At some point in my walk with the Lord, I had a revelation concerning the seriousness of suppressing the truth. It occurred to me that it is the ultimate form of self-righteousness and evil. Suppressing God’s truth is like saying to God, “Your version of reality is a lie. I’d rather construct my own universe in which I can govern things as I please.” If God’s truth has the audacity to enter that universe, and toy with my fragile constructs that suit my own agenda, I’ll evict it and go on with my own way.
An extreme example of what I’m referring to, is illustrated in the gospels with the Pharisees and other religious sects. Many of us have attached the stigma of self-righteousness to the Pharisees, but fail to see how this is most egregiously manifested. Sure, they got on Jesus’ case for associating with tax collectors and sinners. And of course there is the story of the contrasting prayers of the Pharisee and the Publican. Both (especially the latter) are blatant displays of self-righteousness.
Suppressing The Truth Of Jesus’ Divinity
However, there is a theme present throughout the gospels that has an even darker undertone of self-righteousness. In fact, it led to Jesus’ death. It was the forceful suppression of the truth. You can find repeatedly where instead of submitting to the obvious truth that Jesus was sent of God as evidenced by the many miracles He was doing; they became offended by the miracles.
In some cases, they tried to cast illegitimacy on the miracles, such as when He healed on the Sabbath. Or by claiming He cast out demons by the power of the prince of demons. Or they simply tried to kill Jesus to make the miracles stop. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, they even attempted to kill Lazarus, since they understood that Lazarus was living proof of Jesus’ God-given miracle-working power.
Those are illustrations of men who would stop at nothing to suppress God’s truth and advance their own agenda as they governed their own weakly constructed universe that, from their perspective, Jesus had the audacity to disturb. Jesus once condemned them strongly, saying: “But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. (Matthew 23:13)–ESV
This was the extent to which they opposed and suppressed God’s truth. We can see then that suppressing the truth is a serious matter. Perhaps the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees made it onto the pages of the Bible to give us that extreme illustration.
Our Own Shortcomings
Most of us are not suppressing the truth to that degree. But do we even want a grain of that kind of evil in our lives? Evil does not hold still. It can grow and become as bad as illustrated above in anyone’s life.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. – ESV
We’ve all been unrighteous. Unrighteousness is the act of living a lie, or living outside of God’s truth. The verse above shows the seriousness of this issue. Perhaps simply living in unrighteousness is the seed that germinates and eventually turns us into modern-day Pharisees. But we can cut it off in repentance before it matures. Even if we are believers, we have an obligation to cut unrighteousness off at the root in repentance. And to cut off our own perceptions of truth at the roots as well. Instead of suppressing God’s truth, let’s try walking in it and promoting it and following it wherever it leads. Even if we don’t like it at first. If we do, we’ll soon discover it sets us free!