Telling the Truth

Standard

I was so glad to graduate from college!  I didn’t think I would ever write another paper…and here I am writing a blog.  Of course, it’s much easier to research with the world at your fingertips and no more correction tape.  But I remember the feeling of relief that I would not have any more need to work for a grade. 

 I don’t like grades and as a teacher I hated grading papers.  I didn’t mind commenting, giving words of encouragement, on young writers’ journal entries, but I did not like having to evaluate them.  Math was easier, it’s either right or wrong, but writing is subjective.  Writing comes from the heart.  Sure, a need to spell correctly and use punctuation appropriately are necessary, but the thoughts of another person need to be affirmed.  Just to give the person the knowledge that you heard them, even if you didn’t understand their feelings, at least you tried to comprehend their perspective.  As you can probably tell, I was rather soft in grading the language arts, but my students did leave my classroom feeling they could write which kept them on the road to education longer, or so I like to think.

I suppose the question in my mind today, removed from the third grade classroom and now in the ‘world of thoughts and rants’ via cyberspace, are all viewpoints valid?  Should we maybe ‘grade’ some entries?

Is Truth subjective?  I believe Truth can be known and not all opinions are based on Truth.  Can it be evaluated from an objective standard?  In the elementary classroom the goal is to get children to learn ‘how’ to accomplish tasks – strong encouragement is necessary so the child will not give up or feel incapable.  But in the adult world, the skills are hopefully learned and now, I’m wondering, is it time to declare, “Your thought is not valid!  It’s based upon a lie.”…???

So the question arises, whose truth is the Truth?  We live in a world of relativism because we don’t want to offend, we don’t want to appear intolerant of others.  We seem to feel everyone needs to be validated, as if we were still in elementary school.  Everyone gets a smiley face. 🙂

Well, I must say, as I surf the net I’m not smiling so much these days.  Sometimes screams of intolerance can be heard coming from my bedroom and the family knows I have just come across another frustrating rant.  I’ve determined I’m not going to give anymore ‘encouraging words’ to adults who have not grown up.  It’s time to look at the ways of the world and declare, “You’re wrong!”

What is our objective Truth?  You got it…Jesus.  He was bold enough to declare it, so in ignoring His words, we are ignoring the Truth.

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.   -Jesus

(Please, only encouraging words, in many ways I still have a third grade ego.  I can dish it out, but I don’t take it so well 😉 )

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13 responses »

  1. Michelle:

    I’d give you a Smiley Face if I knew where to find one. Heh.

    The passage you quoted from Christ–“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”–has often been used to justify anti-Semitism and Christian arrogance. And I have to admit, that does bother me. I don’t have all the answers, of course, but I do believe that Moses and Elijah, both of whom made a cameo appreance in the NT, went to Heaven and got There quite a while before Christ made His sacrifice. I believe the same is true for the Jewish people today–they’ll get There the same way Moses and Elijah did–however THAT works! So I pretty much take the verse you quoted in the contects of my own incompitince…just like I hope you won’t use too much red ink when you see my spilling errers!!! Ah ha ha ha!!!

    I am so glad you posted again! I needed a breath of fresh air!

  2. Hey, NorEaster! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    I could sure use a smiley face right about now……….
    I’m wondering if I should have kept this blog to myself. I am always a bit concerned when I pull the Truth card, that I will be misunderstood.

    I believe Truth is contained in God’s word and I believe that His word includes the Tanakh (Torah, Prophets, Writings – or what Christians would call the Old Testament), the New Testament, and the God-man, Jesus Christ. I am ashamed at what’s been done, in the name of Christianity, to our Jewish brothers (and all the other peoples we have chosen to oppress through our heretical teaching). I feel we have trampled on God’s Word and God’s chosen people through our so-called “faith”. I can’t begin to plumb the depths of God and just how He plans on working out His will. I do see that He has consistently spoken through His Word of faith that makes us righteous.

