Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Truth

If you read something I have written previously, it is for one of two reasons:

1. I am too old to know that I have written it before.
2. I think you need the repetition.

Here goes a possible repetition. Over the years (more than 60 of them), I have heard the following nonsense:

“That is your belief. This is mine.”
“That is true for you, but not for me.”

This conversation can be about atheism, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, homosexuality, and all kinds of religious beliefs or immoral practices.

One of the first of these remembered conversations was in the home of a family in Sasebo, Kyush. It was probably in October, 1950. It was with their college-age daughter, Suziko. We had been talking about the Daiutsu in Kamikura (idol Buddha). We were seated on the tatami at a low table. We were talking about the time this giant idol was made and about the prayer wheels in front of the idol.

A prayer wheel is like a roulette wheel. It has many little posts on the perimeter of the wheel. The worshiper will write out little prayers on pieces of paper and then put the paper on one of the posts. The prayer wheel is then spun. Every time the prayer makes one complete revolution, the prayer is prayed to the idol. At the same time the other hundred prayers on the wheel are also prayed.

There was in the center of the table, at which we were sitting, a beautifully carved wooden dish. I asked Suziko what she would think of me if I had carved the dish. She replied, “I would think that you were a great artist.”

“What would you think of me if I then bowed down in front of the dish and prayed to it?”

“I would think that you were very foolish.”

She then changed the subject and said, “Isn’t it true that you have your God and we have our god?”

My reply was, “At the creation did the two gods get together at the international Date Line to decide about creation?”

My point is this, people think that something is true because they believe it is true.

If I believe that the earth is round, that does not make the earth round. If I believe that earth is flat, that does not make it flat. If I believe in the law of gravity, that does not make it true. If I do not believe in the law of gravity, my non-belief does not make the law of gravity false.

What I believe does not make anything true. Truth is truth independent of anyone’s belief. Truth is not subjective. It is unrelated to my beliefs. Christians have bought into this lie: “It does not matter what you believe as long as you believe.” Educated, otherwise, intelligent people say this sort of drivel.

Seek what is true and put your trust there.

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