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An attachment to the law gives a sense of certainty while rendering one spiritually blind. It is no coincidence that legalism, whether of the liberal or fundamentalist kind produces lamentable degrees of spiritual blindness. If you are looking for spiritual discernment, you will not find it in proponents of the law. Nor will you find among them a surfeit of wisdom and revelation. You may find drops but never rivers of spirit and life. Why? because the knowledge of good and evil that is the soil of the law produces not only false facts but mis-understanding.


Spiritual truth cannot be understood in black and white dimensions. Like God it simply is and has to be appreciated in Him and in fellowship with those for whom Jesus is life. ‘Truth’ separated from God is never truth in the ultimate sense. ‘Truth’ when we are one with God is both light and life. Thus Jesus is the ‘light of life’ and law is confusion and darkness posing as light. This is why continuing to live in the separation of the old covenant is accurately called living in the great darkness. It is the kind of darkness that can lead us to assert union with God because we have seized on a definition, when we are not one with God in spirit and in truth. Truth, understanding and spiritual discernment are found in this relationship and realisation: ‘On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you’ John 14.20 NIV


Richard Rohr observes that, “Most of the major teachings of the great religions do not demand blind faith as much as they demand new eyes … Western Christianity has tended to objectify paradoxes in dogmatic statements that demand mental agreement instead of any inner experience of the mystery revealed. These paradoxes[are found] in the living collision of opposites we call Jesus.” (1)

Religious ideologues like any other ideologues retreat into their formulae and shrink as themselves. The hard right of the Liberal party in Australia is the current parable of those who live like bats in the cave of their tribalism, rejecting human values for lumps of coal and vision and opportunity for the verities of ideas that no longer hold water.


If we are not willing to receive ‘new eyes’ we will become captive to our own fictions – cataracts that grow, cloud the eye and obscure our spiritual vision while convincing us that we are walking in the light and being blessed. True we may be receiving drops of blessing but only drops – compared to the rivers of spirit and life that are ours in our new covenant union with God.

‘My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water’ Jer 2.13 NIV.

(1) Rohr, Richard. The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (p. 146). The Crossroad Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.