“The truth shall set you free.” This quote from the
Gospel of John, chapter 8 verse 32 is often quoted and rarely
understood in context. Jesus is speaking about the differences between
his real followers and those that profess religious adherence while
avoiding obedience to love and truth.
before this verse, Jesus shares that his true followers obey his
commands…and THEN, the fullness of liberating truth comes into view. In
other words, knowledge alone does not liberate; a relationship with God
is what matters most. And, consistent with all of St. John’s writings,
proof of life with God is that God’s people love one another and all
around them, willingly serving those that cannot return the favor.
God-infused, unselfish love is the foundation of our lives, we can face
the truth of any matter head-on, because we know we are loved by God
and care more for his glory and the good of others that our selfish
wants. We can face the truth about ourselves and our need for continual
transformation. We can face facts about the economic, moral and social
issues of our day, knowing that our neighbors are both divine
image-bearers and in need of redemption.
Knowing the truth is liberating and here are some applications to everyday issues:
kills a human being. In an extremely small number of cases, preserving a
mother’s life may require a tragic moral choice; however, technology
allows us to see a real human developing inside the womb!
southern border needs regulation with hospitality, security with
compassion. Ignoring it only exacerbates human suffering and political
and economic agendas of elites that have no contact with the people
soaring deficits are inexcusable, with tax revenues the highest in
history. Smart people can balance our federal budget in a few hours,
while cowardly congressional leaders kick the can down the road of
housing is a local and national crisis. Neither socialism or
hyper-libertarianism can lead us to the private-public partnerships and
common good solutions we need.
we love God and our neighbor, we will seek solutions for these and
other apparently intractable problems. We can face both human misery and
divine opportunity with hopeful realism. It is time for thoughtful
folks to say, “Enough!” to posturing politicians and pundits and work
for justice neighborhood by neighborhood.
Moral convictions do not mean the absence of
compassion. True toleration helps neighbors of vastly different
universes live peaceably together with love and respect. If I disagree
with someone’s beliefs or behaviors, it is not narrow-mindedness or
Can we all grow up a bit and stop labeling and libeling?
I believe unborn and newly-born children are human persons. That is a love for life, not a war on women.
I am a Christian; therefore, I disagree on some matters with my Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or secular neighbors…who I will gladly work with to make our world a better place.
We have miles to go on gender equality and racial injustice. I do not need to hate myself or “shut up”, however.
I think ethical free enterprise is better than centralized socialism. This does not mean I reject a safety net or concern for the environment. I want America to lead the world in hospitality for immigrants…and secure the borders and reform her policies.
As a minister, I will only consecrate heterosexual, monogamous marriages. That does not mean I will not be a good neighbor to adults that organize life differently. As an academic, I enjoy presenting all sides of important issues. Truth can stand the test of opposing arguments.
The moment we label and libel, we end the search for wisdom and reveal fear of “the other.”
We must want for all others the liberties that we enjoy.
We have more tax revenues than ever…and ballooning deficits in Washington, D.C. Neither party has the courage to balance a budget and repay obligations. Here are some insights for changing the conversation:
- Create a budget based on the real revenue of the previous year. If there is more money, decide ahead of time where it goes; if less, have the cuts ready.
- Unregulated capitalism and bureaucratic socialism achieve the same end: a few are enriched at the expense of most.
- Begin a process of removing the thousands of agricultural subsidies that benefit huge agribusinesses and are no longer needed.
- Transform HUD and other agencies into efficient, decentralized catalysts for help and transformation instead of career paths for bureaucrats.
- Cut defense spending and increase support for veterans. One less bomber means help for thousands of vets and less pork for Congress to give away.
- Privatize all public pensions, with excellent regulations through the SEC and other agencies. Eliminate the special retirement benefits for elected federal officials and have them held to the same economic standards as all citizens.
- Public employee unions should be able to bargain, but not hold taxpayers hostage to benefits they cannot afford. Bring all teachers and workers into Social Security and offer excellent private plans – just like the rest of the country.
- Hold all government agencies accountable for best practices and have private-sector leaders offer insights on efficient methods and ethics.
- Transform the IRS with simplification of the tax code and consider alternative ways of raising revenue.
- Invigorate private/public partnerships for all kinds of infrastructure, with high standards, but honest bidding processes and a cap on “change orders” and lawsuits.
- Stop sending tax dollars to colleges and universities for frivolous programs and lower the cost of education by demanding that teachers teach, and students work.
With courage, love and wisdom, we can change a 50-year trajectory.