April 08, 2006

The Truth Is Out There

I was struggling a bit trying to come up with a good post this morning. Being called a heretic and "a hell born child of Satan himself" as I was over on the Charisma message board I posted about on Wednesday had something to do with that. I reject their labeling, but it also doesn't give one a warm fuzzy either.

I then found a post while visiting Wes Ellis' wonderful blog "Living In the Kingdom" that I needed to see, titled "the truth is out there." After getting beat up because I didn't agree with the "absolute truth" subscribed to by the Charisma posters, Wes' words were very refreshing. Here's the part that really spoke to my heart:

"The problems don’t come when we’re uncertain of our faith. Real problems come when we are so certain that we start to think that our faith is the only faith that has any access to truth. We really enter the danger zone when we begin to think we have the market on truth. What was once faith becomes dogma, and not the good kind of dogma, but the kind that we feel must be protected at all costs. This dogma now becomes the center of our faith. Only by a subscription to this dogma, we believe, can someone really hold truth. This is a gravely dangerous thing. "

Wes is currently a theology student at Asuza Pacific University. We've corresponded before and he is still undecided about the place of homosexuals in God's kingdom. He has written about that on his blog and invited me to share ideas regarding that and other issues. Wes is a seeker searching God's ultimate truth. I believe I am also, and hope that something you read on either of our blogs encourages you to take that path yourself.


  1. Reading about Wes reminds me that there are people in my community who are not homophobic, but they don't agree with gay marriage or gay adoption, or they're still unsure about a lot of different things - but some of these people are our prayer partners, and they are welcome to be there.

    Why? Because they're open - open to God, open to views other than their own, open to learning new things, and being cautious in their dealings with scripture and social issues. One comes to mind who lives in Australia - and she's made clear she's not a supporter of gay marriage, and unsure about different forms of relationships gay people might have, but she has such a sweet spirit and I consider her every bit an ally, and hope she remains. She's showed us both grace and tolerance, and has supported us with her prayers - not prayers of 'Lord, show them where they're wrong,' but prayers like we pray, for our protection as a group, and that it always remain His place, and that He minister to us, and that we learn from His Word and each other.

    I believe this is the type of unity God calls us to - not to total agreement, not blindly following a group of precepts, but loving one another, lifting each other up, letting God have His way in our lives.

    The day I think I've arrived in my understanding and need no further instruction, is the day I know nothing.

  2. Re: The whack-jobs on the Charisma message boards: I have dealt with those types of Christians a lot in my life too. The ones who dump vitreolic epithets and dissertations all over you if you don't happen to follow an extremist form of Christianity just like theirs. I've also noticed that these people are usually the ones living with the most glaring hypocrisies, insecurity, and low self-esteem. My own parents ascribe to a lot of fundamentalist philosophies because it is the only system of living that has been able to keep them on the straight and narrow. I simply pity them (and others like them) because they punish and limit themselves with their own mindset. Everyone needs to realize that no religion holds a monopoly on truth. Religiously, there are a lot of good ideas and wise systems of living, but none that are 100% perfect.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly. My idea of an ideal society isn't one where the people around me are zombies who automatically ascribe to all my ideals and support me regardless of their religious beliefs. Tolerance, respect, understanding, and love despite differences in opinion... this is how a real Christian should be.

  3. I got to thinking while I was at the Charisma blog how it must have been 150 years ago. Imagine back then people citing chapter and verse in complete confidence that it was God's Will as evident in His inerrant Word that gave them the undeniable right to own slaves.

    Someone coming along and suggestion that keeping a family of Negroes in chains wasn't a particularly Christian thing to do would be dismissed the same way that Jim and I were.

    Where's your proof? Where does the Bible say that? You can't argue agains slavery. It's right here in the Bible!

    No wonder the Civil war was so bloody.