Thomas Carlyle on Speaking Truth

Speak the truth or don't speak at all.
Certainly never conclude a person is a good speaker just because they have mastered the art of oratory, passionate proclamation, or clever communication. We are so often drawn to those who are best at spin doctoring the truth. Or presenting personal opinion as if it is the truth delivered once and for all to the saints! All you have to do is recall so much of the recent conversation on "church" by those who have a grievance against it.

When I read some of the just silly or angry words about the church, the passage that came to mind was simply, "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone at the church." For some of the loudest critics (at least the ones I know personally) are also some of the most grievous offenders. 

I too have some complaints about the church. I too have some criticisms about leaders in the church. I too have some choice words about church people. That's easy for me and easy for you.

But more important (BY FAR) than my complaints, criticisms and choice words is this.

I too am a grievous offender. And as such an offender, who am I to cast stones at other offenders? Is it too much to wish that some other offender-critics would recognize their own culpability. But it is always a great deal more pleasurable to criticize than confess. To condemn than to commiserate. To reject than to repent. To leave than to love.  

It is foolishness to follow the Lead Stone Casters, even if they are witty, even if they are impassioned, even if they have Celebrity Status. Reject that way. In the end, while it seems wise, it is a dead end.

And the only one who ever had the right to cast Stones at the Church, instead, chose to Hang on a Cross for her. Truly following Jesus is to put down your stones of supposed righteousness and take up the cross daily... to serve, love, sacrifice, be humble as Jesus was.

That is what Carlyle is getting at in this quote. Not the sacrifice part. But - be wise about who you listen to.

Thomas Carlyle On the choice of books  fine speaking is speaking truth

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International