Friday, March 21, 2008

What is truth?

Rob Horton in his blog shared that he's begun to question his belief in the Bible as well as some foundational beliefs of our Christian faith. When I first read it, I've got to admit, I felt my heart stop momentarily. Good thing for you, Rob, that I didn't comment right away or else I might have been tempted to hit you over the head with my KJV and shout at you, "What's your problem?" Seriously, though, Rob is a great guy and I've known him for a couple of years through a forum of which we're both a part. I'm not really concerned about him since I'm sure Father will reveal Himself to him in a way that will be meaningful to him and will ground him further in Father's love.

I posted a comment on Rob's blog saying that I also have some questions about the New Testament. I really don't want to get into a discussion about my questions in this blog so, to ease everyone's minds, I don't question that the writers of the NT were inspired by God in what they wrote and that the truths they shared can help me to know Father better. In this post, I really want to discuss what is truth.

Dictionary.com defines truth as "the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth."

Truth is something that cannot be disputed. It's the state of a matter. It's the way things really are. The problem is that our perception of truth can vary. I can look at a situation and come to a conclusion about it and someone else can look at the same situation and come to a totally different conclusion. Our response is based on our perception of truth and not on the truth itself.

Joel posted a blog about persecution which was very good. His blog reminded me that as believers, particularly believers who are fully committed to growing in grace, we will experience persecution. In the last 10 years, I've found that much of what I believe has been shaken and has either been refined or it's been completely tossed aside since it couldn't stand against the truth regarding grace and Father's love and acceptance.

The goal of persecution is to get us to change what we believe and to accept the status quo. If I'm to stand up against the persecution, then it's critical that I actually know what I believe. A second hand faith won't make it through the fire of persecution. What I believe has to be ingrained in me because I actually believe it to be true and not because someone told me it's true.

Religion has trained us to accept a second hand faith. We believe it because the pastor told us it's true and we've learned to ignore and put down those nagging feelings that arise when something doesn't seem quite right. The problem with this is we never really know what we believe. We believe it because we're Baptist or Methodist or whatever label we wear.

Questioning is never comfortable. It forces us to give up all illusions of control yet I believe it's a necessary part of growth. I don't think Father is as concerned about our doubts as we are because He knows that the only way we'll arrive at truth is by questioning, even if our questions may seem heretical to some.

I want to know truth and I want it from His perspective. If I have to go through the discomfort of having my treasured beliefs shaken so that all that remains is His truth, with much fear and trembling, I say "I'm willing, Father. Whatever it takes."

10 comments:

rob horton said...

aida,

i enjoyed your post and i found the first paragraph (when you spoke a bit about me) very encouraging.

much appreciation,
rob

Sue said...

Hello Aida dear!

Just dropping in to visit your corner of the blogosphere. I shall be back.

Happy Easter to you and yours

Melbourne Sue *hugs*

Aida said...

Rob, thanks for your comment. I'm glad you were encouraged by what I wrote

I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

Aida said...

Sue, it's great to hear from you! Thanks for visiting my little corner of the blogsphere. I love blogging. It's great to make new friends and to coneect with old friends. (Old as in I've known you for a while, not in age.)

How is the weather in your part of the world? It's a beautiful spring day here.

I hope you have a wonderful Easter too. Any special plans for the day?

Sue said...

Aida :) Yes, I love blogging too. In fact, I love it so much that it's taken me away from the TGJ forums and Lifestream emails (although I do still read from time to time).

The weather here is autumn, finally. We just had an Indian summer, and it was HOT! I'm talking 102 F. Now, the days are shortening, everything feels a bit melancholy but so beautiful :)

I don't have any special plans for the day. Recovering from a cold or flu thing, so content to just take it easy. My football team is playing late this afternoon so I'm trying to dredge myself up to go to that, otherwise I will watch on the TV. Off to visit my parents tomorrow for lunch.

How about you?

Aida said...

I'm like you. I love the folks I've met through blogging so I've pretty much gotten away from TGJ forum. I still check Lifestream at least every few days and post occasionally. I also was on two other lists that I've stopped checking altogether.

I know your weather is the exact opposite of ours. Spring just sprung up here two days ago so we've had some really nice weather.

Winter was tough here with lots of flu going around. Somehow, I managed to escape. I was glad that I did since some people I work with were sick for weeks with it. I think taking it easy is a wise plan. I'm glad you're on the road to recovery.

This year, my family will be together for Easter. My son, his wife and one year son are spending the week-end with us. They arrived Friday evening so it's been busy.

Tomorrow, we do the Sunday morning thing in the building. Then, both of my children and their families will be joining us for lunch and an Easter egg hunt for the children. I've already made the main part of the meal so tomorrow won't be so hectic. My daughter has four children so it'll be quite a crowd here.

My son and his family will be heading home tomorrrow afternoon so quiet will return to my house. I'm off Monday so my plans are to recuperate and, of course, blog.

Sue said...

Sounds like a lovely combo of days to me - a busy family day, followed by a quiet recuperating blog day. Yum yum :) Enjoy

Aida said...

It sounds good to me too. I hope you enjoy your day of rest.

Bino Manjasseril said...

Great post Aida!

A second hand faith won't make it through the fire of persecution. What I believe has to be ingrained in me because I actually believe it to be true and not because someone told me it's true.

Absolutely! I agree and Bible tell us so - Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. (1 Peter 3:15). That requires real conviction.

Like you, I too think that we can't grow without asking questions. Religion don't want to address the real questions, they always like to be confined to the list of 'doctrinal beliefs' they have, trying to reduce God into a bunch of theological statements.

Aida said...

Thanks, Bino.

Growing is painful and questioning is difficult. When we ask questions, some cages are going to be rattled and, as you said, religion doesn't want to honestly deal with questions.

I hope that more people will begin to question what they've been taught and, if necessary, be willing to toss it aside. It won't be easy but, if we're to move forward and grow, it's critical that we do this.