- Religion and Philosophy
Searching for the truth.....still searching!
If you have read my profile, you will see that I have had a varied life path to walk, but since I was eleven years old, I have been searching for the truth.
Thirty years later, aged 41, I came to recognise that the truth was in the bible, so, for a while, I rested content that I had found THE truth.
But years later I realised that when you search for the truth, you need to keep searching, to ensure that the truth you have accepted is THE truth, not just the truth as you understand it.
When we start searching, we need to keep searching even when we are convinced, because when we stop searching, we enter into a mindset which precludes our finding new truth/s and stagnate.
Stagnant things stifle life and produce death, once we settle into a mindset, we start dying.
So I have kept searching, questioning and testing MY truth to ensure that I do not miss finding THE truth, daily.
Truth is an absolute, not subjective thing, in life we are either dead or alive, we are conceived and we die, both absolute points.
When I first defected from the world to become a bond servant of Christ, I joined a denomination which held that they knew the truth, and were set in their ways, they followed the Apostles Creed and had a Statement of Faith that one needed to subscribe to to ensure (or possibly endure) fellowship with them.
They did hold much truth, but time showed that they had also accepted some aspects of spiritual life that were not the truth, so we parted ways and they went onward in their truth, and I continued seeking THE truth.
Have I found it..... not yet, there are many points that I believe I have proven, to myself, to be true, but equally there have been many areas where the TRUTH I once held to be sacrosanct has since proven to be error, so although I believe I know much truth, I would be foolish to state that I held ALL truth.
So what do I believe?
Fear not all you bible believers, I subscribe to most of what you believe, but possibly have some doubts about ALL you may believe.
I long ago stopped looking at folk through a denominational eyeglass, and instead seek to see whether they are searching for truth, or trying to persuade me to believe their truth, as they see it.
Just before I started writing this, two JW's called at my door, like most JW's who have ever spoken with me they soon found that although there are many points we hold in common, I could never join their merry band, for they hold to their doctrines and many of them are (in my opinion) erroneous, we spoke, and eventually they also made the same exit promising to return, no doubt bringing their heavier dudes who know their bible better.
But they know THEIR bible, and although it has the same basic facts in it, the translation and interpretation vary.
Logistically they suffer, in that worldwide there are 12 million JW's and they believe that they are the ONLY ones with the right interpretation.... now let's do some simple math on that.
The represent 0.002% of the world population, yet the bible states that God desires ALL to be saved.
A God that set aside 0.002% of the population for salvation, and discarded 99.998% of the world to damnation (or in the JW case obliteration, as Mr Russell did not like the concept or doctrines concerning Hell) would be a pretty impotent god, rather that an all powerful Creator.
Granted we are told the gate is narrow and the path wide, but I cannot accept 0.002% as being worth sacrificing your son for, but the I am not God, so keep thinking about that.
Their determination that they held the truth and everyone else is wrong set me to write this, but in reality this hub was started long ago, but perhaps I was reticent to produce it before now, for doubts about how YOU would receive it, how my brothers and sisters will view it, and how the effects could affect me.
But the truth must be diligently searched for, and Christ calls us to forsake all to find it, so here we are.
Books to challenge you!
Are you searching for THE truth?
Or have you found it...?
Are you 100% certain that what you believe is THE truth?
Recently I met a gentleman who introduced me to the writings of Krishnamurty, which I am now studying, it's an interesting read, and like all human beings I sift it through the filters that I have built into my thought processes.
Anybody who has read Krishnamurti will understand that this in itself is what he was warning against, that he was pointing out that we need to put away our pre-indoctrinations and seek the void that comes from emptiness of self.
I'm too early in the readings to establish a valid opinion yet, but to date I am interested to follow his thinking to a conclusion, and then survey what I have found, when I will report further, but when I do, be aware that the man himself held that it was no use following his understanding, you need to find your own.
Prior to that I have been reading Deepak Chopra, who has an interesting take on Christ, holding that Christ BECAME the Son of God by defeating the adversary, but that Christ developed that ability. The book 'Jesus' starts from a stance that Jesus had no true idea why he was here until he took a path of enlightenment.... it's pure speculation, admitted fiction and the writer suffers from preconceptions formed by his own eastern spirituality, but it does raise some fine points, and like most beliefs contains truth mixed with error, which is why we are required to be Bereans in matters of belief.
