It’s that time of year again when the X Factor returns to our screens. Shall we or won’t we watch it? Well we did. Let’s be honest, the show is what it is – a piece of trash. Very popular money making trash – millions will watch the show each Saturday.
It never ceases to amaze how completely talentless singers will put their whole life on hold thinking they have any possibility of winning. For example the opening act – two sisters from Estonia (I think) had actually moved to Britain to be on the show – and to win it. When the awful truth dawns on them that they are going no further in the competition – it’s a moment of sadness to see their whole world come crashing down. But after the initial shock – ‘life will show them the way’ – they continue as ‘Dream Girls’ to singing stardom. Amazingly, they really believe it. They are not alone. Most of the acts are simply deluded.
I might be criticised for watching the X Factor but I believe the show illustrates two (and many more I’m sure) very important truths.
The power of delusion.
To those watching the acts – it’s easy to see there is no way they will go any further. And even those that do, most are still devoid of real ability. We all know people that think they are good at something but we know they are not. We might think ourselves to have some sort of talent, but the reality may be very different. The point is this – If we can be deluded at this very basic level, then how much more powerful is a spiritual delusion. The Bible (Word of God) is very clear on this.
2Th 2:11 …because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. …God shall send them (a) strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The X Factor type of delusion is sad and the consequences may not be too bad. But the delusion the Bible speaks of is dangerous and has eternal consequences. The delusion the Bible speaks of is twofold. There is the blindness of a sinful nature – spiritually dead and unable to receive spiritual truth and realities. But there is also the delusion mentioned in the verses above – a delusion sent by God. Only the free Grace of God can overcome these. Call upon Him.
Rooted in Autonomy
The spiritual delusion finds its root in the autonomy of the self. This is brought out when acts are colloquially told ‘don’t quit the day job’. But they just don’t get it. Whatever you may think of Simon Cowell he knows his business (though he doesn’t always get it right). And, unless a person does have a modicum of genuine talent they should listen to the expert. So despite being told the reality of the situation many continue to believe in their own opinion of themselves. So quite often phrases like ‘Simon Cowell doesn’t know what he’s talking about and I’ll prove him wrong’ are used.
Here’s the thing, the Word of God quite clearly reveals to us that it’s within God that we all live and have our being. Apart from the Sovereign will of God none of us would have any existence. Theologians call this the Creator creature distinction. To use a phrase of A. W. Tozer ‘where God isn’t there’s just us. God is everywhere but you get the picture. On our own we are truly lost and undone. Far from being able to extricate ourselves from any and every situation the reality is that we cannot and we all know it. In other words our whole future is in the hand of another outside of ourselves – the hand of God. And if we are unable to control any and every event in our lives how much less are we able to control our eternal destiny. If I may put it in these terms: there is an expert – a physician of souls whose diagnosis is sound and correct. In the Gospels we read ‘This is My Beloved Son, listen to Him’. The Scripture says: ‘Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him’. But rebellious man says – no thanks I’ll be master of my own destiny. Jesus told a story about such a person and concluded by saying: ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you…’ The future is bleak indeed outside of Christ.
Call Upon God
We all of us need to cry to The Son of God – The Lord Jesus Christ also said “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” Therefore, while it is called today, call upon the name of the Lord.