SEEING REALITY CLEARLY
By Paul Proctor
August 16, 2004
I stepped on the scale this morning to see if I had gained or lost anything overnight. As always, I stood a little forward on it and shifted my weight to the balls of my feet instead of standing flatfooted in the center of the scale. You see, I learned some time ago that when I did that, my weight actually measured about three pounds less. So, whether I gain or lose weight, I always get a little three-pound ego boost by avoiding the center of the scale. This comes in handy when you want to brag to your wife about your progress.
There seems to be a natural tendency in all of us to want to put the best foot forward when assessing ourselves. My pastor often says: �Faith is the ability to see reality clearly.� Unfortunately, under a misplaced faith, we are often the last to recognize our own blindness and loss of discernment. It then becomes necessary for another to step in and show us where we have erred. Let it be known that I have been on the receiving end of such help many times and will likely receive a lot more before my shift is up.
If we are in a position of authority � be it a teacher, preacher, pastor, deacon, elder or just a mentor to a younger Christian, we will, in all probability, pass our error on to others if it is not dealt with promptly and honestly. That is just the nature of sin.
Bill Hybels might teach his readers that Christianity is �contagious� but I tell you that the world hates Jesus Christ and it is SIN that is contagious. Moreover, as we have seen in so many cases of violence and sexual abuse, an untreated victim often becomes the perpetrator. It is no different with false teaching.
For years now I have addressed in my column, many of the false teachings that have gained enormous popularity in the mainstream because the Lord laid it on my heart to do so. And, I have seen firsthand the terrible damage they can do if ignored and left to spread. In fact, scripture repeatedly commands us to rebuke false teachings with the Word of God. To embrace them or even be tolerant of them only endangers the body of Christ.
�And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.� � Ephesians 5:11
What many fail to ascertain in today�s compromised church, is that false teaching almost always accompanies some truth � just enough to lend the wolf credibility and deceive the flock. The wolf doesn�t run at the herd growling, howling and snapping his jaws. He eases in looking humble, loving and kind; acting and sounding just like one of the sheep. Sadly, many shallow and undiscerning Christians today will even go so far as to defend false teachers for their �wonderful and exciting� half truths because of their charming personality and/or because they are so popular among the rest of the herd.
�Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.� � Luke 6:26
Truth + Lie = Half Truth. And, half-truths are nothing but camouflaged lies created by compromise and consensus. This is the Hegelian Dialectic.
Exposing those you love to half-truths is like a father taking his family to their favorite buffet knowing that it has a reputation for occasionally serving food infected with e coli bacteria. Instead of taking them elsewhere, where he knows the food is completely safe, he risks his family�s health and well-being by exposing them to poison in order to give them what they crave and find favor in their eyes.
The buffet�s tasty selections and mass appeal cause him to justify the risk and convince himself that he will be able to spot anything toxic and direct his family members away from all of the dangerous dishes and take only from the good. In his error and the ensuing blindness, he fails to see that his mere presence there legitimizes a dangerous restaurant and puts everyone that trusts his judgment in peril.
Before I stepped down off of that scale this morning, I moved my feet back to the center of it and stood flatfooted. Why? So, I could observe what my real weight was and not see only what I wanted to see just to gain my wife�s praise. Sure, I didn�t like what I saw. But, I saw reality clearly. So it is when we stand in the center of God�s will and not out front with another agenda.
�Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.� � 2nd Timothy 4:2
� 2004 Paul Proctor - All Rights Reserved
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Paul Proctor, a rural resident of the Volunteer state and seasoned veteran of the country music industry, retired from showbiz in the late 1990's to dedicate himself to addressing important social issues from a distinctly biblical perspective. As a freelance writer and regular columnist for NewsWithViews.com, he extols the wisdom and truths of scripture through commentary and insight on cultural trends and current events. His articles appear regularly on a variety of news and opinion sites across the internet and in print. Paul may be reached at [email protected]�
Exposing those you love to half-truths is like a father taking his family to their favorite buffet knowing that it has a reputation for occasionally serving food infected with e coli bacteria.