Should the seeing follow the blind?
It is surprising to see how receptive believers are to the voices of unregenerate scientists, politicians, educators etc. The question is: “should believers follow the unsaved”; “should the seeing follow the blind”?
In our ever-changing society, the Bible is treated as an “old fashioned” religious manuscript. Even within the professing Christian community the authority, inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture is under attack. It is not surprising that passages in the Bible are viewed as irrelevant and old fashioned.
Society is portrayed as being enlightened, sophisticated and modernized. It is said that there is no need for the Bible because it has very little to say to society in the 21st century. Contrary to popular believe, I am convinced that Scripture has a lot to say to society the 21st century.
One example is found in the letter of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians where he said: “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:1-3 ESV)
These words are addressed to believers. He tells them that they were dead in their trespasses and sins before the Holy Spirit regenerated them. In their unregenerate state they were unable and unwilling to live for God. The apostle continued to tell them a few more things:
- Firstly, he told them that they followed the course of this world.
- This means that they lived in conformity with the customs and manners of the age they were living in.
- Whatever the fashion of the age was, it would have been their fashion.
- Whatever the conduct of that age was, it would have been their conduct.
- Albert Barnes commentary on Ephesians 2:2 reads as follows: “The meaning is, that they had lived formerly as other people lived, and the idea is strongly conveyed that the course of the people of this world is to walk in trespasses and sins. The sense is, that there was by nature no difference between them and others, and that all the difference which now existed had been made by grace.”
- Secondly, he told them that they followed the prince of the power of the air.
- Before they were regenerated, they were under the control of Satan and they followed his directions.
- They were directed by him to do his bidding and they followed him just as all unregenerate people follow him today.
- Paul told the Ephesian believers that the spirit that they used to follow was still at work in the sons of disobedience. Nothing has changed since then. That same spirit is at work in the sons of disobedience today.
- If that same spirit is still at work in the unregenerate, why are their influential voices so easily accepted within the Christian community?
- Paul tells the Ephesian believers that they all once lived under these “influences” but they have been set free by the grace of God. (Verses 4 -9)
- Thirdly, he also told them that they lived in the passions of their flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind.
- The Ephesian believers used to follow the world and the prince of the power of the air and it was evident by looking at their actions.
- They lived to gratify the lusts (desires) of their flesh at all costs.
- Paul reminded them how gross their lives used to be before they were regenerated by God’s Spirit.
- They used to willingly comply to the wishes of their sinful nature. They were living for themselves.
- Paul also said that they were by nature exposed to the wrath of God and liable to wrath just like the rest of mankind. They were justly subject to God’s wrath because of their sinful state.
It seems strange that Christians will accept the narrative that unregenerate people can lead the regenerate because they somehow know better. How can the seeing be led by the blind? Someone who is subject to his/her sinful desires cannot lead God’s people to be faithful in serving Christ and others. The world somehow thinks they have the “right” to tell God’s people what and how to do things. It is unthinkable that a seeing person will ask someone who is blind to lead him/her. Why then would believers follow the unsaved?
The unregenerate are in bondage to the prince of the power of the air, still they try to teach believers what it means to be free. They cry freedom when they do not even know what true freedom feels like. Disobedient, unregenerate sinners try to instruct God’s people how to be obedient to authority when they themselves are unable to obey God. Somehow the seeing are being led by the blind and those who can see are ok with it!
It is said that politicians and state employees are servants of the people. How can they serve the people when their deepest need is to care for themselves? Paul said that they will promote their own selfish interests because they are subject to their unregenerate state. Only the regenerating power of God can set someone free from bondage. If unregenerate people were able to live free from bondage by their own power, there would be no need for the regenerating power of God’s Spirit.
It is the Holy Spirit which places restraint on the unregenerate. When there is no fear for God and society is left unchecked, the true character of the unregenerate takes over. Punishment is somewhat of a deterrent, but once the fear for punishment is gone, they will act in accordance to their unregenerate state.
Should we be concerned about the “voices” of the unregenerate in the church? I believe there is reason for alarm because we are facing the same trap Eve did. It is packaged differently but it is the same trap. Elders need to take heed of the words of the apostle Paul to the Ephesian elders in Acts 20:28-30.
These wolves have a voice in society and in the church. Paul warned the Ephesian elders of wolves who come from outside and from within. Both are dangerous because they have the same motive: “…to draw away the disciples after them.” Their purpose is to pervert, corrupt, distort and overturn the purposes and plans of God and replace it with what is worldly, fleshly and evil.
Their voices are the voices of the spiritually blind. Why would professing Christians listen to them? Do they have the answers to life’s challenges? Should believers take to heart what they say? Should professing Christians follow them? Do they know where they are going? Should the seeing follow the blind?
We read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that the Scripture is sufficient in all matters of faith and practice. The seeing should not be following the blind! They should lead the blind to the One who is able to open their eyes and regenerate their hearts, only then will they have something to say to the Church.