In the pursuit for truth, we must be willing to be wrong. In the culture of lies ideas are put before the truth and agendas are pushed forward regardless of if it is factual. In the fight for truth, we must be willing to be wrong and remain humble. Although we may like to be right, it is important to not allow the desire to blind our eyes. If we look back the reason for the desire is wanting to hold the truth, and not believe in a lie or misinformation. However, we are only human, and although it can be tough to accept this, we have to open to possibility we may be wrong.
Two Diseases of our Society
A sickness that has infected our society is that of polarization and living in our own world. Political ideas become farther from each other, and a unwillingness to work together creeps up soon after. Do not get me wrong we should never compromise the truth or morals, but the two-party system was designed to come to a conclusion together. The conclusion should supersede what could be found in a singular party.
The other issue is that we live in bubbles. We tend to be around those that agree with what we are saying. It is easier more now than ever with the internet and social media to find people who tell us why we are right. Or tell us what we want to hear. It is a natural reaction to avoid disagreement for most people, as sometimes negative emotion may be involved. However, overcoming this emotion in pursuit of truth, allow disagreements to occur. Hopefully both you and others will embrace the possibility of being inaccurate and seek the better solution or idea. Or if someone is in error informing them of what is true.
It can be difficult as disagreements are sometimes seen as taboo or wrong. Any information besides the main culture at the time, in many social spheres is considered a moral wrong. At the moment the main culture is liberalism, and the counterculture being conservatism (2). Information that is contrary to critical race theory, post modernism, LGBTQ, or any other ideology is considered hateful by the popular opinion of the day.
Also, in social groups with likeminded individuals, disagreements are needed. Disagreements allow our uniqueness to show, but also to find the truth. All are human and will err, disagreements reach us closer to the righteous path. Likeminded individuals may be nicer to be around, but it is important to hear those quite different from you, as their perspective may see past our horse blinders.
A Friend is Honest in their Discussions
Allowing diversity of thought in our lives can challenge our ideas. In turn this will make us closer to the truth, as critics can find weakness in our arguments and problems with our solutions. Critiques will make us stronger in the long term, as the Scripture states “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
As we disagree with each other, we are sharpening our wits and countenance. Countenance is our face, so sharpening the countenance can mean helping someone in the way they appear. Not necessarily in appearance, but in character. When we seek the truth together, ideas that are foolish are found, and so the foolish idea will not be spoken in the public sphere. The public sphere is something like preaching. As such the friend’s character will be and appear more wise. Sharpening someone’s countenance is helping a friend to remain in integrity and truth, which means being willing to disagree.
The Scripture states, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” (Proverbs 27:6). The verse teaches friends are willing to disagree with us, but an enemy hides their intent. Faithfulness is in someone who is open and honest about what they think. Deceit is found in someone who speaks good to your face, and another behind your back.
God’s Word on Humility
What does the Scripture teach on humility related to truth? First and foremost, we are commanded to be humble, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” (James 4:10). God will lift us up when we humble ourselves. In the aspect of knowledge, our ideas will be greater when we are humble. The reason for this is because instead of the focusing on if we were right, the focus is towards the truth, and as such the truth is always higher than dogmatic thinking. Dogmatic thinking is claiming the truth of something on the basis it is believed to be true, even when evidence contradicts it. For example, the belief in there a multiple genders is held on the basis that it is believed, and the evidence of there being only two gender (male and female) is not even considered. Instead, multiple genders is upheld in their minds as truth, on the basis that they believe it. To break dogmatic thinking, one has to consider if the contrary evidence is true and what it means if it is. Meaning one is willing to be wrong. Humility is a superior form of thought when looking for solutions and answers. Due to this it will help when preparing a defense for the Scripture.
With humility comes wisdom, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:1). The lowly here is also translated as the humble. The reason wisdom comes with being humble, is you become open to new ideas. It enables finding weakness in your own arguments, and then bolstering them. The reason pride comes with shame is it is shameful to dogmatically push ideas forward, regardless of their repercussions. When someone is obviously inaccurate and unwilling to accept it, there should be shame that follows. As it is embarrassing to be wrong and then double down on it. At least it should be.
The Pride of the Culture of Lies
Now the pride within the culture of lies, is made evident when they silence those they disagree with. It is masked with degrading words such as racist, sexist, bigot, or the word of the day to degrade people you disagree with. Instead of actually using the words in the way they are meant, they are used as means to silence. As the boy who cried wolf, it only degrades the meaning of the word and the trustworthiness of one’s character.
An example is, “that person is ___ so you shouldn’t listen to them.” Instead of actually hearing the quality of the argument. This is a logical fallacy called Ad Hominem, which is “The ad hominem attack uses an accepted fact about a person to undermine their credibility despite the lack of causal connection between the two parts of the argument.” (1). Basically, instead of looking at the validity of the argument, they attack the persons character, which is unrelated to the argument. Whether the person is a specific thing does not relate to whether their argument is sound. If their argument is genuinely hateful, then that is another thing.
Ad hominem is used to silence others, so people will not listen to what someone has to say. This is prideful, as the individual presumes there is NO information from the person they disagree with, that could be beneficial and presumes there is NO possibility that they are wrong. From this logic they silence the different opinion or idea.
Having several people like this in a society is concerning as the Scripture states, “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6). If our nations continue to embrace this prideful method of debate, and accept it, God will resist. We should never want to be a part of something God resists, instead we should want grace by remaining humble.
Follow Christ with Humility
Brothers and sisters in Christ, to fight for truth in a culture of lies, we must obtain the truth. To obtain the truth one must be humble. It is difficult as many times disagreements are not simply the going back and forth of ideas, but people get personal and personify with their ideas. However, it is important to be open to being wrong, but do not take things personal. In the face of dogmatic thinking, drenched in ad hominem attacks leading with emotion can lead to losing focus. There is nothing wrong with emotions just do not let them rule you. Strengthen your mind, learn, grow, and seek the truth. Let us be humble together. Exposing pride and the lies that are around us. Although it is tempting to follow the path of living in a social bubble of those that agree with us. Take the narrow road towards Christ, embrace humbleness, and find the truth.
All Scripture from King James Version, public domain.