My friend Nathan has responded in full and great detail on Facebook to my blog post from October 25 (read that post here to catch up). I’m going to respond now to him again so we can continue this enlightening conversation about the Bible and where we find truth.
I can’t thank you, enough, Nathan, for your insightful thoughts and for your respect/ love for me, which comes through in your writing. I respect you very much!
I regret that I can’t respond in full (in one blog post) to every great point you’ve made, so I’m going to focus on the ones I’m most passionate about.
Sources of Truth:
I would not say that the Bible is the ONLY source of truth. Rather, I say that it is the foundation for truth (being that it is God’s word). So, as you mention, truth can be found in conversations with people, music, nature, movies, books, etc. Truth exists in all of those places because it has a source or reference point. If God is to have made all things, as the Bible claims, then of course we should see truth all around us because He is Truth. But if the Bible is merely a source of truth standing on a level playing field with all other truth claims, with any of them being perfectly possible and passable as truth, how can we make any determinations? Some would say “Yay!” to that idea, but nothing operates like that for very long – it’s unsustainable. Whether this or that truth is worth following based on how it resonates with me or you or anyone is a scary prospect, particularly once we start applying it to morality and how people’s behaviors and choices affect others.
Ok, great! We agree that truth can be found in a variety of ways, all throughout life, not just from the Bible.
Our point of disagreement is that you believe the Bible is the foundation for truth, and I think that our foundation for truth is found within.
Since this is such a huge topic, let’s dial it down to how we each approach the Bible, specifically.
When I read the Bible, I listen to my own voice, I feel God’s Spirit within me, which is fully connected to my own Spirit, as I let my ego fall away.
I listen for what Spirit is guiding me to see. And I find spiritual treasure. I go to the passages that resonate and uplift me.
When I used to go to the Bible from my ego, looking for concrete answers, looking to prove or disprove something, looking at it intellectually, studying theology, I didn’t find food for my spirit, and I could get lost in confusion in my head. The same book, which, while being directed by my Spirit, would give me LIFE, could also lead me towards ‘death’ and confusion, if I approached it from my ego.
You say that the Bible is your foundation for truth, but the problem I have with that idea is that when you read this book which is your “foundation”, you are still using your heart to guide you. You have to interpret the words on the page in order to assimilate them into your life. Ultimately, I think you are your own foundation whether you realize it or not.
The Bible is a very special book with great spiritual treasure, but to say that it can be our foundation, is, in my opinion, impossible.
How can words on a page that can be interpreted a million different ways be a foundation for anything? That’s why there are so many various Christian denominations, because of the myriad of ways the Bible is interpreted.
And so, you might be thinking, if the heart is such a great guide and foundation for truth, why are there so many different interpretations of the Bible?
Because each of us has a choice, every moment, whether to live out of our ego, or our Spirit. Our false self, or our True Self.
Fear, or Love. If someone is approaching the Bible from fear, they are going to get a much different interpretation than someone approaching it from Love, Trust, and Peace.
Ultimately, the Spirit of Love within has to guide us in order for us to find Truth.
Ok, so now to your next point:
I am interested to hear more what you mean about living in a “fear-based belief in the Bible.” When I read that comment I thought of this verse from John 8: “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The Bible talks consistently of not living in fear, so I am wondering why you ever felt you were in a fearful situation as it relates to the Bible.
You actually describe perfectly what I meant by a fear-based attachment to the Bible, when you said “Whether this or that truth is worth following based on how it resonates with me or you or anyone is a scary prospect”.
I used to think it was a scary prospect as well, so I held onto the Bible as ultimate truth, as my foundation. But since it is impossible for it to BE a foundation, the attachment to it kept me from being fully guided by Spirit, from within.
Once I courageously let go of the idea that the Bible is my foundation for truth, I entered a realm of Peace, Life, and Joy, beyond my ego, and the freedom and stability this has brought to my life is beyond description!
Ironically, letting go of my attachment to this ‘solid rock’, put me on the true solid rock of being able to trust myself. When you let go of ego and fully enter your true identity, which is LOVE, SPIRIT, WISDOM – – you can then trust your desires, and be fully guided from within.
And then passages in the Bible are new and fresh and actually start to resonate deeply and clearly and bring me Life, because I’m approaching them from my spirit within. The Spirit within me enlightens everything I see, and I’m able to discern what is good and what is not good for me in every moment, simply by listening to myself and to where my joy is leading me. This method of living has led me to greater emotional, physical, spiritual health, passion and enthusiasm for life than I EVER dreamed possible! I highly recommend it!
Thanks, again, Nathan for taking the time to have this conversation with me. I welcome your continued thoughts, as I’m sure they represent the thoughts of many other readers.