Friday, April 06, 2007

Truth and the Search for it

I have come to the realization that 'truth' is not something that is 'concrete or static' in some senses. I realize now that the 'truth' of something we come to realize as we live it - or experience it. Also that our interpretations of scripture are very dependant on what we know and learn - and sometimes this is a process also (which takes a lot of time). I have realized it is worth the time to do in study and research.

I admit to having a perspective on a variety of beliefs - but they are only perspectives - and can be enlightened via experiences in life (ex: discussion or practicing a belief). I have views on the church system, values within the bible, the bible as God's words, creation, etc. But these things are open to change since I may not have them at their 'purest' meaning and this is the short-fall of being a limited human. So I think things change as more is revealed in life - ideas morph - values get updated - and perspectives get new shades. It's a process of human learning and I personally am happy thus far with the changes.

But for me the point of the exercise in human learning is the value system. If values are not impacted by my studies then the point of my study is intellectual garbage - an array of ideas that produce nothing of any real consequence in my day to day living. It's not about not being intellectual - it's about intellectualism helping to build values into my life that will be of help in daily life. This I learned from the Jewish perspective and has impacted my value system in leaps and bounds.

You see we can be open enough to discuss any issue and be able to learn from it - something we can carry with us (into our lives). The same ideal I see embedded within the gospels. The ideas are very strongly within those works about 'building a value system' or 'building upon these teachings like a house'. And the parable Jesus uses about the houses is quite the point of Matthew's gospel. Building upon Jesus' teachings (as the foundation) is the purpose of the writings. Now when they mean building - they mean using these teachings as a guide to your value system - which will be in a state of flux but it never strays far from the original idea.

An example would be Matthew 5:37 and the whole 'yes' and 'no' idea. We come from our own original idea on the value - maybe we don't mind not being 'people of our words'. We read the passage and challenge an ideal we held. We then come to a conclusion of 'yes I will adopt it' or 'no I will reject this'. If it is 'yes' then we change our value system to become in line with what Jesus taught. In this we accept to do things like being honest and forthright about what we are going to do when asked, we become people that can be respected for 'what we say - since we will follow through'. We have just started to change our value system and by living it in life we further embed the reality of the teaching. But the reality of it is - we read then live it - then we make the real concensus of 'does this make life better'? So the reading and doing need to both exist in order for there to be some verification of the value (and the text).

I guess what I am saying is the bible is important for the teachings of Christ and way of life he presented to us - and that's seems to be the reason the writings are important. I also think the salvation of Christ is very important but I think the accpetance of that idea is represented in how much we value the teachings of that very same person (Jesus). I guess they go hand in hand.

What do you think about this - is the search for 'truth' something that changes over time? Is our salvation linked to our value of the teachings of Jesus? Just ideas I am throwing out there for further discussion.


Anonymous said...

In recent years I have come to reguard only Jesus Himself as the Trhuth and I measure all truths that I learn according to His person. Of course, with each truth that is refined in me according to this process, I know a little more about Jesus also. I believe that I grow into scripture as Christ is formed in me.

This may seem like a small shift in thinking but it changed the practice of my faith and greatly inncreased my joy in Christ when I quit straining at the truths I learned through studying scripture and instead focused on Jesus and how the truths relate to His character. This was the end of any legalism for me and a fuller relization of the power of Jesus actually living in me and a one on one relationship with God. It also made me more open to other Christians as I began to see that doctrinal unity is not what binds us as brothers and sisters but that fact that we each have the mind of Christ and that unity can only be in Jesus Himself. He is living and so too is our faith in Him. Jesus would never dwell in an ivory tower and neither should we.

chris said...

I know my understanding of the truth has changed drastically over the years. But I still feel that my understanding will always be linked to Jesus' teachings. I place his teachings above all others. i.e Paul.

SocietyVs said...

Thanks peeps for the comments!

Jim Jordan said...

Hi society
Great post.
What do you think about this - is the search for 'truth' something that changes over time?

Not at all. As Eccl. 1:9 says "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun."

Our calling is to reconcile our generation with the truth of the Word.