The Great Plagiarism

Stan Crowley, Minister, Church of Christ at Schertz

schertz@swbell.net

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Words of wisdom, no doubt. Certainly, the world of education thinks they are a worthy philosophy. Over a hundred colleges and universities have them engraved on a building or displayed in some other conspicuous place. Interestingly enough, only a small minority (eight) have those words actually attributed to the one who spoke them (Jesus) or cite the written source (John 8:32).

It seems that what we have here is a great plagiarism. Man has taken a quote from the Bible and claimed it as his own: that truth (man suggests the truth found within the walls of formal institutions of education) brings freedom.

Worse yet, in man's attempt to claim this great wisdom for himself by separating it from the source (i.e., by plagiarism), man has separated the expression from its context.

What Jesus said in John 8:31-32 was, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." It is not just any truth that makes one free. Please note the "if-then" construction. There is a prerequisite to having that truth. IF one abides in the word of Jesus, then one is His disciple and he will know the truth, the truth that brings freedom.

The truth revealed by deity, and only that truth, has the power to bring freedom—not for the physical dimension of man, but for man's spiritual dimension.

Jeremiah warns: "...cursed be the man that trusteth in man..." (Jeremiah 17:5). The curse is the discouragement that comes from again and again being failed by man.

Men and women search in vain among the things of this world for satisfaction. But, material things can never satisfy the spiritual side of man. Proverbs 2:10 tells us that it is the wisdom from above that is "pleasant unto thy soul."

Unfortunately the world's great plagiarism has separated the great saying, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," from the source of its power.

Much of the world takes the saying but rejects the one who said it.

They take the saying but leave unread the Book with the truth that has the power to make it come true.

Those who reject the source pay a great price for their plagiarism. They may never understand that they do not have the freedom that Jesus offers.

They need to reconnect the saying with the great One who said it.

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