Kojo No Tsuki (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album Japanese Melodies (1990)
Ruined castles, all the ruined castles …
Luke 6:39-49 “He also told a parable to them, ‘Can one blind man guide another? Surely both will fall into a pit?’ The disciple is not superior to his teacher; the fully trained disciple will always be like his teacher.
Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, Brother, let me take out the splinter that is in your eye, when you cannot see the plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take out the splinter that is in your brother’s eye.
There is no sound tree that produces rotten fruit, nor again a rotten tree that produces sound fruit. For every tree can be told by its own fruit; people do not pick figs from thorns, nor grapes from brambles.
A good man draws what is good from the store of goodness in his heart; a bad man draws what is bad from the store of badness. For a man’s words flow out of what fills his heart. Why do you call me Lord, Lord, and not do what I say?
Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and acts on them – I will show you what he is like. He is like the man who when he built his house dug, and dug deep, and laid the foundations on rock; when the river was in flood it bore down on that house but could not shake it, it was so well built.
But the one who listens and does nothing is like the man who built his house on soil, with no foundations; as soon as the river bore down on it, it collapsed; and what a ruin that house became!”
Ruined castles, all the ruined castles …
What kind of fruit has the tree of Jesus Christ produced? Saints. Those thousands of mostly nameless and unknown faithful followers of Jesus Christ and his teachings are the saints. The saints are the men and women who have given a moral compass to the world over the last 20 centuries, turned darkness and barbarism into “civilization” and filled the world with hope, light, enthusiasm and a real reason for living.
That culture – our old pre-modernist pre-progressive Western Christian culture – that was nourished on the love and self sacrifice of the saints, has given the world all that it treasures, all that it values most … health care, hospitals, universities and public education, science and medicine, the concept of human rights, freedom from slavery, and especially technological progress.
These and many other institutions and values flourished and developed only in the wake of the gospel. Judging the fruits of Christ’s tree we have to conclude that his Lordship is incomparable.
Everywhere, in every way, those parts of the world which never accepted the teachings of Jesus continue to live in darkness and barbarism. Every pit of misery hogging it’s share of the “If it bleeds, it leads” media of our post modern, humanist world is culturally rooted in rejection of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.
But critics often point to the sins of some Christians as a way to discredit Christianity. Some Christians have sinned and caused as much destruction in the world as some non-Christians, they claim, which shows that Christianity is a pleasant but unsubstantial myth, like every other religion.
This argument is jarringly illogical, revealing clearly that those who present it are being deeply irrational. Some other motive really lies behind their vehement opposition to God, their rejection of every stone of the foundation which produced the “civilization” we in the west take totally for granted today.
We now substitute some modern humanist myth for the origins of our civilization, our society, and we actively and systematically do everything in our power to marginalize and eradicate “Christianity” and practicing Christians, as far as we are able, depending more or less on what we can get away with without being held visibly personally responsible for what ever program or action is employed to effect the eradication.
The great holocausts of the last hundred years, perpetrated by the great secular humanist progressive regimes east and west are ignored and are systematically denied and minimized. We strive to establish “communism lite” and “fascism lite” as the modus operandi of our modern sanitized society, accompanied, without fanfare, by our very own sophisticated, oh so efficient, holocausts against the most innocent and helpless members of our society.
Jesus warned his followers that if they heard his teaching and didn’t put it into practice their lives would collapse like a house built on sand collapses in a flood, damaging itself and ruining everyone in it. On the other hand, those disciples who hear and heed his teaching will stand solidly when the storm comes, providing shelter and stability.
Discarding Christ’s doctrine because some hypocritical disciples proved that sand grounded houses will indeed collapse in a flood is simply foolish and nonsensical. In the same way, accepting Christ’s doctrine because of the fruitfulness and happiness exemplified in the lives of thousands of saints is wise and just plain common sense, even if it is totally counter-cultural and flies in the face of the fashion of the day.
If you’ve got haters, you must be doing something right.