Church Truth

Lies in the Church by Angela J. Kaufman

I understand that as Christians we all profess to each other that “God is Truth”, but we still struggle to follow such a basic concept of who God is and how Truth relates to our human existence. This book is not about those who can see the truth about themselves. The lies we will be talking about are of such intense evil that we must deal with the problem and often there is nothing else to do but remove them completely from the body of Christ.

A word of caution is needed.  We have preconceived ideas of how an evil person looks and acts.  But M. Scott Peck, in his book, People Of The Lie, reminds us, they “were not crazy as we ordinarily think of the word.  They were not babbling and demented.  They were coherent and self-possessed, holding down responsible jobs, making money, apparently functioning smoothly in the social system, and hardly identifiable on superficial inspection as the least bit deranged.” This certainly makes the task more difficult, but not impossible.
Bible text - I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE

We have divided the book Lies in the Church into four parts. First, we will look at the many forms lies take. Second, you will be given tools to find the truth. Third, we will look at tools to help us heal.  And lastly, we will consider how to move on from the present.
               
Let’s begin our journey. It is going to cost you and me.  If you become involved in dispelling a lie you may get hurt. If you step-up and share the truth to help mend a broken relationship you
may get hit by the debris of their anger. This is the cost. This is the truth. Isn’t that what Jesus said?  “Count the cost” Don’t follow Me half-heartedly or casually. Luke 14:25-33 NIV.   

The stakes are high - are you ready? The danger is evident - are you willing? The cost is great – are you committed?  If so, come along and find healing and restoration as only a life of following God can provide for you and for the world.

CHURCH TRUTH

PART I: LIES

If you’re going to be a Christian, a big If, you’re going to get into trouble for it.  You can no more avoid it than water can avoid being wet.”
- John M. Miller, The Contentious Community

" In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."
-John 16:33b NIV

The following survey propelled my research. According to an online poll by Christianity Today, almost 90 percent of people attending church today say they have been hurt by the church at some time in their lives. Here is what the numbers revealed.
                “Have you ever been hurt by the church?”
                                Yes, and I left that church: 47%
                                Yes, and I stayed at that church: 42%
                                No: 11%”
The yeses voice an incredible concern. What is going on? Where is the source of this pain? What can be done about it? You may have been in situations that had you completely baffled. (That’s what lies do -  keep us confused).  You may have wondered out loud to God “What is going on?” You have sensed injustice and have longed to be an agent of peace and justice.  Yet, by sharing the truth you may have found yourself being an agent of conflict instead. If you tell the truth, remember the potential cost?  More pain!

The Progression from Truth to a Lie

There is a pattern that occurs when lies are told.  It is subtle, of course, but deadly in the end.  Typically, it happens in three steps.
First, we are told a truth.  A half truth is a lie.
Second, there is a half-truth.
Third, the conclusion of jumping to an outright lie.  
Watch for the progression of truth to half-truth then to the outright lie.

Let’s look at a Biblical analogy of this progression.  In Proverbs, it says, “With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.  All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life ” (v.7:21-23 NIV)

I wonder if she was the first ever smooth talker ? Liars are excellent at smooth talking to get their way while projecting onto others their true agendas. This Proverbs passage certainly implies some sensual truths or smooth talking were conveniently wrapped in lies. Lies lead to sin. Sin will lead to death.

PART II: TOOLS TO FIND CHURCH TRUTH

…evil is defeated by being named for what it is… Frederick Buechner

And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.   –John 8:32 NLT

 …for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.   –I John 4:4b ESV

How to handle truth in a church conflict situation:
This process comes from Matthew 18:15 “ If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the fault. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back ” (NLT). The ultimate goal is always to restore the person to God and to the body of believers. Jesus often refers to bringing the lost sheep back to the fold. (Luke 15:1-7)

 I wish you hope and healing on your journey with God.

 

M. Scott Peck, People Of The Lie, The Hope for Healing Human Evil, Simon and Schuster, 1983, p. 121.

John M. Miller, The Contentious Community, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1978, p. 32.

The ChristianityToday.com Connection Newsletter, The
Weekly Newsletter of Christianity Today International, Tuesday, August 7, 2007, p. 3.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/lyris/connection/archives/08-08-20 

Frederick Buechner, Telling The Truth, The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy, and Fairy Tale, by Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1977, p. 91.

 

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Copyright 2018: Angela J. Kaufman, Sioux Falls, SD 57106

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