Editorial: To Be Set Free

by Josh Spring

Truth. Truth is so valuable. Most of us have heard the verse in the Bible that explains: “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32 NIV). We have heard this statement in movies, read it in books, heard it exclaimed in speeches. If any of us of have been to many rallies, probably many of us have cheered to something like this statement. But what does it mean: “the truth will set you free?” What will the Truth set you free from?

Certainly within one’s self the Truth will set one free from lies, in terms of their own mind set. But there has to be more to it than that. The first part of that sentence, the part that is not often quoted, says “Then you will know the truth…” So one must know the Truth in order to be set free by the Truth. I think that in this case know means more than just a factual understand, I would assert that know , in this case, means to not only understand, but to take to hear, to be intimate with.

So if you know the Truth, what does it mean to be set free? In fact, if considered only from a micro sense, one might think the opposite is actually true, often once one understands the Truth, she or he is no longer free, at least no longer free to live as they formerly would have. Often this is because Truth, when known, compels one to act accordingly: This means to change the way one does things, this means to stand for the Truth and to fight for the Truth — to be bound by it, you may say, and to defend it.

In some cases this leads to persecution, imprisonment or even death for those defending Truth. So what about freedom? I think there is a certain freedom found within those that know, defend and operate according to the Truth- an inner release from all the lies society, politicians, developers, media, ceos, etc. want us to believe. Beyond this however, and probably more important, I am not sure that freedom in this case is something that is completely immediate. It is important to consider all of this in a macro sense: if we know the Truth it will set us free. If we as a people become intimate with the Truth, and we let it determine our actions, then we will be set free. To me, this means when we realize that all humans are worth of love and everything it takes to live because all humans are terribly valuable and when we realize that we are to protect each other and care for and protect our earth and all natural things, then we know the Truth, and will be set free.

I often see people disregard the Truth. In the immediate situation it may often seem easier to not operate within or defend Truth. In the immediate sense it may be easier to shake the hand of the oppressor and act like their friend than to tell them they are the oppressor. In the immediate sense it may be easier tolook the other way when a group that has a lot of power says they will swing some of that power your way while on the other side they are still hurting people. It may be easier to not call out Truth in a meeting and keep things immediately calm without considering what negative actions will be reaped upon other people after the meeting. The Truth is, however, even though these actions may seem calm and freeing in the moment: they will never free us. Shaking hands with lies enslaves us, knowing and defending Truth sets us free.