Truth suppression is an epidemic. We all do it to some extent – even about silly things. Yet one of the most frustrating things that I have come across recently, especially within the visible Church, is Christians who are dealing in the suppression of the truth. Throughout this blog post I am primarily speaking of Christians.
People, usually the ones feeling threatened by the truth, panic when they are confronted with a truth from the Bible that they have previously thought was false. They then become confused because the Bible appears to contradict them. When they realize that they cannot refute a point of theology with a Biblical argument they are either frightened or embarrassed, and shut down their intellects by retreating into emotional responses. We’ve all seen this happen in numerous topics – it’s not my goal to bring up a specific area of debate at this time.
Part of the problem is that no one knows how to debate anymore. Few know how to formulate a Biblical argument, arrange it into a coherent sentence, and defend it academically by citing Scripture. Typically I find that those who cannot formulate the argument are those who have suddenly found themselves on “the wrong side of the coin” – they can’t defend their view because there is little or no defense for them. They’re wrong.
When this unfortunate soul discovers that they might be wrong they have two choices – they can either lash out in anger and confusion; put aside the questions as “too divisive,” “academic,” or “one of those things we can’t be sure about;” or they endeavor to learn the truth. Sadly many chose the first, foolish option. Why, when we come across something we instinctively disagree with, do we lash out irrationally, passive aggressively, or emotionally? Is it so bad to be proved wrong? If you are wrong about something, wouldn’t you like the opportunity to become right? If you are right about something, why are you scared to explain it to someone else? (I speak to myself, too, in this area) Perhaps we do not understand what we ourselves believe well enough to defend it.
I think the problem here lies in two areas. One is a little more honorable than the other. The first is fear – fear of being wrong, fear of being right and unable to explain it, fear of looking silly or confused. This is a genuine fear. One we must all learn to overcome. Is it not better to look a little uneducated now, for the sake of learning the truths of the gospel of Christ, than to avoid the important questions and so learn them before the throne on Judgment Day? Don’t hide from the argument – find what is true.
The second problem is tied all up in the first. Pride. The business of those who suppress the truth, the business of those who refuse to defend their beliefs in proper debate and discussion, is usually not because they can’t – it’s because they won’t. They won’t defend their views because they do not want to lose. Or, they do not know why they believe them. Even in the Church of Christ this is the case – Christians who remain ignorant by refusing to encounter and understand something that is opposed to what they have previously understood.
So, I challenge you, Christians, do not hide from the truth of the gospel. Learn. Do not allow yourself to dwell in ignorance, do not allow yourself to remain contentedly uneducated when debate sparks. Learn what it is that you believe and why you believe it. Make sure that what you believe is what is taught in Scripture. Do not be afraid to learn that you have been wrong – there is no shame in discovering the truth. Do you not trust that your God, who has known you and who has called you by name, will defend you? Don’t you believe that if you strive after truth, that He will ever lead you into that truth – into joyful, peace-bringing truth? So don’t be afraid – He is your strongest argument. If you are defending the truths from His Word, why would you ever imagine that you are fighting on your own?
“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11