can you blame the voice of youth for asking, 'what is truth?'

A little boy of three sittin' on the floor
Looks up and says, "Daddy, what is war?"
"son, that's when people fight and die"
The little boy of three says "Daddy, why?"
A young man of seventeen in Sunday school
Being taught the golden rule
And by the time another year has gone around
It may be his turn to lay his life down
Can you blame the voice of youth for asking
"What is truth?"
-johnny cash


this blog will shed no light on the answers, you will walk away just as confused as before you decided to read this… but i am learning slowly that it is all about the journey, not the destination (because in philosophy one rarely reaches a destination).


the scene is set, Jesus is being interrogated by pontius pilate before He was to be crucified, Jesus said “everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” to this pilate replied ‘what is truth?’, even 2000 years ago, in the midst of one of the most famous trials in history, the debate raged on.
‘what is truth?’ is one of the most common questions we must all battle with in our lives, right up there with ‘why am I here?,’ ‘who is God?’ etc. this is not a ‘new question’ or something derived by high school philosophy teachers to test our abilities to write an essay.


i was faced once again with this question recently after a van driver had a peculiar book in floorboard of his vehicle. the title was “hitler and the lamb; conversations between adolph hitler and Jesus.’ of course the title right away took me because as far as morality these two were playing on different teams, if not two different sports. it was a book by current day philosopher ravi zacheria, a work of fiction, but nonetheless intriguing. after discussing philosophy with my new friend/van driver to cornerstone (david), he gave me the book and within a matter of two hours this short read was read.


what amazed me is how that hitler believed that he was right and had convinced himself so, even to the final statement, right before his suicide, he went off on how he felt he was doing the world a favor by killing so many jews. how do i, and the vast majority of the world, believe he was so utterly wrong in every way shape and form! is there such thing as subjective truth as soren kierkegaard believed?(1) i cannot, or rather don’t want to believe there is, there is already too much grey in this world to believe it so. if at the very least out of this lifetime i want some things to be certain in this uncertain world. i want to believe pol pot, stalin, and men like hitler were bad. i want to believe that helping the widows and orphans are ‘good’. but here i am veering off the topic at hand.


truth to me has taking me years to find, and most of the time what i felt was truth 10 years ago has altered, amalgamated, or all together changed its appearance since then. it is something worth pursuing, worth looking for, and worth the wait. the problem is truth is not simply ingrained, and genetically passed down from generation to generation; it is much like a buried treasure, and only those who seek will find.
so here we are where this began, ‘what is truth,’ is a question only you will be able to answer.
now search.


1.When Søren Kierkegaard, as his character Johannes Climacus, wrote that "Truth is Subjectivity", he does not advocate for subjectivism in its extreme form (the theory that something is true simply because one believes it to be so), but rather that the objective approach to matters of personal truth cannot shed any light upon that which is most essential to a person's life. Objective truths are concerned with the facts of a person's being, while subjective truths are concerned with a person's way of being. Kierkegaard agrees that objective truths for the study of subjects like mathematics, science, and history are relevant and necessary, but argues that objective truths do not shed any light on a person's inner relationship to existence. At best, these truths can only provide a severely narrowed perspective that has little to do with one's actual experience of life. (wikipedia)

Comments

Daniel+ said…
Our human limitation will always leave us short of capturing/fully comprehending truth. Christ's own disciples were in the presence of truth and even they couldn't comprehend it. As humans we spend so much time searching for truth, looking for "the answer", when the reality is that we will never be able to fully comprehend it in our current state. We can take joy in the fact that when earthly life ceases, we will indeed be in the presence of the truth. For now, like you say, we should focus not so much on 'the answer', but enjoy the search.

Daniel+
toriviolin said…
I believe that the truth is a constantly morphing goal for all people on earth, something that we search for, but will only know it in its entirety when we reach our ultimate state, heaven. The word of God, found in the Holy Bible, is a guide to find truth in this world, but is always up for interpretation. When we reach heaven, all will be explained. In particular, I love one quote from the Book of Revelation, and I think that it supports my belief: Revelation 21:4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes: there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." Much, if not most or (arguably) all, sorrow originates from confusion, and the debate over what the "truth" is.

Daniel+, I agree that we should enjoy the search. I liked your reference to Christ's disciples.

Stephen, I think you are right in your belief that helping the poor and widowed is within the truth.

