How Truth Acts
Our last blog, What is Truth, really focused on the fact that the concept of "truth" is an absolute concept. If something is true, it cannot also be untrue. There are so many ways to discuss just the philosophical side of that statement, but I wrote a blog yesterday about that, and the truth is, it was really boring. I mean, it was really boring, even to me. So I erased it in order to write today's blog.
My assumption in this blog is that we believe some things to be true regardless of time, circumstance, or context. If you are a follower of Christ, then this is an easy thing to believe because we believe GOD to be that standard of truth that never changes. Today I want to talk about how that plays out practically.
As Christians, we have gotten really good at telling people what they should not do, or telling them that they are wrong when they do certain things. This tendency to call out what we perceive to be evil is not just an "American Christianity" thing. In Haiti, the church is also very adept at calling out sin.
We have become conditioned to believe that the way truth plays out practically is for us to call attention to the sin of this world and call the world to repentance. Is this part of what we are to do in regards to the truth? Absolutely.
At All Things New, we constantly call out our kids when they do wrong and try to teach them and steer them away from evil. With our kids at home, that is equally true. It is crazy how quickly a child learns how to sin, and it has been a learning experience trying to teach our kids how to turn from theirs and how to live in a way that is pleasing to GOD.
To this point in the blog, there is no problem. As followers of Christ, it is absolutely a part of our calling to tell people when they sin. The problem is that this is exactly 1/2 of how we are to promote truth in the world. When we stop here, we come across as cold, unloving creatures who do nothing more or less than judge people.
The other 1/2 of our reaction to truth in real life should be, actually has to be, o love others with our words and with our actions. Here is what has happened to a world and a church that focuses on only the half of truth that calls people out in their sin:
- In our lives we turn people away from Christ. We say cowardly things like "our actions will speak for us" rather that speaking up or we represent Christ as a judgmental gossip rather than the definition of love and truth.
- In our politics, our answer to everything is "At least he/she (whatever politician we are talking about) did not do this (insert the other politician's perceived weakness)." This leads us to vote for "the lesser of 2 evils." It is not up to us to protect our party's candidate, it is up to us to call out sin when we see it and to love sinners when we see them, not to protect sinners while hating anyone who disagrees with us.
- In terms of righting social wrongs, the church is good at speaking but not as good at acting. It condemns but does not love. What did the church do historically to stop slavery, segregation, abortion, unBiblical marriage practices (including divorce and gay marriage), etc.? There is a fine line of speaking out against the sin, fighting to not let the sin take root, but loving the sinner. It is up to us to find that line and walk it with everything that we have.
The reason I am writing this right now is because both of the countries that we love are at a crossroads. There is a huge election coming up in America, and our country continues to find itself at a deeper and deeper party divide.
In Haiti, President Jovenel Moise is currently ruling by decree because the rest of the government has been disbanded. That is a deeper political discussion than we can get into, but a couple of days ago he issued a decree in Haiti. Among other things this decree legalized abortion, gay marriage, and lowered the age of consensual sex to 15. If you want to learn more about this decree, click here to read the article.
The bottom line is that, yes, the church is supposed to call out sin and be the voice of GOD in condemning things that are wrong. At the same time we are supposed to be the voice of love and the agents of action because our love is based in truth. Where is the church right now?
If we are sitting on the sidelines, we are wrong.
If we are condemning sin without loving sinners, we are wrong.
If we are loving sinners without condemning sin, we are wrong.
If we are standing up for Biblical truth and principles while loving even the people who want to destroy us, then we are doing exactly what Jesus did...And isn't that the point?
Do you want to know how truth acts? It acts differently than everything else in the world. It pushes us to be different, to be better, to be more like Jesus. One of the hardest things for many of us is to be different, but I have to ask myself this...How could we not be?