My friend Nathan from college had 2 great questions about my Bible post from yesterday, and I’m dedicating today’s blog post to answering them.
1) You say the bible is not your source of truth…what is?
The Bible is not my main source of truth. I have received a lot of wisdom and truth from the Bible, but I have let go of the need to look to the Bible as my final authority on truth.
My great spiritual awakening, which I talk about in my previous blogs and in my life story on my YouTube channel, came on the wings of Psalm 27. I was in a broken and open spiritual state, and that’s why those verses were able to carry the Spirit of Life straight to my heart. There is much treasure in the Bible, if we are open to receive it.
However, I have come to see that releasing my grip on the Bible as the ONLY and FINAL source of truth, allows me to receive treasure from the Bible – whatever really resonates with my heart and LIFTS my spirit,
as well as from any other book,
or walk in nature,
or journaling time,
or any other treasure in my day.
I receive truth and inspiration all throughout my moments,
because I am open to receiving.
When I had the limiting belief that the Bible was my only source of truth, my eyes weren’t open to receive truth and beauty in a constant stream all throughout my life.
My litmus test for truth is:
If it brings me joy, peace, and lifts my spirit – if it seems ‘too good to be true’, and if it continues to do this as I put it into practice, then it’s GOOD and TRUE!
So to answer your other question from the other day about where my revelation comes from — it comes from living my life. Mostly, it comes while I’m writing. And if something I say doesn’t resonate with you, then it’s not for you. I’m not trying to preach or to push ideas that you don’t want to receive — my intention is simply to share the JOY that I have found in my own personal journey.
If any of it resonates with you, great! Keep exploring!
If it doesn’t, then stop reading.
If it makes you angry — maybe ask yourself, ‘Why is this offending me?’
2) I prob took a college course very similar to the one you mentioned…what canonization process would you have felt confidence in?
I will answer your question with a question.
Imagine that there was no such thing as a Bible, and that the Christian church today wanted to have a holy book that everyone would look to for truth. The church came together, elected leaders who would decide which spiritual writings to include in our holy book, and which ones to exclude. Everyone voted, and when the process was completed, the church declared the book, ABSOLUTE TRUTH.
Would you trust in this process and in the leaders of the Christian church to come together and make this decision for you? Would you trust it enough to ignore the writings that you love, that they didn’t include?
Would you trust it enough to stake your whole life and belief system on it?
My problem with the canonization process is the fact that there was one at all. I get that it was important to gather all the writings together into one compilation, but that wasn’t the only goal. There was a lot of desire for control of the people behind the process. If there wasn’t, why did the early church fathers exclude the writings that were more personal in their descriptions of Jesus?
I’m not an expert on this, but if you do some research you will find that there was an entire movement of early Christians, the Gnostics, who interpreted Jesus’ life and teachings from a different angle, such as the idea of looking within for guidance and truth, and their writings were completely excluded from the Bible. These ideas from the Gnostics were too threatening to the church, so they were left out. If you want to learn more about this, you can read The Gnostic Gospels, by Elaine Pagels.
Bottom line is, I don’t need a church to tell me what ultimate truth is. I think one of the beautiful aspects of being human is the daily discovery of truth and beauty. As I live my life fully and fearlessly, courageously living my own story, Life opens up to me its beautiful and mysterious wonders.
I will leave you today with one of my favorite quotes from Barbara Brown Taylor:
“I know that the Bible is a special kind of book, but I find it as seductive as any other. If I am not careful, I can begin to mistake the words on the page for the realities they describe. I can begin to love the dried ink marks on the page more than I love the encounters that gave rise to them. If I am not careful, I can decide that I am really much happier reading my Bible than I am entering into what God is doing in my own time and place, since shutting the book to go outside will involve the very great risk of taking part in stories that are still taking shape. Neither I nor anyone else knows how these stories will turn out, since at this point they involve more blood than ink. The whole purpose of the Bible, it seems to me, is to convince people to set the written word down in order to become living words in the world for God’s sake. For me, this willing conversion of ink back to blood is the full substance of faith.”
― Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
Thank you for your questions, Nathan!
God bless you everyone!