Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

the problem with the truth

7/5/11

The problem with truth is that it is very often unbelievable. What seems to be right turns out to be very, very wrong. This has been born out in the realm of science, where many of the discoveries of the past century have revealed truths which are far from easy to accept as true.

This counter intuitiveness is the very reason why the Truth as taught by Jesus is generally rejected, even by those of us who claim Him as our example and Redeemer. The human mind wants, even demands that the truth conform to its sense of what is right and reasonable. Though religiously we claim to adhere to a form of foolishness in our theology, in fact, we really cling to an understanding of God and the scriptures which our rational mind finds perfectly logical. By logical, I mean, an understanding which appeals to our normal way of thinking, one which does not challenge our standard assumptions about how things are and the way things should work out. Inherent in this understanding is the idea of a God who above all else seeks retribution for each and very misdeed of mankind, much as men have generally demanded of one another throughout human history. The ultimate message of the Bible may be classified as foolishness by the Apostle Paul, but our traditional interpretation of that message certainly appeals to the human ego. In other words the church’s interpretation of the foolishness of Paul seems perfectly reasonable to the average human mind- God is powerful. He demands justice. Because He is all powerful, He gets His way. He therefore rewards the righteous and punishes the wicked. Simple and perfectly logical. No reason to invoke foolishness in support of that kind of thinking. Most everyone naturally thinks that way already.

If we pay close attention to the teaching of Jesus, we see Him express ideas which are far from easy to believe and accept as true. The Sermon on the Mount is full of examples. In the beatitudes Jesus extols the merits of meekness and humility. He calls men to rejoice in persecution and revilement. In continuing, Jesus contradicts the letter of the Law and equates what men would view as petty malfeasance with those very sins which men would see as most heinous. Instead of teaching His followers to oppose evil by violence as the Law so often demanded, He commands them to follow the way of love, even to the extent of loving one’s enemies. The entire discourse is simply full of ideas which boggle the human mind and ego. Nothing about the message seems reasonable. Naïve foolishness would aptly describe how our mind reacts to these words of Jesus. We may claim to embrace Jesus as the deliverer from sin, but that deliverance does not include our acceptance of much that He taught about sin and a new ethics.

Therein lies the problem with so called Christianity. It teaches a respect for Jesus which does not include embracing what he taught as the Truth. Faith in Jesus does not include believing that His message about abundant living was reasonable, practical, and, in fact, true. By default, an unbelievable Truth becomes a lie and can and must be ignored, no matter what the source. Instead of embracing the real foolishness of Jesus, we simply label as foolish what our ego naturally relishes and call it the gospel.