When I was young I was taught the “truth” about God and Jesus. I learned that Jesus was God and only those who believe in Him will go to Heaven. And that I must pray a specific prayer to invite Him into my heart and then do what the Bible says to do as far as “right living” in order to remain in good standing. I learned that the Bible was the inerrant, infallible word of God and therefore need not and should not be questioned.
Then I learned that there were more gospels written, the Gnostic gospels, which were not included in the Bible. And I also learned that there was a council held in 325 AD to determine the divinity of Jesus and which ultimately came down to a simple vote. Then I learned that other faith traditions also claimed virgin births for their gods. And further I learned that the Protestant Reformation was driven by King Henry VIII’s need to get a divorce.
And I became skeptical of what I was taught about absolute truth. I began to wonder if Karl Marx was right about religion being the opiate of the masses. Is it a tool used by the power hungry to control our thoughts, deeds and wallets?
The more questions I had, the more books I would read in search of answers. And with every new book I finished, I was more confused about the “truth”. It seems everyone had different theories about God, truth, religion, the universe. But I pressed on, determined to find that one right answer, the absolute truth about God.
And throughout this time, I talked to Jesus. I went to Him with my concerns and questions. I believe He alone has been with me all along, and yet, I forget that. I forget that God is with me and within me. Guiding me, loving me, supporting me. I forget that I have a relationship with God that comes first, before my relationships with anybody else.
And when I forget that, I rely on others to tell me what’s best for me. I forget to trust in my own relationship with Jesus, thinking that others, who are more trained, schooled, or well-read than I am might know better than me what’s best for me. But there are no tricks, no secret codes, that can only be unearthed by scholars. God is as available to me as He is to anyone, and once I finally embrace that absolute truth, I can move forward secure in the knowledge that the decisions I make for my life are between me and God, and I don’t have to explain or justify them to anyone.