But after all, what do I know? I'm searching just as all of you are.
phlp314 said…
this blog reminded me of Peter Kreeft's "The Philosophy of Christ". It's a quick, stellar presentation of Christ as "THE Philosopher".

and we can't forget the quote, "i am the way, the truth, and the life..."

that above quote is one of the many things that makes Jesus' claims so remarkably astounding. "truth" was something that man could not come to know for tens of thousands of years...and then Jesus walks in like, "here i am."
switchkosterice said…
you're right, i'm still confused.

but this is definitely making me think and there's never too much thinking in this world.
dana said…
truth, i think, is never always one universal principle. until i remember learning that interesting little insight into hitler's psychology and mindset, i had always believed that there were two kinds of truth: those universal, that everyone just had to see were true and right; and those which they had themselves, whether through experience or merely curious development.

now i'm really not sure.
but i'll keep looking.
nishant said…
God has already shown us the path.

"Thou shalt not murder."
"Love your neighbour as yourself."

These two sentences showcase the fundamental difference between, say Hitler and Mother Teresa. Whatever Hitler saw in murdering all those people cannot be justified by his perspective because God has already distinguished between right and wrong. The truth here is that he was wrong regardless of what his purpose was. As with Mother Teresa, the truth is that she gave of herself selflessly, which in God's Eyes, is a component of righteousness.

Yes, murdering and loving are just two small fragments of life that right or wrong may govern as such, but I think that when we submit to God, listening to what He says, a very prominent line is drawn up between true and false.

I believe that in any case, there is a constant "Truth" that is present, but it is us who interpret it to suit our beliefs and perspectives, like Hitler did.

This also brings to light the difference in each individual. I might find something right, another might find the same thing wrong. However, whatever we see, there is a truth that we unintentionally blind ourselves to. It is this truth we must look upon. It is this truth that will tell us.

Even though this truth may be difficult to find, if we surrender our reasoning to God, He will show us.

It's a new surrender that will show us the truth. I'm sure that there is truth, and that we can see it if we let ourselves admit that we may be wrong.
nishant said…
Upon asking my friend what he thought truth is, he replied,

"Something that does not lie."
Jenny said…
People search for truth & find belief. It isn't wrong to want to know the truth & "why" but because we'll never know every truth that we would like to, we have to settle for belief I suppose.

It is most definately the journey that's important because what if you get there & find out it's raining?
Towzer had it right. I believe you know the quote. You put in all the plans & preparation, growing & learning, but in the end you can't show it to the world because you're still preparing for the concert when the curtain falls.

The "truth" is, none of us know anything about it really. But it sure is fun to take a poke at it now again.

But I guess, it also depends on which sense of truth is in context... Now I wish I'd been a caveman. Fire was the most complex thing they had to think about then! It makes me jealous of a simpler time.

Jpxxx
switchkosterice said…
'Upon asking my friend what he thought truth is, he replied,

"Something that does not lie."'

^ i like that. although sometimes it is quite hard to find something that does not lie. in fact, i can't find one example right now.
nishant said…
To switchkosterice:

God does not lie.

Also, when you love someone, and you tell that person, you are not lying.

Also, when you are bleeding, and someone says "I want to help you" and takes out a bandaid, the person is not lying.

One of the important ones:

When you stand up and say "I can be something",

you are not lying.
switchkosterice said…
nishant,

wow, you know what? i've been so cynical lately that even those things have been taken from my immediate mind. thank you for opening me up again.
justfid said…
truth to me...is knowledge found through our own personal experience. I believe this is where most people get off course. They tend to get the words "knowledge" and "belief" confused.

Belief is --- "the psychological state in which an individual holds a proposition or premise to be true."

Knowledge is --- "justified true belief".

Trying to prove a belief is nearly impossible. If we were to know everything about ourselves and where came from and why we are here, then there would be no purpose for our lives here on earth. It's our ability to have faith, and believe in what we think to be true. It's quite possibly the purest form of love out there. To throw away all thirst for knowledge and just commit ourselves to believing in God. That's what God wants from us. To love Him.
toriviolin said…
wow. switchkosterice and nishant, you guys just made my day. To see two people have such a civil and open conversation, even if it is just online. It literally made me smile.
stargirl (*)(X) said…
Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
John 8:31-32

the truth will set us free.

