Manage episode 281775876 series 1442308
Love Matters More
In the New Testament gospels, Jesus presents love as the ultimate end of a moral life (Mark 12:30-31).
Christianity Makes It Complex
· After becoming a follower of Jesus, Christianity makes foggy to continue.
o We were told to make sure we held all the correct beliefs and that we needed to remind everyone who disagreed that they were wrong, wrong, wrong.
o We were told correct doctrine matters more.
· People are forced to choose between truth and love.
When Love Doesn’t Feel Like Love
· We are told Christianity is about love, but most of the time it is about belief.
o The fear about being wrong in our beliefs has crowded out the clear message of Jesus’ life and death – love matters more.
o Christianity often claims “we are loving”; but it doesn’t feel that way.
· There is a word for people telling you they love you while what you are experiencing is actually only pain and loneliness: ABUSE.
Self-Deception in a Broken System
· When love doesn’t feel like love, it is often justified by saying “just telling the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).
· Hopefully, the intention may be good, but it can easily become a sneaky way to tell people they are wrong as a means to feel more certain.
· Christians often are obsessed with “absolute truth”.
o It is the idea that we can know with certainty everything there is to know in the world.
o The problem becomes trusting in our beliefs rather than trusting in God.
o We keep the creator captive to what we can comprehend.
o Watching certainty slide into uncertainty is frightening for most people.
· The problem becomes apparent when new “truth” is discovered.
· In 1909, the biologist Jakob von Uexküll introduced the concept of the umwelt.
o He wanted a word to express a simple (but often overlooked) observation: different animals in the same ecosystem pick up on different environmental signals.
· Because of how their bodies are built, all animals see, hear, and feel the world very differently.
o Dolphins can hear thousands of sounds we can’t hear.
o Buzzards can see a mouse from 15,000 feet in the air.
· The way the buzzard experiences the world will always be different from the way the dolphin experiences the world.
· There is the world as it really exists out there (what we call reality), and then there is the world as someone, or something experiences it (umwelt).
o We only experience “reality” through our umwelt.
o Different cultures, personalities, experiences and even languages factor into the human umwelt.
o Our limitations cause us to explore and experience the world very differently than other people do.
· Ignorance limits how we experience the world too.
o Every time we learn something new our world gets a little bit bigger and changes our umwelt.
St. Paul’s Black Swan
· Paul realized he did not have access to absolute truth (1 Corinthians 13:12).
o He used to have certainty about what he believed (Philippians 3:4-6).
o He believed he had God figured out.
o He used violence to help convince people he was right (Acts 7-8).
· Paul had an experience that expanded his umwelt (Acts 9:1-6).
o His black swan so radically changed his world that his name was changed, and he ended giving up his social status of a rabbi and possibly a Pharisee.
o Paul even was staking other people’s lives on the fact that he was right, and others were wrong.
Paul’s Doxology to the Mystery of the Divine (Romans 11:33-36)
· There is enough truth to guide us but not enough to think there are no surprises left.
· What about the Bible? Doesn’t that give us access to absolute truth?
· Faith is not certainty in what we know; it’s confidence in who we know.