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Just The Truth Please?
A counterfeiter once walked into a gas station, slapped down a seven and asked for change. Without skipping a beat, the attendant handed him a three and four dollar bill and said “good day.”
One of the most annoying “Christian” myths is that many think law enforcement, who deal with counterfeiting, only memorize the “real McCoy” to spot the fake. I want to scream every time I hear this. Yes, you need to know truth, for sure. Since the false is deviations from truth, you can’t know the false until you know the truth. However, it is not the only thing cops learn, they also learn classical examples of the counterfeit.
Also, in biology and the healthcare field, vaccines are used against specific organisms. The theory is when the immune system is challenged by a “sick” or “dead” version of the microbe; the body will mount an immune response to form a strong immune system. When the body is exposed to the real germs, the body is prepared for defense.
Both the money and immune examples teach us how we can be safer. For example, wouldn’t you rather have your children or students exposed to deceptive ideas (at an age appropriate time) when you are near rather than when you are far away? This way you can help build the “immune” response to these devious views in the kids.
Deception is prevented by proactively understanding truth and recognizing sidetracks or deflections from truth (see these previous posts). Knowing the truth and understanding the common pitfalls help protect from error. If we have truth, we need not be worried or ashamed. The more objections that arise and the more answers that we know, the better prepared we will be when it comes to defined our faith.
What Did Jesus Do?
You have seen the wrist bands “WWJD” or “What Would Jesus Do”, right? Let’s change that here. “What Did Jesus Do” or “WDJD”? Like usual, we don’t have an exact situation to guide us, but we do have a similar situation. In it, we see elements of Jesus preparing his disciples and proving them, giving them knowledge and tests.
He trained interactions skills and knowledge by modeling and teaching. Then he sent them on a mission to preach in the surrounding villages in preparation for his arrival. When they came back, there was a debriefing. He clarified things and helped them focus on the important. He “inoculated” them for future interactions, when he would be gone from the earth.
In our culture, we do a lot of teaching, but training is different. Like teaching, training teaches the essential material, but it goes a step farther, it puts real world tests in the way of the student. This forces the student to perform well and cultivate an intrinsic desire for growth. He or she will have to perform well and know the material so well that he or she will not get sunk by a challenge. If you have ever taken CPR training you know what I’m talking about.
For example, at this stage one should go out and interact with the skeptics, whether in society, on college campuses or even online! There are many who think they know a lot and will challenge you. Not only do you get practice, but maybe you can make a difference in their lives!
However, this step is not done in isolation. First, we have to know what is true, why it is true, common deviations from the truth and why they are not true, proper thinking skills and proper interactions skills BEFORE the real test is taken.
There are two more important items to say here, first there needs to be a safety net where one can debrief, helping one think through the experiences. Second, but also very important, you do have to remember that the test is the most “dangerous” step, so it needs to be age and maturity level appropriate.
Essential But Not Sufficient
So yes, the truth is essential but it is not sufficient in preparing one to be ambassadors. One will be weak and useless unless one is trained. This post’s takeaway is this, build the truth “immune system” by presenting the truth, presenting the deviations from the truth, take real world tests and then debrief.
What questions do you have? Do you have any more ideas? Feel free to ask or dialogue below!