We believe so many things that, frankly, are hard to believe. They not only contradict our culture, but they contradict every culture at some point.

The truth is sometimes hard to believe. How should we react?

  • Some compromise the truth in harsh ways. These are the progressive fundamentalists. They adapt Christianity to the spirit of the age, and lash out at those who hold to biblical truth.
  • Some compromise the truth in easy, gentle ways. They preach a false but soothing gospel. This category includes prosperity preachers and those who refuse to take a stand for anything.
  • Some hold to the truth harshly. These are fundamentalists in the negative sense of the word. But what good is truth when it’s used by a club?
  • Then there are those who say true things in gentle ways. This is biblical Christianity.

Saying True Things in Gentle Ways

No matter how gently we say truth, it will sometimes be rejected. But let’s keep saying it gently.

“Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Timothy 6:11-12). According to Paul, we can hold to the truth — even fight for it — with gentleness.

It’s not hard to compromise truth. It’s not hard to be harsh. What’s hard is what we’re called to do: to say true things in gentle ways.

Update: I’d like to think a bit more about when it’s right to say true things in harsh ways. I would argue, though, that this shouldn’t be normative.

Also: the chart above is influenced a little by the book Radical Candor. I’m thinking about how it applies to teaching on thorny issues in the church.