Loving The Truth is Often Bittersweet
“Part and parcel with being made a new creature in Jesus Christ is love for the truth.”
This is something that I don’t write about enough. Loving the truth and upholding the truth can be a rough life. I don’t think about them much, but when I do in a thoughtful way I find myself in tears; those who have lost almost everything over truth. I feel their pain when I read their emails and published articles. We are social creatures and losing all of your friends is not a pleasant experience. It causes us to long for the day when we will gaze upon the personification of truth among enumerable truth lovers.
Today this hits close to home. Someone very dear to me is once again faced with a choice: the comfort of compromise, or standing by the truth at all cost. The Bible has much to say about this. Let me repeat that another way: God has strong opinions about this issue.
2 Corinthians 10:5 - We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, 6 being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Truth is God’s opinion about what makes the world He created tick, and apparently, those who know more about life than He does are very annoying to Him. Equally annoying to Him is the idea that His truth is ambiguous and not near to all. Listen to what Moses had to say about that:
Deuteronomy 30:11 – “For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? ‘ 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it? ‘ 14 But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil. 16 If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you today, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his rules, then you shall live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land that you are entering to take possession of it. 17 But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, 18 I declare to you today, that you shall surely perish.
God doesn’t appreciate the implication that His truth is not near to us—that it is ambiguous and difficult to ascertain—that we need orthodoxy from a host of mystic academics. No, and by the way, we can’t blame those who we chose to listen to in the end; the truth is near to all of us—we are responsible for the sum and substance of our own lives.
Part and parcel with being made a new creature in Jesus Christ is love for the truth. The apostle Paul, in his apocalyptic letter to the Thessalonians, warned that those who perish have not “received the love of the truth.” Receiving this love also comes part and parcel with an attitude: read about Daniel’s three friends and the bunch in Hebrews 11.
This attitude might also be influenced by something believers know about God. When God made a covenant with Israel as stipulated in the Book of the Covenant, and they broke it with defiant flare while Moses was on Mt. Sinai receiving the “tablets of the testimony,” we observe the following scene when Moses returned:
Exodus 32:25 – And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. 29 And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.”
Christ said God’s word is truth, and ONLY truth sanctifies (John 17:17). Sanctification is separation from the world, and hence, when separation occurs—it is often difficult to distinguish naive Christians from worldly false confessors. A stand for the truth is seen as fanaticism. Perhaps rock legend Alice Cooper said it best:
Drinking beer is easy. Trashing your hotel room is easy. But being a Christian, that’s a tough call. That’s real rebellion!