Wednesday, October 5, 2022

The Whole Truth

This discussion about prophecy really highlights how our relationship with truth has changed so much, over thousands of years, yes, but even over a relatively short amount of time. 

When we read the Bible, we encounter many prophets sharing many hard truths, pronouncing judgments and periods of waiting and stories of wilderness to the people of God. But not once do we see the people of God speaking back and saying, "You missed something" or "But what about...?" Not once do we see someone arguing, saying that the prophet doesn't have his foundational facts straight or that he hasn't taken into account some human factor involved. 

The prophet speaks and the people recognize themselves in the prophet's words, and they either repent or they don't, but no one is arguing whether or not what the prophet said is true. 

Fast forward to today, and we have all kinds of arguments about why what the prophet speaks isn't really "true." It can't be truth unless it's the whole truth for us, unless it takes into account every single little thing that we think we know about...well, anything. 

Someone speaks truth, and we tell them that they don't know the whole story. That they don't know us and what we've been through and what we're still fighting. That they don't know how hard we've worked to get this far. That they don't understand our reason for doing the thing that we're doing, whatever it is. 

What you say might be true, but it's only a portion of the truth; there's so much more to the story than what you're proclaiming, and unless you include all of it, you're wrong and nobody has to listen to you. 

If you say that I'm a sinner, but you don't affirm me for not sinning today in the same way that I sinned yesterday, then I can dismiss whatever you've said because obviously, you don't know me and you don't know my sin and you don't know my story. What you're saying, then, can't apply to me because what you're speaking is not my whole truth; it's just part of it. A part that, we might say, you're nitpicking because it's somehow important to you. 

Then, we start shouting for you to take the plank out of your own eye before you start digging at the speck in mine. 

And it sounds like moral ground. It really does. That's what our world has convinced us about truth - that nothing is true unless it's the whole truth, even if it happens to be fully true. 

In today's world, truth isn't a fact; it's a story. And without every little detail, it's not truth. 

It seems silly, then, that this is our sticking point with prophets. Because isn't that the same thing with the Gospel? 

Our truth is not a fact; it's a story. 

Perhaps there is more common ground here than we think. 

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