3/9/17 Anthony Late 20’s
I couldn't understand it. We'd had a long and interesting conversation about the gospel there on the sidewalk. Anthony, a pharmacist in his twenties, had been very open to talking when I asked his beliefs about life after death. He had not been to church since he was a young child, except for a funeral. He does not know much about Christianity, nor has he read the Bible, yet he also showed no interest in refuting it either, such as the usual questions about its origins and inspired nature. He seemed to easily accept that the Bible is God's word, and accepted the New Testament I offered to give him. But he thought about it as we talked further and after a few minutes he decided to give it back. He didn't want it. Why? "I'm just picturing it sitting there on my table and myself feeling guilty for not reading it." he said. Fair enough, but I was still curious. He said, "To be honest, I'm just not interested. Maybe it could benefit someone who is more interested in it than me."
We went on to talk about his apathy toward religion and the Bible in particular. He seemed to be honestly unable to explain it. But I should have figured it out. It's sin. Oh, he was a nice guy and all, honest about his apathy and respectful toward myself and others who read the Bible for themselves. He claimed to believe that the Bible would be good for others, but obviously not enough to want to read it for himself. Why? I think it is because he believed that once one reads it, they are accountable to follow it. If he read it, he would no longer be able to claim ignorance. It makes me think of the "red pill, blue pill" choice on "The Matrix".
But the problem with claiming ignorance is that it is not a valid excuse. We aren't as ignorant as we may pretend to be. We all have a conscience. It may not be as well trained as it could be under godly parenting and/or the specifics of God's Word, and some have become more hardened or calloused to it than others, but we will all be held accountable to our God-given sense of right and wrong. There may indeed be pills or other drugs that help us forget it for a time, but that doesn't take away our guilt for not following it. Ignorance is not bliss. The root of ignorance is to "ignore". If we have the truth but choose to ignore it, we will continue to be slaves to sin. But Jesus said “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Anthony chooses to avoid the Bible altogether, and this will have major implications on his life. But what about those of us who have read it at one time and come into a faith relationship with Jesus? What about all the smaller choices we make from day to day, when we avoid or neglect the Bible and the truth it might have for us? Are we not, in smaller ways, choosing the red pill of "ignorance"? Will not all those seemingly smaller choices also add up to slavery to sin? Won't these choices also have consequences on those around us, the people we know and love? Psalm 145 says "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth." Let's call on him in the truth of his word today.