Proverbs 8:17: “The first to speak is thought to be right, until another states his case.”
In the distant past I was called to jury duty and, along with about 50 others, was allowed to hear the opening arguments of a criminal case. As is customary in court cases, the prosecutor was allowed to speak first. That the Assistant District Attorney was well-prepared quickly became obvious as he stood and presented his case to the jury pool. After hearing him present the evidence against the accused I was absolutely certain that the man on trial was guilty. The evidence was overwhelming. I honestly wondered why the case had gone to trial. Why had not the accused confessed his crime, thereby saving himself a lot of money. But then the defense attorney presented his case. Suddenly, the entire picture changed and I began to wonder why the district attorney had brought the charges. I was ever so thankful that I was not chosen to hear the case. I later learned that the jury had found the accused guilty as charged.
This courthouse episode brought home the fact that what we hear or see initially has a powerful and lasting influence on our concept of “truth.” Following our first impression, everything we hear or see relative to the subject is perceived through an already-colored mental lens. Man has known for thousands of years that this phenomenon is normal among both human beings and animals.
In the animal, fowl, rodent, etc. world, upon being born, hatched, etc. the first thing that moves is perceived to be “mother.” This thoroughly documented fact has been proven time and again. I once saw a fawn run to a pair of lions because the lions were the first thing it saw. The same first-sight emotional connection has taken place between newly hatched geese and human beings, as well as among natural enemies within the animal kingdom. A newborn human will have the same reaction to whomever takes care of him/her initially. Over a short period of time the person automatically becomes his/her “next of kin” and remains so until proven not to be later in life. For this reason, children who were adopted shortly after birth do not realize that the man and woman they call mom and dad are not their biological parents. Their “truth,” though not true, is to them beyond question.
This first-sight trait does not prove to be a problem in the natural world where the present life is the focus. However, in the spiritual realm this universal, ultimately powerful characteristic presents a life and death problem. To those who grow up in a religious household “know” that what they have been told is the “truth” is beyond question the “truth.” There is therefore no reason to look elsewhere for truth. And when a foreign “Truth” is heard or read, it is immediately rejected, even though it comes from the Book both they, their family members, etc. swear to be the “Truth.” Spiritually speaking, only a very few hearty souls come to realize why they believe what they believe spiritually, then have searched for and found God’s Biblical Truth (Jn. 17:17), embraced it and become part of the Body of Christ–God’s true church. Regardless of the religion in question, believers never allow themselves to consider the fact that they have become captives by virtue of family affiliation to the Biblical God’s arch enemy–Satan. A long-standing truth states that “Those who don’t know don’t know that they don’t know.” And due to Satan’s control over professing Christendom and the first-sight phenomenon, those who don’t know don’t WANT to know that they don’t know. For this reason those born into what is called Christianity, with extremely rare exception, not only remain in her, but adamantly reject all Biblical evidence that they are part of a counterfeit religious system known by both the religious and the antireligious as “the church.” L.J.