I am pouring over two books written by George Orwell in the mid-late 1940s: Animal Farm and 1984. Orwell’s prescience is nothing short of remarkable. Totalitarian states that prey upon the vulnerable have always been, are present now, and probably will always be. Or to blend some of Orwell’s terms with Christ’s: the poor we will always have with us….along with the pigs, the proles, and the Thought Police.
I am also reminded of Christ’s concluding remarks in the parable of the unjust steward: "The children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light" (Luke 16:8). These books are a helpful balance for those who claim to be “children of the light” including myself, who are prone to emphasise the good in people and to give most folks the benefit of the doubt. I call this emphasis “wheat wisdom” as opposed to “street wisdom”, the latter which is far more familiar with the "member tares" and the “tactics of tares” in our midst, as mentioned in Matthew 13.
So in light or Orwell and the New Testament (and even though I am really wanting to dwell much more on esthetically-pleasing things), I am thinking about hindrances for people to understand and act on truth. I am thinking about how we often conform reality to our minds and not vice versa. I am thinking that oftentimes people and groups do so intentionally and maliciously. And I am thinking about an important theme in the book of Hebrews: there is a true reality—the Kingdom of God— that cannot be shaken.
Note that many of the comments from Orwell that will be quoted reflect the intention to enslave rather than enlighten. Stay tuned.