Today’s post is from the pen and heart of my friend Edward Fudge. The title of this gracEmail is “Wholeness of Truth”. It spoke to my heart and so I decided to share it with you. I am interested in your thoughts on this.
(gracEmail list) wholeness of truth
May 17, 2009
THE WHOLENESS OF TRUTH
As a child, I naively thought that the particular subgroup of the non-instrument Churches of Christ into which I was born had discovered “the truth” and that all other Christian groups were either ignorant or dishonest because they differed from us. By the grace of God, when I became a man, I put away those childish ideas.
I gradually realized that almost all the hymns we sang were written by Christians from other denominations, as were nearly all the biblical commentaries our preachers studied in preparing their lessons. That didn’t mesh with the notion that of all God’s people, we were the most informed.
As I came to know other Christians personally, I quickly discovered that they were not dishonest at all — their piety and commitment to Christ often dwarfed mine, and what I usually saw within my own religious movement.
Over the years, there gradually emerged in my mind a picture of the wholeness God desires for his church universal. The fact is that every orthodox Christian group has important truth to share. Each such denomination, fellowship or Christian tradition began by a move of God’s Spirit to recover, renew or restore some element of Christian teaching, activity or experience then dormant, lagging or lacking in the church at large. All of us believers in Jesus need all the truth — and we dare not fail to receive it just because someone else found it first.
In this quest, we all must learn to eat the meat and throw away the bones. The danger is that we misuse the truth we do discover, or get it out of balance. Every part of the Church — including our own — has abuses and extremes, confusions and errors, which we do well to reject and to avoid.
The point is not who said something first, but whether it came from the Word of God. If it came from God, it is for all his people. I want all the truth anyone else has found. I also want to share any truth that I might find with others who also love and follow Jesus Christ.
Thanks for reading,
The Wholeness of Truth is not something that we may attain this side of the resurrection, but I think that it is true indeed that until we can set aside the attitudes of the school playground, with respect to truth shared by others, we are unlikely to have any creditable claim to maturity in the Christian life. With the Spirit interpreted Word as our guide we need have no fear of being wooed from the way.
Thank you for sharing this.