Across the Pastor’s Desk: No alternate truths with Jesus

Published 8:25 pm Thursday, August 24, 2017

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Don Rose

There has been a great deal of discussion about truth in recent days and months.

This is true from national and international levels, as well as at the most local. It has been said in some circles that there can in fact be alternate truths, suggesting that each individual or group party to the issue can have a separate truth of his, her or its own liking.

Don Rose

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The question to be asked is whether or not truth is truth, or is truth a work in progress. Part of the challenge may have to do with point of reference. Is there a truth from which all else can be measured or is truth simply another of those things that is relative to the eye of the beholder?

Years ago, Albert Steinberg, writing in an article in the Saturday Evening Post, shared the story of the highway department in Pennsylvania that set out to build a new bridge from both sides. It was only when the workers reached the midpoint of the waterway that they discovered they were 13 feet to one side of each other. Each group of workers had used its own point of reference, and it was no wonder they did not meet in the middle as planned and anticipated.

Where is truth and what is truth in the world in which we live? For Christians, there is one reference point upon which all else is to be based.

In the gospel according to St. John, it is recorded that Jesus said he is the truth. Jesus calls his followers to that truth, not as something to be agreed to as a piece of information, but rather as a way of life. The truth to which Jesus calls believers is a truth not only about God, but about themselves. It is a truth that acknowledges that on their own, human beings cannot achieve what God would so freely offer. It is a truth that changes peoples lives and the ways in which they relate to God, to the world, and to one another. It is a truth by which all other truths can be measured.

There is then no alternate truth. There are no varied points of reference to confuse or misdirect. Lies, deception and misinformation are never the truth no matter who delivers them. The truth that anchors all truth is the truth reveled in God’s love in Jesus the Christ.

Don Rose is the pastor of Mansfield Lutheran Church in Alden and United Lutheran Church in Walters.