Now this book is pure heresy to any bible believer rooted in the 'inerrant' truth of scripture, and besides it raises again the whole Filioque division that separated the Eastern and Roman church.
But I read it, and formed MY conclusions from it, and put them on a shelf for contemplation and comparison to define what I could from them.
I could not discount them in the first chapter (which was my inclination) because IF the words of this author were THE truth, then I would be foolish to dismiss them UNTIL I had identified the error.
So searching for the truth, even when you are certain you have found it, has merit in my eyes.
Who do you say I AM...... actually is?
My truth, my persistent current and I believe unchallengeable truth is based upon experience, tested by intellect and restored by acquaintance.
Like any believer I have 'met' with God through Christ, and seen, felt and witnessed the work of Christ in the world, in my life and the lives of others.
Seen folk change from a humanist world-view mindset to an all engulfing spiritual desire to reach out from their shell and seek total union with God, and watched as God unveiled a new kingdom hitherto unseen or considered realistic.
Faith does change us, and it changes us unconditionally and with permanence.
Having lived with Christ in my life, I could no more deny Him than I could my son, so as a believer there is nothing that could separate me from the love of Christ.
But whose Christ?
Those of us raised in the West, and more specifically the Northern hemisphere all KNOW that Christ is 6'2" tall, blond haired and blue eyed..... as seen in our literature.
So once we dig deeper, and see for ourselves that he was a 'man of no repute', Shemetic and therefore probably with an olive complexion, a craftsman and almost definitely therefore muscular and hardened by years of physical labour, we can find that our early experiences had not prepared us to encounter Him.
The early church seems to have reinvented the man who conquered all the power of the enemy with his spiritual understanding.
They fought, sometimes literally, to maintain that THEIR Christ was the ONLY true path, and shunned and disassociated wth all those who varied from their doctrines.
Our modern church still does, and some churches have Christ as the great multiplier of wealth, others as a side show healer (with no records kept), cults make him to be personal to them, and normally claim their originator was the only true prophet that was empowered to reinterpret His words for their brethren to understand.
What do we actually know about Him?
As opposed to how much have we attributed to His name?
The Red Letter words
When I was first 'brought to faith' by an earnest Pastor who delighted in numeric success, I had no idea (beyond Sunday School memory) who Christ was.
So I started reading the bible, and soon reached a personal conflict, when I realised that I had come to seek God, but was being told to worship Christ.
The conflict was resolved when I came to the following verses:
Matthew 28:17-19 (Amplified Bible)
And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshiped Him; but some doubted.
Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
End of story, no dispute for me after that point, if God has given ALL AUTHORITY to Christ, then pro tem I am to obey Gods wishes.
If you wish to examine the actual words Christ spoke, it's all there on one site.
If you disregarded the entire rest of the new testament, but obeyed His words, I cannot see that you would suffer, and the world would definitely be a better place!
So why would God delegate all authority to Christ?
Traditionally the answer would be because it's all part of the plan God made before time began, and that Christ was Gods 'begotten' son.
But let's try to make this easier for those who have a problem with accepting that Christ really IS divine.
Christ was THE perfect man, the ONLY man in history to NEVER sin, and as such, death held no sway over Him, he defeated ALL of the power of humanities enemy.
Having done that, the enemy stays defeated in universal terms, i.e. the enemy lost and that loss was unconditional and unchangeable, irrevocable in humanities history.
Christ THEN tells us that we can rest in Him, hidden and protected and claiming His victory for ourselves, if we leave the kingdom of the world and enjoin with the kingdom of heaven.
Ignoring all else, that in itself is sufficient to grant us the grace of salvation, with nothing required on our behalf than to recognise that Christ alone holds ALL power and authority, and having ceded to His authority, proclaim it to the world and the enemy, and show others how to lay hold of that salvation.
So I continue searching for the truth, but from a foundation that measures all truth agianst the truth that Christ has proven to me in my life.
My faith is NOT based upon words, nor doctrines, but upon experience and relationship, and until I can see a better truth, and believe it for the same reasons... experience and relationship, then I will continue to proclaim what I believe to be true to the world.... and to Churchianity.... who seem to have added doctrine to Gods simplistic truth.