Have you ever had an occasion to explain the color “orange” to a person who was totally blind from birth? If you did, you might talk to them about light and darkness, wavelengths and frequencies. You could speak of the different colors or their meanings; you could compare colors to temperature or some other sensation. You could give an explanation lasting for hours yet all your effort could only result in an approximation of understanding – not the real thing. It is utterly impossible for the blind person to really, truly ‘get it’. On the other hand, if the individual were able to actually see the color for even a tiny fraction of a second, that brief experience would provide deep, profound understanding.
A type of blindness like that exists for many people that keeps them from knowing God. A major part of that blindness is generated by what is called materialism. It is a way of thinking that asserts that everything, even our very consciousness, originates in matter. Those that think that way believe your mind, soul and spirit are generated by your brain. They would also believe that a computer could be programmed to be alive.
A notable distinction between the blindness of materialism and actual vision blindness is that people are not born with the blindness of materialism. It is imposed on them, and for most, it is imposed on them without their knowledge and often at a very early age. Hence they may be totally unaware of their blindness. In fact some will vehemently deny they are blind at all.
Sadly, much of contemporary evangelism ignores the prevalence of that blindness and speaks of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit as though the blind recipients can actually understand their nature. They can’t – not without first having the scales removed from their eyes – er, minds. (Acts 8:17-18)
The blindness of materialism limits the afflicted person to knowing only the physical world. Because of that limitation they know nothing of the spiritual realm. In their blindness they categorize spiritual beings as mythological and deny their existence. Therefore, they cannot know the truth of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, angels or demons.
It is impossible to explain Christ’s love to such people without first convincing them of the reality of the spiritual realm. Because of the nature of materialism and its corresponding existentialism most of the blinded are likely to respond only to an experience. Providing an experience that convinces them of the existence of the spiritual realm can be a difficult thing to do.
Prayer is, of course, the first option, but praying for a miraculous thing like a ‘magic trick’ to convince them is not a good idea. For one thing, most ‘magic tricks’ are easily explained away. For another, the recipient might see it as nothing more than a trick meant to convince them – and resist its effect.
Perhaps a better approach would be to pray for them to know and understand who they actually are. C.S. Lewis said, “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.” If non-believers were to grasp that simple concept, it might cause the scales to fall from their minds. Grasping that concept means to understand that a part of themselves exists outside the material world of their bodies. Such understanding could be a first step toward accepting Christ.
Do you have any ideas or thoughts on the best ways to demonstrate the existence of the spiritual realm?
If you do, please post them. It would be great to compile a list of the best.
Each of us a spiritual being that stands before God as an individual. We are born individually – we die individually. No matter how big a group we are with, our relationship with God is one on one. Therefore, each of our styles of worship is unique. That concept is developed and expanded in the book “Worshiping Alone” available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you haven’t read it, please consider doing so.
Copyright © 2022 Sam Dronebarger
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