The Folly of These Days

The elves of Lothlórien distrusted Gimli the dwarf: they insisted that he be blindfolded before entering their fair land. In order that he not be singled out, the rest of the Fellowship of the Ring submitted to blindfolds, too.

“Alas for the folly of these days!” said Legolas. “Here all are enemies of the one Enemy, and yet I must walk blind, while the sun is merry in the woodland under leaves of gold!”

“Folly it may seem,” said Haldir. “Indeed in no­thing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him. Yet so little faith do we find now in the world that we dare not endanger our land. Our hands are more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp.”

I lived in a nation where most citizens opposed the prime minister, who was corrupt and violent. But he always won re-election, in part because his opposi­tion was divided. Dozens of small, weak parties ran against him, instead of a single one that could have prevailed.

Jesus prayed, “I ask for those who believe in me that they may all be one … so that the world may believe that you sent me.” Yet one we are not. The World Chris­tian Encyclopedia estimates the number of Protes­tant denomi- na­tions at 47,000. Fortunately, out of all those, Second Cape belongs to the only correct one—the Baptist! But which Baptist? There are at least 211 Baptist denomina- tions, not including the largest (the Southern Baptist) and the independents (such as we).

Today, as then, the power of the Dark Lord divides those who still oppose him. Because these common enemies of the one Enemy distrust one another, they can mount only ineffective opposition to him. We walk blind­folded, estranged from friends, missing the beauty around us, our hands more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp. Such is the folly of these days.

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