    When HaShem cut covenant with Abraham, He promised him a seed, a land, a great nation, to be his God, and to bless all the families of the world through him. HaShem cut an EVERLASTING covenant with Abraham. Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham “believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Faith came through believing, and believing through the Word of God. I believe His promises are Yes and Amen – and I believe He has a way of bringing all His promises to fruition. As Paul stated, “…from the standpoint of God’s choice they (the Jewish people) are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” (Romans 11:28-29) We, Christians, have been grafted into the root. The root supports the branches – we have NOT replaced Israel.

    All the evil done in the name of Christ is abhorrent, we have ruined any witness we had. All we can do at this point is humbly speak Christ’s words and show His love, and leave the rest to His sovereignty.

    That’s my thinking…

  3. I think its okay to step out every once in a while and mix things up. There is a Truth in the world. How would math work without it? Those who would argue about that are not truly wanting to deal with Truth because relativism would have to die. How can one live without a reference point? The problem comes when people want to deal in philosophies and metaphysical stuff without having a grounding in the Word of God. Course they would argue against that, but what are you going to do, I am not out to change anyone’s mind, its not my job. It is also not my job to judge people, there is one judge and that would be Jesus. Pharisaic Christians give the rest of us a bad name.

    Oh well, what can you do? Oh yeah, blog the Truth. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Thanks for commenting, Comic Phat. Yes, I have found when people want to ask questions without a foundation of Truth, they end up in all kinds of thinking contrary to God. We must have a standard and as we look around the world, the Old and New Testaments contain the Truth that continues to bear out through God’s chosen people. In our day we have seen the rebirth of an ancient nation. I believe this rebirth has something to do with that covenant, that everlasting covenant, I was commenting on earlier.

    Oh, and thanks for the score of FOUR smileys!

  5. Thanks, Dan, I read your blog. I agree that the way of salvation has always been in looking to the Messiah. When crossreferencing Genesis 12 with Galatians 3 it reveals what Abraham believed:

    This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain–if indeed it was in vain? So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
    Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “all the nations will be blessed in you.” So then, those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham the believer. vs.2-9

    Of course, we have the chapter of faith (the great cloud of witnesses) in Hebrews 11. I think we’re saying the same thing. Faith in Messiah has always been our salvation.

  6. I don’t believe that truth is relative. I do believe it can be perceived in different ways, and we have to keep that in mind when talking to others. Still, I do not believe that we have to accept all opinions as equally valid and equally worthy of respect.

    I’d like to offer a couple pieces of advice, though. Take them for what they’re worth and discard what you don’t find helpful.

    1) Correcting people you randomly meet over the Internet is not always looked upon favourably and with an open mind. It can also cause you a fair amount of stress and frustration and make you end up like this guy:

    http://xkcd.com/386/

    Reserving your “grading” for those you either have a relationship with or plan to stick around long enough to form a relationship with is more likely to have a positive impact and be less frustrating for all involved.

    2) Wait until you feel you can “take it” before choosing to “dish it out”. Until you can accept your words being graded, it might be best to keep yelling at the screen rather than typing anything down.

    And yes, there is an awful lot on the Internet that makes me yell, too. Sometimes I wait until after eating or having a good night’s sleep before responding, or choosing not to respond. I do try to phrase myself courteously, if not always lovingly.

  7. Thanks for commenting, Quester. I believe your comments are worthy of validation – how’s that for grading? 😉

    I have chosen the path you describe – I’m too much of a chicken to be overtly offensive. In the end, I think we all need grace, but honestly, sometimes I would love to be the internet umpire and declare, “you’re out!” But…what goes around comes around, and I certainly don’t want to be the one kicked out. 🙂

    And I love the link – I saw it a couple of months ago, and my husband died of laughter – it hit too close to his home.

  8. Absolute Truth vs relative truths…

    Polar coordinates versus cartesian co-ordinate system…

    God’s Will vs our free-will…

    Love your tackling of the REAL issues ( more validation) 🙂 🙂 🙂

    my attempt to answer some of the questions: http://lovewillbringustogether.wordpress.com/2007/11/09/freaked-out-friday-3/

    I think i have come to where i have by works.

