Standing for truth

We live in a funny world and a funny age. Things ain’t what they used to be. Certain personal and cultural icons have become untouchables.

You dare not say anything about them without incurring the wrath of their fans and followers.

People who try to stand for something seem to be the only ones who are intolerable in an age of tolerance where anything is supposed to be accepted. Political and cultural correctness are the new absolutes and you dare not violate them on pain of opprobrium and social alienation.

There has been an apple-cart turnover where good has become  evil and evil has become good. In fact, those who propose the new morality are militant in their drive to derail traditional correctness which was based on the Judeo-Christian ethic and once formed the general consensus of society.

In light of this new crusade, conditions are ideal for different levels of persecution. In fact, it has already begun. In the pursuit of cultural acceptance and on account of the fear of rejection, many choose the low road of compromise and cooperation instead of daring to stand for the truth.

Never exhort! Never edify! Never counsel! Only concur, comfort, commend, complement, and conform, they seem to say. That’s the world for you! Pardon me, but I do not buy it and so beg to differ. I would not choose to follow that pathway. I am willing to pay the price for being different though not obnoxious.

Among my many heroes is Athanasius who, when told that the whole world was against him replied: Athanasius contra mundo! Athanasius against the world! My other heroes include: Martin Luther who stood fearlessly before the Diet (Council) of Worms (He did’nt eat them but was almost eaten by them).

Luther declared, “Here I stand, I can do no other, I cannot and will not recant, so help me God.” William Carey, the missionary to India, fought against suttee (burning of widows on the same pile as their dead husbands) in India until it was outlawed by the colonial British.

William Wilberforce stood for twenty long years in the House of Parliament in opposition to the slave trade. Mark Hatfield of Oregon dared to cast the lone negative vote among U.S. Governors against Johnson’s Vietnam policies and Douglas MacArthur, the brilliant strategist who stood alone convinced of the need to land at Inchon in S. Korea when all counseled otherwise (he turned out to be right).

Jesus promised his disciples that just as the world hated him for telling it the truth so it will hate them as well when they tell it – the truth, especially about himself and about itself. His followers can never be true witnesses of his unless they are willing to speak the truth clearly, confidently, and with conviction.

The stakes will always be high when you speak truth because it cost him the cross and his disciples their lives, except John who paid with his loss of freedom.

This world is no friend to truth and grace so as followers of Christ we must come to terms with this reality and face the facts. Friendship with the world is enmity with God says the Holy Writ. You must choose which team you are batting for or backing in the competition. You cannot side with both. Anyone who wins does so at the destruction of the other.

It is tragic how people think nowadays. Most people do so with their bowels rather than with their brains. A friend of mine shared with me recently that a new discovery suggested that we may indeed have a kind of brain in our bowels.

Given the place where our emotions seem to be centered when the sympathetic nervous system kicks during times of stress and when deep feelings are aroused in the face of pleasant stimulus, they may indeed have a point.

But the fact is that people no longer seem to think on the basis of cognitive input. Information is filtered through the sieve of their pre-suppositions where it is processed and comes out the way they want it. Perception is all that seems to matter rather than propositional truth.

Even many who profess faith in Christ have been caught in this new paradigm for processing information. As a consequence, we can no longer say, “Thus saith the Lord.” They have to deconstruct everything and fit truth into their own personal framework. Like Satan they would respond to “thus saith the Lord” with “Hath God said?” “Did he really say that?” “Does he really mean that?”

The Pew Foundation recently did research which revealed that of Pastors fifty-five years of age and over only 61% believed in the inerrancy of Scripture. Among those between fifty-five and thirty-five the math was even worse at a low 15%.

People like singer Vicky Beeching with a Masters degree in Theology who declared herself a lesbian wants the church to change its teaching regarding sexuality and bring it into line with the “new reality.” It is as though the church creates rather than articulates biblical doctrine.

Unless there is a return to truth and a defense of it as we once knew it most of the church will become apostate and the whole world will be plunged into Stygian darkness. Jesus calls us to let our light so before men (the world) that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven. Paul, in the words of scripture, exhorts us “to shine as lights in the world, holding forth the word of life.”

Wake up, thou that sleepeth to what is happening, and arise from the dead and Christ will give you life. Do not let the world mess with your mind. Stop where you are and think true truth, God’s truth, and take a stand for what you believe based on scripture concerning the burning issues of our times.

Do not let other people force their truth upon you, especially via the politically correct media and make merchandise of you. In a sense your destiny lies in your hands because it is determined by the choice you make when it comes to the matter of truth.

Alfred Horsford

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