Posted by: minnow | September 29, 2009

Lie #5: We Only Want to Seek, Know, Speak, the Truth

First, I realize today is not Sunday.  I apologize.  I will try harder in the future not to say I will do things unless I know I will be about to do them, or I at least won’t be so emphatic about saying I will do them.  That said–on to my post.

Truly I understand the danger in my calling #5 a lie.  At the same time, I only have my experience through which to understand and my experience testifies to the fact that I have known those in the Church to take the same passages of scripture and walk away with two very different interpretations.  I have also experienced asking a question about a part of scripture that seems to contradict another part of scripture only to be told something to the effect of: “How dare you question God” or more typically the pat answer, “Well you know, His ways are not our ways.  (Sub-text: Now little lady, your finite mind just cannot comprehend what we scholars [and God] understand).”  And yet, these same voices hold fast to their particular interpretation of scripture (and the schizophrenic character of God their interpretations create), refusing to examine any other possibilities despite the fact that those heretical possibilities might actually answer some of the contradictions.

From lay people to leadership I hear the we-only-want-the-truth-and-nothing-but-the-truth mantra loud and clear.  But in fact, what most people want is for all the other  versions of the truth to submit their radical ideas to our tried and true, foundational, reasonable, and Church sanctioned version of the truth.  Truth be told we so desperately want to be right that we immediately treat those who ask questions with rude suspicion.
Just because people have questions and just because they do not accept Christian platitudes as serious answers to those questions, does not give us the right to judge them, curse them, or ignore them.  Jesus did not stop at telling us to love God and love our neighbors.  He went on to tell us to love our enemies as well.  And when He compared loving (forgiving) them to heaping coals upon their heads He did not mean for us to take Him literally.
Seeking, knowing, and speaking the truth are not bad things.  However, all too often we seek  quick and easy answers without even listening to the hard questions.  We know  what we have been told the Bible says but we have not actually searched out what it says for ourselves.   And, way too frequently our truths are spoken  with a demeaning attitude toward those who do not look, act, and sound just. like. us.   We do not just want to seek, know, and speak, the truth.   We want everyone else to know just what we know and think we know everything that is worth knowing.  We want the truth we speak to justify our behavior as well as our words.  And, we really rather not have to work too hard to figure it all out.  It is so much easier that way.
I am truly grieved by the number of times I have participated in discussions where Christians come off sounding like arrogant, know-it-alls yet refuse to address serious questions or explain what they are really saying when using all their Christian-ese.  We like to remind each other that the Bible tells us to be ready with an answer.  In fact, we often use that verse as evidence to prove we are suppose to tell people they need to think like we do.  Sadly, what the verse actually says is that we are to “…always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect.” (I Peter 3:15).  Note: when we are asked we are to be ready and our demeanor ought to be gentle and respectful. 
I do not know about you, but I have not been asked by too many strangers to explain my sense of hope.  In fact most of the relationships in which I have had conversations of a spiritual nature are fairly long standing friendships, and then the majority have pre-existing Christian connections, ie: Church small groups.  I only know of one guy that got away with meeting someone for the first time and telling him to drop what he was doing to follow him.  And, it seems pretty ridiculous to me to think I should have that kind of sway.



  1. made me think again about how people really don’t care what you know – until they know how much care. So cliche – but I have *really* found it to true! 🙂 and ultimately the message of love (2nd greatest commandment) should be the first & forefront message we send to those around us b4 anything else.

  2. Minnow,

    Thanks for tackling such an elusive, “don’t really want to talk about it” kind of subject. Your exacting analysis reminded me of how much better I feel when I choose curiosity over being right. I’ve gotten to know so many different souls that way; people who would never have had the chance to show me another glimpse of God’s goodness if I hadn’t been ready with a question instead of The Answer.

    You are a Warrior Christian Chick — please don’t ever stop. Hope to talk with you soon.

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