Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Truth & Honesty

It is a truth universally accepted, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Jane Austen

Truth is defined by the elements that comprise or form the context of its function. Honesty is action based on truth, the scrupulous endeavouring to promote the fact and reality of truth. Truth is an essential aspect of life regardless of the verity of its application to individual circumstance. Truth removes ambiguity from choices and decisions and places the responsibility and accountability for action squarely on the shoulders of the decision-maker. Truth is not some universal or personal assent to a form of thought or philosophy excluding oneself from consequence. Truth exists as a foundation upon which life functions at its optimum and God ordained intent.

Truth is and exists as an entity removed or set apart from the life of the individual, truth is embodied in action, in person hood, by obedience we declare truth, we walk in a way consistent with fact; Isaiah 35:8 "A highway shall be there, a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray."

Truth is attainable, available to any and all.

It is evident in all aspects of life: "Beauty is truth, truth beauty" John Keats

It is evident in our desires; "All men by nature desire knowledge" Aristotle "There is no desire more natural than the desire for knowledge.' de Montaigne

It is relevant always: "Truth has no special time of its own, its hour is now - always." A. Schweitzer

It is evident in conscience; Psalm 36:1, "Transgression speaks to the ungodly within his heart;"

Truth is self-evident.

It is evident in how the culture in which we reside has expectations as to how we are interact with one another. Zechariah 8:16 "These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgement for peace in your gates." Zechariah 7:9,10 "...execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother." It would seem by these instructions their (culture's) expectations are well founded. There is in the application of truth principles an expectation that there should be an honest intent in practical employment of the meaning of the truth purported by the Christian community. There should be an anticipation of reality expressed through a value living life, a conformity to the belief or fact upon which we have placed our faith, our belief, our truth. Christians have over the course of history been the most vehement and steadfast in the defense of the faith. Christians have never had the options to be inventive, at least in terms of creating arguments or falsifying and justifying contentious positions, we have always had to defend truth solely on its own intrinsic value, quality and time-tested relevance.

The honesty issue really surfaces when Christians come to the issue of our status as citizens of the Kingdom of God. We seldom view ourselves as sinner-saints. Reality becomes a reflection of our honesty. To proclaim the righteous judgements of God to a culture observing the decadence , insobriety, lasciviousness, adulterous nature of the Church as it exists in the world today is to throw stones at our own glass cathedral. We have lost the integrity and perspective of our own lost position, and our unwillingness to be honest about the who of who we are has led many both outside and inside the church to lose the vision for what the church was, is, and should be, hence the problem with honesty as the world looks at the church and as the church, its adherents and members look at ourselves. We are all in need of healing, not withstanding Jesus said He came to heal that which was ill, and save that which was lost.

John 8:32 "...and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." Free from what? The world looks at the church and all its goings-on and ons, and chooses to believe that that bondage to a restrictive and disciplined lifestyle, seemingly in a culture of unloved stricture is abhorrent to value-added living. Yet, the entire world is looking for a existential, spiritual experience which will lead them to a life of quality and lasting significance. "Christ spoke of spiritual liberty, but carnal hearts feel no other grievances than those that molest the body, and distress their worldly affairs. Talk to them of their liberty and property, tell them of the waste committed upon their lands, or damage done to their houses, and they understand you very well; but speak of the bondage of sin, captivity to Satan, and liberty by Christ, tell of wrong done to their precious souls, and the hazard of their eternal welfare, then you bring strange things to their ears." Matthew Henry The spirit of the age declares that we must package our message in a consumer friendly way, make it palatable, tolerant, unobtrusive, so as not to upset any personal balance. In this we create dishonesty, trying to appease an environment intolerant to any firm declaration of Independence from society, while in reality we have become part and parcel with that society most needful of a message of healing and acceptance.

At some point in time, we as the church will have to be honest about who we have become in this consumerist society and either fall further into step with culture, or set ourselves apart and start living the redeemed and consecrated existence Jesus called us to live. Appeasement will lead to assimilation, and finally to annihilation.

Confession that we are a people of God, redeemed but working out our salvation, consecrated but still a sinner-saint, sanctified but still a living sacrifice, citizens of the Kingdom of God but co-inhabitants of the world, will be an honest acceptance of reality and may allow those around us to appreciate the journey we are all on, and give us opportunity to speak of the trials and successes we have as Christians.

No comments: