“Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.” Luke 1:1-4 HCSB
The truth must be foundational to our faith. No matter how good you feel about what you believe, it stands or falls upon the truth. Your “faith” may encourage harmony, love, productivity and confidence, but if it is based upon a lie, it is actually harmful to people. The day they discover the truth will become a day of personal devastation. Imagine finding out that you’ve based your life on a lie – what a waste. The Apostle Paul said, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless” (1Cor 15:17)
The really good news is that the Christian message is one based upon the truth. It is not simply a matter of wishful thinking or a placebo that is intended to distract you from life’s suffering. Jesus actually came to this earth and died on a cross for our sin. He was resurrected to life three days later. This has been historically verified and had too many witnesses to pass off as legendary. As “fishers of men” we must be sure to know the truth so that we can pass it on. We must not allow our witnessing to become simply an emotional plea to have faith because it has made our lives better.
Timothy Keller characterizes much of today’s dialogue between Christians and Atheists as “Nietzchian.” He coins the phrase after Friedrich Nietzsche, who said life is all about power, not about truth. Therefore, the way to make your case is to mobilize people with emotions like anger or fear rather than the truth. In fact, this is what the “new atheists” (i.e. Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchins, Sam Harris) have done with their recent books.
It is unfortunate that both atheists and Christians have resorted to emotionalism to make their cases rather than deal with the truth. Demonizing a person who disagrees with you doesn’t deal with the facts, it simply raises the stakes for conflict. It is the truth that will make us free.
I thank God for the Gospel writer, Luke. He understood the importance of documenting the truth. He knew that our faith was based upon truth. So, as a fellow “fisher of men” I encourage you, along with me, to be a student of the Scriptures and a pursuer of truth. Make time today to study the facts. You will become a much more effective “fisher of men.” Go ahead…Luke has invited us to consider the truth.