18 December 2020

I Know What I Know

When I am confronted with the dichotomy of "science vs. religion," I think of how odd it is that both now and historically how many scientists there are who are also religious, Christian or otherwise.

In scripture, there is a long tradition of curiosity and questioning. These are not faults to be weeded out, but virtues to be encouraged. When Thomas is told of the resurrection, he refuses to believe that Jesus is risen and he demands to see and touch his wounds. When Jesus comes to Thomas, he readily shows him the wounds and Thomas believes (John 20:24-29 ). Jesus did not discourage Thomas, he readily gave Thomas the sign he needed to believe. Similarly, believers at the Berean church searched the scriptures "every day" to verify what Paul had told them (Acts 17:10-12).

Nowhere in scripture is faith required, or even encouraged, to be blind. Jesus encourages his followers to seek the truth (Luke 11:9-10, Matt 7:7-8). The Gospel of John and the First Epistle of John both refer to the Holy Spirit as the "Spirit of Truth" (John 14:15-20, 1 John 5:6). To seek God is to seek the truth and the Holy Spirit reveals truth. In fact, Jesus calls hardening oneself to the truth an unforgivable sin (Matthew 12:31).

The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and blasphemy against the Spirit is "hardened and continual opposition to truth" (Slobodskoy). To say, "I know what I know," close one's mind to reality, and cling to a narrative we identify as "faith" is to deny the truth.

We believers must never neglect to "ask, seek, and knock" (Luke 11:9-10, Matt 7:7-8), to remain open-minded to both the scripture and the world around us. John writes to the church in Laodicea that God wants of them to be "either cold or hot" (Revelation 3:14-16) but because they are neither, God will reject them. God would rather we be wrong than that our faith be blind.

God's mercy is infinite. He seeks the sheep that goes astray. The sheep is saved not because it finds the right way, but because the shepherd has found it (Matt 18:12-14). There is nothing unforgivable, but the sheep that runs from the shepherd cannot be found so long as it keeps running. Open your mind to the truth and prepare to be wrong, and don't worry, it isn't a sin to be wrong. It's only a sin to stop asking questions.

Peace be with you.

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