<< please write a book. >>

i agree with toriviolin.
Eric said…
"What is truth?" That was my favorite part of The Passion. I feel myself to be Pilot constantly, wondering what truth is, examining whether or not I'm pursuing it. Not many seek truth, only what is most pleasing to hear, which makes searching for truth worth it like you mentioned. Reminds me of the *fin lyrics "Sympathy is better than having to tell you the truth." I believe this is why the path to heaven is a narrow one. It is so difficult to try to discern truth but the blessed give a genuine effort. My search has lead me to Roman Catholicism thus far, and by the way phlp, Kreeft is awesome. More directly to truth though...I believe there is an absolute truth to everything, but it is either incomprehendable, complicated, or hidden from us. Truth in a religious sense is sometimes even harder, when your dealing with "God", which in Hebrew "Yahweh", our best guess for the meaning is "being", or some type of verb. The very name of God is mysterious, which leads you to think that His truth and entity will be even more mysterious. Nice blog, pleasure to read as always.
Nat said…
I guess we have just one big limitation when it comes to this 'truth' subject: what may be truth for some, is not the same thing to others. What's right to a person can be totally wrong to another. It's a matter of culture; not just religion, but culture. Our personal ideas of truthness depends entirely of the way we were raised and what people taught us. You might have heard that saying 'children see, children do'. I guess it is the same about these kind of beliefs. When you're young and you're opinion about the world and people's acts isn't formed yet, you have to believe and accept what's said to you; you haven't experienced most things. But then you grow up, you go older and even though you have new situations that could redefine your thoughts, you can't change your mind, because it's difficult to see that everything you believed once it's not real. It's hard to see that little castle of beliefs you build to yourself it's not strong as a fortress, but weak as a card's castle. So, you take the easier way and let other people control you, 'cause that way you won't get so hurt. Or at least you won't notice the unconciousness pain.
Andrew said…
i get frustrated when I hear Christians uphold the postmodern view that truth is about a 'journey rather a destination'.

Jesus claimed to be "the way, the truth, and the life" (john 14:6)

If you're a christian... and you believe people's eternitys are at stake... why would you tell people to find A WAY rather than THE WAY? Why would you advise people to go on A JOURNEY to find the truth, rather than declaring that Jesus is THE TRUTH.

- Andrew
Book of James said…
Great questions Andrew,

I think the truth is that no matter who tells them or how many times people tell them, A person will not fully accept or believe something unless it is a result of their own personal journey.

To accept and believe Jesus as the way, the truth, and the light is to begin a relationship (journey) with Jesus. Because humans are and always will be sinners, I think it has always been a Christian view that it is a journey.

I feel bad if that is frustrating to you. It really is an amazing journey.

The journey requires a person to continually humble themselves and that is just not something the likes of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot seemed to have embraced.

You seem to have an open mind and after all, that seems to be what Stephen is encouraging. Keep an Ooen mind and keep asking questions.
Joe Donaldosn said…
Hey stephen. you're such an inspiration to me spiritually, and how you continuously search for meaning in this consistently scary and dark world. i hope and pray you continue to hold onto the objective moral code of love that jesus presented, but i understand that you may have seen and experienced things that i have not. there are people who are bad, there are wrong ways to treat people. thanks for mentioning the book friend, this is definitely something i will be researching and looking into. it was absolutely amazing seeing you at warped, with your family here in orlando. i only wish i get to meet and have a conversation with you some day, if not then hopefully we'll meet in heaven friend. your brother in christ,
joe
juju said…
I like what Rob Bell said about truth in his book, Velvet Elvis.

'Truth always leads to more ...truth. Because truth is insight into God and God is infinite and God has no boundaries or edges. So truth always has layers and depth and texture.

It's like a pool that you dive into, and you start swimming toward the bottom, and soon you discover that no matter how hard and fast you swim downward, the pool keeps getting ...deeper. The bottom will always be out of reach.

One of the great "theologians" of our time, Sean Penn, put it this way: "When everything gets answered, it's fake. The mystery is the truth"

The mystery is the truth.'
Court of Lions said…
Below I've offered some quotes from C. S. Lewis. I'd recomend reading his book Mere Christianity. Many of his agruments pertain to the quest for truth. Just a warning though, the reading is nothing like his childrens books, it's probably some of the hardest reading I've ever had to read.

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?" -C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"You can put this another way by saying that while in other sciences the instruments you use are things external to yourself (things like microscopes and telescopes), the instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man's self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred — like the Moon seen through a dirty telescope. That is why horrible nations have horrible religions: they have been looking at God through a dirty lens." -C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

"Nothing is yet in its true form." -C. S. Lewis, Till we Have Faces, A Myth Retold

"You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose that you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it? ... Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief." C. S. Lewis, On Three Ways of Writing for Children
Veritas G said…
Though I agree that we should go on a journey, the truth is something that can never be fully found. This something proven even within the text of religion. There is nothing wrong with being curious, but we must know our own limitations. Sometimes ignorance can be the better option, even if we would not like to admit such things to ourselves. When we seek the truth we can damage our own being more than we had intended to, to begin with. A minor but strong example was the fate of Lucifer himself. Though being defiant, was he not trying to search for the truth? There are somethings in life that we are never meant to know. It doesn't mean we shouldn't take the journey, but it means we must know when to stop, because doing such can ruin our faith in ourselves and everything else we believe in.
Elodie said…
i had to watch the truth project, a video thing put out by focus on the family, in my senior bible class. it tackled pilate's question-what is truth? it's pretty interesting, although obviously very conservative, but if you're interested, you should definitely check it out. only thing is, obtaining it is a little weird. but google truth project and see what pops out.
Krissy said…
Oddly enough me and a friend have been having an ongoing debate about this for the past... month or so, I guess.

