22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness–how deep is that darkness!
The KJV renders v 23 as, “But if thine eye be evil…”, thus causing the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia to wax on about the “evil eye” and how the superstition of it is “spread over the earth”. However, I believe there is a much simpler explanation that doesn’t rely upon pagan superstitions and the like.
For one thing, “evil” comes from Strong’s G4190, poneros, which has two main definitions with two subdefinitions each. The second one is obviously right as shown by the context:
II. bad, of a bad nature or condition
A. in a physical sense: diseased or blind
B. in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad
We find that “evil” in the Bible can have a wide range of severity and applications. There is no need for some additional superstition to be added.
Darkness is a metaphor for evil. When a person is blind, no light can come in. Think about how that applies to how people can perceive the truth. If a person cannot see, whether blind or has their eyes shut, then that light cannot enter and be seen. Instead, darkness, that is evil, prevails.
There is something more subtle that than, however. Darkness does not just block light, but it also alters one’s perception. How a person perceives and deals with reality has a lot to do with how or even if they can see what is around them.
You know, if all you see is darkness, then not only are you yourself in darkness, but you tend to assume that everything else is in darkness too.
That is why I point out that often the attacks and criticisms of the anti-COG folk often says more about them than about the COGs. They are in darkness, and so their judgmental attitude rears its ugly head, and they look at the COGs, and all they see is darkness. It takes the light, not more darkness, to drive away the dark and allow one to see clearly.
That, of course, doesn’t mean there aren’t dark shadows here and there in COG-land. It doesn’t mean that everyone in the COGs can see clearly themselves. It doesn’t mean every organization or even every leader in a given organization is filled with light. Remember the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares!
I have also pointed out that drinking poison does not really make one stronger, in spite of the cute saying. Drinking in more darkness is not the answer.