Sunday, June 4, 2006

Truth Handlers

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.”
(2 Cor. 4:2)

“Truth is always objective; but truth is never only objective. It is held hostage to the virtue, sleight, ambition, flaws, sins, and passion of the individuals who encounter it.” This observation of our son, Andrew, concerning the human handling of truth, gives us the main reason why, when spoken or written, it does not always accomplish all that it is capable of. According to the cited verse in 2 Corinthians, the Word of God—all Truth—can be associated with both craftiness and deceitfulness. Truth presented harshly, with mean-spiritedness, can very easily turn the hearer away, so that he or she is more persuaded by what is false, simply because of a more agreeable delivery. This is naive and shallow, I will admit; but then there are many naive and shallow people.

Likewise, truth put forth in a haphazard, lazy way may become trivialized in the mind of the one who hears it. There are those whose judgment of information is based, to a great extent, on the attractiveness of its packaging. Therefore it should be communicated with the best possible vocabulary the speaker or writer is capable of.

Of even greater concern, however, is the crime of using truth for the purpose of cruelty, derision, or intimidation. Such a person would procure what is good and fine, only to prostitute it on the altar of opportunism. One should always remember, however, that in such a case, Truth itself is never soiled…only the intellectual hack.

God forbid that we should traffic in unlived Truth.
--Harry A. Ironside (1876-1951)

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