This I Believe
“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.” I wonder what Martin Luther was thinking when he said this. I wish I could know what was going through the mind of that 16th Century Catholic monk when he made that statement. Did he truly know that his ideas would change the world? Because over four hundred years after his death, the Protestant tradition carries on. Presbyterians, Lutherans, Anglicans, Methodists, and essentially every other Protestant denomination can trace its roots back to the bravery of one man, who refused to back down from anyone, not even the Pope himself. Luther refused to believe the crooked agenda of the church. He refused to believe that people could buy their way into heaven through the payment of indulgences. As a diligent scholar of the Bible, he knew that justification comes by faith alone, and he faced death to defend the truth of the Word of God.
And this is the reason I believe this quote so strongly. Imagine if Luther didn’t have the courage to content for the truth. What would Christianity look like for you if Martin Luther didn’t defy the church by translating the Bible into the language of the common people? I mean, I know I can’t read Latin. You see, peace is great, but compromising truth for the sake of peace is dangerous. Knowing the truth but being unwilling to fight for it, well, that’s worse than ignorance. There’s a responsibility that comes with understanding the truth of the Word of God. You can’t just sit on it. You can’t ignore it. And you can’t sit back silently while the truth is exchanged for a lie. It’s too important. And I know we live in a world where you’re not supposed to step on anyone toes. I know we live in a postmodern world where you’re told that absolutes don’t exist. Truth is subjective. Truth is what you make of it, they tell us, but I beg to differ. I believe that God is truth. Scripture is truth. And I agree with Jesus when he said, “the truth shall set you free.” Not only that but I also agree with his statement two verses later when he said, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” Because let’s be honest, telling someone they are a slave to sin is not the most peaceful approach to ministry, but I know this; peace with God can only be offered through the ultimate truth of the gospel. And it would be a shame to withhold the lasting truth found in Christ for a superficial, truth-less peace, which in the end is not peace at all. Therefore, I quote the historic words of Martin Luther one last time.
“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”
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