Monday, March 23, 2009

"If not truth, then it is a worthless lie."

Tumbling around inside my head today were fragments of thought from my Bible study this morning that included Jesus conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, conversations with a friend of mine about waiting on the Lord and then the final straw, a quote from a book by Nicholas Evans called The Smoke Jumper.

In the book,  Evans' character, an African warlord, says, "If truth is a loaf of bread and you pick up a crumb, do you have the truth? If not truth, then it is a worthless lie..... The truth is that there is no truth, only crumbs. You have yours and I have mine. But I have more of them and mine are gathered with knowledge and experience, not under a false banner of piety and prejudice."

It took me back to the morning reading in the Book of John. The Jews and the Samaritans fought over where God should be worshiped. Supposedly worshiping the same God, they fought with each other over their own "truth" when both only possessed a crumb. Jesus said to the woman at the well, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." John 4:21-24

There's that "truth" issue again. We who claim to be disciples of Jesus Christ want to worship God as He wants; we want our worship to be a pleasant aroma. Jesus says, here's the way, in spirit and in truth. So, from where do we obtain truth? Are we to gather our truth from human experts, from our friends, from the Oprah book club, from our President or even the pastor of our church?

I would propose that God says no, with conditions. If the human experts, our friends, the president, our pastor and, yes, even Oprah, speak the word of God, then this is the truth. If any of our contemporaries choose to mix and match the philosophers, great teachers and scholars of our day into a melting pot of theology, then my God has been blasphemed.

I am sorry, we'll, no, I'm not sorry, I am one of the remaining remnant that believe the scriptures contained in the Holy Bible are God breathed, given through divine inspiration to those who penned them to paper. That same book of Living Scripture tells me that, if I study, if I seek God and His direction in my life, the Holy Spirit promised by my saviour that now lives within me will take those words, inspired by God, and teach, instruct me in the ways that I should go.

I truly believe that through this relationship between me, Gods everlasting and faithful word and the work of His most Holy Spirit, God will reveal Himself to me one layer at a time. As I am ready, through fire-tested perseverance, my relationship and closeness to God will grow ever deeper as the river of life shown to Ezekiel in his vision of the New Jerusalem. (Ezekiel 47: 3-5)

All in all, the mortal question is from what source we have decided to gather our truth and in what state of completeness we gather it. For, I'm afraid, taken in crumbs, we can all justify our own truth, but taken as a whole from God Himself, we can find the truth Jesus called us to add to the spirit of our worship!

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