Vol.VIII No.VI Pg.5
August 1971

Above All, To Be True

Robert F. Turner

A friend of mine, whom I believe to be a sincere Christian, has developed the habit of saying, A man would have to he dishonest to miss this point, or say that, etc. I call it a habit for my friend loves his neighbor, and has no tendency to be little or self-justifying. While it is true that ones fruits may eventually prove him dishonest, such a charge should not be lightly made.

Some years back I was asked to review certain arguments made by a man I highly respected. Careful investigation proved he was misusing his sources; and I obtained original evidence to prove this (?) deception. I was reluctant to publish material so damaging to this brother, so I put my review together. then sent it to him with a letter stating that I felt this would be unnecessarily harmful to him, and suggested we call off the proposed publication. My letter was ignored — I received only his rebuttal, for publication.

Was the man dishonest and did he think he could get away with his deception? Many months later I learned that when he received my letter he jubilantly read it to a friend, as evidence that I was whipped, knew I could not answer his arguments, and was seeking a way to get out of it. I believe the man is self-deceived —and what do you suppose he thinks of me?? It might be a revelation indeed if our appraisals of one-another could be printed side by side —with the TRUTH as God sees us written between the lines. It is sobering to remember that in the final judgement it will be Gods record that counts.

The eye is a lens by which images are received, then transmitted to the mind, and there seen. The condition of the mind will affect the result. Sometimes we see what past experience has made us expect to see. The true image is there — truth is not relative — but we may be unable, with casual glance, to translate properly. The problem is laziness, not dishonesty. The solution is in 2 Tim. 2:15.

Or, we may have taken idols into our heart (Ezek. 14: 1-5) and, while committed to a different course, be unwilling to see objectively. If we know better but, preferring our idols, we say we can not see, we are being dishonest. But there are self- deceived people whose basic error is sectarianism, not dishonesty. They trust the church (defined by the elders, the majority, or the way we have been doing it) and have not the fiber or courage to look beyond and put Jesus Christ first. Such people are not fit for the kingdom of God. (Note Lu. 9:62; 14:20-33; Matt. 7: 21-f)

Under pressure from Judean big-shots, Peter, Barnabas and others became hypocrites for a time. That is a form of dishonesty; but apparently it didnt last long. (Gal. 2:11-13) Our Maker knows mans difficulty in seeing things objectively — and made His gospel to fit His creatures. In fact, a man would have to be a FOOL to continue long in a dishonest way with God. All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Heb. 4:13)

If evidence forces you to think a man dishonest — say a prayer for him.