Friday, 4 June 2010

Are You A Truth Seeker Or An Order Seeker?

All of us are born curved in on ourselves, and thus bent on a hatred of the Truth, but the echo of the image of God in each of us means we still yearn for intelligible meaning from the complex universe in which we find ourselves birthed. We know we can't live in chaos, it's just impossible. Even the most ardent philosophical anarchists who rail against the rule of law admit the need of some level of interpersonal order built on a mutually agreed foundation of common sense.

We aren't Truth-seekers, but we are order-seekers.

Of course we all want truth (with a small "t"). We all want to know whodunit? Or, who sent us that Valentine's card? Or who ate all the leftover Banoffee in the fridge? Or how do we reform the Welfare State? Or how does a Bumble Bee fly? Or, how do we feed an expanding world population..? Or what will people think of me after I'm gone? But when it comes to Truth (with a capital T) we are less concerned. Yes, we all want to find a unifying principle (e.g.) and/or cause (e.g.) around which to organise our lives - for life is more predictable/meaningful then, but we aren't bothered about Truth so long as there's food on the table, something on TV and someone significant with whom to enjoy those things.

If we (and I definitely include me here) aren't careful, those of us who call ourselves Christians, can come to view Christ in this way - the genie who orders my world for me and helps me to make sense of it. We say we want Truth, but really we just want tidiness and order - God on our own terms running things how we want them to be run.  We want him to feed us and fetch for us whilst we continue to stare at our navels.

Into this human/self centred preoccupation for tidiness and order, for me and my own, Jesus declares:

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.* For I have come to turn
 " 'a man against his father,
 a daughter against her mother,
 a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law -
 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'

"Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The Pursuit of The Truth is a wholly different enterprise, beyond anything we natural-born navel-gazers ordinarily understand.


* Note that when Jesus talks about bringing the sword, he is not looking for his people to declare a military war on those who hate him, he will do that himself at the time of his Father's choosing, he is simply saying that through his death and resurrection, the assumed ties of loyalty between kith and kin will be severed for ever when people come to him.  All people everywhere will ultimately be defined not by ethnic origin, family line or personal achievement but by whether they belong to Christ or not.

No comments: