Sunday, July 4, 2010

Quotes and Comments #2

Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.

— Edward Abbey —

Truth may be its own reward, but sometimes that “reward” comes at a price. Even so, the truth is still better than that which is false. After all, the God of truth always sides with truth… while the delusion will always be in alliance with the father of lies.

The trouble is that no one recognizes his own delusions; in his own mind, all that he currently believes is filed under “TRUE.” To root out delusions, we must be willing to honestly test our current beliefs.

  • What about the Church’s current understanding regarding social nudity? Truth or Delusion?

For a long time, Christians have simply taken it for granted that nudity around anyone but one’s own spouse is immoral. Since the Bible doesn’t declare this to be so, the only way to biblically support the assertion is to presume that the state of nudity around someone of the opposite gender is tantamount to a sexual invitation. And since sex outside of marriage is forbidden in the Bible, social nudity must be as well.

Since the whole argument hinges on that presumption, let’s ask some basic question about it…

  • Is that notion (that nudity is a sexual invitation) taught in the Bible?
  • If there are “exceptions” to that assumption (parental or medical necessity), are the exceptions found in the Bible?
  • Can we justify granting “exceptions” that are not found in the Bible?
  • Is the sight of nudity really the automatic sexual “turn-on” we’ve been told that it is?

Discerning the answers to these questions is not very hard. But precious few are genuinely willing to submit their assumptions on this issue to honest evaluation.

I simply don’t understand that reticence.

If what we currently believe is true, then what’s the harm in allowing it to be challenged? If it is true, then it will exonerate itself! But if it is not true, shouldn’t we want to know? Would anyone actually prefer to continue believing something that is false?

Would people actually prefer to hold onto a delusion simply because it’s more comfortable than the truth?

Here’s another related quote…

It is easier to find a score of men

wise enough to discover the truth

than to find one intrepid enough,

in the face of opposition, to stand up for it.

— A. A. Hodge —

Correctly answering the questions above is one thing…

Being willing to stand up for the truth you’ve discovered when everyone else is “sure” that you’re wrong… well, that’s quite another.

Since I personally addressed those questions and found the presumption to be in error, I’ve paid a very high price for standing up for the truth. It’s been a cruel truth, but a truth nonetheless.

I have spoken to a number of people important to me who still hold to the belief that non-spousal nudity is wrong. I am quite sure that they all are “wise enough” to discern the correct answers. I am inexpressibly disappointed that none of them have actually been willing to do so.

Why is it so hard for people to do that? Why are so many people seemingly more committed to their current way of thinking than they are to truth?

I am more than willing to submit what I believe to the most stringent critique, provided it is honest and biblically grounded. I have no interest in holding to my current position if it proves false. But neither will I hold to a false position simply to escape “opposition.”

To date, not one of my friends or family have been willing to honestly open God’s Word with me to examine this topic.

I’m ready to put what I now believe to the test. You who believe me wrong… will you do the same?

Matthew Neal

(If you have not already done so, please read the Introduction to the Quotes and Comments.)


For previous blog posts related to this one, see:

The Unchallenged Belief!

You Can’t Have it Both Ways…