A man holds a prism up to the light and sees not more the light, but a splattering of colors against the wall. As he turns the prism, one angle will show more truly the colors of which light is made than another. One is the true view of light, the other the distorted.
All men look at the world around them as it were through a prism. To some the elect children of God, the view is the true view, or ought to be. To others, the reprobate children of damnation, the view is incomplete, or distorted. The view of man over against the world around him then, depends on the angel at which he is looking.
There is one Being Who looks at the world with eyes not blurred by the dimensions of a prism. This is, of course, God. Earthly man can never see the earth with the eyes of eternity, or with the eyes of complete knowledge. When God looks upon things temporal, He sees things in the light of His eternal counsel. He sees, not the beginnings only, but the endings as well. He sees the depths of every action and event, even the most minute, and rules every event for the ultimate glorification of Himself.
God sees all things with the eye of Truth. There is no manner of distortion through the prism of the temporal, no confusion through the faceting of sin. God sees in the light of Truth. His is the view from heaven.
The opposite end of the spectrum would be then the view from hell as seen through the eyes of hell’s servants: reprobate man. Here the distortion of the prism is at its greatest, for it is totally out of whack in the depths of iniquity. Man, that is to say, natural reprobate man, sees the world from a totally natural point of view. He sees through the prism of sin.
He sees, too, in the sure knowledge of damnation. Man’s difficulty is not that he does not know, but rather that he knows, and is so much a slave of the devil that he does not care. His view can be only temporal, for him (he hopes) there can be nothing beyond the here and now.
Still, on earth there is an antithesis to the reprobate. This is the Christian, the Covenant child of God. While he must look still through the dark glass of the prism of sin, he yet looks from the angle truest to the light. While it must yet be a temporal view, it still is the eternal, for the child of God views the world in the light of eternity.
We live in faith. Our faith is not of the things of this life, but of the promise of eternal glory. We live in hope. Our hope is not of the things of the earth, but of the things which the earthy cannot touch.
We live in knowledge. Through faith and hope God has given us the eyes of truth into eternity. In the working of His Holy Spirit we see the world from the angle of truth. We see things from the view of the covenant line, as an unfolding of the Church unto eternity.
Yet, this does not make the Christian less temporal in his view. He, with the reprobate, must still look through a prism at life around him. As long as we are temporal beings we must look at things from a temporal point of view, and that view can never be perfect. Nevertheless, the angle from which this view is perceived must and ought to be different from that of the world. And this is very difficult.
It is in our natures to see the world around us from a very human point of view. It seems logical to give to the poor of the world so they can live a better life. It seems logical to go belligerently before the leaders of the world and force them to change the world for the better. These are things the world does, and viewed from the angle of the world, they look very noble and good indeed.
But the view from heaven, in the light of the knowledge of eternity, is a view from an entirely different angle. It is an easy trap for the Child of God to fall into, this trap of the world’s goodness. We must be ever alert in our comprehension of the world to look at things from the angle of truth. In future editorials, the Lord willing, we hope to present the view of the truth on some of the issues of our time, bearing in mind the antithetical position of the Church over against the world.
For each man stands as it were with a prism in his hand. Through this prism he must view the world around him. Are you looking through the true angle? Is yours the view from heaven?
Originally Published in:
Vol. 30 No. 9 January 1971