Wednesday, March 20, 2019. How honest are the words we hear about a particular thing? We all are used to words we cannot trust. We are all flooded by words we cannot trust. Day by day, from morning to evening. You listen to the news, you hear politicians saying a lot of things about their party and the other competitors. It is all marketing, attacking the others. Truth is different! Truth is full of shades, of sincere thoughts!
Where is the problem? Is it that the speaker does not know, that opinion is formulated in a way as if it would cover all of truth? Or is it that there are real lies, where someone knows the truth, but does tell something different? Is the lie so deep that the person believes its own lies?
Do not Swear …
But it is not politics alone, where truth is lacking. It is lacking in all the advertisement you read day by day. Truth would say what works well and what does not. It is not a shiny marketing statement which tries to ignore most of the facts.
It is not that there would be no truth at all in the marketing or the statements! Of course, most politicians have some important things to say. They have a point. But the point is also that most of them have a point - and truth comes taking the whole picture.
Let us hear some words of Jesus on truth :
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (from Matth 5)
If it comes to your personal testimony about facts, it should be clear: describe what is fact, and be very honest and sincere about it. You do not need particular affirmations for that!
Yes and No …
Jesus very clearly states that swearing comes from evil. It only makes sense in an environment where truth is not taken serious. But how much can you believe a liar even if he swears? You cannot!
I believe that the discussion about truth has two layers. One is this personal account, you need to be able to trust that the person you talk to says what he or she knows to be true!
Second, when we talk about truth about processes, about society, about particular parties, about human character … anything more complex, it becomes very difficult. You need to understand language. You need to understand communication. You need to understand how you summarize things, how you pin down facts and complex connections to one sentence or one paragraph. It is not easy, and in this framework “truth” starts to be a true challenge.
Finally, truth needs discussion. It needs different characters, it needs different accounts. It needs freedom to think differently, to turn things around. It needs freedom to leave some things to the side and focus on detail. It needs to step back and see the whole thing. Truth is a process! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts