It used to be that ‘truth’ was like Henry Ford’s Model T motor car of the 1920’s – it only came in one colour and you could take it or leave it! But like the colours of cars so ‘truth’ has changed and is now available almost any way you like it. Like a box of Lego bricks ‘truth’ is something each individual constructs for themselves, the only proviso being that you don’t hurt those around you as you do so.
So it comes as no surprise that Oxford Dictionaries have declared the 2016 word of the year is ‘post-truth’, an adjective meaning that objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals. Its use has soared in the year in which the UK voted to leave the European Union and Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Sadly, both those votes illustrated the downside of do-it-yourself truth creation, as they were both marked by hostility and division before and after the elections.
Not surprisingly Jesus had His own take on ‘truth’ and boldly and shockingly declared, “I am the Truth.’ If He was right then truth isn’t something we are free to make up for ourselves, but rather something we discover in relationship with Him; and because it’s rooted in one person who embodied love, its hallmark should be unity and not division.