Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Ironic Swallow (Radio / Podcast)

You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
(Matthew 23:24)

Conspiracy theories have always been at the core of a rebel’s heart. Our human nature finds it easy to believe in a story where, lurking behind the scenes, a vast array of twisted subplots lead us to the conclusion that, just as we expected, some cherished notion is just a pipe dream, a fairy tale, or a paper tiger. “I knew it was too good to be true”, we say, and another anchor loses its hold on us. We grow up with this mindset, that everything is not as it seems, and this does have merit. Remember when you found about Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny? You were never the same, and you were now a hardened skeptic. Yet, also remember, this wasn’t the last time you were fooled, you have been taken for a ride many times since.

How often is it that we make trivial matters our stumbling blocks to success?

Of course, when the conspiracy theory revolves around something as important as your soul, then we might want to investigate further, but how many of us actually do that? We see the tremendous work this or that expert or authority has already done; we should trust them, we reason; how could they reveal all this and be wrong, or why would they lead us astray?

If the premise is wrong, however, then no matter how many items or how much counter evidence is uncovered, it has a faulty foundation, and it cannot stand scrutiny. Why then do we want to take a single thread of counter “evidence”, and let someone take us for a ride, while ignoring the vast volume of reliable evidence we already have? Ironic, isn’t it?

The point we are getting to is that people treat the Bible this way all the time. They see one apparent discrepancy in the Bible and dismiss it all, while they see one tiny shred of coherence in a horoscope or whatever and swallow the whole thing. We call this the “Ironic Swallow”.

Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day for doing this type of thing when considering Him.

Atheists and apostates have long been fond of this type of dangerous diet. They strive with everything in their being to somehow prove the Bible as false, and God as non-existent, or at least Christianity as myth. They only need that one item, that one piece of “evidence” to make the whole house come tumbling down, they believe. Of course they already have what they need, an unbelieving heart. If they start, a priori, with intent to disprove, God will most certainly allow them to continue to play the fool.

They know right well that Christianity has withstood the test of time, and has successfully defended itself from every attack, but there is no way that they will yield their stubborn, rebellious hearts to the God of the universe. It is that way for many of the masses; they would rather believe in some generic, fortune cookie type of spirituality than one based on an historical, verifiable reality. In that way, they won’t have to bend the knee. Or so they think. However, God proclaims that every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:10).

As far as trying to argue about this verse, it is actually straining the point – Whether it is “straining out a gnat, and swallowing a camel” or “straining at a gnat, and swallowing a camel” doesn’t really matter, because either rendering gives the proper idea. The truth was that they were paying too much attention to lesser things when the greater problems got right past them, which, ironically, is what happens when we debate this verse. We wonder if it is one way or another and miss the point. Again, ironic.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©

1 comment:

Even So... said...

This post was originally shown 6-7-06, and then reposted 1-25-08, but it didn't have the audio portion, now included, as well as the last paragraph which wasn't previously discussed.

In other words, although we are mixing new posts with old posts, the old ones now have an audio, which also includes more information and discussion. You can hear these archived at SermonAudio, as well as at

God bless you…