Submitted by Norman Franklin
It’s 2022. I’m usually a little pensive at the start of a new year. I look over my shoulder at the past twelve months, assess my progress, and the progress and direction of the nation.
I made some missteps. As a nation of Christians, we made a few as well. The most egregious was the sacrifice of truth for political gain. The fusion of conservative Christianity and conservative politics is of equal opprobrium.
Truth became subjective. The truth that Jesus spoke of in John 8:32 was liberating, not relative. “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8;32) The liberating truth of the gospel should permeate our social, religious and political character. It does not. It is often, based on the words spoken and actions taken, difficult to know what god we serve.
In our postmodern culture, truth is relative to who is speaking it, their beliefs and political persuasions. Truth and faith and spirituality have lost their connection. 1 Timothy 4: 1-2, gave us warning of these times: “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared.”
I do not infer that there is a falling away from the faith, nor do I suggest that we are following the teachings of demons. But lies and deceit are not from God, and if not from our God, then it is from the devil. I point us to consider the actions of our political leaders, whom we presume to be Christians, and the silence of the church in response to the things said and done.
Our we comfortable with the deceit, the lies and the misrepresentations that flavor the discourse of this nation of Christian leaders? Can we become that ‘one nation under God’ with our current divisive direction? Can truth lay slain by political expediency and America move toward healing? Truth cannot remain an illusive concept and our nation move forward.
The energies that stirred in 2021, energies that drove the divisive dialogue of social, religious and political discourse must not continue to direct the course of this nation. It is leading us to an untenable position. We do not want to know the truth. The truth of our times, nor the truth of our past.
“One of the most dangerous places to be is when we don’t seek the truth? The easiest way to eliminate confusion is to know the truth.” (Jerimiah Johnston, Ph.D)
America is at a pivotal time. Either we will embrace the truth of our history, or we will continue to deny it and move forward on an unstable course based on lies. We know that lies compel us to lie to cover lies, who can believe us.
America has not reconciled with its most egregious sin, chattel slavery and the denial of the humanity of the African American up to and through the 1960s. James Baldwin, the profound African American writer penned, “Not everything faced in life can be changed but nothing in life can be changed until it is faced.” We cannot change our past and we cannot heal by denying the truth of our past.
On January 6, the ABC television network will air “Women of the Movement.” It is a three-part, six-episode documentary on the life and death events of Emmitt Till, and the bravery amid devastating pain of his mother. Her decision to have an open casket funeral caused America to look at the brutal ugliness of the apartheid south.
This should be required viewing for those who want to deny our past and present a whitewashed story of our march to glory, this most grand experiment of democracy, the richest and most powerful nation in the world, a nation of Christians and leaders who profess to believe in the principles of the Christian faith.
One thing is certain, truth will not be denied. And particularly the true telling of our history, inclusive of slavery and its influence on our culture and times. Prohibiting its inclusion in school curricula will not prevent the reveal, there are African American millionaires and billionaires, gifted producers and actors committed to telling our story.
“Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” (Martin Luther King, Jr.). Let’s do truth this year.
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