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  • Writer's pictureSarah Sisson Rollandini

Truth Be Told: Sharing a Biblical Worldview in a Secular Culture


Two women drinking coffee/tea

**WARNING: This post comes from a biblical worldview. According to Barna, only 4% of Americans and 9% of "born again Christians" hold a biblical worldview. A new research study from Barna Group suggests that a large share of the nation’s moral and spiritual challenges is directly attributable to the absence of a biblical worldview among Americans. If you are not a person with a biblical worldview, you may find this post offensive. The true Gospel is offensive to sinful human beings--including ME! However, as offensive as God's truth may be, Christians are not excused from telling it as following God's truth leads to abundant life! (1 Corinthians 1:23-25).


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Have you ever felt like the life of the party at a social event? You remember your coworker's kids' names, roll out one liners like comedian Chonda Pierce, and dispense sparkling conversational tidbits that leave partygoers hanging on your every word. You are on a roll! Then you saunter off to the ladies room only to discover a chunk of spinach from the crudités lodged squarely between your two front teeth. "How on earth did I miss that?" you think. "and why did no one tell me?"


While this seems like the million dollar question, the answer is quite simple: The party crowd might enjoy your company, but they're not looking out for your good.


True friends are truth tellers. They refuse to inflate your ego with false praise. They knock themselves out to spare your embarrassment. And they'll brave your offense to expose harmful lies.


These faithful allies will not hold back about...


the spinach between your teeth


the outfit that has to go


the cynical attitude that's hurting your marriage


the job that's stifling your creativity


And the catastrophe that's fixing to wreck your life if you don't change course.


Your friend will endure the tension of truth because, unlike those party acquaintances, she cares less about your comfort than your holy transformation.


Two women having a serious conversation

There's no greater example of this truth-telling, tension-embracing love than Jesus. Yeshua was a friend to sinners (Matthew 11:19) which is exactly why he didn't leave them wallowing in lies.


As much as our current culture would like to paint Jesus as a 1960's hippy who "just loved everyone", the Lion of Judah spoke some difficult eternal truths that don't change simply because the culture has.


Consider the following truth bombs:


  • Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17) To repent means to change one's mind about the seriousness of one's sins and make a change in behavior.

  • Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. (Matthew 5:10-11) Gone are the days that Christians fit into the culture. If we find ourselves comfortable in 2020's America, are we followers of Jesus, or merely fans?

  • You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:13-16) Salt brings flavor to food and preserves it from rot. Lamps bring light into darkness. Christ followers are called to do the same in our spheres of influence.

Woman holding lantern

  • Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20)


So called "Progressive Christianity" attempts to throw out the Old Testament teachings. Jesus makes it clear that these principles still stand and make us painfully aware that we need a Savior, not a self-help plan or a hip new faith.


  • Peter said to Him, "Explain the parable to us." Jesus said, "Are you still lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated? But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications*, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man. (Matthew 15:15-20)


The word for "fornications" in verse 19 comes from the Greek lexicon porneia which covers any sexual activity occurring outside of marriage, including lusting after a person other than one's spouse.

Man and woman on wedding day


  • You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court.


Jesus cites the sixth commandment here regarding murder (the taking of innocent life) and cranks up this commandment a notch by stating that we are not even to harm others emotionally or spiritually through our anger.


One of the most important truths that highlights why Christians must be truth tellers comes from the very first book of the Bible.


  • God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)


If God created humans in his own image, shouldn't we, as believers, be concerned that all people know not "their truth", but THE TRUTH as it is laid out in the Bible? The truth that saves and sanctifies and gives hope and life to all who know it?


Mean and women friends smiling

John 8:31-32 says this: So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”


God's truth brings freedom and springs from His heart of love for his creation. We, as his followers, must love people enough to share it.


The most vital truth telling these days requires going against the flow of cultural lies like these:


  • I can recreate myself in the identity I desire. (We are created in God's image and he doesn't make mistakes.)

  • It's OK to kill unborn babies. (Thou shalt not murder the innocent who, like us, are created in God's image.)


  • One group of people is more sinful than another. We can all be divided into groups of oppressors and oppressed (a.k.a. Marxism, Critical Theory).

Women throwing confetti

If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us, 1 John 1:8. We are all equally responsible to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God, Micah 6:8. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:28).

  • Marriage is a modern creation and can be modified to suit current cultural mores. (God designed marriage to meet the human need for companionship, Genesis 2:18-25 as well as to provide a picture of our relationship with him, Ephesians 5:31-32).