My view on truth is that it is relative in some respects. One may not know exactly what the truth is, but regardless, there still is a truth. But as for whether or not Hitler was in the right or wrong, I do think it's more of a social norm than a truth or good-or-wrong thing. Not saying I agree with it in the least, but do you see where I'm coming from..?

I don't believe the world is black and white. I'd love for everything to be right and wrong, clear-cut, but I don't think that's the way things work.
Eve said…
I have never commented here before but want to say that I saw your press conference at cornerstone, which would have been the day after you read the van driver's book. You blew me away by quoting my favorite verse James 1:27. Your version: "Pure religion is this: to feed the widows and orphans." Seems to me you do have a really strong sense of what you think the truth is right there in a neat little package. I was moved to tears by your words. I feel honored to have been there in the tent. I DO feel like that was Church, or as close as I ever get to one in my new form of truth. No church for me ever again!

This is how I try to stay uncorrupted by the world, by staying busy helping those in deep need. I pretty much fail at this...but it is a goal nevertheless.

As far as the "TRUTH" goes: if something is beneficial to all people..all the time... it can be entered in the column the of truth. Killing a race..was not beneficial to all those of that particular race..so it gets bumped off the list pretty quickly...it's not absolute..but it's a good first pass to narrow down a question. I don't think for one minute Hitler believed he was doing anything but sucking up fame, fortune, and power. Help me out if I am wrong...I have a teachable heart. I just think he was genius at the most evil degree possible: turn a group into a mob by creating a common enemy..and feeding them with lies and hate..the opposite of truth and love..it's simple to me. Am I ignorant? p.s. I love to argue anything and everything so bring it on!
muziklvr101 said…
Ha. This was my question exactly. "What is truth?!?!" And yes, I am youth. I hate saying that because people immediatly think we know nothing.......and they're right. We know nothing when our knowledge is put against the vast world of knowledge there is. And we want to separate the truth from the lies. The older I get the more confusing it becomes. I often wonder if I'll ever sort it all out....and I don't think anyone ever will or even can. Great entry.
Katrina Blank said…
um... did you know that i was a part of mosaic? lol. i just found out that you are too. lol. lol. lol.

see you sometime. whenever that may be.

for real, did you know?
Creaky said…
This reminds me of a blog you wrote a while back about the different types of truth. I think there are some truths one can never find out, but as others have said in their comments, the attempt to discover truth is quiet stimulating.
Anonymous said…
I just recently found out about this blog from your CD. Sorry, Stephen, I found out about your band late. But, hey, at least I found out about you, right?

WARNING: This comment is really cheesy.
Anyways, I just wanted to say that your blog is really amazing. I've never looked at life this way before. I have been doing research to see if you were really a Christian, and it's been revealed to me that you are. There is something different about Anberlin compared to other bands; and there is even something different about you compared to other bands that claim to be "Christian." I'm really impressed and proud of you, Stephen. You are really one amazing guy. I will support you and pray for you.

~S
Anonymous said…
You need to write a book.

~S
Joe said…
I'm not here to rain on anybody's parade, but have any of you actually read the Bible all the way through? It's something I have have to do for my summer class...

To be honest, I was just like you guys, relying on the truth that the Bible should and could have brought. Although, now I'm actually falling further away from the Bible. I'm really starting to question if this has any truth in it (especially the Old Testament).

There are so many inconsistancies within it. Yes, I understand that each book could have had multiple writers, and also had people to proof it which added more, and the translations aren't necessarily always a very true translation. But, we as Christians seem to accept it without giving it any thought of ourselves, just accepting what we have always been taught.

I know what you're thinking... this kid is hell-bent on making us change our views, which is not true. I just want you to question things and not believe everything with a blind eye.
Joe said…
nishant -
(I'll take the Biblical route... like you have)
This is where your statement fails to hold weight. Please read Mein Kampf by Hitler, you'll actually find out that it isn't murder in his eyes. From my understanding of what we classify murder as in today's society, it would be something along the lines of premedatated killing without proper justification.

