Hard Truths

In our day, we live on a crazy merry-go-round of universal arrogance, enmity, and rage. It spins round and round, with few seeming willing to get off the ride. This makes for little dialog on issues of human experience. Whoever shouts the loudest wins.

On the one hand, in the tolerance and similar movements, we find a viscerally intolerant attitude. It has hit a fevered pitch. Using the terminology of what this idea means, it nevertheless displays a very real hatred. On the other, we often find human bullhorns in opposition. Rather than engaging folks where they are, absolutes are stressed with the same energy and attitude of the general enmity of our times. This too reaches a fevered pitch.

In the Christian view, there are hard truths. These are moral foundations, not malleable putty open to redefinition. They define the true human condition, that of sin and depravity. We hold Jesus at His word, as being the way, the truth, and the life. Those truths are absolute, as unchanging as God’s character and His Word. To turn our backs on them is our destruction. We already see it exhibited everywhere. Yet, like a patient dying of cancer and crying “we don’t have cancer”, we are oblivious to the cause of our own mayhem. Someone must be a voice appealing to reason in this mess. But are these the only hard truths of the Scriptures we follow?

There are other hard truths. We seem unwilling to countenance them. We read radical words, like loving our neighbor, doing good to those who hate us. Blessing our enemies, not repaying in kind those who seek our harm. Repaying in kind, evil for evil? This seems our national interpersonal currency, even among churchy folks. In the gospel, however, there is reconciling grace to the undeserving, its recipients called to exhibit humility and gentleness toward all. Do those things describe us today? 

It is here where the politically correct and “tolerant” say amen. How right you are about “those people”. Those right-wing bigots, those Christians are haters. Meanwhile, with snarled lips screaming the word “love”, the moral structure and fabric of real objective values are being willfully torn down. Any questioning voice is quickly regarded as the enemy and hated opposition, with retaliation by any means necessary. Firing is not good enough, destroying is better. Even those who are the proponents of its own movement must never wonder or waver, lest they suffer the same fate. Sound like hyperbole? Is it?

If we see all our problems in “the other”, “those others”, “them”, there will be little change. As we open its pages, God’s Word calls us to take a penetrating look at ourselves. In the light of His truth, we will not like what we see, no matter what class, group, political spectrum, or people we are. Thankfully, there is hope if we embrace what we are vitally missing. 

The only hope is the unadulterated gospel of Jesus Christ, plus nothing, minus nothing. Genuine hope for a people is repentance and changed hearts. We can receive the joy of light and life in Christ or continue to hate and devour one another.  

Sadly, tragically, we are a generation gone mad having turned its back on the God of truth and absolutes. The only one who ever balanced truth and love perfectly, in complete harmony, was Jesus Christ. Neither attribute or character trait excused the other or obscured the other. In God’s mercy, may He enable us to be like Him.

Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)

Do you suppose, O man—you who judge those who practice such things and yet do them yourself—that you will escape the judgment of God?  (Romans 2:3)

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