Offended By Facts
I often see people who will get angry if you point out objective facts to them that contradict some position they prefer. I have been doing some research for a video project, and today, I was feeling quite disturbed at the thought of loosing people I care about, because I refuse to engage in polite lies, and pretend Reality is something other than what it is.
Then I was scrolling through my FaceBook feed and found something that I had shared with my friends and family on there exactly one year ago (14 Jan 2018). I want to share this with my fans here now, unedited.
I want to let all of my friends know this.
Ben Shapiro put it well when he said that if he states a fact, and you get offended by it, then that’s just you being offended by the facts. He is also noted for his statement “Facts don’t care about your feelings.”
I am not willing to hold back truth to preserve people’s feelings. I am looking to Jesus. He loved people very much, and He treated most people with a great deal of respect, and He loved people too much to withhold the Truth from them when He had it to offer.
If you say something that is not true, I may point out the error. I will do my best to be tactful and respectful. To expect me to not speak Truth is a price that is too high to pay for any relationship.
I have had people say that they are compassionate, and that they essentially care more about people than about Truth. But if you are not willing to speak Truth, as Christ did, then how can you say that you love others, or you are following Christ?
I had a friend post something in the past few days about an alleged quote from a politician. When I pointed out that there was no evidence that he said anything like that, she doubled-down and accused me of being a racist. She got offended and upset that I dared to point out facts and evidence, and accused me of hating black people, and said that at least I wasn’t posting pictures of suffering Haitians or AIDS-sufferers in Africa … yet.
Anyone who knows me or has spent more than an hour with me knows that I am not a racist. If they think that I am, then they are delusional. With regards to people in Africa suffering from AIDS, I recently worked in an HIV research lab, and I would love to work in one again. When working to find a cure for this disease, the first thing that comes to my mind are faces of African children suffering in poverty.
I am sorry that so many people are offended by reality, but reality is not going to change simply because you or others pretend that it is different from how it actually is. That goes for politics, religion, science, and everything else. You can have your personal preferences, like chocolate ice cream vs vanilla ice cream, but the atomic structure of the Universe isn’t just magically going to change because you wish it were different.
I have seen “Christians” and Leftists alike fall into the delusion that if they feel or believe something enough, it must be True. People talk about “their truth”, but that is a contradiction in terms. Truth is Truth. If you don’t like the Truth it will not change for you simply because you are offended by it.
As for being loving and kind, I see it as my duty to at least put the Truth out there and make it known. Yes, there is a time and a place, but too many people walk on eggshells, never share the Gospel, and never contradict anyone for fear of losing that person. If that is not selfishness in the most evil and arrogant form, then I don’t know what is. Because I love people, I will tell the Truth, and if I don’t ever share the Truth with people, then I am the most unkind person to ever walk this Earth.
If I say something, and you think I am wrong, feel free to comment, with respect to proper social etiquette (taking your turn, and giving the other person their turn to talk, etc.) But likewise if you say something that is not True, such as a reference to the Feminist “Wage Gap” or the idea that the Moon is made of cheese, I will respectfully try to correct your misunderstanding.
If however, you do not want to discuss a certain topic, do not bring it up. If you choose to bring it up, don’t be offended that someone else corrects you with facts. It’s not right to bring up a topic that you don’t want to discuss, and then get mad at others for responding to it.
And lastly, don’t expect me to walk on eggshells for you. If you want me to withhold the Truth from you, and to keep silent about objective reality, then it is not going to happen. If you choose to walk away from me as a result, then that is your choice, and if you choose to live in a lie, then I am not going to cater to your delusions.
At the end of the day, I am concerned about the standard of my own life, and of following Christ. If family or friends walk away from me for having heard the Truth, then that is okay. At least they will have had the Truth, and will be able to do with it what they will. If they are given Truth, they will be better for it, and if they are not saved, then at least now they will have the Gospel, and I will not have to live with the burden of never having told them, if they should pass.
