Handling The Truth


      There's a scene in the popular movie, A Few Good Men, when the naval attorney played by Tom Cruise demands of Jack Nicholson's marine colonel, "I want the truth," to which Nicholson gives the now classic reply, "You can't handle the truth!" The scene puts me in mind of a great deal that is happening within the church today.  It has always been so to some degree, but I believe it's rising to epidemic proportions now.
      I believe we like to think of ourselves as seekers of the truth, and have developed ministries built around reaching such wherever they may be found.  Like Cruise's navy lawyer, we say we want the truth, but the greater reality for us may be found in Nicholson's colonel's reply.  We simply can't handle the truth.  Not as that Truth, all of it, is revealed in Christ.
     A.W Tozer wrote this over a half-century ago, but it has lost none of its power.  It hit hard then.  It hits hard now.  Maybe even harder.  He says, "Real seekers after truth are almost as rare as albino deer.  Why?  Because truth is a glorious but hard master. Jesus said 'I am the Truth' and followed Truth straight to the cross.  The Truth seeker must follow Him there, and that is the reason few men seek the Truth!"  The destination for all who seek His Truth, is the cross.  We are brought there not as sightseers, but partakers.  It's where the self dies, so that the Truth, Christ, lives.  Jesus promises to be the Truth that sets us free, brings us into His abundance of Life, but the cost to us is the death of self. That is the Truth, and yes, the Truth does hurt us.... to death. Curiosity seekers, those with a passing interest in Him won't go there.  Only those that He is drawing to Himself, and His cross. We will come to church.  We will come to small groups, and a host of other "church" related things.  We will come to many things that find a place around Him, are linked to Him, but few of us will come to His cross.  Truth, glorious and beautiful as Tozer says, is a hard master.  Many have a difficult time handling that.  Are you and I part of the "many?"
     Chris Tiegreen wrote, "God will not take us down easy paths to conform us to Jesus.  He doesn't lead us on a walk in the park, but toward a struggle in the garden of Gethsemane.....and we know when we get there, that He will lead us unto death."  Death to all that is not Him, and Life in all that is Him.....1 John 1:1 records the words of the apostle as concerns the disciples knowledge of Christ.  "What we have heard.  What we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the Word of Life."  For so long, they had heard but didn't hear. Saw, but didn't see.  Touched, but couldn't handle.  Truth was in their midst, but they kept stumbling.  Can we identify?  After the resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, everything changed.  They knew the Truth, and the Truth had made them free.  They knew too that the same cross that their Lord died upon awaited them, literally, in one form or another.  But they could face it all because they no longer shrank back from His Truth, but embraced it.  The fullness of His Truth and Life will never come cheap as it cost Him everything to give it.  It will cost us everything to have it.  Will we have it?  We say we want the Truth.  In Him is all Truth.  He offers it.  Can we handle it?

Pastor O
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   May 2019   
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