Pastor Andy recently led us through the first two priorities of Faith’s Mission Statement. The first priority is ‘Truth without Compromise.’ While on vacation, I had a wonderful time being refreshed by the books of authors I love to read. Several things were highlighted in my reading…I want to share only one. I believe most people would concur that our culture is becoming more arrogant and at the same time more confused about truth. The arrogance in our culture is palpable and that same culture’s lack of ability to discern truth from error/deception is simply amazing to behold. Statements such as, “Only God can judge me,” (wording frequently found in the form of tattoos) or “I am not sure if anyone can know ‘ultimate truth’,” are evidence of this disease. I came across a quote from one of my favorite writers in a footnote in John Piper’s book, Think. G.K. Chesterton wrote over a hundred years ago (1908), “What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays, the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert – himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt – the Divine Reason….We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.” (Orthodoxy, Garden City, NT: Double day, 1957), 31-32. Piper asserts, “The only way pride can be conquered in us is for us to believe in Truth and be conquered by it so that it rules us and we don’t rule it.” (113) That is….Truth without Compromise.
I was recently reminded of a story that I read back in high school called The Country of the Blind. The story was written by the famous British author, H.G. Wells, who wrote books such as The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds. In this story a young mountaineer named Nunez slips and falls down the far side of the mountain in Ecuador. At the end of his descent, he finds a valley, cut off from the rest of the world on all sides by steep precipices. Unknown to Nunez, he has discovered the fabled Country of the Blind. The isolated community prospered over the years despite a disease that struck them early on, rendering all newborns blind. As the blindness slowly spread over the generations, their remaining senses sharpened. By the time the last sighted villager had died, the community had fully adapted to life without sight.
Nunez soon found the love of his life in this valley, but the elders of the village believed him to be foolish and that his ability to see was a disease. They would not allow him to marry his love until his eyes were removed. On the day of his operation he went to a beautiful valley to view his last glimpse of God’s creation. He soon made the hard decision to flee the country of the blind and his love for the world of sight.
I think we live in a world that is a lot like The Country of the Blind. There are those who believe our vision is a disease and that we need to be just like everyone else. Everyday we are tempted to join in the culture that blindly follows the mantra of self indulgence, instant gratification, and hedonism to the highest degree. We need to pray the prayer of the psalmist in Psalm 119—“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
Living according to the Truth without compromise.