“Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.” -Matthew 23:24
A dear friend sent me an article from Ravi Zacharias called, “Why Oxford Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year Matters” Ravi is one of my favorite people and this was a timely article to read, because I am forever dealing with issues of moral relativism and subjective truth.
This fits in well with something I’ve been meaning to address, the scary, horror inspiring world of faith as seen in the internet world. Don’t get me wrong here, I have a few dozen really strong Christians on the internet that I lean into relentlessly. But there are hundreds of others who break my heart at the very least, or outright attack me at worst.
When I first started blogging I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of abuse, and personal attacks, not so much from atheists, but from the churchian world. I live in a bubble! I proudly, happily live in a little bubble. I’ve seen a lot of darkness in my life, but this may well be one of the worst, most soul rotting thing I’ve ever born witness to. It sent me into a tail spin of repentance and despair, as in “Lord, I am so sorry. What have we done to your church?!”
Ravi uses a word I love, “demonetization,” not having anything to do with demons, but it might as well. Demonetization is really the act of stripping a currency unit of its status and value.
That’s how I have felt over and over again, like a little currency unit completely stripped of its status and value.
You’re a liar is a frequent one, you’re insane is another, deceiver, Father of all lies, Jezebel, bearing false witness,etc,etc, hundreds of accusations over the past few years that I have had to unpack, ponder and ask, is it true? And later, what is truth?
What is truth, indeed.
In crazy upside down world, everyone’s a liar, everyone who might challenge our way of thinking or threaten our perception of reality. The very fact that a person’s ideas, faith, or views could be perceived as threatening to our own sense of reality, is evidence that we are living in a post-truth world, a world where truth is totally subjective, malleable, and so must be fought for like territory. There is no solid foundation beneath our truth in which to rest ourselves.
We are not firmly rooted in Truth, that ground is moving all around beneath us, and people are scared. We live in a world full of fake news, mediated reality, endless narratives, lots of people out there with their hands self defensively over their ears, people so terrified of being deceived, they literally haven’t got the ears to hear the truth…..or the trust to recognize truth when they see it.
Ravi says, “Caring not for truth but for effect and for the manipulation of all thinking, their victory is pyrrhic.”
Pyrrhic means, “victory won at too great a cost to have been worthwhile for the victor.” An empty victory, like playing capture the flag. When you win one of these battles for “truth,” all you really have in your hands is a little piece of cloth. That piece of cloth is actually a lie, just a bit of cloth we have metaphorically assigned worth and value too, kind of like we do with the paper we call money. A battle for truth that always ends in a lie.
“Demonetization is really the act of stripping a currency unit of its status and value.” That is what we often do to our fellow Christians, we eat our own and strip them of their value as currency in the Body of Christ and we do this all while praying feverishly, desperately for revival. Oh Lord help us, and he sends us flame after flame….that we promptly snuff out with our fear and attacks.
I have to forgive them, over and over again, everyone who accuses me, I have to set aside my offense and see the fear lurking there, and to remember we are living in a post truth world. I have to forgive all these imperfections of human nature, these symptoms of living in a dead and dying world.
I have to forgive because Jesus Christ first forgave me. That is Truth, that is the cornerstone that lays the ground firm beneath our feet.
As my blogging friend Paul used to say, “that’s the only Truth that matters. All else is just background noise.” Cheers, Paul, truth indeed.