Vol.IX No.XII Pg.1
February 1973

Blinded By Crumbs

Robert F. Turner

If you were to take the sum total of all authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene— if you were to combine them and refine them and cleave out the excess verbiage— if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount. And it would suffer immeasurably through comparison.

For nearly two thousand years, the Christian world has been holding in its hands the complete answer to its restless and fruitless yearnings. Here rests the blueprint for successful human life with optimum mental health and contentment. (From A Few Buttons Missing, by James C. Fisher; Lippincott and Co., New York, 1951.)

Now brethren, what do you think of that? Before you become ecstatic because of the great honor given to the Masters sermon: (1) are your restless yearnings no deeper than successful human life with optimum mental health and contentment; and (2) is this the goal of Jesus sermon?

Often Christians are so hungry for a crumb of praise from the table of the world that they fail to see that many such crumbs humanize and defuse the spiritual and eternal purpose of the gospel of Christ. Many so-called good works develop worldly admiration for our civic-mindedness or social awareness, and have nothing to do with causing people to truly glorify God. (Matt. 5:16) God is glorified in the church by Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:21), and our light and saltiness must have to do with bringing people to Christ. (Matt. 5:11)

I appreciate Dr. Fishers estimate of the Sermon on the Mount as a major contribution to a good life here and now, but would like to point out that this is but a by-product of its true purpose. Genuine Christianity is historically accurate, psychologically sound, economically wise— but primarily, it lights the way to heaven.