Posts Tagged ‘self-deception’

Cain – Man Divided

August 31, 2009

In Cain there appears for the first time that perennial conflict in the soul of fallen man, the conflict between the passionate claims to be left alone, the assertion of independence, and the no less terror of being left alone, the obscure foreboding of the hell to which independence leads The first produces the indignant question, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ The second, the bitter complaint, ‘Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth, and from thy face I shall be hid.’

Oliver Quick, The Gospel of the New World, 1944, p.40

The heart of darkness

August 29, 2009

In the aftermath of the Omagh bombing (15.8.98) in which 28 people died and over 200 were injured, the Daily Mirror front page (17.8.98) had pictures  of the victims with this caption:

Those cowards responsible have lost their right to be members of the human race and so too those who try to justify their actions.’

But the perpetrators, despite their despicable actions,  are still human beings. And this fact makes their evil all the more shocking. By removing them from (our) human race we distance ourselves from the evil that lies within each heart Рour own included. By denying them their humanity, we wish to insulate ourselves from the awful truth that we too have hearts of darkness.


August 6, 2009

Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries. Yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries. For above all, it is that which keeps us from thinking about ourselves and so leads us imperceptibly to our destruction.

I have often felt that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his own room…(the human condition)…is one of inconsistency, of boredom, and of anxiety.

Men spend their time chasing a ball or a hare. Such is the very sport of kings.


Distraction and Busyness

August 6, 2009

Asked why he worked so hard (producing on average a film a year), Woody Allen replied:¬† “It’s a distraction. It keeps my mind off grim subjects.”

False Assurance & Conviction of Sin – Spurgeon

November 23, 2008

‘I have heard young people say, “I know I am saved, because I am so happy.” Be not sure of that. Many people think themselves very happy, and yet are not saved.’ A sense of peace he likewise regarded as no sure sign of true conversion. Commenting on the verse, ‘The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he woundeth, and his hands make whole,’ he asks: ‘But how can He make those alive who were never killed? You that were never wounded, you who tonight have been sitting here and smiling at your own ease, what can mercy do for you? Do not congratulate yourselves on your peace.’ There is a peace of the Devil as well as the peace of God.

Throughout his ministry Spurgeon warned men of this danger but in some of his later sermons this note of alarm is increasingly urgent. In one such sermon entitled ‘Healed or Deluded? Which?’ preached in 1882, Spurgeon speaks of the large numbers who are deceived by a false healing. This may even be the case, he shows, with those who have gone through a period of spiritual anxiety: ‘Convinced that they want healing, and made in a measure anxious to find it, the danger with the awakened is lest they should rest content with an apparent cure, and miss the real work of grace. We are perilously likely to rest satisfied with a slight healing, and by this means to miss the great and complete salvation which comes from God alone. I wish to speak in deep earnestness to everyone here present upon this subject, for I have felt the power of it in my own soul. To deliver this message I have made a desperate effort, quitting my sick bed without due permit, moved by a restless pining to warn you against the counterfeits of the day.’

Forgotten Spurgeon, Iain Murray, p.107

A Mark of the Unconverted – love of the world

November 10, 2008

A Mark of the Unconverted

The predominant love of the world. This is the sure evidence of an unsanctified heart. ‘If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him’ (1 John 2:15). But how often does this sin lurk under the fair cover of profession. Yes, such a power of deceit is there in this sin that many times, when everybody else can see the man’s worldliness and covetousness, he cannot see it himself-but has so many excuses and pretenses for his eagerness after the world, that he blinds his own eyes and perishes in his self-deceit! How many professing Christians are there, with whom the world has more of their hearts and affections than Christ, ‘who mind earthly things’, and thereby are evidently after the flesh, and likely to end in destruction (Rom 8:5; Phil 3:19). Yet ask these men, and they will tell you confidently they prize Christ above all; for they do not see their own earthly-mindedness for lack of a strict observance of the workings of their own hearts. Did they but carefully search, they would quickly see that their greatest satisfaction is in the world, and that their greatest care and main endeavor are to get and secure the world-which are the certain signs of an unconverted sinner. May the professing part of the world take earnest heed lest they perish by the hand of this sin unobserved. Men may be, and often are, kept off from Christ as effectually by the inordinate love of lawful comforts, as by the most wicked lives.

Alarm to the Unconverted
Joseph Alleine, 1671