However, the Bible tells us that we are able to kill others if we are told to by God. (Read from Joshua to the end of 2 Chronicles) Therefore, it would not make what Hitler did murder, because he believed that God was telling him to do this. He was purifying the world. Isn't that what is done throught the old testament? If God doesn't approve of someone, they are either tortured or killed, read about the Israelites). In other words, Hitler was not murdering people, he was obeying the words of the Lord.

We can say now that he had a limited world-view and was completely wrong in what he did, but can you say he believed that? What about the Middle Eastern situation? If they are killing in the name of Allah, is it wrong to them or just to us?

Just some things to question...
promptedbylove said…
I've been finding lately that there is work that goes with finding truth. For a long time, I thought that God, who is truth, would just give me the answers, or that I would simply find them by praying and attending services on Sunday... In other words, without any hard work on my part. But then I started reading a book called the Pursuit of Holiness by Jerry Bridges. In the preface, Jerry talks about people depending on God for certain things, but also having responsibilities. We can pursue holiness and truth, and God will allow that to happen, but the key word is 'pursue'. We have to be active in our search for truth or whatever else we're looking for through God. He's ready and willing to help us out the entire way, but we also have our duties and our responsibilities to get where we want to be and uncover the truths we seek.

I think a lot of times that's a problem that people run into with religion. They find a religion and expect to find truth almost immediately. Sure, there may be some sort of revelation at the start of becoming Christian, but most of the time it's nowhere as near the truth as we'd like to be. We have to do work- hard work- and keep up with our responsibilities in order to find truth instead of passively waiting for truth to hit us out of the blue.
promptedbylove said…
Joe, I just read your posts about falling away from the Bible and I think that there are two links that you should look at, both from the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

http://www.carm.org/evidence/textualevidence.htm

http://www.carm.org/evidence/textualexample.htm

Both links look extensively at the accuracy of the Bible, the first by comparing the Bible as a document to other documents that we trust, and the second by taking a look at the copies of the manuscripts made throughout history.
themockingbyrd said…
Since your entry wasn't necessarily designed to answer anything, I'd like to point something out that seemed relevant (in an intangible sort of way) to the discussion--I noticed that you, and a great many of the commentators quoted other people on the subject of truth.

Other than that observation, however, I have a few thoughts on this entry, and the subsequent comments that I shall have to sleep on and mull over before posting.
Eve said…
How amusing we must all be to God, running around pontificating about the universe as is WE had anything to do with laying it out.

It's like I tell my child...it really doesn't matter what you think..I am in control ....so punch away at me all day and redefine the events that transpired a thousand different ways. A lie is always a lie and the truth is deep in the heart. The truth is what you know because you just "know it" with all your soul. To me a lie is what you wish you knew..the way you want it to be.

As a severe storm moved in on my home last night. I KNEW there was nothing I could do to stop the wind or calm the thunder...All the radars and maps in the world could tell me it was right on my house...but I really did not need them to tell me..my house was shaking from the wind. One channel said it had passed...they were wrong ..it was raging on..were they lying..NO..they were not in position to say...I WAS. They we not here. They had wrong information, their perspective was off.

I believe We are not in the position to say on many many things. We are not there. How can a man tell the view from heaven when he indeed in on earth? All things in time....

Sometimes the truth is not out there...it is in there....in the soul. Search there more...Eve
Joe said…
promptedbylove - read my comment, i didn't say there is no truth in the Bible, but I stated simply that it has inconsistencies. In the Old testament, it says that Samuel died, and then like 3 paragraphs later, it is talking about him travelling again... how could that happen if he died? Hmm - not in my book. I just don't think that it should be bought lock stock and barrel. And I read this website, just because someone can say a bunch of facts and make it seem right doesn't account for it being right. There are several archeological studies that have proved a lot of the Bible wrong. I guess it really just depends on how much you want to believe the bible and how much you want to believe science?
Joe said…
promptedbylove - you actually buy that website? Really? Okay, all it really can prove is that the New Testament was written between a certain time period, and since it had a lot of writings in it that reference each other, then it must be true, right? That gives no backing to the fact that science has found no evidence that Jesus ever existed! Am I saying I don't believe in Jesus? No, not in the least. But I also don't think that the Bible is 100% accurate. Do you know who wrote the Bible? Probably outcast people. Do you know how big of an impact that Jesus actually made? A lot of researchers have been saying that he wasn't as influential as the Bible makes him out to be. Most of the Bible is over emphasized by what we were taught as children. I really think Jesus was something special, but I think he was about as influential as Malcolm X. Malcolm X, while extremely influential, didn't have nearly the power that Dr. King had; but did just as much.
Rover Fox said…
Joe - Go and reread Samuel, I read it and I have no idea what your talking about. There is apart were it mentions how Samuel died but then it goes on to finish off his life more specifically. I do not understand how that is a contradiction. If it was, modern writers use it all the time; its called a flashback. Don't attack our beliefs if you can't understand the literary context of a story.

