The Truth


Contributing Writer
Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church Amherst, NY

The current presidential election has me pondering a simple question:

What is truth?

We live in a world where half-truths really are, as a Yiddish proverb suggests, full lies. In this world facts don’t seem to matter (unless they support our side, that is). In this place “spin-doctors” twist and turn sentences until words once uttered innocently become demonic and demonic claims are deemed innocent. Our politicians manipulate and maneuver through murky waters. We seem to prefer sweet lies to harsh realities. And I’m wondering…

What is truth?

Where can I find truth? How can I hear it? What channel is it on? Where is it being proclaimed? I’ve checked out the politically biased fact-checkers. I’ve dialed in to the experts. I’ve listened patiently. I’ve watched faithfully. I’ve prayed devoutly. And yet, I’m still wondering…

What is truth?

As this quest for truth claims my consciousness I cannot help but think of another political situation – a Biblical one. After being wrongfully handed over to the authorities, mocked and beaten, Jesus finds himself before the ruling governor, Pontius Pilate. As Pilate holds Jesus’ life and fate in his hands he asks him if he is a king. Jesus says, “You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate’s next question haunts me…

“What is truth?”

Pilate does not wait for the answer to his question. He leaves the room and shortly after Jesus is killed. Nevertheless, there are lessons to be learned from this experience. In this story the truth is proclaimed. Here we learn that politicians neither fully possess nor (quite possibly) really care about truth. Here we see in the example of Jesus and Pontius that the kingdoms of this world and the Kingdom of God are very different. And here we see that testifying to the actual truth won’t get you elected; it will get you killed.

The truth about the truth is that our true King (pardon the over emphasis) testified to it. It wasn’t clearly articulated on a website for everyone to read, but was carved into a simple sign that hung above his head on a cross: This is the King of the Jews. It cannot be fact-checked by pundits, but it can be held through faith. The truth is Christ is Lord and you are loved.

What is truth?

I am the way and the truth and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
~Jesus (John 14:6)

In the Way,

For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott’s past columns, please visit and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.

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Pastor Scott Hannon
Pastor Scott serves the people of St. John by helping the congregation welcome everyone, care for one another, and grow in the joy of God’s love through Jesus Christ. Pastor Scott earned his bachelor’s degree at the University at Buffalo and went to seminary at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, SC. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in preaching from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. Pastor Scott and his wife, Kate, live in Bowmansville, NY with their children Molly, Delaney, and John Scott. Scott and Kate love Western New York for many reasons, not the least of which are the changing seasons, wonderful people, and of course the Buffalo Bills. Pastor Scott’s ministry priorities are worship, preaching and teaching. Scott’s hobbies are guitar, golf, and reading. To read some of Scott’s musings visit his blog Way-ward at