Top 5 Ways We Pretend to Seek Truth While Abandoning Honesty
by Mark Votava
I have been thinking a lot about the relation of truth and honesty. What is truth if not an honest embodiment of something beautiful in everyday life? It seems to me that truth is embedded in an honest discernment, questioning, reflective way of life where growth toward living fully alive is priority. Here are five ways I think we pretend to seek truth, but abandon honesty in the process:
1. We abandon the embodiment of love and talk about God. It seems that we are more concerned about converting people to intellectual ideas about the gospel than loving others unconditionally in everyday life. So many people seem to believe in God, but do not live a meaningful life. I think it is because we do not have much to invite others into.
Therefore, we are overly focused on the intellect and not an embodied experience of love through the communal imagination. This idea of evangelism has become a manipulation in the name of God and we say it is of the Holy Spirit. I think it is dishonest and destructive.
2. We go to church and abandon local community. Going to church promotes a dishonest life a lot of the time. I think it is destructive to be a part of a gathering were we do not live within the local community of where the gathering is at. We like to go to church without any concern for a local way of life together.
We like to pretend we are the body of Christ together when the reality is that the church cannot be found Monday through Saturday in a particular place a lot of the time. Can we stop going to church as we know it in North America and become embedded in a local community in everyday life together? This promotes faithful presence in our context, a relational way of life, listening, collaboration and face-to-face connection which is more honest and truthful.
3. We pretend to have all the answers and rarely listen. Arrogant Christianity is so common in our culture today. We have used the Bible to devalue others, prove we are right and overly focus on judgment instead of love. Listening and learning from others is forgotten in our arrogance.
4. We read the Bible and have no interest in caring for the poor, oppressed and marginalized. A lot of people say that they take the Bible literally, but do not like to take the teaching of Jesus about the sheep and the goats seriously. The story is in Mathew 25 and teaches that whatever you do to the least of these you are doing to Christ. The church pretends to worship God while neglecting to care for the poor, oppressed and marginalized.
5. We hide behind our sin and never really become vulnerable. We rarely pursue ongoing growth, spiritual formation, listening to our lives and contemplative spirituality because we live in the lie that our lives will always be characteristic of our individualistic sinful ways. We ignore the teaching of Jesus to deny our individualistic and colonial ways making the excuse that we are just “sinners.” This keeps us from becoming vulnerable, taking our own growth seriously and cultivating humility within ourselves throughout our lives.
What is a step you can take to live a more honest way of life?