On a more sentimental note: The evidence supposedly proving or disproving the bible will only be found as a fact when all is revealed, that is truth; but one thing I can prove is how it has changed me completely and continues to do so. I admire your pursuit to not take things for face value. A skill that is truly lacking in our society. There are also sometimes when you simply have to trust something to be true otherwise what is faith for?

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;"

-Proverbs 3:5
muziklvr101 said…
Ah! Rover fox, perfect verse for Joe's comment.."Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;"-Prov. 3:5. Sometimes you can think yourself crazy, if you know what I mean. There are times when, after really thinking something through, you just have to step back and take a deep breath. But Joe is right about the fact that people should actually read the Bible for themselves before blindly following.
Nishant said…
Joe -

How do we know God told him to murder all those people ? I'm not saying that this was not a possibility, I'm saying that there is a possibility of him lying in his book. Again, this comes down to what the truth was, and how will any of us know ? I just have my stand that God told us to love one another as we love ourselves. Hitler did not do this - he believed that Germans were the supreme race. If he did not obey this, it is possible he did not obey God's other command 'do not lie', and so, maybe he did lie. Truth is something that does not lie. But I don't know for sure.

Also, God said that we will all be saved by our Faith in Jesus Christ, we will be saved through Him. I have my beliefs of killing being wrong, and I wouldn't want to kill anyone. If we look, Jesus has laid down a clear demarcation between right and wrong but we blur it with our doubts.

Joe, you use research to back you up. Why don't you use personal experiences ? Science says that Jesus did not exist. Why ? For them, seeing is believing. I don't think they will be able to find Jesus' Remains because He was Resurrected, and then Ascended to Heaven. Science doesn't believe this because they have no physical proof, but I don't need physical proof. God has rescued me so many times, God has revealed so many miracles to me, small or big, that this is my proof. No physical proof, just emotional proof, and we all know emotional proof is stronger. However, many times, we are forced to neglect emotional signs because we need tangible evidence. Not there ? Look inside. For, if we have let Jesus in us, we have let the Truth in us.

That's where it all is.
Rover Fox said…
"Look inside. For, if we have let Jesus in us, we have let the Truth in us."

I like that, kudos!
Joe said…
nishant -
1. It's not likely that someone is going to write a book that is (sadly) one of the best, most well written books of all time based solely on a lie. Sorry to say, but Hitler, if you read his works, was an extremely intelligent individual and probably one of the greatest rulers of the 20th century. Sadly, he is also a mental case and abused his power to an extreme extent. Even if he does lie, how can you combat what is going on in the Middle East? Are the extremists there lying, or do you think that they are actually being told these things by God? What gives you proof that this isn't happening? True, God did tell us to love one another, and everyone has love within them, but I'm sure there is someone or even a group of people that you may have a small distaste for... these peoples' happens to be on a much larger scale and they use much more destructive power. Plus, I'm sorry to say - but do you blame some of the middle easterns for hating the United States? I surely don't. Actually, to be truely honest, I can agree with them. We live a lavish lifestyle and basically rub it in everyone else's face.

Yes, I agree that God made a clear distinction about right and wrong, but it is all based on your view of right and wrong. God also states in the commandments that murder is wrong, and what I was brought up (and still have been taught to this day) is that what he meant is unjust killing is wrong. Thus, I don't think we are blurring the lines with our doubts, but with a unclear distinction between just and unjust. Can you explain them to me?

I do use research to back me up, and you misconstrued that research. I don't imply that bodily remains would be found, because I agree that Jesus was ressurrected. However, they have no account for him whatsoever. No other manusripts, no other carvings in tablets, no nothing. You're right - seeing is believing for scientists. Science isn't trying to prove that Jesus died and resurrected, they are trying to prove that he existed period.

Emotional proof is stronger? Where and how can this hold weight? Emotional proof can be misleading and a complete lie! If something is true in your heart but actually proved wrong in physical proof, are you still going to hold onto your beliefs? Lets not use religion as a basis for this next one, lets say you believe m&m's are the most popular candy in the world... because they are your and your friends' favorite, but fact is, Jolly Rancher Sour Apple is. Do you stick to your emotional tie and belief to M&M's? Which is stronger?

I don't think that we are FORCED to neglect emotional evidence ever. I think we CHOSE to ignore it in light of something that can be proven by more than the words "i believe so," which I don't feel really holds ground anymore in our negative society.

