Struggling this a.m. with how much I have allowed myself to be silenced by those I love, respect and wish no harm, especially by what I might feel compelled to say or do; and yes, I am at times torn by those in leadership with whom I disagree, still feeling the need for some acceptance if I am to retain my present platforms of influence and leadership.
I have become a politician.
Surely you have heard “the frog in water” scenario, a cold blooded animal whose temperature and activity changes with its environment. Unfortunately, at a certain temperature its own body is boiled. Perhaps I am now a boiled toad, but I will assume that as long as I can think for myself, the environment has not yet exceeded the point of my demise.
Earlier I was reading one of my favorite devotionals from Jill Carattini, managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia. Her writings are so enlightening:
“Speaking decades before the debates over Twitter or the wonders of Google, Malcolm Muggeridge seemed to foresee the possibilities of too much information. “Accumulating knowledge is a form of avarice and lends itself to another version of the Midas story,” he wrote. “Man is so avid for knowledge that everything he touches turns to facts; his faith becomes theology, his love becomes lechery, his wisdom becomes science. Pursuing meaning, he ignores truth.”(1) In other words, Muggeridge saw that it was possible to see so many news clips that we are no longer seeing, to hear so many sound-bites that we are no longer hearing, to seek so many “exclusives” that we are no longer understanding.
Speaking centuries before Muggeridge, the prophet Isaiah and the rabbi Jesus described their audiences quite similarly. “This is why I speak to them in parables,” said Jesus, “because ‘they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand’” (cf. Matthew 13:13, Isaiah 6:9-10).(2)
Parables were the means of penetrating the numbness of their layered inability to hear the truth. Truth often is the sharp axe that breaks the ice of one’s heart and enlightens the mind that sleeps.
God grant our nation and its houses of worship mature leadership and with that leadership, the courage to act in the face of political threat, to speak over the noise of the media, yet piercing enough to penetrate even our own theology!
(1) From Firing Line, “Do We Need Religion or Religious Institutions” an interview with Malcolm Muggeridge, September 6, 1980, chapter 6.