The two types of truth

Recently I have been thinking about truth, and I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of truth. The first is internal, that which we each hold within our heads and the other is external, often called absolute truth. Even if you believe that the entire world is a dream, or even that we decide our own reality, that fact and the mechanisms that make it happen are external to us.

As a Christian, I believe in the Apostles creed; that there is a God and he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for our sins. I believe in the authority of the Bible and that in it can be found the truth and the way in which God wants us to live our lives. I believe that God speaks with me and that He imparts revelations to his people who listen.

The difficulties with living a life of faith always come when my internal truth is being challenged. I either find out something that challenges what I had assumed or find someone who disagrees with my interpretation.

It is here that the fight begins, the acting out of Romans 12:2. You have a choice to how you respond, as you can either reject or accept the new information. You can choose to ignore it or consider it carefully. The difficulty comes in deciding when each is appropriate.

The Bible says clearly that we should remain teachable, taking up humility and seeking correction. We must therefore acknowledge that our own inner truth is incomplete and most probably contains things that are not true. However, it also tells us not to doubt but instead have faith. Romans 14:22-23 says:

Do you have a conviction? Keep it to yourself before God. The man who does not condemn himself by what he approves is blessed.  But whoever doubts stands condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from a conviction, and everything that is not from a conviction is sin.

I have had in the past had conversations with people who despair with the intolerance in the world, complaining that everyone is certain of their own beliefs. While I agree that this is an issue and that people should be accepting of others, I am equally if not more worried that not enough people have conviction. In Revelation 3, the church are told off for being lukewarm, God saying that He would prefer if they were hot or cold.

The trouble with truth is that is unknowable. None of us will ever be able to see the whole picture. What we do see however should be shared, both for our own understanding and correction but also because we should be passionate enough to shout it out.

Therefore, I have come to the following conclusion:

  • I will hold onto the core values I believe, that Jesus died for me.
  • I will remain teachable on what following Jesus looks like and how I am doing.
  • I will hold onto revelation and defend it from doubt.
  • I will question all new things in context of what I understand.

With that then, I shall leave you to think it over. Please comment below, correcting me where you think I am wrong and adding any wisdom of your own.

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