Ye Shall Know the Truth and it Shall Frustrate the Bleeding Life out of You

In this blog, David Sretenovic takes the reader to that fork in the road where, in daily routines, you have a choice as to which truth to speak. Captain Obvious swoops in like Superman to do his thing too.

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“Well, thank-you, Captain Obvious!” Have you ever heard someone say that? It’s said with a double dose of sarcasm, sometimes in jest but other times with spiteful disdain. (If you haven’t come across this colloquialism, it’s directed at someone who has made an unhelpful and unnecessary observation about something which is plainly clear to all present.) Sometimes it amounts to being told, “Make yourself useful for a change, would you?”

I had a funny thought though (go with me for a second):  isn’t Captain Obvious telling the truth? Doesn’t the “truth set you free” (according to the popular, biblical maxim)? Soooo, if Captain Obvious were a Superhero, then telling the truth would be his super-power… that would make him the greatest liberator of all the Superheros! I’m being silly of course, but to be honest I know people – often religious, preachy folk – who actually think that that’s the way it works. Unfortunately it’s not: simply stating something which is true doesn’t miraculously liberate someone. Moreover, it seems to be a largely unappreciated reality that some truths are simply not worth stating. In fact, in any given circumstance, there are always multiple truths on offer (and you can’t say them all!). Developing my perspective here, I’d like to point to two of the more important truths which present themselves in any given circumstance, one of them being pertinent particularly for the Christian Believer.

I face the choice over and over – and marriage circumstances, particularly arguments with Wifey, spring to mind – as to which truth to speak, to harness, to thrust into our discourse. Something has gone wrong in the home: perhaps a child was disappointed because their favourite pyjamas were unwashed for bedtime; perhaps dinner preparation was left too late and the whole zoo rioted – and I am locking horns with her. I know I am right, and I can retell the story for her, stating each excruciating fact, exactly as it happened. In brutal prosecutor fashion, I could piece together the machinery of her failure so no judge or jury could deny my case. (As an aside, I’ll point out that such an approach, brimming with factuality and truth, tends to have to the objective of putting the blame onto her and off me). But, as a Believer who is possessed by the Holy Ghost, I always have another truth ringing in my ear. “Your wife,” He says, “is a Queen, a gift to you, blameless before Me, and achieving exactly what I have intended for her in life, and in your marriage. She is a holy saint, made exquisitely and perfectly, for you and for Me, and her words right now are emissaries from my throne. I, your God, am speaking to you, David, through her! She is Love to you, right now! And what she did in causing this present disappointment looks to you like a habit and a character flaw which you cannot justify or overlook, but this is not her true character; her true character, in Christ, is peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control… just as the Bible says.” For me, in that moment of heated quarrel, both of these are absolute truths. And at that instance, I can only choose to say one of them. The question is: which one is more helpful? To make this point more generalised: in any situation, you can either state the observable truths, or the gospel-driven, spiritual perspective. 

What I believe is a great challenge of life, and indeed a blaring reason for our need for God and the Holy Spirit, is to be able to make the right choice of which truth to be uttering at the right time. And this is my exhortation: choose the best truth you can at every given moment! Choose the best truth that YOU can see! There is no moral obligation or coercion (on pain of post-life culpability before the Great Judge, as some imagine it) to take one or the other, just simply choose that one which is your best and dearest! Choose it now! Choose it later! Choose it every day, for every person, in every circumstance! Choose the best truth you know, and speak it. 

And THAT, my friend.

THAT will set you free.

Peace.

Unfetter the Marriage Debate: Harness Your Imagination

David Sretenovic welcomes a wider imagination – and hopefully foresight – for the current marriage definition debate. And of course: vision and the expression of honest opinions.

Unfetter your imaginations! In redefining marriage, the genius (and peril) of democracy is that there are literally no limitations. Traditions, religions and ideologies typically limit the range of acceptable options — not so in the secular, polemically-based model. We actually have an impressive range of options available: male-female marriage, polygamous marriage, polyandrous marriage, adult-child marriage, same-sex marriage, male-male only marriage, female-female only marriage, child-child marriage, incestuous marriage, temporary-contract marriage, swinger-arrangement marriage, instant-marriages (like in Las Vegas), no marriage… just to name a few.

It’s interesting to consider that in this sense, traditional marriage has never claimed “equality”: it is a deliberate discrimination against other relational configurations. With same-sex marriage, there would simply be ONE new optional marriage configuration recognized by our government: I will now be allowed to marry either a man OR a woman. But in Australia I will still be imprisoned for bigamy if I take a second wife (under Section 94 of the Marriage Act, 1961). As a nation we will still be excluding (“discriminating against”) all the other marriage configurations, many of which do have their own lobbies who are actively presenting their cases for change. To me, saying we’ve “finally reached equality” is actually derisive of such genuine human causes because it completely ignores their cries of unfair, culturally biased discrimination (here’s the Wikipedia link for a superficial start on the topic: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygamy_in_Australia ). It has been a brilliantly executed political campaign to have convinced so many that we will have “equality” if same-sex marriage is legislated, when clearly so much “inequality” will remain.

The bottom line: support a vision! What do you WANT for our society? Vote with your voice … but the fun starts as you and others unravel the implications — on social media we can explore it brilliantly. But be prepared to hear others out too, including personal fears and warnings (which each of us is entitled to) — that’s all part of it. I’ve argued my pro-traditional marriage position elsewhere, so I won’t push my view here. My thrust here is the liberation of the individual’s soul to ponder this meaningful issue, delimiting the scope of debate, and freedom to wonder aloud. Here’s to open minds — minds free to choose either their own or another’s vision.

[Again, “hate” and “abuse” are enemies of what I’m doing by sharing this on social media. My ultimate goal on social media is to imagine our ideal future society together, and cooperate to make common goals a reality. Cheers for posting thoughtfully and sensitively. — David]