“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same veil not taken away… which veil is done away in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14 KJV 2000).
Perhaps you have heard this story by H G Wells before. A young man, Nunez, got lost in the country of the blind. Everybody in that land was blind, but they were so used to their blindness, that they did not believe it was possible to see.
Their ancestors had been struck with a blinding disease, which they passed on to their children. Then, an earthquake permanently separated them from ‘seeing people’ outside.
The first generation of the blind groped around in that dreadful darkness, struggling to cope. They told their children stories of life before the darkness engulfed them. The later generations, however, were more comfortable with their condition. They adapted their lives around this ‘disability’. They designed their houses and streets, and arranged their routines around their blindness – working in the cool night and resting in the warm day. A seeing person would have been a bit uncomfortable there.
Soon accounts of their ancestors’ experiences of living in the light and being able to see seemed unreal, imaginary stories. Nobody believed such stories anymore.
“Blind men of genius had arisen among them and questioned the shreds of belief and tradition they had brought with them from their seeing days, and had dismissed all these things as idle fancies and replaced them with new and saner explanations.” HG Wells
Nunez, for a while, fancied himself their saviour and natural leader. He told them how wonderful it was to see… but they only pitied him with his strange talk of seeing and colours, and his clumsiness in the dark hours when they set out to work. They concluded that his mind was not properly developed.
Nunez soon became an object of scorn and derision in the land where he had hoped to become king. A great doctor in the land diagnosed his problem as resulting from the queerness of his eyes with its excessively mobile eyeballs and flickering eyelids, and suggested that surgical removal of those diseased parts would restore him to mental soundness.
The debate about God
“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts” (Ephesians 4:18 NIV).
Many don’t just doubt the existence of God; they question the mental faculties of people who claim to believe in God. The Big Bang and the Theory of Evolution are taught in schools as well proven facts; and impressionable children are never shown the gaps in the so-called scientific evidence. Some scientists have built up lucrative careers disproving the existence of One ‘who does not exist’.
“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NIV).
So when Christians claim to know God, their beliefs are dismissed, as a sign of a subnormal intellectual state – as though they lack the scientific, critical thinking required to understand such complex theories, are brain washed or mentally unbalanced. Alternatively they are considered infantile, weak and in need of false props to go through life. Although, respectable studies have suggested that people with religious beliefs enjoy better mental health, atheism is wrongly associated with a saner, more balanced and self-sufficient personality. Let us explore the question a bit.
According to the Bible, we are born in a state of spiritual blindness – with darkness over our spiritual eyes – and we cannot properly understand or relate to God. In Christ only, is this darkness expelled. When a person yields their life to Christ, the light comes flooding in, and they begin to see things as they never did before. At the cross, and there only, can our spiritual blindness be healed.
When God gives us a revelation of our condition and points to the solution – as He has done in the Bible – it is wise to accept it. If we still do not understand what all this means, we ought to continue seeking Him and according to His promise, we will find Him – or be found by Him. This is a truly blessed experience, but we ought to approach this journey as a seeker and a learner, not as a ‘know it all’. If we turn aside and mock the messenger, then the loss is ours.
Father, we thank You for the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Remove the veil from our eyes, so that we may see fully the truth of the cross. Take away all hardness of heart, and grant us eyes to see, ears to hear and a mind that understands Your truth. Help us choose the paths of righteousness. For we ask this in Jesus’ name.