Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Monopoly on Truth

I'm a big Donald Miller fan. 

I love the way in which he brings a freshness to faith and raises questions that are timely, poignant and thought-provoking.

I know some people who aren't such big fans, though. They've read something he's said that they disagreed with, or heard that he's friends with someone they don't like, and they've written him off as unworthy of their trust.

Some people balk when you quote or promote someone that they don't fully agree with, especially when it comes to theology and spirituality. And though I probably wouldn't say that I  agree with everything Don's ever written or said (there's no one who deserves that kind of devotion, but Jesus), I do, for the most part, trust him, having read much of what he's written over the years, and having heard him speak a number of times. 

Besides, I firmly believe in the idea that All truth is God's truth, meaning this: God is Truth and the source of all truth. Therefore, if something is true, it's of God. It's His. He owns it. This is fantastically liberating, because it means no one group has the monopoly on truth. I don't have to look just to one person, organization or group to find true things. Truth can be found even in the most unlikely of places.

Ghandi can speak true things, and we can celebrate and affirm that truth. 
The same can be said of Oprah, the Pope, Joel Osteen, Marilyn Manson, Brian Mclaren and even the dreaded Rob Bell. 

Just because we disagree with one (or most) position(s) a person holds to, doesn't mean we can't affirm, celebrate and use the true things they say. 

This is the same idea Paul's getting at when he says in Philippians that he cares little whether a person is preaching Christ from false motives or true, but all that matters is that Christ is preached... because all truth belongs to God.  

What a miracle of common grace, that we, broken and rebellious sinners, are allowed to share in the riches of God's truth! A person doesn't even have to be a believer in order to speak or understand truth. Paul even says that what can be known about God is plain to mankind - we can know [in part] about God, just from the world around us!

And so, I'm not afraid to affirm truth and quote someone whom I might not agree with in every sense. If a Buddhist monk says something true about God, or faith, or life, I can quote him and celebrate the grace God gave him to speak a true thing.

Because God does have the monopoly on truth.

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