I Was Just Thinking About - - -
One of the fascinating experiences is to observe a skilled Magician captivate his audience with his sleight of hand technique and skill at diverting the attention of the audience away from the actual trick that is about to take place. This gives rise to the use of the term Optical Illusion. When applied in other areas of real life, the idea of Optics and Illusions has an entirely different use and meaning. An informed person will listen to a News analyst of a Politician and be subjected to their optics and version of events. It may not always be in agreement with that which is actually occurring but it is a narrative developed and stated in a way to divert attention away from Optics to that of Illusion. In other words, giving life and meaning to the phrase: “Are you going to believe your lying eyes or what I am saying?”
In a rapidly changing and chaotic culture in a contemporary world, optics are more fabricated than actual. Politicians create a narrative about an opponent. Many times, the truth is sacrificed in the hope that the listening audience will believe the narrative (in this case, the illusion) rather the optics (that which is correct and true). In legal cases, the exceptional Lawyer can create a narrative about the defendant and tell the Jurors a story he wants them to accept and believe. The idea is to create elements of doubt in some Juror’s mind so the defendant will be deemed not-guilty. On the other hand, the Prosecutor must dispel the Defense Attorney’s narrative by presenting the overwhelming facts and evidence that should cause the Juror to determine Guilt.
In the area of Religion, the use of Optics and Illusions is present in most churches. The influential and wealthy are deemed to be “heaven-bound-Christians” solely on the basis of their person and presence. It matters little if such individuals are authentic Biblical Christians. I was Pastor of a Church years ago where the most prominent individual in the congregation would refer to the ordinary people attending as “those little people.” As Treasurer of the Church, he would sometimes refer to them as the “dollar-giver people” and that if wasn’t for him the Church would not be able to maintain itself. As a brash young Pastor, I suggested he keep his money and that we would sink or swim with the “dollar people.” It was difficult to operate without the larger offering but the Lord met our needs and provided for His Church.
Matthew 25 affords one with a classic illustration of Optics and Illusions. It is the judgment scene where Jesus speaks of the separation of the sheep from the goats. In verses 41 through 45, those who were more oriented to “illusions” rather than the actual “optics” hear these words from Jesus Christ: “He will also say to those on His left, Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me. Then they will answer, Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You? Then He will answer them, Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Are you a person who has invented a personal narrative to impress others that you are a self-made “Christian” (illusion) or have you come to Jesus Christ on His terms and the product of your life and actions model that you are a Biblical Christian (optic)? Consider these things with me!