Freeing Truth

“First, I want to remind you that in the last days there will be scoffers who will laugh at the truth and do every evil thing they desire.” – 2 Peter 3:3

There’s a dangerous myth floating around in our culture. It says that all religions have an equal claim on the truth. Because we live in a society that highly values tolerance and pluralism (at least philosophically we do) this myth has lots of appeal to us. It basically says that as long as someone believes something sincerely, then it must be true for them, and no one has the right to tell them otherwise. Their belief must be respected and given equal weight with all other “truths.”

That sounds great in theory, but it just doesn’t hold water in reality. I don’t care how sincerely you believe that 2 + 2 = 5, it just isn’t true. I don’t care how deeply you believe that you can leap off a tall building and fly, — that isn’t true either.

Remember what happened in California in late March 1997? Members of the Heaven’s Gate group sincerely believed that the appearance of the Hale-Bopp Comet was a sign that they should shed their “earthly containers,” because they were about to be taken to the next level by a space craft. In fact, thirty-nine of them believed it so sincerely, that they committed group-suicide; they voluntarily gave up their lives for their sincerely-held beliefs.

Let me ask you: if one of your children had been a follower of the Heaven’s Gate movement, and he or she had expressed their beliefs and intentions to you, would you have validated their beliefs as true? How about if they really, deeply, sincerely believed it? I can’t answer for you, but my clear answer would be a resounding “No!”

What, then, constitutes “truth” for you? Or maybe the question is better stated, “Who constitutes truth for you?” Jesus Christ claimed to be “the truth”. (John 14:6). He also said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32). Seeing Jesus through God’s Word and the Spirit of Christ can set you free from illusions and fears.

I’ve heard it said that truth is relative. I have to agree. Truth is a relative. He’s my brother and his name is Jesus. When you see Jesus, you see and know the truth that sets you free to live life abundantly.

Bringing It Home
1. Claiming that Jesus is “the truth” is a controversial statement for many people today. They see it as intolerant and narrow-minded. What do you believe?
2. How will knowing “the truth” set you free? How will failing to know the truth keep you in bondage?

Heavenly Father, we live in a time and a culture that continues to wrestle with the age-old question, “What is truth?” My soul aches to find that unchanging rock to which I can anchor my soul. Lead me to know the Truth so deeply in Jesus Christ that I am truly free and willing to risk going against the grain of a culture that will label me as intolerant and narrow-minded. Help me to respond to scoffing with grace and your unconditional love. Grant me your Spirit that others may see Jesus’ truth and grace through me. I ask all this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Jeff Marian
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Burnsville, MN

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