Relative?

“What is truth?” – Pontius Pilate( John 18:38)

Can you answer that question? Or do you struggle as Pilate did when Jesus mentioned the word?   Ask anyone today what is truth and you’re bound to get several different answers. Ask about religious truth and you’re bound to get even a few dozen more. But, does it really matter what you believe, so long as you believe something? This question is one that has been circulating for decades. Yes, it does matter.

Let me put it this way, when you pull up to the gas pump to fill your car’s gas tank, does it matter how to you how much you pay per gallon? Well, for some of you perhaps not, but  I know for others of you, it becomes a mathematical science of figuring out which station has the right price, how much you need, what your gas mileage is, etc. But, imagine if you will that each station had its own definition of what a gallon of gas is. For example if one station calls half a gallon a gallon, would you still fill up your tank there? So, does the truth in measurement matter? Yes. There are certain regulatory laws in place to protect the consumer against frauds, such as weights and measures. So why should we fail to accept absolute truth in other areas? Are there any laws to protect against frauds of belief? Is there any standard by which morals can judged be against?

Now, I realize this is a simplistic argument for truth and some of you might argue that in other countries they use liters or imperial gallons for measurement, I get that, but my aim here is to just get you to think; What if there is only one truth. The truth Jesus was talking about? if we can agree that there are laws protecting the measurements of gas to protect the consumer, could there possibly be other moral laws built into this world to protect the people of it? Are all religions equal? Is it okay to take bits and pieces from different ones until you find what is true for you? That would be equal to filling your car up at multiple sights across town just so you will have a full tank in the end. Sounds kind of crazy to me. All religions cannot all be true because in order to do so they would have to contradict themselves. Cars require gas or (electricity) to run properly and we expect to get what we pay for in terms of gas or electric charges, so should we not expect that for life to run well, there must be something we need, something that is truth? We might look different on the outside, but we are al really the same on the inside. We all want to be loved and accepted. We all want to find something to do that we love and someone to love and share life with. We really aren’t that different, no matter what culture we are from. So, why do we question truth about beliefs? We need truth in our lives, not different truths, but truth that will actually fill the needs I just mentioned before. Truth that doesn’t change with the times or with whichever political party is in charge. Truth that sustains when life seems out of control. Truth that is true for all not just for the individual.

 

Live It

“Let it go, let it go….”   How many times have you heard that line from a famous Disney movie? Let’s be honest here, how many times have you sung those words? Now that I have that song stuck in your head, let me go on.

It’s just one of many phrases that I’m sure you have heard before. Just let it go, or it doesn’t really matter, or you gotta pick your battles- usually advice from older wiser parents, and the classic whatever is good for them is good for them and whatever is good for me is good for me, it just doesn’t matter. But, what if it does matter? This morning as I got up, I thought about whether what I did mattered. Like does it matter if  I write my paper for class. Does it matter what I believe? Does it matter what I do? And I believe I have an answer. Yes, it does. We need to start living life like we mean it. Intentionally. We have been bombarded with so many cliches and phrases to just let it go, don’t worry about it, let them do their thing, that I think we have applied it to our lives too much. I know I have.

We do need to care about things. The things that matter in our lives. Like social justice and what we believe. We need to be change makers and not just complacent Christians who take whatever is given to us to believe by others. We need to know for ourselves what we believe. We should change what needs changing and when we can’t make changes, we should speak up about the problems, to the ones in authority who can make changes. We should not be settlers.

I have realized that recently, I have been settling, and just letting things go too much and what has been robbed from me is my passion. And that is what challenged me this morning. Was I really living my life like I meant it? Am I being intentional? Being intentional is important as it can change lives and change history. Being passionate and caring about others and in what I believe matters.

Recently, thanks to my Aunt Betty, I learned about a distant relative of mine who lived in England in the 1600’s. She was locked up in a tower for speaking out against the church of England. She wasn’t beheaded, but I applaud her for her courage to not just let it go. She and several of my other relatives, boarded small wooden boats and left home, family and the life they knew to risk going to a place where they could raise their children with religious freedom. How many of us would do that today? But… It changed history. The people on that boat became the foundation of the United States. They must have believed in something better, and lived their lives like they meant it. No holding back, no settling, no compromising and just letting it go. I am thankful for their decision as I sit here now in a country where I can still worship freely.

Let me leave you with this verse from Ephesians 5:15- 17;”Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is” (NIV).   This whole chapter, chapter 5 of Ephesians, has much to say about intentional living as Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus. Ephesus was an interesting place, full of commerce, and tourist sites, including one of the seven wonders of the world, a temple to a 50 foot goddess. The Christians there could have gone with the flow, but they too had to make a choice to live like they meant it and be intentional or just settle. It was Paul who courageously set the model for them to follow as he caused riots and destroyed their marketing of goddess replicas for the tourists.

     So, my challenge for myself is to live like I mean it. I need to stand up and speak up more about what matters, because it DOES matter. May that be your challenge as well. -God Bless Nancy