12 Jesus spoke to the people again, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me won’t walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, “Because you are testifying about yourself, your testimony isn’t valid.” 14 Jesus replied, “Even if I testify about myself, my testimony is true, since I know where I came from and where I’m going. You don’t know where I come from or where I’m going. 15 You judge according to human standards, but I judge no one. 16 Even if I do judge, my judgment is truthful, because I’m not alone. My judgments come from me and from the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the witness of two people is true. 18 I am one witness concerning myself, and the Father who sent me is the other.” 19 They asked him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You don’t know me and you don’t know my Father. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” 20 He spoke these words while he was teaching in the temple area known as the treasury. No one arrested him, because his time hadn’t yet come. (John 8:12-20, CEB)
It is interesting to think about what makes something valid.
How is a fact valid or not?
The past couple of days I participated in an online gathering to discuss Bonhoeffer and some of his writings. The last session included an excerpt from “After Ten Years” from Letters from Prison. Below is a quote on stupidity.
Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. OneAfter Ten Years, Letters from Prison. Bonhoeffer, Dietrich
may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented
by use of force. Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own
subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of
unease. Against stupidity we are defenseless. Neither protests nor the
use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears; facts
that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed—in
such moments the stupid person even becomes critical—and when
facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as
incidental. In all this the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one,
is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous
by going on the attack. For that reason, greater caution is called for
when dealing with a stupid person than with a malicious one. Never
again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is
senseless and dangerous.
This quote just rang true for all of us. How when someone hears something and it resonates with them, if they are not willing to hear anything else, then they are more of an issue than evil itself. People who will not hear reason and have already made up their minds can not be persuaded to hear or understand the truth. They are more dangerous than one who is evil but will hear good reason.
So what makes something valid? If it is true according to the truth, that we are all created in the image of God and are loved by God. Anything that goes against this is not true and is not valid.
Go and share the truth.
Love People, Love God.