Truth And Friendship — A Declaration of Values
On January 14, 2018 I wrote a post on FaceBook drawing a line in the sand as a basic standard for the relationships in my life. This was prompted by drama and nonsense I saw surrounding politics and other volatile topics (mostly politics). At some point, I decided that if someone wanted to engage with me on these topics, then truth had to be our standard. My standard is to seek fact, truth, and logic to understand objective reality, as opposed to a floaty emotion-based post-modern epistemology.
In the Bible, we read a prophesy where God condemns those who hate objective Truth, and God gives them over to their delusions. In the modern Evangelical Church, postmodernism and getting along generally trump rationality and a plain reading of Scripture. God Himself says that this is evil. I seek to hold to God’s standard, not that of men who care more about getting along than they do about the Word of God.
If I were to rewrite the post, I would edit a few things, such as changing the use of the term “selfishness” to “narcissism” and explaining the difference in brief. But my purpose here is to immortalize a few thoughts from a turning point in my life, and to publish that immortalization without edits.
The unedited version of my post is as follows:
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.