Friday, March 26, 2010

Truth (while having a blast with Mennonite Camping)

I've spent this week in New Hamburg, Ontario at Hidden Acres Mennonite Camp.  I've been having a blast!

I have also experienced two wonderous creations of God and humanity.  Two disciplined teachers.  One is named Bryan Moyer Suderman of Small Tall Music and the other is named Tom Yoder Neufeld (yes, it seems the Canadian Mennonites really like taking on their spouses name and then going by all three (first, middle, last). 

Both of these men have been speaking truth.  For more about truth...

I've been thinking about truth.  It feels like something that causes clarity and belonging.  Many times we are taught (or teach) doctrine & confuse it with truth.  Doctrine is the child of truth and tradition and only retains it's heritage as it allows it's parents to continue to inform it.  And, this morning, this wonderful parent, truth, got up to speak to us camping folks through Tom.

You will know when truth is present because, among other things, it empowers you to know something.  And sometimes, that something will be called heretical by others.  Maybe because it's threatening to our doctrine.  Maybe because if we allow this truth to influence us, it means change.  For example: this morning, I was reminded that God changes his methods and ways to allow us to become one with him.  We know this is true because he first adopted a group called the Israelites.  They thought they were the only group that God was interested in.  Eventually, God adopted a new group of children that were referred to as Gentiles.  And then on top of it, what was known as the "law" (set of rules and ways to please God) got added to and changed... instead of one set of behaviors, it became a new set of behaviors (sort of like moving from a suggested speed limit to cars governing their own speed).

So, you can imagine that it was hard for the Jews, an only child, to accept another sibling into the family.  And it might have been even harder to accept this new law, this more internal law.  It seems that it is equally as hard for Christians to accept God's love for his non-Christian children.  I wonder if we would live differently if we understood God's love for all his children.  I wonder if we would be able to join in this strange, scandelous acceptance if we allowed the truth that God loves everyone.  Can we become the new creation Christ is inviting us to become?  

Some of you might be thinking that if God loves everyone, everyone will go to heaven.  First, that isn't our focus (whether this one or that one are in or out - we already know which ones are in or out - the ones who feed the hungry and cloth the naked or don't - Matt: 25:32-45).  As long as we are bound to caring about the final destination, we miss out on the current destination (that's a whole other issue - why we want to care about the present and the present destination).  Secondly, I don't believe that.  God loving everyone doesn't mean everyone will respond to that love and seek God.  So again, we see the importance of truth and the role it plays in our transformation and capacity to love.

OK, switching abruptly back to this other creation named Bryan (I have to switch abruptly because in re-reading the above, I realized that what I wrote doesn't connect well and, I don't have time to add more thoughts and re-write - I'm at work and I've got to get a move on!)... you've heard of Community Sustained Agriculture (CSM)?  He has a CSM as well.  And his music is absolutely delightful.  If you get a chance, give it a listen.  

P.S. - I understand now why people curl.  It's fun!

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