A Christian in today's world must be a lover of the truth no matter what.
Information is more readily available to us today than at any other point in history, but it is constantly filled with lies. In the world that we are currently living in, there is constant pressure to respond quickly to problems that we are facing as a society. It can become hard to process what we see, hear and read.
It is increasingly important that we do not spend all of our time just listening to our favorite influencer or media outlet but to the one who can bring truth in an ocean of lies. In times like these, it is most imperative that we die to ourselves. We need now more than ever to kill the idol of self and listen to the voice of truth.
The biggest lie being spread today, widely accepted by both Christians and non-Christians alike, is the lie of the idolatry of self. It makes sense that the world accepts this lie and continues to spread it, but we shouldn't be surprised. The world is supposed to be different from us. They readily accept things that we know to be lies because they don't know any better, but we should be different.
We have experienced truth through Christ, but we are choosing to reject it. The issue here is that the Church has also bought into this lie and it is destroying our witness.
You may be thinking, "Matt, you're saying the idolatry of self is more destructive than racism? You're saying the idolatry of self is more destructive than Christian nationalism?" To that, I would say yes. The reason I believe that is because sin and all that stems from it is born from the idea that we think we know better than God.
It began in heaven when an angel became prideful and wanted to be greater than God and was cast out from heaven. He moved to the garden where his jealousy for humankind — created in the image of God — caused him to spread to them the same lie he believed, tainting humanity.
When we begin to hold ourselves as Lord over our own lives, all of a sudden, the truth of what God says in Scripture becomes too harsh. What do we do from there? We start to change Scripture. We take out parts that we don't like that may seem bigoted and hateful to the rest of the world because we don't want to offend people.
Let me be more specific here. People see transgenderism and call it courageous when we know that our God doesn't make mistakes. Both Genesis 5:2 and Mark 10:6 speak to the fact that God made us both male and female. The Bible also says in Jeremiah 1:5 that the Lord "... Knew you before you were formed in your mother's womb. ..." People see homosexuality and say love is love even though we don't get to choose what love is when there is someone who gave us the perfect example. John 15:13 says, "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends." Christ already showed us true love when he stood in our place, took on our sin and died for us on the cross.
People stand for and defend gay marriage even though God defined what marriage is in Genesis 2:24 when he created Eve for Adam. The point here is that what God clearly defines as good and evil is good and evil. We have no right to say otherwise. When we give our lives to Christ, we choose to die to ourselves daily, pick up our cross and follow Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, "You are not your own; you were bought with a price."
If we truly love people, we must be willing to speak the truth to them in love. I know that the Church has gotten this wrong for centuries, but that is why we need to get it done right. Time is of the essence. Souls hang in the balance.
If we want to be more like Christ, which is our duty here on earth while we wait for his return, our job as Christians is to push forward and stand on the truth of Scripture. The world will hate us. John 15:18, 20 says, "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first … Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also."
Understand this: the Christian walk is a gift for everyone, but it's not for everyone. Some will hear the good news and reject it, but we have to speak the truth no matter where that leads us. We have to look at our Jesus who was the embodiment of boundless grace, love and sacrifice. He was brutally killed knowing that there would be countless people who would reject their need for a Savior. Still, he hung up on that cross and asked God to forgive those who put him there.
To those who would say that you are loving someone by accepting their sin and not speaking the truth about the life that they may be living, you don't love them more than Jesus does. You wouldn't be willing to die for that person. Yes, Jesus was called the friend of sinners. Yes, he sat and ate with them. Those sinners that Jesus extended grace to could just as easily be you or I. As Christians, we love to look out at the world and see the sinners all around us before we would look inward at ourselves and see the sinner within — a sinner that is also in need of a savior.
Jesus knew that people looked on what he was doing with hatred, but he didn't care. His mind was on eternity. He wasn't afraid to come up against the religious leaders of his day and speak the truth wherever he went, and he was ultimately killed for it.
I spoke to Gary Ross, Taylor University's head soccer coach, and asked him what it means to seek out the truth. “Given all the culture wars that we're going through, I think part of the truth and part of pursuing the truth is a recognition that there are some real problems in the world and to whatever extent people disagree with one another there's probably some reasonable points of view on both sides,” said Ross. “I think at the end of the day the objective of a believer is to fill their minds with the truth, and by that I mean the words of God (and) the scriptures that teach truth and I would say that that is when lies are made apparent and that we can identify them as lies.”
I also spoke to Richard Smith, professor of biblical studies, and I asked him why the truth is so important. "There’s nothing more important than the truth, because a common dichotomy that likes to distinguish between truth and relationships is a false dichotomy because relationships are actually part of the truth,” said Smith. “So, no, without the truth there's no possibility for integrity and without integrity, there's no possibility of the self and without self, there’s no potential for a real group and without a real group there's no potential for real community without true community there is no hope for us and this is where the truth of the gospel comes in.”
We live in a sinful world, and most of what we hear these days has been created on a lie — one that sounds good but only leads to death. For believers, the truth is the most important weapon that we have. Without it, there can be no peace. Without it, there can be no reconciliation. Without the truth, there can be no love.
In John 14:6 Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." He is the answer. He is the hope of the world and it's time Christians remembered that. So before you hop on the next bandwagon or post the next popular hashtag, ask the Holy Spirit first for guidance and seek out the voice of truth. Decide this day whom you will serve.
I, Matthew Sakeuh, choose to stand for the truth and I will serve the Lord, no matter the cost.