Blindness – Religious and Ideological

Some will ignore the evidence even when it stares them in the face:

When folks are captivated by particular ideologies and belief systems, and are held captive to particular narratives, they can have reality and facts staring them in the face, but they will still ignore or deny them. We see this happening all the time. Some folks are so consumed by their false beliefs that they will look you straight in the face and tell you black is white or right is wrong.

As I was again reading through John 9 today I was struck by this. It is not just a case of spiritual blindness but hardness of heart, and a refusal to believe in what is true and plain as day. You would be aware of the subject of this 41-verse chapter: it is all about the man born blind, the healing of him by Jesus, and the negative response of the Jewish religious leaders and Pharisees.

While the healed man and his family were rejoicing, the unbelieving Jewish leaders just got even more bent out of shape, and hated on Jesus even more. Consider what we read in verses 18-23:

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

Wow, imagine being so consumed by hatred and moral blindness that something as wonderful as a man healed of physical blindness is treated like dirt, mocked and disbelieved. Such were the people back then in their hatred and rejection of Jesus. No matter what good and wonderful things he did, these leaders just refused to believe and they just hardened their hearts even further.

Because of this, Jesus allows them to stay hardened. Indeed, their sin becomes their punishment, as we read in verses 35-41:

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

I could not but help think of recent parallels to all this. There will always be ideologues and those with a political or social narrative to push who will refuse to change their beliefs even when cold hard facts stare them in the face. They will cling to their preconceived ideas no matter how much countervailing evidence is presented to them.

As a major example of this, it seems every new day we are learning more about the massive con played on us over the past few years, and how just about everything our leaders and “experts” insisted upon have proven to be false or way out of line.

Whether we are talking about never-ending lockdowns, mask effectiveness, jab mandates, hiding away in your home and the like, it seems most of what we were told is now seen as so much baloney. Yet the true believers and the rona cultists refuse to change, refuse to admit they were wrong, and refuse to apologise.

Instead, they just dig in their heels even further, with eyes firmly closed, refusing to deal with the facts, the data, and the evidence. They are wilfully blind. They are captive to their ideology and to their preferred narrative. They will not let truth and reality get in their way.

Of course this is true in so many other areas as well. The trans cultists are just the same, as I have discussed so often now. They are so blinded by their ideology that they fully refuse to deal with truth, with reality, with biology, with logic, or with common sense. Their political and cultural narrative must crush all that stands in their way.

What R. C. Sproul said in a different context applies here as well: “You don’t have to give up your intellect to trust the Bible. You have to give up your pride.” Just as an atheist finds it quite hard to admit he was wrong when the truth of the gospel is clearly presented to him, the same with the covid cultists and others like them.

There is plenty of truth out there for those who want to follow the evidence wherever it leads. But often pride gets in the way. To have to eat humble pie and actually admit they were wrong – very wrong – for all this time is just too much for some of these folks.

And others have allowed themselves to become so blinded and hardened that they really are beyond trying to reason with. Their minds are made up and they will reject anyone who dares to differ with them. I have known far too many folks like this, and all you can really do is treat them like the deceived trolls that they are. Sure, we can and should pray for them, but they seem to be beyond having sensible discussions with.

Getting back to the Bible and John 9, Scripture elsewhere speaks to this reality of how people are blinded and unable and unwilling to follow truth. As Paul put it in Ephesians 4:18: “They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.”

So at the very least we can keep praying for them, and hope that some will be delivered from their blindness and hardness of heart. But sadly many will not. That is the sort of climate we live in today. And it cuts across all areas, be it the spiritual, the political, the cultural or the intellectual.

Theological afterword

On a somewhat different note, it is interesting to compare the opening verses of John chapter 9 with those of chapter 11:

9:1-3 As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

11:1-4 Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.” But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

God was glorified in both cases, even though one involved a physical illness or condition, and the other involved death. In contradistinction to the health and wealth gospellers, there can be a place for illness, sickness and the like. It is not all just the result of a lack of faith, or sin in our life, as these folks claim.

Sometimes God allows illness and suffering to bring great glory for himself. And that can take the form of a healing, a resurrection, or sometimes even continuing in your infirmity, while still giving God the glory. But see more on this here: billmuehlenberg.com/2017/07/29/joni-50-years-glorifying-god-wheelchair/

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2 Replies to “Blindness – Religious and Ideological”

  1. It would be better for a man to be physically blind as he can still learn the truth in other ways but willful blindness…. Such a man will never learn lest his will be broken. Spiritual blindness too takes a breaking of the will to cure. As Sproul alluded too pride blinds one to the truth and it is why so many do not know it. Unfortunately so many who call themselves Christians, like so many who called themselves Jews in Jesus’s day, are just as blinded by pride as unbelievers. “For many are called, but few are chosen.” It’s not that most refuse the call but that most hang up during it!

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