By John Rae

Stories of Truth and Stories of Blame

There are stories of truth and stories of blame. In John chapter 9 Jesus and his disciples come across a man born blind and the disciples ask “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Here we have the same episode giving rise to two different stories. One focused on who is to blame and the other on the truth of the situation. Notice that the blame story is pretty one dimensional, “we just need to know who the bad guy is and then we can take it from there.”, while the truth story is more nuanced and invites us to look deeper into the situation. The truth story invites us to, “seek and you will find”, Matthew 7:7.

That the default story for the disciples is the blame story, shows how they have been formed by their culture. Their question to Jesus is pretty innocent but the religious leaders, of the day, pick up the same theme and play it even louder eventually turning it up to full volume blame; “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

Stories are manufactured items and two of the main components are the text and the pre-text, with the meaning of the story coming from the interplay between them. The pre-text of the stories of truth is our freedom. Jesus says in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.". But what is the pre-text of the stories of blame? In their playing of the ‘blame game’, the religious leaders sought to entrap Jesus in their verbal nets. The pre-text of the stories of blame is to draw a person in, so that they become entangled in the myth that lurks behind the story of blame. Stories of blame are the marketing tools of myth. Stories of truth free us from this entanglement, 2 Timothy 2:26, “... that they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

Lately we have been hit by a tsunami of stories. How do we separate truth from blame? Stories of blame feel prefabricated, too black, and white, while stories of truth ask us to take a risk and look behind the veil of myth.

Last modified on Wednesday, 14 July 2021 22:52