What is Truth?

For as far back as I can remember I attended church. When I was young (prior to 3rd grade) my mom sent me to the corner church to attend Sunday School. I do not know what denomination the church was, I simply remember it as the ‘Green Church’ because that was the color of the building. I don’t remember what the Sunday School teacher taught but I do remember the songs: Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World, This Little Light of Mine, Into My Heart and many others. We did not go to church as a family at that time but my mom felt it was important for me to know the truth.

The summer of my 2nd grade year my parents became Seventh-Day Adventists. One evening during dinner my parents explained that we would be attending church as a family every Saturday. I remember the pure joy that I felt at that moment. I was thrilled that we would all be going to church together… as a family.

When I married, my husband and I began attending the Methodist church. I continued to attend church until our separation. It was at that point that I really started questioning religion and wondering what the “Truth” was. I had taken a comparative religion class in college but I was young and egotistical in my faith and did not allow myself the opportunity to really LEARN. So it was that at age 42 I began to look, to study, to question what I had always been taught was “Truth.” I began to wonder if the truths that I had been fed as a child were believable, were, in fact, true. There were so many things that didn’t “mesh” and the more I questioned those beliefs the more my well meaning religious friends criticized me for “turning away from the Truth.”

I am not writing this to bash religion, nor am I writing to explain why I left the church I was raised in, or why I am now Agnostic. I actually appreciate my upbringing and enjoyed my time at the SDA churches and schools that I attended. I made some wonderful friends, had some remarkable teachers and felt confident about myself and my beliefs. Frankly, I’d go to church now if I could simply sing all the old hymns enjoy a nice potluck and go home.

I am writing this because of something that was messaged to me on Facebook. It was this: “I had Muslums yell Allah Akbar[God is great] as they tried to kill me it didnt work and now with over a 100 kills (26 in one morning) I am left with a dozen bullet holes in me and confusion on what is really the truth.”

These words touched the very core of me. It made me wish that the “Truth” was a simple definition to be found in Webster’s or something I could Google. I cried when I read this because it reminded me that we are fighting for “Truth”. We are killing and dying and hurting for “Truth”.

The Bible says, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free.” John 8:32. But Truth is not the same for everyone and being ‘free’ is not a pass to understanding. Cyril Connolly said, “Truth is a river that is always splitting up into arms that reunite. Islanded between the arms the inhabitants argue for a lifetime as to which is the main river.”

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One Response to What is Truth?

  1. Ellen says:

    I love that last line: Truth is a river that is always splitting up into arms that reunite. Islanded between the arms the inhabitants argue for a lifetime as to which is the main river.” Why are we always so short-sighted as not to see this play out over and over throughout our history? We may not be able to see the future, but looking to the past surely helps us map out the probabilities. Wonderful post, Rachel. I almost could have written it myself.


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