Sunday, February 01, 2009

I suppose there is no way to exaggerate how Christians are opinionated; but this piece by Isaac Watts illustrates it well.

"So good an opinion have we of our own sentiments and practices, that it is very difficult to believe what the reprover says of our conduct: and we are as ready to assent to all the language of flattery. We set up our own opinions in religion and philosophy as the tests of orthodoxy and truth; and we are prone to judge every practice of other men either a duty or a crime, which we think would be a crime or a duty in us, though their circumstances are vastly different from our own.
This humor prevails sometimes to such a degree, that we would make our own taste and inclination the standard by which to judge of every dish of meat that is set upon the table, every book in a library, every employment, study, and business of life, as well as every recreation.

It is from this evil principle of setting up self for a model what other men ought to be, that the anti-christian spirit of imposition and persecution had its origin: though there was no more reason for it than there was for the practice of that tyrant, who having a bed fit for his own size, was reported to stretch men of low stature upon the rack, till they were drawn out to the length of his bed; and some add also, that he cut off the legs of any whom he found too long for it.

It is also from a principle near akin to this, that we pervert and strain the writings of many venerable authors, and especially the sacred books of Scripture, to make them speak our own sense. Through the influence which our own schemes, or hypotheses have upon the mind, we sometimes become so sharp-sighted as to find these schemes in those places of Scripture where the holy writers never thought of them, nor the Holy Spirit intended them."

Isaac Watts


Mel said...

Sigh. Alas, this post is so true. It's a curse and a burden, and what's worse, most people don't see the cursedness of it nor feel the weight of it, because they're so accustomed to it. May God have mercy on us. If He didn't, we surely would all be burned to nothingness...

Horrid picture, but it makes the point quite well.

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
Well put, and I agree, horrid picture, horrid thought! We are a strange breed, no doubt.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Very interesting post and picture!

It is true that we always have our interpretation of everything under the sun unless we have first hand experience. If you tell a child not to touch a flame because it will burn him, he will disbelieve it until he touches and feels the heat himself.

It is the same with us. It is the faith and belief In Jesus that makes us believers because we did not live in HIS time. Therefore, we have to be particularly careful when there are so many people going around interpreting Jesus and HIS words.

Best wishes :)

FCB said...

Hi Joseph,
"There are so many people interpreting Jesus..", so true and like they say - you will find as many people that believe the same as you as you will find people that look like you :)
So each of us does our best.
God bless,