Monday, April 2, 2012

The Blessings.5

"Blessed are you, who are pure in heart. You will see God." 
-- Jesus

This article from the Detroit Free Press website caught my eye:

Child pornography prosecutors: 

Victims are getting younger, acts are more vile

"Federal prosecutors in Detroit say they have witnessed the disturbing trend with the kids getting younger -- toddlers and infants as young as 6 months old -- turning up in photos and videos....Child porn lovers live in your neighborhood.
They aren't just creepy loners.
Crouched on a bench in the federal courthouse in Detroit almost every week, seemingly normal people -- doctors, coaches, authors, engineers, teens -- are charged with possessing and making child porn, a $3-billion-a-year industry that the federal government has labeled the new silent child abuse.
Outed by their Internet activities, the accused stand before a judge, heads usually hung low, while their families sit in the back of the courtroom aghast at the accusations. And there typically is no criminal history to point to.
"There's this notion that it's the creepy neighbor who lives in the basement of his parent's house and downloads this stuff," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Mulcahy, chief of the general crimes unit for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit.
Far from it, he said."
Seeing isn't always believing. If we, struggling with our own evil, can't even perceive the wicked among us, how will we ever see God?

So stands--in stark contrast--the wonderful promise from Jesus. A certain class of people will see God, which, by the way, is the deepest desire in a man! To see God, according to MacDonald, is "to stand on the highest point of created being."
"Not until we see God --no partial and passing embodiment of him, but the abiding presence-- do we stand
image from
upon our own mountain-top, the height of the existence God has given us, and up to which he is leading us. That there we should stand, is the end of our creation. This truth is at the heart of everything, ... we must so know him, and it can never be until we are pure in heart."

One of the complaints about The Shack that offended not a few people was that the author portrayed God the Father as a large black woman! This debate illustrates the problem we have in "seeing God". Consider MacDonald's response (written, of course, nearly 100 years before The Shack):

"If he [God] pleased to take a shape, and that shape were presented to us, and we saw that shape, we should not therefore be seeing God. Even if we knew it was a shape of God-call it even God himself our eyes rested upon; if we had been told the fact and believed the report; yet, if we did not see the God-ness, were not capable of recognizing him, so as without the report to know the vision him, we should not be seeing God, we should only be seeing the tabernacle in which for the moment he dwelt. In other words, not seeing what in the form made it a form fit for him to take, we should not be seeing a presence which could only be God."

Even those who saw the Lord Jesus, "the exact imprint of God's nature", did not see God. They only saw Jesus--and then but the outside of Him. The eyes that could see God were not born in them yet; the thought-eyes, the truth-eyes, the love-eyes that alone can see Him.

None but the pure in heart see God.

Only the growing-pure hope to see Him.

"If you care to see God, be pure. If you will not be pure, you will grow more and more impure; and instead of seeing God, will at length find yourself face to face with a vast emptiness, yet filled full of one inhabitant, that devouring monster, your own false self. If for this neither do you care, I tell you there is a Power that will not have it so; a Love that will make you care by the consequences of not caring.

You who seek purity, and would have your fellow-men also seek it, spend not your labor on the stony ground of intellect, endeavoring to explain what purity is; give imagination the one pure man; call up conscience to witness against personal deeds; urge upon yourself and others the grand resolve to be pure.

With the first endeavor of a soul toward her, Purity will begin to draw nigh, calling for admittance; and never will a man have to pause in the divine toil, asking what next is required of him;
the demands of the indwelling Purity 
will ever be in front of his slow-laboring obedience."

(Adapted from MacDonald's Hope of the Gospel, God's Family, emphasis added)