 14:1 says: “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.”

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