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Truth, Only Truth

What folks need to hear from us.

St. Columban happened one day to go to Brunhilda, who was then living in Brocariaca. As she saw him enter the court, she led to him the illegitimate sons of Theuderich. When St. Columban saw her, he asked what she wanted of him. Brunhilda answered, “These are the king’s sons; give them thy blessing.” He replied, “Know that these boys will never bear the royal scepter, for they were begotten in sin.”

  - Jonas, Life of St. Columban, 7th century

So the king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and return him to Amon the governor of the city and to Joash the king’s son; and say, ‘Thus says the king: “Put this fellow in prison…”’”

  - 1 Kings 22.26, 27

Ahab pretended that he wanted the truth from Micaiah. He knew that the prophets who cluttered his court would only ever tell him what they thought he wanted to know. And most of the time, that was OK. But this was a different situation, what with the king of Judah present and all.

So, when Micaiah merely parroted the response of Ahab’s lackeys, the king of Israel charged him to tell it straight.

Which he did, landing himself in jail.

When Ahab finally heard the truth, he couldn’t handle it, and it was off to the prison for Micaiah. Telling the truth to sinners can be a risky business.

Brunhilda wanted Columbanus to overlook the matter of the illegitimacy of Theuderich sons. After all, the other priests who flattered her had no qualms in the matter. Her son, the king, was a notorious philanderer, and to this point in the story, he’d enjoyed the Church’s blessing to continue his life in sin.

But then Columbanus arrived from Ireland.

So the queen mother was just making sure all the bases were covered when she presented Theuderich’s sons to Columbanus to be baptized. But he would not baptize them until the king repented of his ways and proved himself to be a faithful follower of Christ. Columbanus thus became the lifelong enemy of Brunhilda, and she worked relentlessly to exile him from her domain.

Many Christians have been tip-toeing around the truth for too long. We don’t want to offend anyone. Who are we to judge? We just want everyone to be happy and to feel good about themselves. We know we should talk to people about Jesus, but we reason that they probably aren’t interested – or wouldn’t they already be in church? – or we might risk losing their friendship.

Or we pass on obeying our calling to be witnesses for Christ by saying we “don’t have the gift of evangelism.”

And so everything goes along just fine. We want to be loving and tolerant, give people space, respect their views, and so on. So we continue to rationalize our way around the truth, in the process, leaving ourselves and our neighbors mired in the Lie. We reason, “This is not the place or time to talk about my faith.” Or, “I’m afraid I’ll lose my friend/job/reputation (choose one or more) if I say anything.” Or, like Lot (Gen. 19.17-20), “It’s just a little deviation, right?”

I’ve heard these and many similar rationalizations from truth-concealing Christians who don’t have an ounce of the Spirit that indwelt Micaiah and Columbanus, but who persuade themselves, week-in and week-out, that their shameful silence about the demands of the Gospel, and their secret dalliances in the courts of sin, are OK with their pastors, their church leaders, and their fellow believers, so they’re OK with them as well.

Are our churches no different from the courts of Ahab or Brunhilda when it comes to the matter of truth?

We are appointed as a people on the wall (Ezek. 33), and a day of wrath is coming. If we do not speak up, if we continue to cherish our safety and comfort more than the souls of lost men and women; if we think we can use the Sword of the Spirit only to soothe our troubled souls, declining to wield it against the enemies of the faith; or if we think truth is not as important as tolerance, we are sorely deceived.

We are the people of truth. God calls us to know the truth, live the truth, proclaim the truth, defend the truth, speak the truth, and leave the results to the God of truth. He will be there to provide for and protect us, come what may – even if it means rejection, persecution, or suffering.

Today – this day – you are called to stand for and stand in the truth that is in Christ Jesus. How will you do that?

For Reflection
1. Have you mapped out your Personal Mission Field? Watch this brief video (click here), download the worksheet, and get started bringing God’s truth to your world today.

2. Where does the courage come from to stand boldly for the truth that is in Jesus? How can you access that courage?

Psalm 19.9-14 (St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet;
Be warned by every word and line; be blessed with joy complete.

Who, Lord, can know his errors? O keep sin far from me!
Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.
O let my thoughts, let all my words, before Your glorious sight
be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right.

Help me, O my God, to stand and live in Your truth today as I…

Free Christmas Gifts
Luther’s great hymn, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, can strengthen our faith, but only as we sing it understanding what he intended. Our book, A Mighty Fortress, walks through each stanza of Luther’s hymn to reveal the powerful testimony this song provides. Order your free copy by clicking here. Order several copies and give them to friends for Christmas. Also, our booklet, Joy to Your World!, can show you how to be more consistent in working your Personal Mission Field. Order your free copy today (click here).

Thank you
Thanks so much to those of you who faithfully support the work of The Fellowship of Ailbe. God uses your gifts and prayers to reach thousands of people every day in over 120 countries. We praise the Lord for His having moved and enabled you to share with us in this ministry.

If you’re not a supporter of this ministry, won’t you please prayerfully consider making a gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe? Only God can move you to do this, and we believe He intends to support this ministry from within the ranks of those who are served by it. If this includes you, please seek the Lord in this matter. You can click here to donate online with your credit card or through PayPal, or send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

T. M. Moore, Principal
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All Psalms for singing from The Ailbe Psalter. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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