You Can’t Handle the Truth!

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

This statement immediately brings Jack Nicholson to mind, delivering that iconic line to Tom Cruise in “A Few Good Men“.  It’s one of those grand-slam Hollywood moments that audiences sink their heart into, identifying with one side of a highly emotionalized issue.  I lived in Europe when this came out, at the time the Soviet Union was collapsing.  I had spent considerable time behind the Iron Curtain, and saw things against the stark “black and white” “us vs. them”  backdrop of the era.

Not only that, at the time I was a full-time Minister with The Worldwide Church of God, founded by Herbert W. Armstrong to preach the True Gospel of the Kingdom of God for the first time in 1900 years.  We had The Truth, and we were serving up truth – hot off the press – as a warning to a world that couldn’t handle it.

As you might imagine, I had a strong affinity to the emotive power of Jack’s statement.  As I watch it now, more than 20 years later, the segment seems hollow, artificial, contrived, and dated.  Is this due to time moving on, or is it because I’ve so completely changed my perspectivesYou can't handle the truth! on reality?  Probably a bit of both.  And while the Trilogy I’m in the process of completing, which started with The People of the Sign, covers my metamorphosis in detail, let me share the soundbite here.

The biggest problem with how I used to think was this idea that anyone could “have the truth”.  You can’t have, own, possess, the truth.  The truth is “out there”.  You can only seek to discover bits of it – to find those parts of it which resonate with you.

Sadly, things which are not true also often resonate with people.

Discerning the difference is key.  And I’ve come to see that focusing on the purity of our own heart is the only way to ensure we resonate with the truth, vs. the lie.  This is why the second volume in the trilogy is called The Hardness of the Heart.

Thinking we can “have the truth” leads to us doing what Nicholson did in the movie, the thing he claimed others couldn’t do.  He believed in his own ability to “handle the truth”.  We should not be so arrogant as to believe we can “handle the truth”.


The word handle has a number of definitions all of which have to do with manipulating, controlling, managing, and even trading or conducting commerce.  In other words, if you think you can “handle the truth” you are most likely spending much of your time spinning it to assert your interpretation on the universe, rather than letting the universe inform you.  And to profit in some way from your efforts.  And you are likely deceiving yourself in the process.

As I finalize the draft of The Rod of Iron the third and final volume in my trilogy – scheduled for release this Spring, I’m focused on peer review, on listening to my editor, and on remembering the lessons imparted to me during my time in India, struggling with what I call my decade in a dead end, during which the universe began in earnest to prove to me that I was wrong.  That I didn’t “have the truth” and that while I believed myself capable of “handling it” the truth was that letting go of my preconceived ideas was the path towards the light.

My readers understand that this doesn’t mean throwing out babies with bathwater.  It entails carefully and prayerfully examining any and all evidence, and being open to what the data is revealing.  My understanding that God reveals Himself through both His Word and His Creation was a critical component in my decision to stop “handling the truth”.  Once I stopped spinning it, the true orientation of particles, molecules, celestial bodies and stars, Jack Nicholson, Tom Cruise and HWA included, became more apparent.  Along with it, my own spin was able to be brought into better alignment with the truth.

If you’re ready to stop trying to handle the truth, and would like to join in open dialogue with people who may or may not believe as you do, but who are open to exploring Revelation together, whether it be the Word of God, or the kind the Universe provides, on a wide variety of topics, please accept my invitation to join The People of the Sign on facebook.

The discussions might make your head spin.  Which is something I hope you look forward to.What is your personal Spin?