Posted On March 23, 2018

Standing for Truth in a Feel-Good Culture

by | Mar 23, 2018 | The Gospel and the Christian Life, Featured

Our world tells you and me that our feelings are all that matters. We see this on television each day or on the radio when someone says, “I’m living my truth.” Whenever this statement comes up, I honestly grimace. Growing up in Seattle, I often heard people say, “Well that’s your truth” as if there were more than one truth. In a class on moral philosophy, the professor taught liberal political philosophy as fact, in fact, as the only option for our worldview. To dare, question his perspective was to put not only your grade at risk in his class but also your ability to remain in his class. Even knowing this, one time, I commented under my breath about a point he made that he happened to hear since I was sitting in the second row of the class. Now I usually said nothing at all in this class, but he somehow knew I was a Christian. And this is not a fiction story—this happened where he then came to me right after I commented under my breath and said if I said anything at all contrary to his points, I would be sent post-haste to the dean of the college.

You see in a feel-good culture where “I’m living my truth” the only option for such people is to shut down those who proclaim the truth. We see this repeated almost on a daily basis that so many examples could be summoned. One specific example happened while having a very nice polite, thoughtful, and engaging conversation with a coffee shop manager in Nampa, Idaho about five years ago. Although an atheist, she was interested in the questions I asked about what she believed. She was not interested in the least about my Christian convictions or worldview. She didn’t throw me out of the coffee shop, good for her since I was a regular, but she did make it clear she didn’t want to continue the conversation; especially as it touched issues related to biblical sexuality.

Perhaps you’ve encountered such people who say, “I’m living my truth” and wonder how do I honestly minister to such people? And the thing you have to understand is why you need to minister to them in the first place. The why is so important because if you don’t understand the why you never will engage people with the gospel. In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus explicitly commands us to love the Lord with all we are and to love our neighbor. Jesus, our Lord, and Master, provides the foundation for why obeying the commands is also possible in His death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus is the One who sovereignly replaced our heart of stone and has given us a new heart, with new desires and affections for Himself. And now that we can understand the why behind loving God, we must be persuaded that we must with all we are, as a result of loving God, love people enough to tell them the whole truth from the Word of God and to stand for biblical truth in a feel-good world.

When I begin to talk to people whether that’s a Mormon, Jehovah Witness or an atheist, or even a Christian, I want to know something of the person I’m talking to. That means I ask a lot of questions. Questions are fun. After all, I genuinely want to get to know the person; I’m talking too. Perhaps I don’t have enough time to engage them meaningfully. Maybe they will share something about themselves or how they are feeling in passing, and if it’s appropriate and I have time, I’ll thoughtfully encourage them. If I have more time, I will often ask them more questions. To the Mormon and Jehovah Witness, even knowing their answer before they say it, I will ask them the question, “Who is Jesus?” And that’s a critical question to ask. What you think of Jesus and how you answer my question tells me everything about you, what you believe, what you think of evil, ethics, indeed, your entire worldview.

We as Christians stand for Truth because we believe in One in Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Jesus has not abandoned us, as orphans that’s the central point He makes in John 14. Instead, He has gone ahead to prepare a place for His people in heaven. He also calls us friends, sons, and daughters of God. Standing for truth is not only an urgent need for Christians its part of loving God and loving one’s neighbor to tell people the whole truth from the entire Word that testifies to Jesus.

The more we linger on the glories of the cross, the more we will be inclined to share those glories with others. That is, the more we linger before the face of God in the Word of God, since when Scripture speaks, God speaks, we will tell others what Scripture teaches. We will also tell others of the wonders we find in the biblical text because we cannot hold it back. After all, if I say I love my wife, but then mistreat her, my wife has every right to wonder if I love her and so do others. And the same goes for Jesus. If we say, we love Jesus and yet never speak the truth, or speak the truth in unloving ways; everyone has the right to question whether we truly love God.

So, I want to say as this article wraps up—the reason why you speak as a Christian and engage as a witness of the Risen Christ is because you love God. Therefore you should love others enough to them the whole truth from the entire Word of God. You should also stand for biblical truth no matter the cost. In fact, Jesus says you already should have counted the cost and already be following Him in all of life right now (Luke 9:23).

Whether you are at a coffee shop, in the marketplace, at your workplace, or some other place, my prayer is you will not shrink back from telling others the truth from the Word of God about the person and work of Jesus. No, instead because you know the glories of all that Jesus has done for you, now, I pray you will earnestly, stand up for biblical truth and testify of the glories of Christ through the gospel, from the Word of God to the glory of God. And the more you do, the more you will count the cost and grow in confidence in the transforming power of the gospel. Also, you’ll also aim to live a life that pleases the Lord you love with all you are now and begin today, even after you read this article, to love your Lord by telling your neighbor or neighbors, friends, and coworkers of the glories of the cross of our Beloved Lord Jesus.

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