Do You Contend for the Truth?
Imagine there was a blind man standing on the edge of a cliff, crying out for directions. Now imagine you were down below with a crowd watching all this unfold. How ridiculous would it be if somebody next to you yelled up to the man, "It doesn't really matter which way you go, as long as you're sincere"? In this situation, the right information is vital. It's not about sincerity; it's about truth.
I've learned that the only acceptable religion in America today is that of sincerity -- in other words, it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere about it. Really? Try asking that blind man on the precipice if sincerity is all he needs.
As we learned last week, the apostle Paul noticed there were spiritual quacks giving this kind of wrong direction to people in the church at Ephesus, so he instructed the young pastor Timothy to "preach the word!" (2 Timothy 4:2) -- the absolute truth of God as revealed in Scripture.
Put another way, Paul was saying, "This is not the time to tone it down. If anything, this is the time to amp it up and preach the truth, even if people don't want to hear it."
Jude 1:3 gives a similar exhortation: "Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." That doesn't mean be contentious for the faith, but fight for the faith, for the truth. Nurture it. Hold on to it. Stand firm in it.
The tendency among many Christians is to make it all about how you feel, not about what's true. Now, feelings are valid, but they can never supersede discernment and truth. Our calling is to believe, love, speak, and contend for the truth. I thank God for the men and women in our country who, like Paul, are not afraid to stand up for the truth and preach the Word, even when the world finds their message intolerable.
So what would you say to the spiritually blind person who's on the edge of a cliff crying out for directions? Don't be afraid to preach the Word. Don't be afraid to reject the religion of sincerity. And don't be afraid to contend earnestly for the faith, taking every opportunity to step up and -- with love, humility, and certainty -- tell people the truth.
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