Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Lessons from Ireland: Truth

Dublin, Ireland May 2018

My husband and I recently returned from a glorious week spent with good friends in Ireland. The week we were there was the last week before a national vote to repeal an amendment to their constitution designed to give equal status to both unborn children and the mothers who carry them. The amendment resulted in restrictions that sent those seeking an abortion to neighboring countries.

All over Dublin we saw signs that said NO (to keep the amendment and prevent abortion) and YES (to repeal the amendment in order to make abortion on demand legal.) Given we were not plugged into the media the debate was quiet and persistent. The signs gave various reasons to vote in one direction or the other, but were for the most part polite.

One day as we walked from a National Museum to the National Art Gallery we came upon the demonstration pictured in the above photo. The NO side was standing on a public sidewalk with large pictures of infants at the typical gestational age of abortion. They were not shouting or condemning, just standing with the pictures.

People from the YES side were also in attendance. As you can see from this photo they wore large wings and attempted to stand in front of the photos to keep people from seeing the pictures. These were not pictures of an aborted fetus, not pictures of tools used for abortion, or of a baby born alive after an abortion – they were simply pictures of a developing infant at the typical age of abortion. They were not designed to manipulate – just to inform.

The pictures were truth, and the opposing side was working hard to hide the truth. Think about that – they weren’t defending anyone’s rights; they weren’t asserting opinion or defending a stance. They were quietly and persistently hiding the truth.

I don't care which side of any issue you are on - hiding truth throws up a red flag of major proportions.  It just simply cannot be good.

Our brains really want to write our own truth. Once we develop a misconception we hold on to it with all of our strength. We pick through information to find what supports our bias and we conveniently ignore what we find difficult to believe. 

I know I do these things and if I want to understand a difficult issue like abortion I must work hard to avoid any actions of truth hiding. I must work hard to have empathy for the people on the other side of the issue so that I can see all of the truth involved. It does no good to honor the life of the unborn if I cannot honor the life of the mother who carries that child.

But no matter how complicated the issue, we must face the truth that all life is to be valued.

The truth can be hard to accept.

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.” They answered Him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. I speak of what I have seen with My Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” John 8: 31-38

It is not in our nature to seek truth. It is in our nature to sin and then seek a “truth” that brings us a false sense of comfort. We want to believe we are right and others are wrong; that we are on the side of goodness and morality and those who oppose us have only evil intent.

Truth tells us we are all sinners. We must abide in His word and ask Him to show us the truth of salvation earned on the cross. Then, and only then, will we be free, indeed.

Pray for the truth.

Pray for Ireland as they now battle with their laws to decide when life is to be valued.

Pray for our country as we seek the truth on this and many other issues. 

And in the face of truth let us pray for forgiveness and abide in His word.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.

"Wood and Nails"  by Keith Watts, Isaac Wardell, and Madison Cunningham

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