Yesterday, we had a guest speaker at RISE. Her name is Rachel Held Evans and she is amazing! (I requested that she make me a friendship bracelet, so we will see if she comes through.) I really enjoyed listening to Rachel speak about truth. My brain was trying to soak up everything from fundamentalism to post-modernism to relativism.
Sometimes I’m really nerdy and love to dive into topics like relativism and absolute truth. Often times, as church, we hammer down these ‘absolute truths’ and leave no room for different perceptions, ideas or questions.
I was really struck yesterday when Rachel admitted that she kind of believed in relativism. Meaning that there aren’t many absolute truths that apply to everyone and every situation. That truth changes.
Then she said, “Truth is a person,” and I pretty much wanted to hug her. Because she’s right. The one absolute truth we have is Jesus. And Jesus was a pretty cool guy. He said so many different things, but never pounded anyone down with cut and dry answers. He answered questions with questions. He answered different people in different ways. But everything he demanded of people came back to two commands…
34-36 When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”
37-40 Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” -Matthew 22
I firmly believe that everything Jesus taught comes back to this. Everything we are called to do and called to be stems from loving God and loving others.
So is there absolute truth? Yes. It’s love. The love we are first given and then called to give back and give away.
How can we say this looks the same for everyone? Jesus teaches people in different ways. He meets them where they are. He wouldn’t speak to a ridiculous 25-year-old in Harrisonburg, VA the way He would speak to a woman at a well, or a man hiding in a tree.
Jesus is truth. Love is truth. And beyond that, things become quite unclear. I like it that way.
Check out Rachel’s blog! http://rachelheldevans.com/