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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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TRUTH MATTERS

Lewis Carroll, in Alice in Wonderland, at one point has the Mad Hatter asking Alice, "Where do you want to go?" Alice replies, "I don't know." To which the Mad Hatter says, "Then any direction will do." Any direction might do if you don't know and don't care where you want to go. But for those who want to go home to God, not just any path will do. Jesus spoke pointedly about the path that must be followed home to God. He described that path succinctly when He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (John 14:6). In the context of this verse, Jesus is responding to a question from the apostle Thomas who had asked Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" It was to this question that Jesus responded that He was the way, the truth and the life. Not a way, a truth, or a life. But THE way, truth and life. This exclusive claim by Jesus didn't sit well with people of His day. As a result, His opponents sought to kill Him and eventually did by nailing Him to a tree. But silencing a truth-speaker does not change or silence the truth any more than pulling the shade down on a window makes the sun fall from the sky. And so the truth was taken up by the apostles who preached it all over the first century world, in the face of hatred, ridicule, and persecution. Near the end of the first century, the apostle John writes to someone he calls "the elect lady" and says, "I rejoiced greatly that I have found some of your children walking in truth, as we received commandment from the Father." John goes on to warn the elect lady and her children against deceivers and even more pointedly says, "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son (2 John 7-9)." Truth mattered to Jesus and John.

Actress Penelope Cruz expresses the multiple-choice approach to truth so common in today's world. She said, "I was baptized and had my first communion, and I believe in God in my own ways. But the philosophy I most identify with is Buddhism because it's the one that doesn't say, `This is the only way.' I don't want to put a title on what I believe" (Plugged In, 5/01, pin). Thinking people can't help but wonder if Penelope believes that the belief that "this is not the only way" is the only way to believe. People who insist truth doesn't matter want us to believe that their view matters and is true. Truth mattered to Jesus. Truth mattered to John. If we want to have the Father and the Son, truth will matter to us.