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Straight Talk
by Allen Scott
04/23/08
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But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. – Matt. 5:37

For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 2 Tim 4:3-4 (ESV)

In his book “Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business”, Neil Postman warns us of the danger of a world of information overload...

He reminds us of a chilling futuristic vision—‘Aldous Huxley's Brave New World’, which describes a world thoroughly flooded with information. But that data is manipulated so that none of it has any significance.

It would appear that perhaps we have entered into that time talked about in Neil Postman's book. A time when sound reasoning and even common sense as been tossed out the door and replaced with myth, hyperbole and equivocation. Truth has been replaced with half-truths and fables. Despite any actual proven facts these fables are bantered about as truth and the truth is maligned as old-fashioned or too rigid.

In a society that seems to nuance all public speech into politically approved sound bites it is unusual to actually hear someone speak forthrightly. For someone to actually stand up and speak a word or two without spin or political posturing is a rarity indeed. Bloviatian abounds in our society, pontificating endlessly on this or that. Goobledegook is no longer confined to the political class for it has infiltrated the public arena as well. No longer do we hear the simple plain talk of a by-gone era. Simple speak has been replaced with well rehearsed homilies filled with platitudinous pomposity, or much ado about nothing actually.

Whoever can tell the best story in the most fanciful manner has taken the place of straight talk, honest discourse, and thoughtful communication. Instead of factual information being the driving force behind these discourses, they create stories based on falsehoods or biases. Pick a side and then argue your cause eloquently without regard to actual facts, just make sure it sounds good and tickles the ears of the listeners. Tell them their felt needs and trigger an emotional response. This is how we motivate and influence people in our intellectually challenged society. Institutes of higher learning have become propaganda camps for liberal philosophy and new age world views. Godlessness is espoused as the ideal and self-gratification is held up as the goal. The ends justify the means. Anything goes in your personal quest for self-fulfillment. Personal responsibility has been replaced with the phrase ‘it’s not my fault’.

Straight talk has been replaced with pandering and political posturing. By those who take a stand without actually taking a stand. Equivocation is a clever attempt at taking all sides of an issue without actually taking any side. We can not be pigeonholed into a belief system. After all there are no absolutes, so anything goes. Different strokes for different folks. Tell them whatever it is they want to hear and move on to the next victim.

In contrast we as children of God are instructed to speak forth truth in love. Let our yes mean yes and our no mean no. We are to take a side and stick to it. We are not to be wishy-washy and lukewarm in our belief system. We are to be straight talkers in a crocked and perverse world. The world should be able to look to us for the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It should not be hard for anyone to tell where you stand or what you believe. We should not be equivocators or prevaricators.

It is tough to speak forth truth at all times. There are times when it seems convenient to speak a half-truth or shade the truth when it suits our needs, especially when being challenged by a world system intent on removing all absolute truth and replacing it with subjective truth (a truth that changes with the situation). Situational ethics has replaced morality and godliness in our society.

In spite of the challenges it is time once again for some straight talk. Some God talk. Some thus saith the Lord talk. Where are the modern day prophets who will speak forth truth in love? We have enough politicians and teachers who tickle the ears, when what we need are prophets who convict the sinner into a change of heart. Let us no longer strive to tickle the ears but instead aim at touching the heart of our listeners. Let us not be afraid to be straight talkers proclaiming forthrightly that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is still the greatest story ever told.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 (ESV)

How is that for some straight talk?

But those who are waiting for the Lord will have new strength; they will get wings like eagles: running, they will not be tired, and walking, they will have no weariness. Isaiah 40:31 (BBE)

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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