It seems like every presidential candidate vows that if elected their administration will be the most transparent in history. Our current president certainly made that claim. Most likely he was referring to one of Webster’s definitions of transparency namely ‘free from pretense or deceit’. On the other hand the opposite of transparency includes clandestine conduct of which one would be ashamed. Synonyms include secret, hidden, or concealed. History will reveal which definition best suits this president.
Transparency is also a popular Biblical teaching in both Old and New Testaments. The major premise is that one cannot take a secret to the grave thinking it will never be revealed.
Biblical synonyms for transparency include reveal, uncover, unveil, disclose and open. In the present age many defense lawyers earn their living by circumventing or suppressing the truth. Consider the tremendously popular trial of George Zimmerman. The trial lasted several weeks just to arrive at the ‘truth’ so a jury verdict could be rendered. Consider the congressional hearings being conducted regarding the numerous ‘scandals’ surrounding this current administration’s activities. Millions of dollars and untold hours are being spent, again just to arrive at the truth. And then there is the use of the Fifth Amendment where a person is exempted from testifying if their testimony would be self incriminating.
The above is just a sampling of the games being played during this present age. The truth, however, is already known and is being stored in a data base that would put the National Security Agency to shame. And all will be revealed in due time.
The doctrine of ‘openness’ and transparency was taught by Jesus beginning with the parable of the lamp.
“Also He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear’.” Mark 4:21-23
Note the wording ‘nothing hidden…nor has anything been kept secret’. There is no such thing as a ‘delete’ button in God’s data base.
Jesus then taught that all types of hypocrisy would be exposed.
“In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all. ‘Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops’.” Luke 12:1-3
Recall that the Pharisees were the prime examples of hypocrites. They pretended to be righteous when in fact Jesus exposed them as being of their father, the devil. Recent columns have highlighted some of the doctrine of the Pharisees and warned of the activities of present day Pharisees.
Paul carried on with the concept of openness and total transparency. He taught that even the supposed inner thoughts of the heart would be exposed in due time.
“Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels (motives) of the hearts…” 1 Corinthians 4:5
Solomon, who was considered to be the wisest man in the world during the days of the kings, summarized the Old Testament teachings of transparency.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:13-14
At the end of the recent trial of Jodi Arias she made the now infamous statement: ‘Death is the ultimate freedom’.
Perhaps many share her thinking, however, those who find themselves before the great white throne will learn the truth of the matter.
“…and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God…” Revelation 20:11-12