“In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a monster.”

This is the way we here at Clearnote, Bloomington talk about what it’s like to live today among nominal Christians—those who have inoculated themselves against the fear of God and the authority of His Word. Going to presbytery meetings; having our relatives visit us; attending homecoming at our Christian college; holding joint worship services; serving together on the boards of Christian organizations; even participating with our children in homeschool co-ops can become excruciating.

We never anticipated this when we first pled with God to give us wisdom. Seeing the blindness surrounding us, we merely aspired to restoration of sight in one of our eyes. We had no illusion we would attain any greater vision.

But quickly we realized that learning to see with one eye today entails great difficulty and real suffering. People who have chosen blindness view even one-eyed vision as a crime against humanity. Souls who call evil good and good evil have always hated the man asking God for the gift of discernment.

So, just like our Savior, religious people hate us. To them we are monsters.

Does this make sense, Christian? When you repented and believed, the Holy Spirit made good on His promise and all things did become new. Yet it takes hard work to learn to recognize the difference between good and evil.

[S]olid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

Meanwhile, Pharisees, scribes, and elders will persecute you. They hate to see you practice the gift of discernment so you’re tempted to give it up. Why bother training your senses to discern good and evil when you’re surrounded by men and women who claim to be Christians and hate discernment? Who long ago lost any ability to tell the difference between any good and evil other than baking apple pies and giving money to missionaries and endorsing spiritual inanities on social media (good) and littering and smoking and owning a gun (evil).

Nominal Christians and heathen alike hate authority today, but they hate discernment even more.

Open your mouth to confess what God is slowly making you able to see and you are immediately declared an enemy of the people. It may be a heathen who tries to gag you. More likely though, it will be broad Evangelicals, narrow Orthodox and Reformed Presbyterians, Kellerites, and Southern Baptists. Christians will be more hostile than heathen because truth-telling exposes their hypocrisy. I always noted the fury of the campus parachurch students when street preachers hit Library Mall at UW(Madison) when I was a student there. Unbelievers by and large found the preachers entertaining. A good laugh. But half-Christians frothed at the mouth saying they were angry because the preacher was giving a bad name to Jesus.

Forty-five years ago I earned this lesson and I have not forgotten it. So now, repeat with me:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is a monster.

No, dear brother and sister, you are not insane. Listen as the good religious people of Jesus’ day cried out for His blood:

Now it was the day of preparation for the Passover; it was about the sixth hour. And (Pilate) said to the Jews,1 “Behold, your King!”

So they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” (John 19:14, 15)

Matthew records the same in his Gospel:

When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this Man’s blood; see to that yourselves.”

And all the people said, “His blood shall be on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:24, 25)

How terrible this is, and yet what a comfort it is to us. Jesus knew beforehand we would suffer as He did at the hand of religious people who claimed to worship the only true God, so He said this to help us stand on His truth:

You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. (Matthew 10:21, 22)

Be of good cheer; He has overcome the world!

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1Modern Bible products delete the word “Jews” inspired by the Holy Spirit here, replacing it with the generic “people.” Don’t use such Bibles and warn other Christians against them. They take such liberties with the sacred text of Scripture in hundreds of places out of a desire to avoid being called “anti-Semitic” or “sexist.” Don’t follow them in their error. What God inspired to be written should be what we still write and read and meditate on today. Not one jot or tittle should be missing.