Flying Blind

I have read and admired the work of Thomas Sowell for many years now. His new book, controversially titled Black Rednecks and White Liberals, is a fascinating study of how history is used by people who have hidden (and not so hidden) agendas. Sowell is an economist and historian of logical habits. In this recent book he said this: Where beliefs are not checked against facts, but instead facts must meet the test of consonance with the prevailing vision, we are in the process of sealing ourselves off from feedback from reality. Heedless of the past, we are flying blind into the future (page 291). The proverbial nail has not only been hit on the head, it has been obliterated.
History, economics and politics are not the only realms of intellectual endeavor where facts are manipulated to fit the purpose of the manipulator. Many people are flying blind in their religious lives.
Ask just about anybody a religious or spiritual question. Their answer will likely be a combination of what they've heard and felt about the subject raised. These days, folks feel altogether satisfied with believing that the results of their contemplation are equivalent to the content of the gospels or Paul's letters. This is flying blind spiritually and it is dangerous.
Let me place an example or two before you. Moral purity is a spiritual matter and a situation much discussed in Scripture. Paul told Timothy "Keep thyself pure" (I Timothy 5:22). Paul also said in I Corinthians 6:18, "Flee fornication" ("Flee sexual immorality" in the NKJV). God made human sexuality and He made it for marriage (Hebrews 13:4). People can whine all they want about Christianity's so called repression of sexual freedom, but the facts are what they are. Add to the massive amount of Biblical evidence against sexual immorality the mountains of practical evidence that today's rampant sexual looseness results in increased disease, unwanted pregnancies and uncountable heartaches.
But these facts do not fit the "prevailing vision." Cultural correctness dictates that we must not be critical of a person's sexual practices up to and including for the moment homosexual behavior. Who knows what will be next. This view of things is simply wrong and those that partake of it are indeed flying blind.
Turn now to the Biblical doctrine of baptism for the remission of sins (see Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38, Romans 6:1-6). This ancient and traditional Bible doctrine has suffered many changes since it began to be taught by the earliest Christians. Each change was the result of an attempt to make baptism fit in with the religious ideas popular at the time. Changes to the so-called "mode" of baptism were first (It is incorrect to speak of a mode of baptism because Christian baptism is immersion in water). Folks began to sprinkle and pour instead of immerse because it fit in better with the teachings and trends of the time. This was the result, at least in part, from people believing the false doctrine of original sin and its corollary, total depravity. This led to a desire to baptize babies. In looking for a more convenient manner they turned away from immersion. Now, in our day, it is thought to be pass for anyone to feel the need to obey a commandment, so baptism for remission of sins has been replaced by a believer's prayer or some other "up-to-date" theological nicety. So we see a powerfully simple Biblical doctrine (one could well say, Biblical fact) changed to meet the tenor of the times, once to change the "mode" and then to do away with its necessity altogether. This is seriously flying blind.
What happens to folks who fly blind? They crash. I was amazed by the fourteen-year old kid who stole a single engine plane and took off (twice), landed (once) and then crashed. Somebody needs to watch this kid; he's a lucky boy. He wasn't flying totally blind so he survived his crash. Others are not so lucky. If human beings persist in ignoring God's rules about how they can, should, and must live, a big crash is inevitable. Instead of flying blind, fly by the light of God's Word (Psalm 119:105).