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I was teaching a class at Vanderbilt University when a student stopped me in the middle of a discussion and asked if I believed there was such a thing as truth that was true for everyone. She was surprised when I said I did. She was even more surprised when I said I thought she did too. I pointed out that her backpack and laptop were both covered with pins and stickers demanding rights for various groups. If there is no such thing as transcendent truth — truth that is true regardless of the situation — then where does the idea of “rights” come from? If truth is relative and dependent on the situation, then it is hard to claim that moral rights exist.
Jesus does not give us the alternative of deciding what may be true for you might not be true for me. “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6) is about as far away from a postmodern statement on truth as you can get. Likewise, he does not give us the alternative of deciding who we will love.
The well-known passage on love from 1 Corinthians 13 has become best known for being read at weddings. As the loving couple stands at the altar, we all nod our heads as the reader reminds us that love is patient and kind; it does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude; it does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; and it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. The hard part is when we are reminded that Paul did not write that passage for wedding ceremonies but for all of life, including politics.