The number one problem with blindness is that you can’t see. That’s not profound, just true. This blindness is far worse than you think and far more destructive than you can imagine. Allow me to explain.
This story is not a fairy tale. It is not something we can stand back, point at, and say, “Yeah, that’s the problem!” This is not a make-believe fable in which the prince comes, kisses the beauty, and everyone lives happily ever after, no matter what. If you think so, you have ingested far more of Satan’s fruit than you think. This is a horror story, not a fable, and will only get worse unless we awaken to the truth.
The Church cannot see as long as you and I refuse to see. This blindness is self-induced. Sleeping Beauty is not a metaphor for some mystical church—someone else out there, somewhere else, in a mess. She is you and she is me. We, not them, are the Church. It’s not the Church that needs the healing antidote—it’s you and me.
If you and I will admit our own blindness, then maybe the Church as a whole will awaken. But alas, you may not perceive this problem as ours. If so read on because the Doctor is still diagnosing the extent of the damage caused by the poison.
This self-induced blindness may be the root cause of the rest of the symptoms. Blindness does not allow one to look outward at the things around us. Instead, our stare has turned inward at self. If one looks at himself long enough, it is possible and very probable that he will fall in love with what he sees. Narcissism begins to surge through the circulatory system and pride is released into the nervous system.
This pride—our selfishness running wild—is centered in our edifices, our religious traditions, our treasured and tested methods, our polished, well-groomed orators and our powerless half-hearted attempts to save the world. It is centered in us, not in Jesus, and that is what’s killing us.
The church at Corinth epitomizes what the modern church (remember that’s you and me) has become. Like them, we are convinced we have it all and really don’t need anything else. How tragic that belief is, for it leads to a false sense of self-sufficiency and an arrogant elitism.
The Corinthian church had all the gifts, all the gifted people, and all the polished preachers. They claimed to be miraculous and Spirit-filled, but were miserable and sin-infested. “Me,” “myself,” and “I” had replaced Jesus the Christ. Pride in what they could do had rocked them to sleep like a baby girl with a warm bottle of milk. But “could do” and “doing” are miles apart, sadly.
Like Corinth, our blindness has now morphed into this same deadly strain of pride and, look out baby, the rest is not a pretty story. Well, so much for the fairy tale and goodbye to the “happily ever after” ending unless the script changes. That is—if we, the church, don’t change!