Summary: Understanding Jesus’ claim as the truth
“When Elizabeth Koke was a child, her Catholic faith was everything to her. As a teenager, though, Koke took a spiritual detour, rejecting her faith and attending Wiccan rituals in a quest for alternatives.
Now that she’s 20, Catholicism is once again of central importance in her life.
But even in embracing her faith again as a Smith College student, Koke is a believer on her own terms. She avoids gender-specific references to God, and she still participates in Wiccan “circles” once in a while. She contends that her Catholic beliefs are at the root of her activism on behalf of feminist causes and her support of gay rights. She sees no contradiction in any of this.” (Finding Their Religion, Boston Globe, April 13, 2005)
This is an excerpt from an article that was in the Boston Globe on April 13 called Finding Their Religion. The article talked of a handful of college students and their spiritual journeys. All of the students interviewed for the article had grown up in completely different settings and faiths. This girl Elizabeth grew up Catholic, another girl up in a Congregational church just like this one, another grew up Muslim, and still another grew up with no religion or faith in her upbringing at all. Even though these young men and women were and are so different from one another, they shared one commonality. They were all looking for truth!
Looking for truth is something that everyone on the face of the planet does. This article from the Globe has not been the only article written about finding religion and truth. Pick up a CD from your favorite band today and you can almost always find a song that has lyrics about looking and seeking for truth and for answers. Turn your TV on and flip around to different shows. Shows like Joan of Arcadia are completely based on seeking and looking for truth. Even other shows, like CSI have characters who are struggling with questions of faith and truth.
Truth is something that is so important in our lives because it gives us peace and assurance. Truth tells us that we believe in something that is real and not make believe. Truth gives us a purpose in our lives and gives us meaning. Truth is something that we must have and find for our lives. But the question stands, what is truth and where can we find it?
In our culture, truth has become something that is relative. People say that there is no such thing as absolute truth. There is no such thing as right and wrong. Everything is right in its own way, shape, and form. If one of your friends believes that a certain thing is true, culture says that you are not allowed to argue with him. This is especially true in the case of religion. As we talked about last week and how there is more than one way to God according to culture, the same is said about true religion. Culture would say that truth about God and religion don’t exist. I am sure you guys hear things like this in your schools everyday, but listen to another excerpt from the article from the Boston Globe.
“Karim Serageldin, 23, of Sharon, is a Muslim who attended a Catholic school until fourth grade and can still summon quotes from the Gospel of Mark. While he says ‘Islam is my central core,’ he has also drawn spiritual inspiration from sources as varied as Buddhism, the Tao Te Ching of Laotzu, and the Judeo-Christian tradition. ‘I take from everything,’ he says. ‘I studied all that stuff, and I found there was a commonality of all the traditions, that they were trying to bring back the wisdom and sacredness to reality.’ All religions and traditions, he says, try to answer the same fundamental questions: ‘How did we get here? Who made us? Where are we going? It is about meaning.’” (Finding Their Religion, Boston Globe, April 13, 2005)
This quote sums up exactly how much of our culture thinks. As Karim is completely right in saying that all religions and traditions ask the same fundamental questions, he can’t be further from the truth as far as his decision to take from a little bit of everything. The reason I say this is because all of the religions out there to choose from completely contradict one another in more ways than one. They ask the same questions but they all have different answers. So how can someone pick certain things from one religion and then a little bit from a different religion, and yet another place and say that it is truth. I mean, that is mind boggling to me.
Let’s just humor this for a moment. I want you guys to give me three different religions from this list that we can compare and contrast using this poster that I have for my office (rose-publishing.com).