Thursday, October 2, 2014
Evil Makes You Stupid, Truth Makes You Free
“Speak truth to stupid”. This is actually a line from the pilot of Aaron Sorkin’s, “Newroom” that inspired this art piece. It was intended to be a triptych typography piece, but I later turned it into this short video you see here. The first panel reads, “Evil Makes You Stupid”, which is a personal quote of mine. Having worked in ministry and seen how people make the same mistakes over and over (I’ve seen this repeatedly) when you tell people the truth about something and they are not ready to receive it or change, they look at you with glazed-over eyes, as if you’re speaking another language and go… “uh… no, that’s not it”. That is stupid! Why? Not because they didn’t have access to the knowledge they needed. They did. You told them… or someone else told them… or life repeatedly has told them, and yet they can’t receive it because they have rejected knowledge… they’ve rejected truth.
Now I know that it is not exactly PC (politically correct) to use the word “stupid” with relation to people due to its negative connotations, but let’s take a look at what the word “stupid” actually means. According to Merrian Webster’s dictionary, “stupid” is defined as, “not intelligent: having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things. Not sensible or logical. Not able to think normally because you are drunk, tired, etc. Dulled in feeling or sensation”. Based on the actual definition of the word, I think that we can all attest to having done stupid things in the past, myself included. Times when we didn’t think things through or ignored the preverbal “handwriting on the wall”, but this is not an acceptable way of life, especially not for a believer. The part of this definition that is the most troubling to me is “having or showing a lack of ability to learn or understand things” which is why some people make the same mistakes repeatedly and never seem to acknowledge their responsibility in what has taken place. They have, either consciously or unconsciously, rejected knowledge… or rather truth and to reject truth isn’t just stupid because when we reject truth or the Spirit of Truth, we’ve rejected God. For God is the spirit of Truth [John. 14:17, 16:13]. Evil causes us to reject truth every time. It blinds us to the truth of the things that are before us. Speaking truth to someone who rejects knowledge is like speaking a foreign language to a person who has no knowledge of that language. The words that are coming out of your mouth make absolutely no sense to them. Why? Because evil has blinded them to truth.
The second panel of the triptych is, “Speak Truth To Stupid”. There’s a beautiful speech given by MacKenzie McHale (played by Emily Mortimer), Will McAvoy’s executive producer and former lover, where MacKenzie states that you have to “speak truth to stupid”. MacKenzie wants Will to be the jouralist he used to be and not pander to the network executives and the public for ratings. She wants Will to treat his viewing public intelligently and “speak truth to stupid”… which she sees as the inflammatory tabloid journalism that out there, filled with opinion and sensationalism and very little fact or thoughtful commentary. The only way to combat the “stupid” that’s out there is to speak truth… and she’s right.
As believers, we have to speak truth to stupid. It allows those of us who are merely having a stupid moment the opportunity to change or correct our thinking and get back on course. As believers, we have the responsibility to speak truth, God’s truth as it has been revealed to us by the Holy Spirit because we are saved by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony [Rev. 12:11], to share the Good News to “Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” [Acts 1:8] “If anyone has an ear, let him hear”. [Matthew 11:15] When God’s people, those who believe, hear truth it resonates with us on a very deep level. It may not even make any sense at the time, but the person will have an understanding that what they are hearing is, in fact true, and nothing else will be needed. It sticks. Truth is powerful! Truth is God!
Now the reason we have to speak truth to stupid is the third panel, “Truth Makes You Free”. John 8:32 states, “… and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”, and it does because it makes us free to choose. God gives us the freedom to accept or reject the truth… which means we have the freedom to accept or reject Him. This is what free will is all about, and he has given each person on earth the freedom to choose.
I thank God that He has given us the freedom to choose… that our worship is not forced… that instead… His love draws us… woos us, so that we as believers (the Church) may truly become the bride of Christ. [Ephesian 5:26-27]