The Power of Truth

august 28

The Importance of the Whole Story

I shared once before about a pastor’s wife who was doing abortions as a way to show God’s love to her community. Despite the many church-based trainings that she had been to, she had no idea that what she was doing was wrong. As she saw it, families were already too large, there wasn’t enough food for everyone, and an extra mouth would put too much pressure on the family’s meagre rations. She had never heard that human life, created in the image of God, knitted together in the mother’s womb, is sacred.

This pastor’s wife is not unique. While the example may be more startling than most, there are millions of Christians who know only a fraction of the gospel message. Part of the problem goes back to evangelism.
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august 7

Understanding Worldview is Like Selling Forks

Imagine with me for a moment that you were in the business of selling forks. (It’s kind of a crazy analogy but just bear with me) Your work takes you to a country called India where you have heard people don’t typically use forks to eat but instead prefer the use of their fingers. You figure selling forks to this culture should be easy. So you take an allotment of forks into a village, demonstrate to them how to use it and then leave each family with a package of clean polished forks. You return 3 months later, sit down with a family in the village for lunch and you are served a heaping dish of roti, rice, and curry… with no fork! Startled, you begin to question where you went wrong. Continue reading

june 20

Why are People Poor?

What causes poverty? That’s the age old question.  If we really want to see transformation we need to know what’s causing poverty and therefore how to address it. Keller finishes chapter two by sharing how a multitude of factors work together to create poverty. He illustrates how they work together in Sandtown, a urban poor area in Baltimore, MD.

My experience is with the rural poor. In many ways the same complexity of reasons make up the poverty in these areas. Here’s some of the factors:

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march 31

What Will it Take to Bring Transformation?

I’ve seen transformation – communities completely move out of poverty. Physical, spiritual, social and mental transformation. The story is here, and more are here.

If there is anything my years have taught me it’s that God is able. God is able to do far beyond what we could hope and imagine. Often, while I am still scrambling to work out what to do, God has already solved the problem. I can assure you, prayer and fasting are powerful weapons in the war against poverty, oppression and injustice.

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Culture’s Lies

I sat there nursing my warm cup of chai, trying to stave off the morning chill. It was my first visit to the Ending Gendercide Project in India, and I was trying to take it all in. The normal morning chit-chat had moved towards a discussion on recent cases of harassment and rape of women that had made international headlines. As we reflected on the horrible tragedy of each case one of the men in the office began talking about the Indian public’s reaction to the cases. I sat in horror as he recalled responses various public figures had to the events:

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Gardening 101: Why Truth Transforms

As people understand and apply God’s truth to every area of their lives, change happens. Why?

God’s Truth is like a seed planted in the ground. With water, sun and time the seed grows into a plant and then into a tree and produces fruit. The fruit that grows is a direct representative of the initial seed that was planted.

Poverty as seen in our world today is like a piece of rotten fruit. Hunger, corruption, hopelessness, broken marriages, abuse, violence and injustice are all expressions of poverty and each is a product of lies that have been planted. If our desire as Christians is to see injustice and poverties of all kinds end we must start by planting seeds of truth.

What is a seed of truth?

Jesus affirms in John 8: 31-32 that when a person holds to Christ’s teaching, he knows the truth, and the truth sets him free. A seed of truth is a belief that aligns with the teachings of Christ. Here are some biblical seeds of truth about human beings:

  • Made in God’s image (Gen. 1:27)

  • Created with a purpose (Jer. 29:11)

  • Has value and worth.  (Psalm 139:13-15)

  • Created to work (Gen. 2:15)

  • Made to have fellowship with God (1 Cor. 1:9)

  • Made to have fellowship with one another (Rom. 12:10)

  • Created to serve one another (John13:14)

  • Intended to love others (John 13:34)

These truths as presented in scripture transform the way a person lives. For example if a person sees the value in each human life (their own and others) then they will live in a way that respects, values and cares for others. Such actions result in families that love, parents that provide and communities that equip for the greater society and the glory of God. The concluding action of caring is based off of the initial conviction that all of life is sacred, a seed of truth.

However, if this truth about the value of man is distorted and twisted into a lie, then man lives in violence, selfishness and resentment towards one another. Gendercide (or sex selective abortions), neglect, abuse and exploitation are all examples of fruit that has roots in various fundamental lies.

Though always complex and often difficult to distinguish, the roots of poverty are directly connected to twisted lies. A simple lie in the heart and mind of a person can profoundly impact the way they live and view others living around them.

As we seek to end the various forms of poverty we find in our world, we must begin by identifying the lies of our culture. Like any careful gardener, Christians must be in the business of de-rooting lies and planting seeds of truth. It’s God’s truth that will change the way we live and bring transformation to our world and the world around us.

Image courtesy of aresauburn /