Wednesday, May 9, 2012
One Truth... or Many Truths?
"...then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32
noun, plural truths [troothz, trooths]
1.the true or actual state of a matter: He tried to find out the truth.
2.conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
3.a verified or indisputable fact, or the like: mathematical truths.
4.the state or character of being true.
5.actuality or actual existence.
I hear the question a lot; is there one Truth-with-a-capital-T, or are there many truths? I assume what people often mean by this is, "Is this religion thing right, or do we have fudge-room to get into heaven? Will other people be there too?"
As a Christian, I feel obliged to believe there is only one truth, and it's pretty well-laid out in the my Bible:
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
(Hmm. There's no fudge-room in this statement, is there?)
As a deep thinker (humor me here), I look around and see people following different truths: Muslims, Buddhists, Pagans, Atheists, and many, many more. I can't believe they're all going to hell because they don't understand John 14:6. It's not that I don't believe in hell, but, um, God, that's pretty harsh, isn't it? Some of these people are my friends!
As a human, I think there's one truth-with-a-small-t. Something's got to be right, and something's gotta be not-right. Unless there are parallel universes, but, well, I'm not going there today.
As a hippie wannabe, I like the "follow your truth" stuff. It's empowering. It's all warm and fuzzy and makes me want to go hug a kitten. (I like kittens. That's one of my truths.)
Out of the two possibilities, (one Truth/many truths) I see a third:
There is ONE TRUTH.
We don't know it.
Because we're not God.
Yup. That's it. So, here's my truth, for now: I'm going to keep plodding along in the direction I'm going. It seems right to me. I believe the universe is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. There's more to life than what we can see and touch. I admit, I can't get my mind around some parts of the Bible (mostly the Old Testament), but I like the idea of a personal God. I like the stuff Jesus said. That's MY truth.
I see people following other paths, though. Do their paths lead to God? I don't know. Sometimes I like to think... and this might be wrong; I'm just thinking aloud... that Jesus is a LOT more than just a 2000 year old Jewish Carpenter, and that He speaks to people in different ways. I don't mean everyone, because not everyone is seeking Him. (Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7) But if people seek Him, and they find someone called Vishnu or Allah, and they put their hearts into following the wrong god, does the "right" God close the door? Or... does He leave it open until they see Him face-to-face, and they realize the Truth? If I see God when I die, and it turns out He has green skin and His name is Barbara, will I reject Him? Or will He say, "Too late. Go to hell."? I don't know.
I'll keep praying for more understanding. After all, I believe in God, and God knows the Truth.
Peace, Love, Truth