Eric's Sunday Sermon; Some Truths About Truth
Funerals and the like are very interesting as each of us has a different truth about the deceased.
Know yourself so you can determine if truth to you is trustworthy
My previous sermon was on the topic of honesty. All of it left the elephant sitting in the corner of the room. The essential element of honesty is knowing the truth. This is a fascinating area of inquiry. We have some who proclaim ultimate truths. And yet still others that proclaim that all is an illusion and knowing truth is a delusion in and of itself. So this brings us to the tough notions of “Are there immutable absolute truths?” or “Are truths essentially personal and variable from one to another person?”.
Did you know that gravity was once a complete and unquestionable law of science? And then these yahoos without regard to what was sacrosanct traveled into outer space. Where in the heck did gravity go? On the other hand we now know that the earth travels around the sun because of gravity. OK, call me crazy but we know that the earth actually bends up to falling objects, and I am told that some primitive cultures and languages describe a falling rock as the earth coming up to meet the object. And yes there are still those that believe all of this is nearly irrelevant because God just made it so. Sorry but it sounds to me like truth is a “to me” concept.
Now my friends do not tarry too long on the above stuff of gravity. It can become a rabbit hole for your mind – at least for me. The point really is; if reality and truth can change over a timeline, isn’t it just as likely changing of truth can be based on a perspective?
I like reading. I can read out loud to you and the words are truthfully on the page of the book. But woe is me. I can read the book 3 times and get a different meaning out of it each time. Certainly the Bible is this way. So does the truth of what the Bible means change with each reading? I am afraid that it does. So as the Bible changes meaning to an individual – how much more so between individuals and each time read and each person knows a truth. Clearly the truth changes from time to time and certainly between individuals.
I reckon our own truth is our own business.
This fellow's truth is probably different than yours. I know his changes with time.
Happy to think
Perhaps I should not have started this sermon out so heavy as clearly some of you are now asleep or long gone. But I assure you that we will move on into some cool stuff.
I proclaim a truth. Make it about stuff in the religious and/or political arena. My truth is different than your truth. And then being friends who respect each other we argue in the proper way. Should we or should we not have a border wall? After discussion you have changed my view and my truth to your way of thinking. That is a very special thing.
Here is a really cool one. My son is about 6 and a half years old. He is newly in first grade. His teachers and parents are teaching him new things. He is a voracious learner. You would think after a full day of learning he would like to mush out with his tablet and the TV. But that is not happening here. He really wants to learn more about our world and cool stuff. Lately we are into the areas of soccer, rocks, of course always dinosaurs, multiplication, reading and Jesus and the spiritual world. It seems that every day he learns something new in these areas. Yesterday we got into saying thank you out loud because how else does the other person know we are thankful – and how that compares to saying prayers out loud. Well why pray out loud because God already knows, and why say thank you when you just asked please. So yesterday my foundational truths were passed onto my son. I am not sure he is buying it. But no matter what he learned my truths to me. And he learned about an area of truths that he did not know before. See the deal here. Did those truths exist to my son before he learned of them? I kind of wobble between we are born knowing all and that we must learn of a truth before it is one to us. Again that rasky devil truth changes before our eyes.
One of my favorite pass times is the whole argument between atheists and believers. This is topped only by the arguments between two of the same faith. Each proclaiming ultimate truths and arguing to support them. Cool. Don’t they realize that growing, like my son, requires that we learn new truths? That hourly we change and add new truths while losing some old ones.
I wonder what her truth was.
Learning new things
Don't leave out that detail, God already knows it.
Don’t tell anyone but decades ago I was a trial attorney. What I did was like the exciting stuff of a trial on TV. My ultimate job was to convince twelve jurors and a judge that what I wanted to be the truth was the truth. And everyone knew ahead of time that I was biased beforehand and that I would stop at nothing in order to convince them. An uphill battle if the facts and the law was against me. But without that challenge what fun would it be? Yes one could say that I became an institutionalized, legalized pathological liar with a license. My truth was the truth though I already knew that truth is more often than not subjective and determined by perspective. So like a wizard I changed your truth to my truth. And who the hell knows which truth is the “real” truth. Guilty or innocent, liable or not, damaged or not or caused by or not.
What about hiding the truth or omitting it? There is that standard traditional oath that is taken and it is fun in itself. Used to be and still is often sworn to with and on Bible. (there is so much wrong with that, and yet for some truthfully good about that) “Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth.” Interesting isn’t it. I put a priest on the stand once to testify about a person’s emotional pain and suffering. He balked at the oath and said no. His reason and truth were quite clear. He simply could not tell the whole truth. The confessional is sacrosanct to the highest degree of man and God. He simply could not reveal the truths revealed in such a way. Of course as we moved on the priest could not be completely trusted as there was omission of truth. However he was to be completely trusted because he showed such integrity. What kind of truth did he speak?
(yes the oath above can add “so help you God” but it can be omitted)
Trust and truth
Grow on baby!
So it is by agreement that we reach universal truths. Not by science or by God. Both can change in review and growth. Understanding can change from individual to individual, and certainly with time. And therefore my brethren, listen not to the fellow who tries to convince you that only his interpretation of God and His desires are correct. And I advise check back with him in 5 years, consistency will not mean truth, but lack of growing.
Lord, I know I cannot handle the whole truth today, please stay with me and guide me as I grow. And protect me from those who have stopped growing.
Stagnant water is not safe to drink.