In my last post I discussed a fine article at First Things written by Maureen Mullarkey.
There’s one more insight from her article that I’d like to share. It has become clear that postmodernism ignores reality in order to cling to ideology. Unfortunately, reality always ultimately (and rather rudely) crushes sentiment.
Mullarkey referenced a statement made by the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, when he said the men of antiquity “went down under the barbarian darkness still professing their belief in deathless Rome.”
What a powerful testimony to the blindness of human beings! We refuse to see the evil that is coming upon us – and even when it finally bursts upon the scene and overwhelms us – we often refuse to come to grips with it.
Could such a fate ever happen to America? Might we be put in totalitarian chains still protesting that America would always be free?
Jesus confronted such spiritual blindness in His own time. In Matthew 16, the Lord noted the stubbornness of the Pharisees and Sadducees as they continually demanded a sign from Him.
“But He replied to them, ‘When it is evening, you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.” And in the morning, “There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.” Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?”
(vv. 2-3, NASB).
To what was Jesus referring when He mentioned their blindness to “the signs of the times”? It was a time of singular crisis, a moment of decision by which men would mark coming centuries. It was a moment like that in Joshua 24:15, when the warrior said to Israel: “choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.”
The first coming of Jesus drew a line that could not be obscured by theological arguments or demands for further proof. There would be no further intentional muddying of the waters. Choose. And choose now. Today. Right this moment.
Jesus or oblivion.
Some men and women will continue to reject Him – maybe the majority in America. As the winds of judgment blow stronger, those who despise the King will grip their ideological illusions ever tighter. But they are illusions nevertheless. They are ethereal sprites. They will slip through the fingers. They will disappear around the corner or around the next bend or over the next hill, a demonic laughter trailing behind them. The chilling laughter is directed at the buffoons who put their confidence in nothingness.
Want proof that Jesus is who He says He is? Insist on demanding further evidence from Him before you’ll believe?
You won’t get it. Not if your demand is simply a matter of stalling or obfuscation or defiance. If that is you, there is but one message – one sign – from Jesus: Repent. Avoid the judgment that is sweeping toward you.
If your uncertainty about Jesus is genuine, if you desire greater understanding of Him, if you’re motivated by humility rather than insolent pride – well, I have good news for you. The King has granted your request. Draw closer. Open your eyes. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Repent. Believe. Follow.
Reality is on the way.