Summary: Don't kill the voice of that preacher who is trying to save you with preaching the Word.

Mark 6:21-29 KJV And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; [22] And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. [23] And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. [24] And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. [25] And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. [26] And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. [27] And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, [28] And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. [29] And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.


If there is an image that mirrors the mind of the west today, it is strikingly reflected in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. The story is about a very good looking and good natured young man whom the entire village he lived in was captivated by his looks and manners.

One day an artist was so struck by this winsome young man that he asked if he could paint a portrait of him. The artist claimed that he had never painted an image of a young man who had a face that was so attractive. Over a period of weeks the painting was finally finished and when it was presented to Dorian he was so narcissistic that he fell in love with his own image. But there was an ever darker side to this when Dorian begins to long for the ability to live a double life of deep sin and the lifestyles not destroy his physical beauty. The catch was that only the portrait would mirror his lifestyle. He longed to live any way he chose to live and not allow any whim to be fettered by any restraint whatsoever.

This he did. It was almost as if he made a deal with the devil and begins to live a life maddeningly teetering on the edge of the world. He sinks in sensuality and indulgence and finally resorts to murder but none of his actions affects his physical appearance. Spurred on by his ability to live a double-life, he sinks even further into a life of great sin.

One day when he was alone and pensive, he uncovered the portrait he had kept hidden for all of those years only to be numbed by the hideousness of the face which had huge scars and a troubled visage of a life that had been lived in scandal.

Fear choked him when he thought about being found out and the incriminations that would come from the village where he lived. With haste he hid it in his attic, thinking that this would be a safe place for it. What Dorian did not count on was the artist finding the picture and when the artist did, he was astounded at the change in the portrait. So overcome with grief was he that he confronted Dorian and pled with him to confess his sin and to change. Reaching back to the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, the artist begged, “Come now let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as wool?” In a fit of rage Dorian Gray grabbed a knife and killed the artist to silence the voice.

The story reaches a terrible summit when Dorian, who is no longer able to look at the picture, takes the knife and attempts to destroy the image that confronts his sin. When the blade pierces the canvas the portrait returns to its former beauty but Dorian slumps to the floor where he has been stabbed to death. The ravages that marred the picture have now disfigured his own countenance that his servants did not even recognize him in his death.

-In consideration of this story, Ravi Zacharias asks some questions of his own in his book, Deliver Us From Evil.

• Can an individual or society live with complete disregard for a moral and spiritual center and not suffer from the wounds of wickedness?

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