Lies are Alien to the Truth


Fifth Day in the Octave of Christmas

1John 2: 18-21; John 1: 1-18

Dc. Larry Brockman

“Tolerance”.  Our secular, pluralistic, society preaches tolerance- tolerance of everyone’s right to believe in their own thing; tolerance of everyone’s right to do their own thing.  And yet we need to make the distinction between tolerance on the one hand, and compromising our faith on the other hand. 

You see, truth, is what we are all seeking.  And believing and acting on the truth is what we are called to do.   Now, the gospel says clearly:  “Grace and truth came from Jesus Christ”.  And what is the truth about Jesus Christ?  Well, today’s gospel defines much about what we have come to know about the Christian God.  It served as the basis for many of the key decisions made about Jesus divinity and humanity in the great church councils over the first 400 years after Christ.  The truth is that Jesus is God, and was God in the beginning.  At the same time, the truth is that Jesus lived as a human being, and taught us to adopt the values that he lived.  It is so clear for a Christian.  God gave us the Gospels to help us cut through all the ambiguity about what God expects of us.  The Gospels, and the New Testament scriptures, are His word to us.  The scriptures are the Word of God, and are truth- not the writings of Christian Scientists; not the writings of Jehovah Witnesses; not the Mormon scriptures; not the Hindu Scriptures, not the Koran, and not the writings of the great Chinese traditions; but our scriptures. 

Now St. John said something very interesting:  “Every lie is alien to the truth”.  And if we believe in the truth of Jesus, then these other writings, no matter whatever else they might be to others, do not tell the truth about Jesus, and so they are alien to the truth.  It is important for us to understand that when we are practicing tolerance because our tolerance can sometimes be misinterpreted as concurrence,.and that is wrong. 

Now I’m not suggesting that we be radicals who pick fights and, argue with people of other faiths, nor am I advocating forcing other people to accept our faith.  But I am suggesting that it is our obligation in a pluralistic society, to live our faith, and to be steadfast in it.  When we live what we believe, others will see that, and it will serve as a testimony to the truth. 

Let me give one concrete example:  It’s not Happy Holidays; it’s Merry Christmas.  Tolerance implies that we smile when someone says “Happy Holidays” and move on.  Living our faith means that we politely point out that “You mean Merry Christmas, because Jesus is the reason for the season.” 

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