Throughout the last four years, I have written nearly 60 columns for this newspaper. The subject matter I’ve chosen to tackle has varied widely — from Super Bowl ads to Planned Parenthood and back again. Every now and then, I’ll have someone ask me, “What’s your column about?” or “What’s the purpose of your column?” For a long time, I didn’t know how to respond. But now, for my final column, I think I’ve finally come up with an answer.
The purpose of this column is to tell the truth.
That focus might not be very descriptive — and it’s certainly not original — but that’s been my goal all along. I haven’t always done the best job, and many times I’ve been heavy with truth and short with love.
Still, I’d like to thank all of you who have read my columns. However you feel about me or my opinions, I’d ask you all to continue to seek the truth.
If my time at this paper has taught me anything, it’s that telling the truth isn’t always easy or popular. Our post-modern context is fundamentally opposed to any idea of absolute truth. Nevertheless, I’m going to take one last attempt at telling the truth — whatever the backlash might be.
The truth is this: for a few thousand years, human beings have been trying to carve out their existence on their own. Whether by military might or scientific discovery, we have been trying to become little kings of this planet and lords of the universe. After millennia of trial and error, you would think that we would have figured out how to save ourselves – especially since the Enlightenment, which taught us that humans are the pinnacle of all wisdom, knowledge and rationality.
But today, we humans have managed to make a bigger mess of ourselves than ever before. Our 3-pound “Enlightened” brains haven’t managed to figure out how to live at peace with one another. During the 20th century alone, some 160 million people were killed during wars and genocides, according to historian Piero Scaruffi. That would be the equivalent of wiping out half of the current U.S. population. Today, a deadly virus called HIV is literally tearing apart an entire continent. Famine plagues large portions of the globe – not because we don’t produce enough food to feed this planet, but because we can’t get along well enough to distribute it to our neighbors.
And if you think these consequences of human failings only affect faraway places, think again. I visited with a man today who was in a platoon of 37 men in Vietnam. After a brutal tour, he was the only one that came home. Today he lives alone, deeply wounded by the tragedies he witnessed. Throughout the United States, 22 percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) are aborted, according to the Guttmacher Institute. More children in America grow up fatherless than ever before. As I mentioned in my last column, 1 in 3 girls are sexually abused by the age of 18, according to advocacycenter.org. Tragically, more readers were upset that I called those women “innocent” than by the fact that they had been so brutally mistreated.
The truth is the human experiment has failed. If we were left to ourselves, our selfishness would lead to more war, more disease, more famine, more divorce, more abortion and more isolation and more death. The truth is: we can’t do this on our own. We need a Savior.
And the truth is that a Savior has come. That’s the good news. I’ve spent much of my four years here telling bad news – going on a tirade here and a rant there about the sorry state of our culture. But I’ve dedicated very little time to telling the Good News, which is that a man named Jesus Christ came to save the world of humans from themselves. When we needed a Savior most, God himself came to our rescue. Because of what he has done, we can overcome evil and turn away from our selfish desires which have led to so much heartache and suffering throughout the centuries.
That is the truth. That’s what I hope this column has been about. And that’s the truth I’m going to spend the rest of my life telling. Thank you all, once again. Go and tell the truth.