Dr. Smith rocked my boat. He punched holes in my life preserver. He created turmoil in the sea of my mind. He challenged the religious faith in which I had been immersed since childhood. He tore my interpretation of the Book (Bible) to shreds. I shall never forget his unrelenting assault upon my presumptions and ignorance during my first year in seminary. Today, I am so grateful for his persistence in forcing me to seek truth rather than falsehood; to deal with objective fact rather than simply subjective feeling. He freed my mind from bondage—bondage to lies, falsehood, fiction—and set me free to think, to study, to delve into what is true and what is false, and not to settle for anything less, both in my spiritual life and life in general.
This experience comes to mind this morning as I ponder our present-day dilemma of 24/7 media coverage of events, our technological advance via Facebook, Blogs, etc., the political divide, and the life of the contemporary church. A “Dr. Smith” is needed in all of these areas—to push for the facts, for the truth, for what is real and what is unreal. Scott Peck in his book, “People of the Lie,” suggests that while evil manifests itself in many ways, the common identifier is the “Lie.”
We are all People of the Lie. The story I told my children forty years ago has been exaggerated over the years—and is no longer the Truth. My additions (consciously or unconsciously) through the years make it fictional (a lie!). The Church continues to ignore scientific fact and thus perpetuates lies (that which is not true, or real, or objective). Politicians excel, especially in an election season, in subordinating facts, truth, and reality. TV pundits exaggerate every happening, every situation (for higher ratings) and thus evade the Truth and produce a good deal of fiction (and friction among their viewers).
Truth is a reality. There are still Facts. We must work hard to discover them these days, to be sure, but they are realities. I want to rock the boat, punch holes in the life preservers, create turmoil in the minds of people. I want to challenge the untruths. It is extremely dangerous to allow ourselves to become People of the Lie. The following quotes from Adolph Hitler (who I have never quoted before) should be a clarion call to all of us to use our minds, to think things through, to deal with facts, to seek the Truth in all matter of things.
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.
Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.
The great masses of the people will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.”
|Truth is as real as every dawning of a new day.|