15th July, 2005 - Article Copyrighted Debbie Porter
"He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?"
~ Luke 6:39 NIV ~
The sound of emergency reaches our ears as an ambulance races by with siren wailing.
For a moment, we stop everything we’re doing and wait. Then, as though some master conductor has called his canine choir to attention, the neighborhood dogs lift their muzzles to the sky and, in one accord, howl.
It never fails, and it never ceases to amaze me. The call of the wild perhaps? Or maybe just a primeval need to respond to an unseen brother or sister’s cry for help. Whatever the reason, every siren brings forth an answering cry from every pup around.
Right in the midst of the howling hounds is our seven-year-old miniature fox terrier, Tiger. He can’t see the other wailers, but he joins the chorus all the same. Some would say this is an instinctive response, and I would probably agree, except for the fact that Tiger only started responding in this way a little over a year ago. Before that the sound may have momentarily caught his attention, but he never exhibited any desire to start yodeling back.
For Tiger, it was a learned behavior. As other dogs in the neighborhood began to howl an echo to the sirens, he discovered his voice and joined right in. It is the pack mentality that follows the leader – whether they know why or not.
We humans may not find ourselves howling along with every ambulance that goes by, but we do often respond to a type of siren’s call. The siren call of sin is probably the greatest cause for pack mentality in our case, with the blind very happily following the blind into the pit – and it starts young. What parent hasn’t heard the old tried and tired, “But everyone else is doing it”?
It’s this willingness to follow the blind guide that continues to erode the world’s sense of morality and shame.
But responding to the siren call isn’t always about blindly and willingly stepping into sin. Christians aren’t immune to that happening, but most of us would honestly admit that we are usually all too aware when we cross the line. For us it is often less a case of following blindly, and more a case of willfully leaping.
The biggest likelihood of “pack howling” in our case is actually found when we come together in church. Have you ever responded with a hearty “amen” or “hallelujah,” then not been exactly sure why you did, except for the fact that everyone else was doing it, or the preacher called for it? Have you agreed with the teaching without stopping to check the scriptures for yourself?
That kind of response, for the most part, isn’t going to cause us to fall into a pit. However, it can and does happen from time to time, and is exactly the sort of thing that causes whole congregations to accept false teaching as fact.
Like the Bereans, we need to search the Scriptures to make sure that what we are being taught is actually true. (See Acts 17:11.) Then, if everything fits, we can feel free to answer the call!
Something to Think About ...
A true (but not recent) story ...
The two well known preachers sat on a platform in front of the studio audience and expounded an astounding “fact.”
With great excitement, one quoted Philippians 2:5-6 from the King James Version, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.”
“Do you see what that is saying?” he asked his platform companion, as the audience listened in rapt amazement. He then went on to explain that we are all little “gods” and this verse backs it up. After all, we are to have the same mind as Christ, who did not think it was robbery to be equal with God. In other words, because we are to have that same way of thinking, we too should not consider it wrong to be equal with God.
The sound of “amens” and “hallelujahs” rang out as the two men marveled in this wonderful revelation and all the power that this then meant for the believer. Ah ... but dear Berean, is that what it really says?
Well, the two verses quoted were accurate – just not complete. Grab a Bible and read the passages around them (in any version) and you’ll see that the “same mind” we are meant to have is one of humility and service. By plucking two verses out of context, the preacher was being a very affective blind guide.
Whenever we hear a message preached, we must make sure that we always keep our eyes, ears, hearts and Bibles open for the truth to be revealed.
A Gentle Breeze From the Heart ...
Going with the flow may seem
An easy way to be.
It doesn’t put us on the spot –
At least to some degree.
But taking time to stop and see
If truth be really told,
Will save us from a’wandering
Into a great big hole!
So weigh all things beside the Word,
The greatest guide of all,
Then you will walk with confidence
When following God’s call.