Be a truth teller

By David de Bruyn

Many years ago, a bold pastor, named AW Toser, wrote the following, The contemporary moral climate does not favour a faith as tough and muscular as that taught by our Lord. The delicate, brittle saints being produced in our religious hot houses today, are hardly to be compared with the committed believers who once gave their witness among men.
 
The fault lies with our leaders. They are too timid to tell the people the whole truth. They are asking men to give to God that which costs them nothing. Our churches these days are filled, or one quarter filled, with the soft breed of Christian that must be fed on a diet of harmless fun to keep them interested. About theology they know little. Scarcely any of them have read one of the great Christian classics. Most of them are familiar with religious fiction and spine tingling films. No wonder their moral and spiritual constitution is so frail. Such can only be called weak adherence of a faith they never really understood.

People like Toser are in short supply. It is rare to find people who will tell you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It is rare to find pulpits that will preach the whole council of God, whether it will offend the members - or the tithers to be more specific - or not. It is rare to find Christians willing to speak the truth in love to one another, correcting, rebuking and exhorting as necessary. Our culture has told us that niceness is godliness. If you've not offended anyone ever, you must be a very godly person.
 
But scripture doesn't bear that out. It promises that people who tell the truth will not always be celebrated and loved. Jesus said, And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.  Jesus told us what to expect if we were as truthful as the prophets. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad for great is your reward in heaven for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
 
What hard truths have you held back from your neighbours, your colleagues, and your family? The truth of the gospel that they need? The truth that Jesus will reign and that they will bow the knee one day - either as rebels about to be punished, or as His brethren? Does fear, timidness, and pleasing people keep you back from telling your family, your neighbour or your colleagues what they need to know from scripture? Does fear of bad consequences keep you silent?

We need more believers like AW Toser, like Athanasius, like Luther. We need believers like Daniel, like Jeremiah, like Joseph, who had unwavering faith in God's word. Speak it, whether or not your audience will like it, and speak it even if you won't see all the promises come to fruition in your lifetime.  That is what it is to be a truth teller.

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