As I was claiming yesterday, Christian regeneration  absolutely comes with a new set of eyes, and a new heart, and a new way of judging the world.  If someone truly comes to believe in the Savior of mankind, that same Savior’s description of the process (being “born again”) means all new spiritual parts, and all new perspectives.  Certainly, this spiritual infancy can be abused by bad teaching, but that new self will always be at war with falsehood, and sin, and a real believer, a real child of the Kingdom, will spend his entire life using his new eyes to see the world more clearly.

That doesn’t mean Christians won’t differ with each other, in good conscience, over questions that God hasn’t specifically answered–in areas where believers have been granted liberty of conscience and behavior.  If God’s Word hasn’t specifically weighed in on what color to paint your house, your urge to go for deep plum with black trim might only be tempered (think “new eyes” now), by proper care for your neighbors’ feelings.  I know believers who differ over infant communion, infant baptism, and the regulative principle of worship.  In history, believers have argued over psalms, hymns, or praise music.  During the American Revolution, presumably Christian redcoats mocked New England militia for being “psalm singers.”

On many political questions liberty exists as well.  Honest people can differ over how many workers the local animal control office should hire, or whether we need such an office, or whether the office would be better farmed out to competitive bidding.  Among believers, in a culturally Christian setting, we can argue this politely all over tea, and maybe even a little wine.

But here’s where I might lose some of you.

  • I’m having trouble understanding how a new child of God can see pictures of aborted babies and not feel deep spiritual revulsion.  This revulsion, moreover, is high magnitude, the sort that demands action from the magistrate–just as you would if you saw a father killing his two year old child.
  • If you claim to be a believer and you applaud two homosexual men having surrogate children and raising them without a real mother, then I think you need to re-examine your claim to follow Christ.
  • If the thought of a “mother” foisting her gender confusion on her little boy — taking him off for puberty blockers and surgeries he will never be able to reverse — and you don’t believe that “mother” belongs in prison for the rest of her life, then I have a verse you should look up: “I never knew you.”
  • If you claim to be a believer and you harbor a soft spot for communism — a godless, totalitarian disaster that has claimed the lives of millions — then you really do not have new spiritual eyes.  You are still blind. Seek Jesus.

This seems to be a very low bar, by the way, but that’s the sort of standard even a baby believer would embrace easily.  “I am now born again in Christ.  Well, obviously, I can’t affirm baby-killing, sexual degeneracy, and tyranny.”

The strange feed I lamented yesterday, and the weirdly polarized response to it, speaks of a world that is full of the falsely-converted.  It is the direct product of a church that evangelizes by pretending women are the “victims” of abortion, a church that celebrates a sexual identity God detests inside the body itself, a church that teaches believers can come to the cross without detesting their covetous, lying, hateful nature.  The good news can only come after the bad news has been delivered: we are gross sinners in need of a savior.

As I tried to make clear, even with new eyes, not every body of believers will come to the same conclusion about the news, or politics, or culture, and, certainly, we are still battered by the “sin that lives within us” (Romans 7), but a country with lots of new eyes is more likely to engage in civil and productive dialogue.

I believe I grew up in a country that benefited from a “common sense” born of a culture created by believers who really did have new eyes.

As recently as, oh, ten years ago, if a Republican and a Democrat argued with each other, they would certainly attempt to get their enemies voted out of office, but thrown in jail?  For life?  Seriously?  That sounds like the sort of vengeance you would take only in countries governed by warlords commanding teenage boys with automatic weapons.  The impulse to jail Steve Bannon and most of the J6 defendants comes from powerfully darkened hearts–men with “Pharisee” written all over them.

A lot of the folks who claim to be Christians, and progressives, and fully insulted by my “baby believer” litmus test above are utterly without remorse, when it comes to their enemies.  Their tender mercies are utterly cruel, and you have to ask yourself — would the kind of “believers” who applaud abortion and gender-mutilation, have any trouble putting you in jail, if you got between them and their sense of a just world?

We either get more “new eyes,” or we’re going to find out how painful blindness can really be.