i believe, like, you know? :: in defense of the declarative voice

January 21, 2010

Watch this. Then we’ll talk…

Are you smiling? Yeah.  Me, too.  Thanks to John and Abraham Piper for bringing this gem to my attention.  I wanted to make you smile.  And if this makes you smile -AND- think about something true… even better.

I’m not going to plumb any psychological depths today.  If you’re looking for that sort of thing, Abraham already linked to the deep water of the “uptalking” psyche right here.  I think this video has plenty to say without microscopic examination.  The broad brush’ll do.  And here’s my simple take away…

I think many people are uncomfortable speaking with authority about what they believe to be true because they fear the response of others who are uncomfortable speaking about what they believe to be true… because they don’t believe anything is truly TRUE.

In other words, people who speak with this unintentionally non-declarative voice are reflecting the cultural view that truth is relative.  And one’s personal belief is only valued if others’ beliefs are equally valued.  The upspeaking becomes self-protection.  It communicates, “what do you think about what I think – because what you think matters as much as what I think.”  Maybe the decline of the declarative voice reflects a growing cultural rejection of the concept of absolute truth.

But the truth isn’t decided by a democratic process…  nor by a dictatorship.  Truth IS.

Two people with opposing views of the truth can agree to disagree.  But they cannot both be right.  They can both be wrong.  But there are not alternate versions of what is true.  Truth IS.

So Church, I encourage you to embrace the Spirit within you – not the spirit of fear that would compell you to qualify every statement about your beliefs and faith with an “Okay?” or a “You know?”  Nope.  The OTHER One.  The Spirit of Power, of Love and of Self-Discipline living within you that can help you speak with authority about what is really true.  See II Timothy 1:7.  And notice, by the way, that nowhere in that passage is there a spirit of self-righteous, pride-filled ranting with which to pummel those with whom you disagree.

Here’s what I believe: Everyone is hopelessly separated from God by sin.  Jesus is the one way to reconnect with God.  He’s it.  The only way.  And living connected to God is what we’re all here for in the first place.  It’s the best way to live.  It’s the only way to *truly* live.

If you disagree, I’m OK with that.  Let’s talk about it.  You may think my view of the truth is narrow minded and unnecessarily exclusive.  Let’s talk about it.  But we can’t both be right.

Are you comfortable stating what you believe with authority? Because I’m, like, totally cool with whatever.  Okay?


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“i believe, like, you know? :: in defense of the declarative voice” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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Psalm 24:7 & Luke 10:42 >> Like David, and Mary, I'm in pursuit of my one thing. I'm the Pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Montgomery, IL. Pastor, teacher, writer, communicator, designer, and drummer. I definitely got the better deal in my marriage to Amy. And I couldn't be any more proud of my five amazing boys. Deeply grateful.

7 responses to i believe, like, you know? :: in defense of the declarative voice

  1. Pretty, like, funny, ya know?

  2. I was like, totally smiling, you know. It was like, so true, I mean, yeah. 😉

    –Hannah

  3. “Truth is True.”

    Novel concept.

    I wonder who invented such a thing?

    Surely someone who knows, someone who’s done it all, someone self-made, someone who doesn’t follow the crowd, someone who has the power of speaking a word with such authority that it IS–that is, it has to be, simply because that person said it.

    He called himself, descriptively for Moses, “I AM.”

    Another came. Called himself the same. In many ways called himself “I AM”. Said he could forgive sin. Said “rise” and lame people walked. Said “awake” and dead people woke. Said he WAS in the beginning. Said he knew “I AM” as his father. Said we could know the God who IS by learning to know him. Called HIMSELF “the Way, the Truth, and the Life!”

    Blasphemy!

    We actually killed him for it. (Strangely, he didn’t actually STAY dead.)

    We call him Jesus.

  4. An excellent and insightful video. Ya know.