  • Christians should just be loving and not make waves (Christians must help people understand God's will for their lives and obey God's will for their own lives.) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age, Matthew 28:19-20).

No lies, only truth

If you are still with me on this truth-telling journey, you're either looking for some practical tips for how to be a truth teller or you are attempting to gather more information on me for a smear campaign.


If you are of the former persuasion, read on. If from the latter, I encourage you to contact me directly. I'm happy to have a civil, face-to-face conversation with anyone who wants to chat over coffee. Despite the fact that we might disagree, I'm really not an "unsafe" person. I don't "hate" people simply because we see things differently! (In fact, if you're not a believer, I would expect you to see things very differently from me!)


Open bible, Ephesians, armor of God figurine

How to be a Truth Teller in a Secular Culture


  1. Fight Fear You will be afraid to go against the status quo. Acknowledge the fear and give it to God. Ground yourself in the brave stories of people who doubted their own abilities but were obedient to God's directives anyway (Moses, David, Noah, Esther, Rahab, Mary, Jesus' disciples after his death). Remember that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. (Thank you, MLK, jr!)


2. Step Through Open Doors


Sometimes opportunities land right in our laps, like the time a coworker asked what I was doing on the weekend and I was able to share my excitement about attending the March for Life with my two (adopted) daughters. We are often tempted to censor our lives to make them more palatable for those with whom we know we disagree. It is intimidating to bring up our counter-cultural beliefs out of the blue. But what would happen if we used questions as opportunities to be honest about how the ways we spend our time sprout from our biblical beliefs?


Two people having tea

3. Challenge the Narrative


There are a lot of assumptions being made these days that defy not only biblical truth, but objective reality. Several months ago I started seeing a new counselor (Thank you, menopause!). One of the first questions she asked me was, "How do you identify?" This was a Christian counselor at a Christian practice, which just goes to show how insidiously these lies have asserted themselves into every nook and cranny of public life! Rather than answer the question, I asked the counselor a few questions about her worldview. As it turned out, she and I were both on the same page but this story is a great example of how encountering challenges to a biblical worldview is inescapable.


Had I simply answered the question, "I identify as a female," not only would I have missed the opportunity to find out if I could trust my new counselor to guide me according to the Bible, I would've shirked my responsibility to be honest about God's design for humankind. And speaking of challenging the narrative.


4. Reclaim the Language


Have you noticed that words are being used as weapons these days? While some words that used to be clear are being redefined, others are being replaced.


woke language decoder

As Christians, we cannot fall into the trap of using such deceptive language. Justice is God's idea, no qualifiers (i.e. racial, social) needed. Healthcare (no "reproductive" qualifier needed) promotes wholeness and wellness and holds doctors and therapists to the highest ethic of "First do no harm." Similarly, "Christianity" needs no qualifiers such as "Progressive" or "Side B." We must unify under the same banner and adhere to the same Gospel Jesus' disciples did. They were known as Christians, or "Little Christs" and also as "Followers of The Way" (not "The Ways").


Woman warrior, armor of God, sword of the spirit

5. Brandish the Sword of the Spirit


Imagine a warrior heading into battle with an empty scabbard; he would be slain within seconds! As Christians, we must know our Bible well enough to use its wisdom confidently as Holy Spirit opportunities arise. The Moody Bible Commentary says this: "God's word is our offensive weapon, supplied by the Spirit (Hebrews 4:12). Thus Scripture rightly understood and correctly proclaimed turns back evil, destroys strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4), and rescues people from darkness (Acts 6:7)."


God's word is the ultimate truth for the world and the key to human flourishing! When Christians observe people being duped by counterfeits and refuse to engage out of fear or a desire to fit in, we are doing much more damage than those at the party who ignore the spinach in their colleague's teeth. We are withholding their passport to the true freedom and joy that comes from following Christ!


three women friends

Which of these people do you want to be? The one who preserves her own comfort and social status at the expense of her friend? Or the one who forgoes her own acceptance and convenience to tell the grace-filled, freedom-offering, lifesaving truth to those who are perishing?


The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense, 1 Corinthians 1:18, The Message Bible


I pray that you'll join me in this commitment to proclaim the truth to a world that is perishing without it. Doing so will not be a walk in the park, but Jesus died so that all might live life to the full. His invitation is open to everyone but an RSVP is required and most people won't know about the party unless we invite them. Truth be told--like our Jesus--that's what true friends do.


Until Next Time.


Your Truth Cheerleader,


Sarah


More Resources for Your Truth-Telling Journey


Group of friends taking a selfie











 

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