Why don't I use emotional experiences? Which ones? I don't think I have really witnessed any miracles. As a society, and a man, we feel that emotions are supposed to be kept within. I'm not an emotional person. To be honest, in my age, I don't really think God has saved me. I think acts of others in the light of God have effected me, but not God directly. I know it's sad to say - but you asked, and there's your answer.
Nishant said…
Joe -

I'm not saying Hitler was absolutely wrong ! I do not know, and you do not know, what was going through his mind REALLY. You may believe Mein Kampf was true, I may not. I may believe it is true, you may not. What I'm saying is, I feel he is wrong. And his killing people is not the only thing that makes me think so. Whether he could justify his killing or not, there were other things that make him wrong.

Also, about the Middle Easterns hating the United States, they surely have their doubts about them. Yes, the United States have their reasons, the Middle Easterns have their reasons, and they have their own ideas as to who is right/wrong. But this may not necessarily comply with God's wrong and right. God told us not to hate our enemies, and God told us to love one another as we love ourselves.

If there wasn't greed, lust for power, etc, this hate would not exist, but our world is tainted.

If we obey God's rules, if we follow Him, this will not happen, which essentially comes back down to reading the Bible to learn about God and Jesus.

About facts outside the Bible, I don't think there would be many manuscripts/tablets left after the Romans invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and most of Israel in 70 A.D. Most of their inhabitants were slaughtered, and most of their inhabitants were probably the eye-witnesses of Jesus. At that time, we know, that the burning of cities after war was quite regular. However, the first copies of the Books in the Bible were all found less than 200 years after the event(s) they talked about, which is, VERY strong proof that they were right. Even non-Christian scholars admit that some of the Epistles of Paul were found only 40 years after Jesus' death, which is overwhelming evidence that Jesus did exist. Furthermore, there are a few references to Jesus.

The Roman Tacitus, one of the most accurate historians in the world, mentioned that Jesus did exist, who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius.

Flavius Joseph, a very famous Jewish historian, wrote :“the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.” and "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats. . . . He was [the] Christ . . . he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." The latter was slightly controversial, but that is not my point.

Thallus, another historian, was quoted by Julius Africanus, about the darkness that followed the crusifixion of Christ in Extant Writings, 18.

Talmud, a Babylonian, confirms Jesus' crucifixion on the Eve of Passover, and he also confirms the accusations against Christ regarding sorcery.

Another Greek writer, Lucian of Samosata, admits that Jesus was worshipped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified. He admits that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion and of denying other gods (which is all recorded in the Bible as well).

Mara Bar-Serapion also confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuos man and was considered, by many, to be the King of Israel.

We can construct a lot of the Bible from secular "non-Christian" references, which I don't know how science hasn't "found", and which can account for "No other manusripts, no other carvings in tablets, no nothing." Let us see,

Jesus was called the Christ (Josephus), did “magic,” led Israel into new teachings, and was hanged on Passover for them (Babylonian Talmud) in Judea (Tacitus), but claimed to be God and would return (Eliezar), which his followers believed - worshipping Him as God (Pliny the Younger).

Also, why would people die as martyrs for Jesus ? Just as Hitler wouldn't write a book for a lie, people who lived in Jesus' time wouldn't die for a lie.

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6) God can easily appear to the whole world, but then there would be no "Faith", and it is through Faith in Jesus that we are Saved. "Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed'” (John 20:29)

Simply putting it, the stars, the trees, the plants, animals, waterfalls, everything goes back to the NEED of their being a Creator. Even some sciences admit this. How does you heart beat ? A scientific answer - by the opening and closing of valves in the different ventricles and atriums. Who gave these ventricles and atriums the power to move ? Also, it is unknown how the blood circulates in a child for the first 21 days of his/her life, because the two endocardial tubes are only fused 21 days after the embryo first develops. Then how did we all survive ? Ask science, and give me an answer. They don't have one.

How did the world come about ? The Big Bang, a very scientifically strong theory. But it is very weak at its core. How did the "atom" exist ? According to www.big-bang-theory.com , "Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something - a singularity. Where did it come from? We don't know. Why did it appear? We don't know."

If we take anything, and trace it to its roots, we find a mystery, how did that first thing come about ? And it is obvious that Someone had to Create it. God.

"In addition to the Biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument basically uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “that than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist then God would not be the greatest conceivable being - but that would contradict God's very definition. A second is the teleological argument. The teleological argument is that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a Divine designer. For example, if earth were even a few hundred miles closer or further away from the sun, it would not be capable of supporting much of the life it currently does. If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, every living thing on earth would die. The odds of a single protein molecule forming by chance is 1 in 10243 (that is a 10 followed by 243 0’s). A single cell is comprised of millions of protein molecules.

