Monday, March 10, 2014

The Honest to God Truth

Has hypocrisy in the Evangelical community increased in the last few decades, or does it just seem that way because of a ‘real time’ media ever ready to pounce on our shame? Not surprisingly, young evangelicals have embraced authenticity as a core value.

What does it mean to be authentic? To be honest about your weaknesses. But we know that sharing 'honest' feelings is a subjective reality, and not always positive (Phil. 2:14); and Paul said, “Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Eph. 4:29).

Where's the balance? While honesty is an essential element of our intimacy, subjective human experience must always occupy an inferior position to objective truth which transcends experience. Honestly, “apart from Christ, I can do nothing; there is nothing good in me” (Jn. 15:5; Ro. 7:18). Objectively, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). And that's the honest to God truth!


  1. I have seen too many cases where church leaders were more concerned about appearing righteous than being righteous. That never ends well! The Church is an organism, not an organization, so we must deal with our shortcomings for the good of the entire body lest the "sickness" spread. It should be a place where we can confess our faults one to another and pray for one another and be healed. I like the way one pastor explained it: "If how things look is what matters most, then how things are will never be dealt with."
    Love and Prayers,

  2. Thank you Peter. Self-deception is indeed our greatest enemy! Thinking more of ourselves than we should, and looking good (something that didn't work for Adam and Eve--those gorgeous fig leaves--anymore than it will work for us.! thanks for sharing your insight. Greg

  3. Good morning Greg,
    Good post! I think one of the "idols" that we have both in the church context and in the world, is that of "looking right." I think there is a linkage of that to the sin of the pride of life. I think that churches believe in the power of the redemptive story for individuals (as long as it is someone "out there"), but have unbelief in it for an organization. When was the woman at the well most powerful? Not when she was trying to hide what everyone else already knew; but when she told the truth about herself and the truth about Jesus (Come meet the man who told me everything I ever did.). That is authenticity! And the village came to Jesus and believed for themselves. That is the power of a redemptive story!
    What is important in all of this is not just to blab the truth (which can be a different form of gossip), but to be intentional about the telling so that it is redemptive. Truth brings freedom. Submitting that freedom to God brings the opportunity for a greater redemption than just the moment and just the single person.
    Thanks again!
    Larry Q

  4. I think the key distinction is that the 'truth about herself' did not set her free, but the 'truth' about Jesus. we have to be honest with ourselves before we can repent. we have to be honest with each other to the degree that it is to move them toward truth of redemption. Sharing our painful stories with each other can be redemptive, but it can also be self-serving. As you rightly point out, is to be intentional. Good word, Larry. thank you. Greg