The Whole Truth
Another scandal, another zillion comments ripping through the faith once delivered.
As is often the case, I’m right in the middle of it.
A writer must speak truth to power, after all, or they are nothing but a parrot with a keyboard.
The problem is that none of us are telling the whole truth.
A partial truth is the seed of a complete lie.
We’re getting better about telling the truth about corruption and hypocrisy in our ranks, but that’s not where the truth about Christians ends.
Many among us are indeed shallow or doctrinaire or unkind….but that’s not where the truth ends.
A local church pastor died a couple of days ago.
You’ve never heard of him and you never will.
His memorial service will be large because he spent fifty plus years in one place ministering to a few at a time.
It took generations to build attendance for his homegoing…generation after generation of baptizing, marrying, burying, preaching, teaching and caring.
An anonymous man tilling the fields of the Lord.
The fruit of that anonymous labor has ministered greatly to me…but he never knew that.
I’d never heard of him until he died.
He represents to me what the local church really is and what the local pastor really does…and that’s as true as all the scandals you read about here.
The other partial truth we embrace is that Christian are idol loving, narrow minded, science rejecting, gay hating, sectarians who are concerned about nothing but protecting their religious and social turf.
They are also the people who have kept me alive for the last few months.
They are also the ones who give sacrificially to their neighbor next door and across continents.
They build and have built more colleges, hospitals, and homes then any group in the history of the planet.
They believe in the Scriptures and try to follow their Lord…so they work honestly, love their families and neighbors, and care deeply about the country that provided them with the opportunity to do it all.
They believe in Jesus and in Jesus name they have been the quiet moral and ethical backbone for everyone else in the world.
The true Christian faith isn’t represented by celebrity preachers or well know converts.
It’s represented in the heart of the neighbor who brought you dinner when you were sick…after putting in their eight hours on the job.
It’s represented in the hearts of millions who support children here and abroad who don’t have the resources their own children do.
It’s represented in the hearts of those who use vacation time to go to foreign countries to dig wells and plant crops and those who go next door to check on you.
It’s represented in the heart of that pastor who is not “successful”, but will be faithful to be there to care for you.
It’s represented by all the pastors and lay people alike who hate the scandals and the shame because they smear the name of our wonderful Lord and stall the work of His kingdom.
There…that’s closer to the whole truth.