The Blindness of Revelation
Steve Taylor ponders whether the light of one revelation can leave us blinded and resistant to subsequent moves of God.
IN every age God appears to bring new revelation. For the most part though what we consider to be new or fresh revelation is probably better described as the rediscovery of a path or truth that has been lost of forgotten.
The history of the church has been well marked by these – the rediscovery of salvation by faith; the rediscovery of the importance of baptism for believers only; the rediscovery of the work and gifts of the Holy Spirit and, more recently, a rediscovery of the passionate love of the God the Father.
Between these major rediscoveries have been many more which have not hit the headlines in such a spectacular manner, but are of great importance none the less.
New streams spring up
Almost inevitably, as a result of these fresh revelations, new churches and new denominations have sprung up to champion the cause of their new understanding. For a time – perhaps a very long time these rediscoveries remain “in vogue” and make an indelible mark on the spiritual landscape.
Sadly though, just as the children of Israel wanted to worship the bronze snake, the symbol of their redemption (2 Kings 18:4), so to in our era saviours of a newer vintage become the object of veneration.
One would have thought that after its rediscovery the new revelation would, following the initial euphoria, settle in to its place alongside other important revelations associated with life in the kingdom of God – but this appears not to be the case. Rather the rediscovery itself takes centre stage and churches which, one would have thought, ought to reflect the complete revelation of God, even name themselves after their revelation! For instance the titles Presbyterian, Baptist, Pentecostal and Charismatic are all associated with the rediscovery of a perceived revelation – not the overall mandate of the Church of God.
Blessing can lead to blindness
The ultimate sadness in all of this is that what was once meant to be a blessing – becomes the source of blindness. Many people become so absorbed in the revelation of the past that they are blind to what God wants to do in the present. Such people cannot believe that God has moved on from their rediscovery – so their revelation becomes their prison.
All of this poses an important question. Can such a situation be redeemed? I personally believe the answer is both yes and no. It is yes - if the individual, or group is willing to let go of the past and move on to the purposes of God for this generation. That may mean some very painful choices in the present – but will be more than worth the effort now and when we stand before God to give an account of ourselves. Sadly however I believe most will opt for the status quo – to remain within their comfort zones – the traditions of the fathers, ancient or modern. The choice is ours – but the eternal destinies of thousands may depend upon it.
Steve Taylor is on the Editorial Board of Christians Together. He co-leads the Xcel church on the Isle of Skye where he lives with his wife and family.
Steve is a published author, writer who also works as a photographer, and graphics and web-site designer.