Truth. Reality. God.

Or, described more fully….

Truth IS.                  Reality IS.                          God IS.

Words can’t fully express it.  Rather, OUR words can’t fully express it… because our words are limited:

In scope…  

In power…

In ability…

In authority… 

Lots of other ways too, but I think you get the point. 

We are limited in our humanity, so we cannot fully describe the limitless, the infinite.  And that’s ok, we’re not actually expected to or meant to.  Strive to? Yes.  Get there? No.

Had a great time this week, checking out posts and signs from the Rally to Restore Unity which was setup by Rachel Held Evans. (Thank you, Rachel!)

This morning, as I was reflecting on the week with so many excellent posts, signs, and unique viewpoints, a thought hit me….    One reason we don’t have unity in the church is that God is too big for us to adequately describe.  Our words, thoughts and perspectives are limited – and we therefore cannot fully comprehend things without limits (Truth, Reality, and God.)   And, that is OK!  I’m starting to realize that God designed it that way. 

Has it ever occurred to you that maybe God WANTS some people to be Calvinists and others to be Arminians?  Or that God WANTS some believers today to believe in “Old Earth” and others to believe in a “Young Earth”?  (Pick any topic where you see disagreement and re-write that question.) 

It’s not about who is correct and who is wrong.  It’s about people with limited abilities, limited words, limited thoughts trying to describe an unlimited God to others….  

Paul said that he would be “all things to all people” in order to “win some to the gospel”, right?  Why is that necessary?  Because different people will receive and understand different messages.  Why do we expect that one message is “right” and another is “wrong”?  It’s not about right and wrong – it’s about different perspectives on the truth.

We share from different perspectives…..

We understand and comprehend with different perspectives….

Calvinists and Arminians are both right, by the way.  They have different perspectives on a truth that is beyond our comprehension.

I hate to bring math up again, but it works to illustrate.  Do you remember the Commutative, Associative, and Distributive Rules we were taught as kids? (Relax, this is not a quiz!)

Those rules say that if you rearrange mathematical equations, you still get equivalent results (if you do it properly).

 For example, 2+4  and  4+2 are both equal to 6. 

Or a little more complex —     5 *  (5+15)  =    (5 * 5)   +  ( 5 * 15).     (Both 100… really not trying to make you do math here.)

What I’m trying to say about “Truth” and “Reality” and “God” is that when we argue about it, it can be like arguing about which side of an equation is correct:

“I’m telling you,  5 * (5 +15) = 100!”

“You idiot!  (5 * 5) + (5 * 15) = 100!  It’s clear as day!  Can’t you see it?”

Silly, right? Well, I think sometimes that’s what God thinks when we argue.   Both people can be “right” in believing “truth”, but they can both be “wrong” in how they treat each other when they share that “truth”.

God made us in His image, and in so doing He gives us the ability to do/think/be so much more than the rest of His creation here on Earth.   Art. Music. Architecture. Literature.  Learning about and manipulating nature to build, to design, to create in the fields of medicine, electronics, aerospace….   

But what’s the bottom line?  When are we most like God? 

“Be imitators of God, as dearly loved children, and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.” (Eph 5:1-2)

Or, as we are told in Matt. 22:37-40 – “Love God… and love your neighbor as yourself…. everything hangs on these two commandments.”

There are billions of people on this planet, each with the capacity to be like God in some measure.  How do we help point people in the right direction?  The Rally to Restore Unity is a positive step.  Sharing the truth is important, but acting in Love is more important.  (I’m really trying not to use the phrase “Love Wins” right now, but finding it difficult!)

God said “I AM”.  

John said “God is Love.”

Sigh….   The frustration of seeing truth and beauty and not being able to adequately describe it. 

Sort of like the scene in “Contact” where Jodie Foster is looking at gaseous clouds in a nebulae and all she can do is stare and say “No….  words…..”   Our words can’t do it justice….

Truth. 

Reality. 

God.

Love. 

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2 Responses to Truth. Reality. God.

  1. “One reason we don’t have unity in the church is that God is too big for us to adequately describe”.

    I would put this another way, “Individually, we only see a small part of the overall picture”.

    Dan’s aim is to reconcile differing viewpoints. Because I have been outside the walls of ‘traditional’ Christianity for some 40 years I have a different perspective. Over the last 8 years in particular I have been learning so much about WHY people believe WHAT they believe, often as a result of divisive, denominational theology.

    Each denomination has its own viewpoint – and tends to stress some aspect(s) more than others. The reactions to “Love Wins” show some of the polarised views – and reminds me of similar reactions to “The Shack” (which had a big impact on me when it was first published).

    I have had this picture for some years, that the Christian church is the only university from which the majority of its students never graduate (even at the age of 70 the pastor of the church I attended felt he had a responsibility to teach me (and keep me on the straight and narrow).

    Now that I no longer attend church it’s much easier to see that each individual church can only take people as far and as deep as its own traditions and theology will allow. There are natural leaders and there are natural followers – but there are not so many who are ready to step outside of their own comfort zones and share their thoughts with those who may have been on a very different journey.

    I’ve been on such a journey for many years but its only very recently (at the age of 75) that I have a faith that I no longer have to defend. I know I don’t have all (or even many) answers, but I know I don’t have to.

    I’ve been asking questions for a very long time. Maybe some of those questions (which can be found on my blog) will help others to see some new perspectives.

    • Thanks for commenting, Pete! I understand/agree with everything you’re saying here. As you say, my aim is to reconcile viewpoints, and the purpose behind that is to edify the church. And the “church” I’m referring to includes those that like you are “outside their comfort zones” and on a “very different journey”.

      Did you get a chance to check out some of the stuff at the Rally to Restore Unity? The rally was put together by someone who thinks “outside the box” and has caught a lot of flack for it…. trying to get the church to be more civil and unified is her goal in the rally. I think you would find a LOT of good stuff there if you go check it out at http://www.rachelheldevans.com.

      Off to church…. Hope you’re doing well – I might jump on and comment more later.

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