    What grain of faith caused me to begin those works and where it came from is still a mystewry to me 😉

    I am tired of yelling so loudly at all those WRONG FREAKS OUT THERE!!! 😉

    lovewillbringustogether – eventually – providing God remains patient and does not go for the flood dealy again thus going back on His Word.

    Or providing we don’t beat Him to it with global warming! 🙂

    Nice to find you 🙂 I’m presuming you won’t mind if i blogroll this site? you may return the compliment should the mood so take you naturally. Please advise if you wish to be removed from same.

    love ❤

  9. Love, Glad you made it over. I would love to be on your blogroll – but have you read enough to know where I’m coming from?

    I do not believe our works will save us (if I understand you correctly). I have to speak up for the absolute Truth of the Scripture. Faith has always been the catalyst for being declared righteous – being ‘saved’. Faith in God’s Word – The Word became flesh and dwelt among us…

    You know, He won’t go back on His word concerning judgment. Next time it will be with fire, not water. Terribly scary, that.

    I can always use the validation – I much prefer smileys than disagreement. I will try to humbly reply, but sometimes I can get on my soapbox – the whole purpose of my blog, “To blog or not to blog.”

    I’m glad you found me – I read your link – can’t always follow your mathematical analogies, but I must agree – Love is where we start. 😉

  10. Thank you for the visit(s) 🙂 If you want any help with the maths analogies – all one needs do is ask 🙂 ( they are simpler than they look!)

    As we only just met, misunderstandings will be inevitable to some degree or other – hopefully time will allow these to become fewer and minor in nature – who knows?

    In hope of correcting just one minor one above…I was not saying works would save us – not at all… i merely attempted to indicate my personal ‘experience’ that i feel i have reached my current level of understanding God more by my own works and not by following any recognised religion’s teaching ( although i have read quite a few and see much that I agree with – and much where the idea seems to have been ‘missed’ ( by the Religions).

    The addition of what and where the Faith came from to let me do those works and get the results i have contains much mystery still – i have not yet given myself wholly over to His Will ( who has??) or claim to truly have experienced any actual ‘conversion’ ( from my inherent atheism/scientific beliefs) such as received by St Paul, say.

    I do tend now to be more inclined to the ‘God is in ALL that is (and all that is not)’ scale of belief over my old ‘God is in the mind of the beholder’ belief.

    I look forward to a mutually beneficial sharing of ideas and Faith in the future.

    Love is where we start – life is where we diverge!

    If we go back to the beginning we can all converge again! – Well, that’s my philosophy currently 😉

    love ❤

  11. Love, I’m sure the exchange will be mutually beneficial…it’s always good to be stretched. I am glad to know you don’t feel works will save you – that thinking will only lead to fear and self-righteousness. (I’m speaking from experience)

    “‘God is in ALL that is (and all that is not)’ scale of belief over my old ‘God is in the mind of the beholder’s belief.”

    I’m not sure what this means – in time I’m sure you will explain. I can’t describe God outside of the word He has given, I find any other explanation eventually corrupts the revelation He gave through His word (Word). I don’t want to worship my thinking, I want to come into agreement with Him. The only way I know to understand Him is through the definition He gives of Himself. After digging deep into the word and still not understanding, then I must declare Him beyond me and leave His word intact.

    The first 25 years of my life I had a misunderstanding of God which could not be supported by scripture. Experience was the standard by which I “knew” Him. If the scripture did not support the experience then the scripture was at fault, not the experience. Through indepth study I finally understood that the scripture is our ‘plumbline’ – everything measures against it. I now try to see my life and its experiences through the ‘glasses’ of God’s word. I want to be in agreement with the “Holy Other” I have come to know. As I’ve said somewhere else on this blog – I have only seen the fringe of His robe, but one day I will see Him face to face. I live in anticipation of that Day! 🙂

    I’m glad for the perspective you bring – you are welcome here. 😉

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