The wrong glasses
Driving off from the office for home recently, I noticed that my vision was blurred. Cleaning my glasses did nothing to stop cars and houses alike looking like a shapeless blur. But when I took the glasses off, there was a dramatic improvement. Things now looked ‘normal’—I could drive again—until I put the glasses back on!
Had I experienced a dramatic cure for my shortsightedness, so that the same glasses which formerly corrected faulty driving vision were now distorting a normal one? I ‘confirmed’ this theory several times by taking the glasses on and off with the same effect. Glasses off—things looked great. Glasses on—terrible.
Any notion of a miraculous ‘cure’ was cut short by the realization that I had accidentally picked up my secretary’s similar-looking glasses. The different lens was so severely distorting my view of reality that, by contrast, my usual poor distance vision seemed normal!
The Bible indicates that humanity in general will have a natural tendency to defective vision when looking for answers to the human dilemma, the big questions of why we are here, what it’s all about, how we should live, and where we’re heading. In Romans chapter 1 we read how people, ‘deep down’ know there is a mighty Creator, but tend to suppress the truth ‘in unrighteousness’, refuse to glorify God and exchange His truth for a lie. They worship created things rather than the Creator, whom they do not like to retain in their knowledge, while ‘professing themselves to be wise’.
When we start to look at the world through the right glasses, namely the revelation from its Maker, not surprisingly we find that things fall into place and make sense, in contrast to secular fantasies masquerading as ‘answers’.
One such fantasy is the idea that our problems are caused by excess civilization, so the answer is to return to a peaceful primitivity, ‘the noble savage living in harmony with nature’. This concept has repeatedly surfaced since the time of the Enlightenment philosopher Rousseau, e.g. the sixties ‘hippy’ movement, and later ‘deep green’ environmentalism. In reality, hunter-gatherer societies, far from being ‘peaceful’, have extremely high death rates from aggression.1 Their record of environmental destruction is comparable to that of industrial society, given their lower populations and lesser technological capacity to inflict damage.
At the other extreme is the belief that the advance of science and technology will solve our problems. Popular late last century, this fantasy was badly damaged by the 20th century’s record of unbelievable carnage—two World Wars, and more people killed by their own governments than in all of previous recorded history. Human unhappiness in the ‘advanced’ West is higher than ever, with more young people killing themselves than ever. Looking through Biblical glasses, it was obvious that these ‘answers’ were illusions. Since the problem is within man’s nature, no amount of ‘external’ change can ever solve it. Hence the predictable failure of Marxism’s vision of a perfect society.2
That which distorts our lives is our inherited sinful nature (resulting from the literal rebellion of a literal man recorded in a literal Genesis). If one rejects the Biblical explanation for our dilemma, it is logical to reject the Biblical answer—the cross of that same Creator Christ who indicated that if you don’t believe Genesis you can’t really believe His words.3
Evolution/long ages is probably the main reason given today for rejecting the claims of the Bible. This view was developed by interpreting the ‘facts’ through non-Biblical glasses. We have already seen what God’s Word claims about the human tendency to distort reality apart from God, thus highlighting the absurdity of assessing Scripture on anything other than its own terms.
Creation magazine is not only helping give thousands the thrill of seeing the world as it really is (minus the distortion of evolutionary/long-age glasses); for many it has been the tool which God, in His grace, has used to lead them to the reality of sins eternally forgiven, and peace with Him.
References and footnotes
- ‘Revisiting the romantic follies of the past’, The Courier Mail, Brisbane, February 22, 1997, p. 27.
- The latest worldview sweeping the West is a sophisticated revival of social Darwinism, in which enlightenment is meant to come from insight into the ‘evolutionary reasons’ for our behaviour, allegedly programmed into us by eons of natural selection.
- John 5:45–47.