My doctor is a careful man. Sometimes he will make his pronouncements by simple observation ("you need to lose some weight") but other times he will order up a medical test. Some things are not immediately open to observation, but by some test they may be measured.
These tests run after a pattern. Some form of stress or some sort of pharmaceutical is given, and the reaction of the body is measured. For example, I've taken a fasting blood sugar test. No food for several hours, let's see what his blood sugar looks like. There is also the treadmill test; running in place, let's see how his heart reacts. It is the reaction which is measured, and being measured, diagnosis performed.
Spiritually, it is much the same way. A bank robber with a gun or a prostitute in "uniform" is open to observation, but other spiritual maladies require some testing. The basic test is a fairly simple one: the presence of a true Christian, one who loves God deeply. Here we see Jesus as the ultimate example of that test. And the results?
If you love God
· You would love Jesus, and those who love him, for you would see in them the kind of person you love.
· You would rejoice to hear the truth
· You would recognize the authority of Jesus (and of his church)
If you do not love God
· Jesus and his disciples become hateful to you.
· You want them to be quiet—politically correct thought only!
· The only authority possible is man; God has nothing to say.
Does this seem familiar? Consider homosexuality. For six thousand years this vile practice has been called what it is: sin. But today man calls it virtue—and despises those who think otherwise. Our culture says there can be no debate; man has spoken.
Or consider abortion. From the time of the ancients who threw their children into the fire of Molech (for much the same reasons we sanction abortion) this has been murder. Now it's "choice." It is still sin; that is a fact which cannot be changed no matter how much we are "politically correct." The test has been made; the reaction observed—and the patient is dying.