The fight of truth

Jun 23, 2015 by

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When truth is being spoken it is hard to only hear what you want to hear. Truth has a way of speaking directly to the soul even when the mind has tried to dull the hearing.

There are many conversations seeking a hearing. Mennonite Church Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been giving voice to residential school survivors. The community of LGBTQ, their family and friends have been asking for the church to listen in our national church’s Being a Faithful Church process. People concerned for the health of the earth and its environment are seeking a serious consideration from the church. These emotional conversations sink into the heart where voices cannot be easily muffled. It seems simpler to shut out what is being said. It is often the preferred option.

Not many delight in confrontations. Not many welcome being challenged. It feels easier to avoid tough conversations. It feels easier to ignore the dialogue.

But avoidance takes as much energy as engagement. Denial takes as much energy as acknowledgement. Resistance is as difficult as acceptance.

When truth is being revealed it takes work to remain uninformed. When facts become evident it takes work to maintain disbelief. It is not easy to pretend ignorance.

I have listened to hearts express pain so raw that my mind begs to stop listening. My emotions beg for distance. It takes energy to remain open and vulnerable so that what is being spoken can penetrate me deeply. But it takes just as much energy to deny a fair hearing to what is being said.

When the deep conversations of the heart emerge, a fight ensues. In fact, it would appear fighting is not optional: either we fight to remain uninformed, or we fight in support of the new information.

I have come to realize that difficult truths are a friend of God. Revelation is a result of the Spirit’s work. I’d rather fight apathy than struggle against the Spirit of God. Confronting the truth is not easy, but it has the potential of setting you free.

This is a fight even a pacifist should not avoid.

Willard Metzger is executive director of Mennonite Church Canada. He writes here, where this blog post originally appeared.


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  • Steven Stubble

    Thanks Wilbur for reminding us that a fight of some sort is always going on at either end of any spectrum…you’re right to say that fighting is often not an option; we find ourselves up against some sort of resistance no matter what we do. What better time to acknowledge that resolving important issues is rarely a case of fighting either “to remain uninformed” or “in support of the new information. ” The media game has always been to dichotomize our response to sensitive issues: we are seen as either “maintaining ignorance and unbelief / denial in the face of facts” if we disagree with a certain position, or as “acknowledging and engaging as supportive truth-seekers” if we agree. Is it so simple? Is it possible to disagree and yet NOT consequently fight to remain uninformed, distant, resistant and unreceptive to people’s struggles and stories? Of course it is.