Truth and Truth-Tellers Part 2
When the stakes are high and in our favor, we want things to be a certain way, we want words to have a specific meaning, we want to claim a higher standard beyond our own. But when the deck is stacked against us, suddenly words can fluctuate. Meaning can change. Truth becomes relative. Subjective. A matter of preference and opinion. We see this type contradiction lived out to no end.
For example: A man claims that there is no absolute truth or standard to which he must answer and to which he must give an account. His car gets jacked. He’s livid. He suddenly wants to appeal to a higher standard, a standard of truth to which he can stake his claim that he’s been done wrong. That he’s been violated. But he contradicts himself. In normal life he indirectly submits to a standard of truth, though he wouldn’t admit it. But when he verbalizes his belief, whether in the academic world or simply in conversation, he denies the reality of the absolute truth to which he acquiesces in normal life. He lives a life of contradiction, and apparently it’s no problem for him. It’s only when he’s backed into a corner that he might even consider living this contradiction.
But most people won’t admit it. Or if they do, they don’t care anyway because the pragmatism that has guided their contradicting journey thus far presents little difficulty for them. They don’t mind living a contradiction as long as no one shoves it in their face all the time—“keep your truth to yourself” they might say. Maybe, at times, truth does exist for this person. Sometimes it doesn’t. It exists when it’s beneficial. And beneficial, subjective truth is the mentality that plagues our culture.
Do people genuinely not care that they live this contradiction? Are they blind to it? Are they immune to it? Yes. All of the above, I think. Romans 1 says that they, no, we do a good job of suppressing the truth through our wickedness. And I think that we can suppress it so much that we begin to build up indestructible, impenetrable walls around our truth-seeking heart. This is the cultural milieu that we find ourselves bathing in. It’s in this culture that Christ has placed us, His children, and by no accident. We must be truth-bearers and truth-tellers. That doesn’t mean that we point fingers of condemnation and judgment like the big-hair televangelists of another generation, bless their sweet hearts. But nor does that mean that we smile and say that everything is fine and that God wants to bless you with financial greatness and perfect health. Neither is valid. Neither is the mission to which we’re called.
Here’s the mission: 15 But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ.
Eph 4:15 (HCSB)
And here’s the mission: 15 but set apart the • Messiah as Lord in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. 16 However, do this with gentleness and respect, keeping your conscience clear, so that when you are accused, those who denounce your Christian life will be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:15-16 (HCSB)
And here’s the mission: 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly the message of life …
Phil 2:14-16 (HCSB)
So let’s shine as stars in the world. Let’s speak the truth in love. Let’s give a defense for our faith to people that ask with gentleness and respect, without grumbling or arguing. Let’s be faultless in this crooked world. This is the mission. This is the task. To a world lost without Christ in the middle of contradicting beliefs, we must shine the truth of the Gospel and allow it to light the path, penetrate the cold hearts, reveal the truth and expose the contradiction.
To whom can you be a truth-teller this week?