Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

Working Knowledge

5/1/14

 

There is really only one way to know that something is true. That is to experience for yourself that it works, like the laws of science.

 

That is especially so of religious truth. Institutional religion, however, wants to insist that their truth is true because it is in the book and they know how to interpret and properly present that truth. Whether, their truth is demonstrably true or not is not the issue. It is true because they say it's true.

 

For the most part, the religion with which we are most familiar is focused on the status of the hereafter. Whether church truth works in the hereafter is unobservable since we are stuck here and now. Any truth addressing our after death state is therefore only an assertion. One can accept such truth, if one chooses, but there is no reason to expect everyone to do so.

 

To the extent the church neglects or minimizes the observable impact of their theology on here and now day to day living, it fails to address the very real need to demonstrate that their truth is really true. If church truth is for real, what are the mental, emotional, and physical effects of their theology on daily lives. Are church adherents better prepared to live the good life here on earth?

 

Some may think that as long as their post death condition is secured, their life on earth is basically irrelevant. That is often the way the church message comes across. Getting to heaven is the only, important thing. If one is confident of that, then whatever we experience here is obviated by the eager anticipation of a better hereafter.

 

As I noted before, the problem with this notion of truth is that its effectiveness cannot be measured until its too late, too late at least in the church's teaching. That lack of verification is greatly complicated by the all too obvious disagreement and bickering between different elements of "Christianity", all claiming to have the real truth while all other elements are deluded, meaning their truth does not work. Furthermore, even among those embracing the same version of Christian truth, there are constant reminders that believers are often mistaken in their personal grasp of the truth.

 

How can such uncertainty coupled with such dire consequences to being wrong, ever bring about the life blessings everyone logically seeks: peace, joy, freedom, and fulfillment? Many apparently feel that as long as they can associated with like minded individuals who claim an exalted status before God, enjoy self congratulation, and find meaning in a constant conflict with outside evil forces, they have a faith that works for them.

 

An even larger number, however, demand much more of their truth/faith. This majority doesn't enjoy conflict, submission to human religious instructors, or the unfathomable depiction of a wrathful, vengeful Deity. This group is rightfully looking for truth that works in their real world lives. Christian Orthodoxy's palpable anxiety, anger, ostracism, conflict, condemnation, and illogic are never going to be the source of a faith that works for these folks. Such people are to be celebrated for their commitment to a definition of truth which is independent of outside human authority, personally verifiable, and therefore ultimately powerful.