enlightenment p. 2

It’s really about truth, then, isn’t it?  Does one faith have a “monopoly” on truth?  And whether your answer is yes or no to that question, then the question is (a very Lutheran question, at that): “What does that mean?”

Can one believe in the risen Christ and in Karma?  In Mohammad and the Buddha?  That the Messiah is yet to come and that the Messiah has died and risen?  It’s true, you probably can’t believe it all.  But what is truth?  And can I find truth, at least some of the truth, in two (or more) different “streams” of faith?  Can I believe, as I claim to now, that, “I’m willing to say my way is right, but I’m not willing to say that your way is wrong.”  And how does that work?

I think it comes back again to the phrase I heard Sunday morning: “Led by the Spirit.”  I participated last night in a discussion with others discerning a possible call to seminary/rostered ministry, and we talked about gifts.  We read a passage (early in 1 Corinthians), and we heard it telling us that the important part is to trust enough to let the Spirit do all the ministry through you.  As a minister, that is so powerful, but I think that is really the important thing for each of us.

How is the Spirit moving?  Is it moving the Jew and the Christian, the Muslim, the Buddhist, the Hindu, and those practicing so many other religions around the world?

I want to point you to an interesting story: The Coffee-House of Surat, by Leo Tolstoy.  Here we find the question of truth being revealed in different ways, with no one having that “monopoly.”  Is that the way it really is?  Do we only see part of the elephant, as another story goes?  Maybe that’s what one means when one says that God is incomprehensible.  And maybe not.  But I will say that one who is led by the “Spirit” cannot err in their path.

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