Jul 17, 2008

Where Humanity and Truth Meet

The issue with us believers who are engaged in political discussion here in America is that sometimes we are willing to bury the truth or simply glose over it in order to advance what we think is most important. We would do so in order to support our preferred candidate or political party or merely to win an argument. Truth-being and truth-telling at all times is a virtue we only espouse when it is convinient.

The danger is that this lack of charater breeds nothing less than bondage. By not being honest and truthful with ourselves in accordance with God's Word, we handcuff ourselves and allow political peddlers and exploiters to lead us blindly to the dark dangeons of servitude. Hidden in the candy of political expedience is the deadly poison of devilish deception.

I see this in our talk of "choosing the lesser of two evils" language. In other words, we would gladly paint over a lie thereby become liars for political expedience. The God that I know from Scripture is a God who is consistent in his resistance of evil. He does not choose to endorse "the lesser of two evils." Nor does he overlook one evil in dealing with another. He deals with evil decisively. His hatred for it is absolute.

So what is this talk of us choosing "the lesser of two evils?" Aren't we by so doing--- co-opting evil, glosing over evil, becoming evil ourselves and therefore enemies of God? If none of the candidates espouses our values, why can't we be simply honest and say that our preferences are simpy that...our preferences as human beings who live in a fallen world and who by virtue of our humanity participate with other human beings in the political process and that it doesn't always have to be spiritualized. Why coat our choices in "lesser of two-evils" language?

The great value of truth lies in its liberating power. Truth and freedom are inseperable. Jesus tells us that knowing truth sets us free (John 8:32). When we are truthful with God, with ourselves, with our family and friends, and in being and in facts, then we are a truly free people.

When we are dishonest with God, with ourselves, and with society around us, regardless of how free we look in the natural, we are in bondage and are seperated. The lie always leads to bondage and seperation from God and from others. Ultimately, it leads to death.

The Hebrew and Greek traditions that shape our Judeo-Christian understanding of the nature of truth taken together give us a comprehensive picture of what it means to be truthful. In the Hebrew or Old Testament tradition, the basis of truth is more in terms of a reliable person rather than it is of mere facts of the case. Reliability is an attribute of God whose truth "reaches to the clouds" (Ps 108:4). God is true. He is consistent both in his loving care for his children (Gen 32:9) and in His implacable hostility against sin (Ps 54:5; 119:151).

Truth is also demanded of humanity as its response to God in obedience to the law and in its inmost nature (Ps. 51:6). Truth is portrayed as the bedrock of all human relationships (Ex 20:16; Dt. 5:20). In Greek literature, the words for truth, (aletheia, alethes, alethinos), depict truth as being facts rather than its moral and personal understanding of the Hebrew thinking... as in Judicial language. The New Testament combines both the Hebrew and Greek understandings of truth. Ultimately, it is personified in the very person of Christ who is "the Way, the Truth and the Life." Jesus points to the knowledge of truth as the key to human freedom. For a follower of Christ, truth must be both moral and factual/judicial in expression. We cannot articulate one without the other. To compromise in any way is a much more grave lie in the sight of our God. Truth must be both truth-being and truth-telling. And yes, truth-being and truth-telling includes what we choose to forward to our friends on-line. Ultimately, where truth and humanity meet, there is freedom.

2 comments:

  1. I'd also argue that one of the problems us native Americans (meaning, born and raised) have is that we have such a high loyalty to our country and our historical tradition that we place it on the same level as Scripture. We have equated "not voting" with an act of sin. As such, we've been led to compromise on many issues. And while compromise is not a dirty, four letter word, it is also not an option when dealing with God's truth.

    Compromise is however in the nature of God, but it never ends well. HOWEVER...the irony is that without God's compromise we would never have had King David.

    I'm guessing your blog post was more of a shot at the "lesser of two evils" slogan than an actual political essay, however.

    Still waiting the Obama edition, lol.

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  2. Thank you for your post Sammy. I have been struggling with the whole "lesser of two evils" thing--working it through in my head--and I agree with what you have written.

    On a different note...

    So excited for your wedding tomorrow! I know that it will be a grat day and that Jesus will be glorified! So happy to celebrate with you and Suzi!

    Blessings,
    ~Amber

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