The Last Turn

The Last Turn (1,165)

June 2nd, 2011

Truth is not what we believe. Truth is the knowledge that survives our belief.

This came to the forefront last evening as I was driving to my concert event in Cherry Valley, Illinois. I was following my usual directions procured from an Internet service when I came to the end of the procedure and discovered that the last entry was an incorrect. It sent me on a wild goose chase, although no animals were actually harmed in the process. To get back on track, I had to stop at a convenience store, get supplemented directions and make the right turn, which put me on the path to bless some delightful folks in Northern Illinois.

This last turn being incorrect will not cause me to cease to use Internet directions. Most of the time they prove to be quite effective. But it does let me know that truth is not always located exactly where I think it should be. No, truth is not a book, nor is it a doctrine and certainly not a running list of traditions. Truth is the exciting discovery of information previously undiscovered—which only further enhances our understanding of why things work the way they do.

After all, for many years people believed that witches were dangerously real and they should be burned at the stake. Over time, this has been revealed to be false. Yet I will tell you that there are people living today who believe in witches, and because of that they end up doing harm—mainly to the female of the species.

There were very ardent individuals in the mid-1800s who believed in states’ rights and slavery, so they went off to fight a war to prove their point. Turns out that the union was more important than one individual state, and that slavery was not really a very good idea. But you probably know there are those who still honor the heritage of that war—who could easily be convinced to think less of other races.

There was a large contingency in this country who railed against the homosexuals in the 1980s, believing it was an abomination to God. Time presses on. It seems that God is not nearly as fragile as we think He is, and He looks on the heart, not the outward flesh, and He has not come to condemn the world, but to save it. But there are still those who believe that their little cache of scriptures allows them to incriminate this community—and therefore they would not be fully opposed to the premise that HIV was a plague sent by God to punish the perceived wrongdoers. That’s why it was so easy for some folks to get carried away and think that Hurricane Katrina was sent to punish New Orleans. (Even last week, some folks believed so strongly that the world should end that they were trying to book the date.)

You see, last night my directions were correct—until I got to the last turn. It doesn’t anger me that there was an error. It doesn’t make me want to throw out all usage of modern technology in acquiring navigation. It just lets me know that believing in something doesn’t make it so—especially when greater knowledge provides updated truth.

So is there a value in believing in things? Absolutely! It’s like the word itself—believing gives us something to “be,” and without it we are ill-defined and frequently lost—in a perpetual wrong turn. But occasionally, it also provides us something to leave—to depart from—because greater revelation has brought a higher truth. So I must be something, but I also need to prepare to leave erroneous reports when they prove, through knowledge, to be untrue.

And you know the interesting thing? When you stop hunting down witches, you find out they can just be new friends. And when you stop fighting the Civil War, black people don’t seem quite so dark to you. And if you aren’t mocking the gay community, you might just be able to assist them in achieving even greater happiness.

Because truth is not what we believe. Truth is the knowledge that survives our belief. Let us not forget Jesus’ words: “You shall KNOW the truth…” (Not believe the truth, but know—have knowledge of it!) “…and the truth will make you free.”

So it is not my belief that makes me free—it is the knowledge revealed everyday by the Spirit through truth that grants me the license to have liberty.

Published in: on June 2, 2011 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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