A third logical argument for God’s existence is called the cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” something is God. A fourth argument is known as the moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?"

- www.gotquestions.org

Also, in the theory of evolution, there is a gap. The jump from the rodent to the bird. How ? Who created ?

How do I know Jesus exists ? Emotional proof, not relative truth. You are speaking of relative truth. I am speaking about how Jesus is very much a part of my life. He has touched me, He has influenced me, He has done so much to shape my life that I would not be capable of doing without Him. Nothing science says or does will ever change that. So, for me, Jesus exists. If someone else comes and tries to prove that I am wrong, he will be using the concept of relative truth, for I am SURE that this is the Truth. THE ACTUAL TRUTH. Jesus exists, God exists. “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30)

"the Word was God." John 1:1.
"the Word became flesh." John 1:14

Jesus existed. Proven. Now, we cannot accept Jesus as "a great teacher." The things He taught, the things He did were FAR greater than "a great teacher". He is the Ultimate. Teachers cannot restore sight to the blind. Teachers cannot restore healthy skin to a leper. And if we ask, how do we know this happened, I tell you, look at all the "other manuscripts", they say that Jesus performed miracles. This is attributed to C.S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity".

"I am trying here to prevent anyone from saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him [Jesus Christ]: 'I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God.' That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic -- on a level with a man who says he is a poached egg -- or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse .... You can shut him up for fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon; or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that option open to us. He did not intend to."

I have to go now. I'm volunteering at a place for children with special needs. They're awesome ! Oh, and Joe, I do not mean ANY offence at all. Just a civilised discussion :)
Rover Fox said…
-Joe, if anything science only truly makes sense when you look at it through Christ.

For example the big bang theory: Its essentially a theory that a big explosion created our world.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and He separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

Thats big bang theory God style. If you believe in evolution (I personally don't, at least not macro)God did make creatures in this order:

Premordial Seas-->Plants-->Birds and Fish-->Land Animals-->Humans

I personally don't believe in evolution but I know many Christians who believe God used some sort of sped up evolution to create us.

Somebody once called me a Sci-fi Christian, maybe thats because I believe in a bigger God than most people.

On the topic of other Religions:

I also believe every religion shares some light of truth but only in Christ is the full picture revealed.

After all some of the stuff Confucious said also came from Jesus. The Jews, Muslims and Christians all share similiar versions of the Old Testament. Buddhism teaches how to live a better, healthier life. I don't have time but you can find many truths from varying religions that all converge on Christ. Otherwise how would people who live away from "Chritiandome" learn about God? Maybe there are people who are unknowingly preaching the gospel. Maybe some native americans were listening to the holy spirit before anybody came to them. Now I didn't say all religions are fully true but I do believe they all have some light in them.

"You can put this another way by saying that while in other sciences the instruments you use are things external to yourself (things like microscopes and telescopes), the instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man's self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred — like the Moon seen through a dirty telescope. That is why horrible nations have horrible religions: they have been looking at God through a dirty lens."

-C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

-RoverFox
Joe said…
To both of you -
This is why we don't and will not connect or agree on any of this. There is no hope for any of us to agree on any of the terms.

I don't think this conversation is really going to go anywhere because I know how you two are. I'm not saying that it is a bad thing, but I grew up with and hung out with people that believe the same way that you both do in highschool and some of my college friends were the same way. There are core disagreements on things, which alter our view of how the rest of the story plays out.

Niether of you believe in evolution. I'm sorry to say - I don't see how that isn't true? There is no way you're going to alter my view on that... I go to a prestigious Catholic University (and no, not every catholic is crazy), and have been taught from even the Jesuits there that the Creation story is not supposed to be used as literal truth, that evolution probably was how it worked... but they emphasize that God may have had an influence in that.

Our core beliefs are different, and that's going to change how we view the rest of the transgressions of the Biblical account.

I'm going to propose we call a truce, because as you guys have said it, we need to love. I'm not posting on here to neglect others or to make them feel belittled, but to make others think. Isn't that was Stephen is doing? Asking you to questions things, to think more in depth?...

If you don't want to call a truce, I could come up with more to argue both of your causes and throw out numerous websites (which everything on the web is skewed. Everything.) that can prove my side of the picture. Is it going to matter? Not in the least.
Rover Fox said…
Joe - Your loved.
Nishant said…
Truce it is, I respect your point of view, just saying I have mine too.

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