Sunrise above the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC
09 June 2019
The regional presidents of the World Council of Churches sent special greetings to churches around the world celebrating Pentecost.
“To prophesy is to tell the truth,” reads the message. "No rank or class, no race or club, no gender, nor even any religion, has a monopoly on the truth.”
Even humble fisherman can rise to tell the truth, the message notes. “And no falsehood or lie can withstand the sturdy witness to the all-inclusive, healing, indeed transformative love of God revealed to us in Jesus,” reads the message. "These days, we need such prophetic witness to the truth—in our societies and politics, in ourselves and our churches.”
There are no guarantees of objectivity in science or politics or journalism, the message continues. “We must always search out the truth amid competing probabilities and uncertainties and even self-deception,” the text reads. “Yet the deepest truths of our lives—the goodness of being, the dignity of all persons, the integrity of creation, the need for justice and peace--can be tested not only by the integrity of the quest but also by the authenticity of their proponents and, in the end, by the criteria of love.”
At Pentecost, we witness the birth of the church amid a world of many languages and cultures, continues the message. “God’s truth, enflamed by the action of the Spirit, creates a loving community of truth to counter self-serving deceits of the powerful,” the message reads. “No religious claim that incites extremism or terror can be true.”
God’s vision of justice and peace is the nonviolent alternative to empire, the message concludes. “Its all-embracing kinship prizes yet transcends differences, rebukes self-serving falsehoods, shames demagoguery, and battles oppression,” the message reads. "It heals trauma and reaches out to the stranger and the marginalized.”