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To be candid...

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ Matthew 7: 21-23

By inserting the word “candid” into the search engine of the main BBC website a few days ago, a total of 1,284 hits arose. Of these 840 were in the News category. Candour is now a really important issue in our world.

One of those 840 news items which referred to candour was about Bob Diamond, the former Barclays chief, in connection with the Libor scandal. On 10 July 2012 he was reported as being dismayed by the claims of UK MPs that he had been “less than candid” when he appeared before them...

The Jersey Law Reports contain published particulars of key Royal Court Judgments. In Note 5 of the first Issue of that publication in 2012 this statement was made:  It would not, however, be in the interests of justice to make [an order for costs] against an executor who took steps reasonably and in good faith to ascertain the assets of the estate that he was charged to administer and did not receive candid, full and unambiguous replies..... No candour regarding an executor’s reasonable requests for information, no reimbursement of costs when the executor brings you to Court.

What then is “candour”? What do I have to do to be seen to be “candid”?

Perhaps surprisingly both “candour” and “candid” have the same origin being the Latin word candere meaning “to shine, to be white, to be open”. Like a candle – same origin. To be candid is to be truthful, to be open, to be seen, not hidden.
Candid-ate / noun / From Latin candidatus, clothed in white, from candidus, white; from the white toga worn by candidates for office in ancient Rome : one that aspires to an office or position....

Bob Diamond? Were the MPs correct? Was he less than candid before them? They perceiverd that he had not been open. And the Royal Court’s decision? The Court perceived that the person who was asked by the executor about the assets of the estate had not been open.

What about the folk of whom Jesus spoke in the words in bold above? The folk who would one day say to him, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” – are they then “candid”? Are they telling the truth?

When you decide that question bear in mind that, as Jesus said, these folk will be saying these words “on that day”. I think they’re now being “candid”.

But Jesus is being “candid” as well when he says to them something about himself. “I never knew you.” In the days preceding “that day”, Jesus had not known them.

I wonder how that could be. Surely he knew them before “that day”? Surely he know of their prophesying in his name, of their casting out demons in his name, of their doing many mighty works in his name? Yes, I’m sure he did know about all those things.

In fact, Jesus does not say to them that he didn’t know what they had done in his name.

He says that he didn’t know them.
‘To candid, reasonable men I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought; I am the creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air.   I am a spirit come from God and returning to God, just hovering over the great gulf, until, a few moments hence, I am no more seen. I drop into an unchangeable eternity. I want to know one thing: the way to heaven, how to land safely on that happy shore.   God himself has condescended to teach me the way, for this very end he came from heaven. He has written it down in a book. At any price give me the bo0k f God. I have it. Here is knowledge enough for me.' (John Wesley, preacher, 1703-1791).

That’s precisely where “candour” comes in – they had not been “candid” with Jesus before “that day”. They had not been open with him. Therefore he never knew them.

He couldn’t help them.
Richard Syvret

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