Friday, August 11, 2006

Wesley's Plain Speaking

There is an old saying that can bring a smile to my face: "Ignorance is bliss."

It can make me smile because, deep down, I know it's easier to live in ignorance. The truth can be hard to accept or just inconvenient. Fantasy is easier and more fun.

In his Journal, John Wesley records his thoughts during a trip in Scotland for May 29, 1763:

"I preached at seven in the High School yard, Edinburgh. It being the time of the General Assembly, which drew together not the ministers only, but abundance of the nobility and gentry, many of both sorts were present; but abundantly more at five in the afternoon. I spake as plainly as ever I did in my life. But I never knew any in Scotland offended at plain dealing. In this respect the North Britons are a pattern to all mankind."

Besides pleasing me (my McCallister ancestral home is Glenbarr Abbey), it also reminds me of the Bereans who heard the gospel:

"The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men."
(Acts 17.10-12 ESV)

In another famous passage:

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in 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.'" (John 8.31-32 ESV)

The truth is guidance through the uncertain waters of life--if we want the guidance. If we spurn the truth, we are forced to traverse the uncertain waters of life alone.

And it's easy to get into dangerous waters.