As for my life, those family and friends who want to hear the Truth will stick around, and those will be the people in my life, and my life will be far richer for it. And that is a gift greater than any that any man could ask for.
One of the comments I made that I want to clarify is the comment about selfishness. I talked about Christians who cater to people’s feelings out of fear of loosing that person. I often see this during “friendship evangelism” where a Christian will “befriend” a nonbeliever simply so they can covertly proselytize to them, but then the Christian doesn’t want to loose that person by offending them, so they never share the Gospel, and never contradict that person in any meaningful and substantive way. (In the hopes that they might be able to convert that person later.)
There is a lot that I can say about “friendship evangelism” but there is more than I can say here. Sufficient for now, we should be friends with unbelievers (to and extent), but there is a dishonesty in covertly making friends with someone, not because you see value in the friendship itself, but just so that you can convert that person. Also, this is not how the Gospel was spread in the New Testament. I have never seen any place where an Apostle made “friends” with someone for three years, gave them pizza, and then one day they magically converted because the Apostle smiled and was nice, but never shared the Gospel.
What we typically see in the New Testament is something like The Parable of The Sower. The farmer goes out, and scatters seed in his field, throwing it across the ground by hand so that it spreads.
The Apostles likewise went through the Ancient World proclaiming a message, including in places like open forums. People accepted or rejected the Gospel, and those who came to believe received Christ, and were baptized. They did not make a career out of trying to convert a particular individual, as far as I have ever seen.
Now, that does not mean that there is no room to fight for one person. There have been many wives who came to Christ after marrying their husbands. Leslie Strobel, Lee Strobel’s wife, fought hard for him in prayer, after receiving the LORD. Paul Washer, a very famous preacher, stayed with a man in Alaska (from what I recall of the story) for several weeks while the man was dying, and the two studied the Scriptures together, so that the man could understand the Gospel and receive Salvation before his death.
Now this brings me to selfishness. We live in a Culture that has been overly influenced by a man named Kant who held to Altruism, the idea that the highest moral ideal was for a man to do an act which harmed himself, and yet benefited others. Kant’s philosophy has become so saturated in our minds, that it even biases Bible translations away from the proper meaning of the text (I can add links at some point to this regard, if needed).
The reality is that there is a good kind of selfishness, and a bad kind of selfishness. Going to the gym, or starting a business are both incredibly selfish things to do, because the primary person who benefits is the individual. Right now, I weigh 280 pounds, and I have started going to the gym with a friend so that I can regain control over my life.
The man who starts a business is presumably providing a service to other people, with the goal of making money to take care of himself. So lots of people, especially himself, are better off for it.
Compare this to the belief that self-destruction for the sake of others is the highest moral ideal.
Rather, I would argue that this is not the case. By going to the gym, I am primarily seeking to help myself, and as a side-effect, I am helping my buddy who goes with me to the gym as well. Thirdly people around me will benefit from my fight to be healthy, as will the employees at the gym who get paid for the fact that my friend and I are using their services.
The philosopher Ayn Rand called this good kind of selfishness “rational self interest.”
Or I could simply go to the hospital, and tell them to cut out all of my organs and give them to anyone who may be in need, regardless of whether or not they have taken care of themselves.
Despite the common usage, Altruism is a particular philosophy, it doesn’t just mean doing good to others.
Now let’s talk about the bad kind of selfishness. In the case of the Christian who refuses to ever share the Gospel, or contradict someone, they are refusing to follow Christ out of fear that they might experience some discomfort.
That is the worst kind of selfishness. They are disobeying Christ, and denying the fact that objective Truth exists, preferring to cater to people’s feelings.
Sadly, it is probably a good thing that most “Christians” never share their Faith. The reality is that most of them simply do not believe what the Bible says, and are in reality unconverted church-goers, if that. If someone truly believes what the Bible says about Creation, Heaven, Hell, Sin, and Salvation, it would be almost impossible to shut them up. If they do not believe the Scriptures, then I would rather they never share their “faith” lest they give Christ and His followers a bad name.