Everyone else has written about this topic, so I might as well join them.
I keep reading about how we who call ourselves Christians just need to love this man more. That we have no right to call what he’s done right or wrong. I keep reading that somehow by me not agreeing with his lifestyle choice, I’m judging him. We just need to love more. Love, love, love. It’ll solve everything.
Yes, we must love. It’s by our love that people will see Jesus. But in this case, I see the issue being more about truth than love.
So what is truth and what is love? That is a question this generation is wrestling with. And I probably won’t solve the problem in this group of words, but I hope to stir your thinking.
What is truth? How do we know truth when we see it?
For wording sake, let’s start with some examples.
This crayon is Blue.
There is a true North.
There is a True story.
Truth is true whether we choose to believe it or not. Truth isn’t true because I believe it; it’s true because, well, it’s true.
I could take off the blue wrapper of this crayon and put a red one on it, paint the tips and call it red. I could write a blog post about it and put in on the front page of all the tabloids and force everyone around me to agree that this crayon is red. Would that change the true color of the crayon?
I can say “Who decided this way was north?” and head off South to find the North Pole. I can believe with all my might and get a whole bunch of other crazies to believe me that we will find the North Pole while going south. Will I really find the North Pole? Does that change what direction is north?
Here comes the sticky part. Or maybe not, depending on where you are. There is a true story. One that actually happened.
A baby, born of a virgin entered this world swaddled in cloth and placed in a manger over 2000 years ago. He grew up and lived a sinless life. His birth and life mission had been foretold in the ancient scriptures. All creation held its breath when He walked the streets of Jerusalem. The curtain of the Temple tore against the grain in conjunction with the rocks that split open the moment this Man said the words, “It is finished.”
What was finished? Man-kind having to work our way back to God. The plan of Redemption that was set into motion the moment God breathed the breath of life into Adam’s lungs and began to take shape as Eve tasted the first bite of forbidden fruit.
It is finished. Redemption paid for in full. Our debt extinguished. All we have to do is receive it.
Receiving is hard. My youngest child went outside to play recently. He came back five minutes later covered in mosquito bites. We didn’t have any OFF spray so my husband went to the store and got some. When I saw my son outside again, I shouted out the window, “Zach, did you spray yourself down?” He did, but I laughed as I thought about a great life analogy. I wondered if he actually sprayed himself down, or just because Daddy bought the spray he thought he was covered.
He must spray on the OFF to be protected by it. Truth is the same way. We have to receive it, embrace it, spray it on us to be protected by it. My son couldn’t just walk around with the OFF can tucked under his arm and expect mosquitoes to flee at the sight of it.
And we can’t just walk around town with our Bible in tow, and be walking in the truth. Have we received the message of salvation and redemption? Do we smell like we’ve doused our self in the rich aroma of Christ?
Truth. The belt of Truth is part of our spiritual armor we are given to wear. A belt holds your pants up. The belt of truth holds up all the other great shining armor. Do we know the truth? What is it?
Before Jesus was crucified, He prayed for His followers and His future followers. He prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
The Word of God stands as the eternal truth. Not because I believe it. Because it is.
Because the Word of God is true, I can love my brother while standing on this truth. For love walks hand in hand with truth. The much quoted 1 Corinthians 13 love chapter has a line that says, “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” We are also exhorted in Ephesians to “Speak the truth in love” to one another.
Imagine you’re walking down a busy street. Someone you don’t know is talking on the phone and inadvertently begins to walk right in front of a speeding Mack truck. What do you do? Probably yell, “Hey, there’s a truck coming! Mister, MOVE!” But what if you can’t get his attention and you must clobber him and throw him back against the curb, almost getting hammered by the Mack truck yourself.
What is the truth in this situation? A truck is plowing down the road.
Did you act lovingly even though you risked potentially hurting the man and yourself?
Pretend you respond in a different way. What if, you saw the whole scene but instead thought, “Well, who am I to tell this person they shouldn’t walk in front of this truck? I don’t want them to judge me…”
Did you act in truth? In love?
It seems to me this is what we’re doing to Bruce. He has tried to put a red wrapper on a blue crayon and convince all humanity that he’s red. And he’s convincing some.
What’s the truth here? We have a man in need of Jesus, and yes, one that we need to love. How would Jesus love this man? Show him the reason he needs a Savior. Guess what that means. Yes, show him he has sinned. We all have. Until we see the depravity, the sinfulness of our self, we cannot see the need of forgiveness and Grace and ultimately, a Savior.
We also know the end of this life will one day come…a Mack truck is plowing down the road. Only those who know Jesus as their Savior will be spared.
So if we continue to say what is wrong is OK, no one will see they need Jesus! How is that loving? I can say what he has done is wrong. Not because it is my standard he has broken, but God’s standard. How do I know God’s standard? I read it, in the Bible. The Bible exposes the heart of God. Sometimes God lets people continue in sin, but we see what happens because of it. God allowed David to take many wives, but was his life the better for it?
We have to know truth to be able to defend it in this generation. It’s our belt, and otherwise, we’ll be caught with our pants down and we won’t even know it!
Thanks to Flickr for the feature photo that I re-sized to fit this space