His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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Are Some Christian Churches Prisoners of Pride?

As the dominant religion in many countries, has Christianity become prideful and arrogant, like a cocky big kid on the block? For some reason, this idea seeped into my mind this morning as I waited for the coffee to sweep away the nightly fog. Though this idea of arrogant Christianity may sound odd, for me it explains a lot.

It explains why many Christian churches are shrinking, and why there are more de-churched Christians every year. It explains why many Christians and churches behave in ways that appear very un-Christian. It explains why many churches try to exercise their imagined power by pushing their opinions upon others, opinions, such as political preferences, that are completely worldly. It explains why, as some surveys indicate, many de-churched Christians as well as current churchgoers never felt the presence of God in church. Maybe there was so much pride, there was no room for God.

You see, arrogance and pride are exclusively human characteristics, not from God but from Satan. Because of what I see on the surface, yes, I believe modern Christianity has become infected and sometimes dominated by pride and arrogance. And many Christians and their churches are suffering because of it.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of relying on self and worldly things such as organizational structure, politicians, traditions, how nice your church building is, or other such pride-driven things, we just need to rely on God, Jesus, and their Spirit—yes, the Holy Spirit of God and Jesus, the Spirit who’s often missing from sermons. It’s the Spirit of Jesus living and breathing within the bodies of believers who will set Christianity free from pride and the damage pride causes.

Many churches are prisoners of pride. I pray it’s time for the Spirit of God to set them free.


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My Prison of Pride

prisoner of fallacy

Pride is my self-imposed prison. Pride ties me up with strict rules and expectations. Pride wraps me in a straightjacket of stress when things don’t go MY way. Pride pushes my heart, soul, and mind to me, rather than God.

Pride is misery.

Yet Jesus has set me free from my prison. He has opened the door and shown me the path to humility… and love… and others… and our Father. There are still traces of pride clinging to me, but it’s not the prison it once was.

And the Holy Spirit within holds onto me, stopping me from returning to my familiar prison cell. And I’m so grateful.


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How Elusive the Truth

It can be staring me right in the face, and I’ll still miss it. It’s only after I find it, that I realize how obvious it was all along (duh).

I’ll give you an example from my engineering career. We were having lots of test failures, and I was in charge of finding the cause. With a pre-conceived notion in my head, I went in search of some complex root cause, pouring through all the data I could find. After a couple of days of fruitless labor, my boss came out to the production floor, surveyed the lay of the land for only a couple of minutes, pointed to some circuit boards resting in a holding tray, and dryly declared, “There’s your problem.”

And he was right! Boy did I feel dumb. The truth behind all the failures had been literally staring me in the face for over two days, and I never saw it. I had been looking for some complex problem, yet the truth was that the root cause was oh so simple. I wanted to show my engineering prowess and let people know how smart I was, but the truth didn’t require an engineering degree.

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Here’s another example (this one I think I got right):

I look at the data that surrounds me everyday: flowers, a blade of grass, a bird gliding across the breeze, the air I breath in that keeps me alive, the food I eat that somehow is converted to energy, the huge variety of animals that abound the earth, the human brain that defies explanation, the vastness of the universe and all that is in it, and my list goes on and on.

I marvel at all this data. It baffles and amazes me. And it tells me a truth; for me the truth is that none of this data just happened by chance. There is an intelligence behind all that makes up our existence. The truth is God.

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So, why? Why is it that the truth so often eludes us, yet it may be right in front of us? Why is it we have eyes, yet sometimes cannot see? Why is it we have brains, yet sometimes it seems we do not think? Why is it that sometimes I do not trade in my pre-conceived notions for reality? Why do so many of us ignore the data and instead go with our personal preference?

The answer I offer you today may not be easy to swallow, because it goes against our human nature. The answer is pride. Pride keeps us from going with the easy answer, when our ego is better boosted by the complex answer. Pride keeps us from admitting we are wrong. Pride keeps us from accepting that there is a being more powerful than we are. Pride keeps us in a prison of delusion.

Look at your own life. What has pride and ego done for you lately? Does it make your life easier, or perhaps more stressful, like when things don’t go your way? Open your eyes, try to consider the data again, and decide what you think the truth is. I sure hope you’re right.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV)