West Union United Methodist Church
Sunday, July 22, 2018
Luke 10:27

Pastor's Corner

 

 

Consider This… From Chris
 

When I was young(er) I used to enjoy watching Mission Impossible on TV, and then the movies when they came out later.  Just when I thought I had the plot figured out, when there was no hope left for a good outcome, there was a twist, a mask was removed, a truth that was hidden was revealed and the whole thing finally made sense.  In the space of an hour or two, good triumphed over evil.

Many of those plots were around the theme of deception for the purpose of good.  But what do we do today about the deceptions that are for the purpose of evil?  It’s not a new thing.  For years before the internet become fully developed, we would get emails that were completely false, yet were presented as the truth, and the most effective ones contained a bit of truth that seemed to make them legitimate, but the truth was from a different setting, or was intentionally distorted.

When Jesus was questioned by Pilate, he stated that he was born to testify to the truth.  Pilate replied, “What is truth?”  Pilate was not the first, nor the last, government official who was apparently unable to discern truth, or who intentionally distorted it for their own gain. Facts are twisted or just plain fabricated, evidence for a contrary opinion is withheld, blame is placed where it is not proven, pictures are photo-shopped to change reality, laws are reinterpreted or ignored, all in the hope of personal or political gain.

If that seems a bleak picture, it is the reality that I am feeling these days. But I am not without hope.  When I see something that is presented as truth, I find myself asking, “Who is benefiting from this?  Who is being harmed?” And even more importantly, especially when scripture is being quoted to prove a point, I ask, “How does this correlate with what Jesus says is the greatest commandment: to love God and love neighbor?”  For example, if we are being exhorted from Paul’s letter to the Romans to obey our government, but the government is doing irreparable harm to children, or to other groups of people, then we have the higher truth of love to obey and follow, as Paul says in many other places in the letter.

What is truth?  Do not be too quick to agree with information that seems to support your position.  Do not be too quick to dismiss information that seems to disagree with your position.  The masks that people create are very convincing.  Be very quick to discern if there is harm being done, or if there is love being shown.  As followers of Jesus, our truth stands in the place of giving water to the thirsty, food to the hungry, welcome to the stranger, and love to those in need of comfort and care, as he tells us in Matthew.  Our truth stands in the place of challenging the hypocrisy of leaders who work for their own gain, as Jesus did with the Pharisees.  Our truth stands with Jesus, who said go ahead and pay taxes, but remember that our higher loyalty is to the God who loves all people, and commands us to do the same.

                     Chris                        Shalom,