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20 October 2017

Questions, questions, questions...

Questions, questions, questions...

With Brexit in the news again this week, and questions being asked about the future of our nation, Major General Tim Cross CBE challenges us to ask more fundamental questions: what road are you on and what do you rely on as true?

Questions. We go through life answering questions. At school, university, when we apply for a job - we never stop answering questions. Some questions are more personal – I clearly remember being asked by the vicar in my local church: "will you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?" It was a crucial question – and I've lived with the consequences of my answer ever since, recently celebrating 43 years of marriage, with hopefully a few more to come.

A great friend of mine, General Ian Durie, who I served alongside in the 1991 Gulf War, often asked his young soldiers where they were going in life – what road were they on? It's not an easy question to answer which is perhaps why not that many people ask it of themselves. All too often life just slips us by, which may be fine but usually means that we don't end up where we may have thought we were going. 

So, let me ask you: what road are you on? What do you want out of life? 

I was once told that to live a contended life required three things – a clear sense of personal identity; a strong sense of purpose; and a deep sense of faith. Identity: knowing who you are. Purpose: knowing why you are here on the earth. And a faith: holding firm to something or someone that's solid and true.

So, who are you? What's your purpose in life? Who or what can you trust, can you really rely on as being true;? What will you live your life for? Or risk your life for?

We may have a religious or a secular faith – like materialism, atheism or humanism – but we are all people of faith; we all put our trust in something. Faith is a world-view, an underlying narrative to our lives that helps us to answer profound questions to do with meaning, identity, purpose and the future. 

So, here's another question; in a post-truth, fake news world, who or what do you put your faith in? 

A sincerely held belief doesn't make that belief true – only truth makes a belief true. Without truth a belief is only speculation plus sincerity, which is why truth doesn't yield to fashion, opinion, office/rank/title, the views of the powerful, or even the sincerity of great minds. Real truth is true even if nobody believes it, just as falsehoods and lies are falsehoods and lies even if everyone believes them. 

In John 8, the words of Jesus Christ declare the universal requirement for being set free and living free, and they apply to all – young and old, poor and rich, powerless or powerful, all races, all classes, all generations. If you stand by my teaching, Jesus, the word, the logos, the very meaning of meaning, said, then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. 

How do we find this truth? We seek, we search, we study - and we open our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ. It is in a relationship with him that we find the truth, and are free.

Our resource, What kind of society?, is starting a conversation about how Christians can shape our society based on truth, love, justice and freedom. Find out more and get hold of your copy.  

 Photo: Emily Morter