Two Truths: One Goal

One of the biggest problems we have in the world today is that everyone believes that they have the right way to do things and that if everybody else would just listen to them, and do things their way, then the world would be such a wonderful place in which to live. On one hand, I am no different in that I do think that if you do things my way, things will work just fine. On the other, I am different in that "my way" involves letting everyone else do it their way. Allowing everyone else to follow their truth, because there really can be different and apparently contradictory truths that are both true— depending on the perspective from which you view them. "My way" involves acknowledging that everyone's truth is the truth...FOR THEM AND THEM ALONE. Let me try to illustrate what I'm talking about.

Let's say I have a two-year-old daughter, Kim, and a sixteen-year-old son, Joe. I am leaving for the afternoon and I tell Kim: "Don't answer the telephone for any reason. Don't write on the walls with anything. Don't let anyone, particularly strangers, into the house. Don't plug anything into a socket. Don't throw things around the house and don't roughhouse or wrestle in the house." I go find Joe in another room. I tell him "Behave". As soon as I leave, the phone rings. Joe answers it then writes a message on the board hanging on the wall beside the phone. After he hangs up, the doorbell rings and he lets in his new friend, whom Kim has never seen (a stranger). The friend has a boom box that they plug into the wall and a football that they pass back and forth in the living room. They soon pretend to tackle each other and they end up wrestling on the floor. Now Kim is going to think that Joe has broken all the rules and she is convinced that he is going to get in trouble. She may even tell the him that he's going to get in trouble and no amount of logical debate or reasoning on Joe's part is going to convince Kim that he's not going to get in trouble.

Then I come home. And guess what? Joe doesn't get in trouble. Why? Because he did what he was told to do: he behaved. Kim doesn't understand why Joe didn't get in trouble because Kim doesn't understand that the GOAL of the rules was the same even if the rules appear to be contradictory in that they allow one to do something the other is not allowed to do because of their understanding and maturity. The GOAL of the rules was to keep the kids and the house safe. And that was done.

Now put that to religion. The more fundamental a religion, the more rules there are for them to follow. (You can't dance. Woman can't cut their hair. Men can't cut their sideburns. Woman have to wear long sleeves. You can't use instruments in church. And those are only the more fundamental ones.) They are less spiritually mature, which does NOT make those who believe differently any better. (Joe was not a better human by virtue of his maturity alone.) The goal for all religions is to find our way back to God in some form or another. The rules may seem to contradict from our current perspective. But when we can look at it from the "more mature" perspective, we see that the rules are not really in conflict at all because they're based entirely on someone's ability to understand the goal of the rules.

If you take a look at the Christian Bible, and follow it from the Old Testament through the New Testament, you will see this very same trend. In the first books of the Bible, the rules were very specific for worship: how big the temples were. What offerings to make. What color to make the altar cloths. What was acceptable to do before worship and what was unacceptable. Then Moses went up the mountain and came down with the Ten Commandments. All those laws were not put into ten laws because the people had spiritually matured. Then came Jesus and he put those ten commandments into just two: the two greatest commandments. The greatest is to love God with all your heart, all your soul, all your being and the second is to love your neighbor as you love God. This sounds a lot like God saying "Behave", doesn't it?

If we can look at things from this perspective, even beliefs that are in direct contradiction to each other can both be true WHEN SEEN FROM THE RIGHT PERSPECTIVE. So if homosexuality is wrong for you, so be it. Don't engage in homosexual activity. From my point of view, being gay doesn't prevent me from loving God or from loving my neighbor as I love God, so there's nothing wrong with it. I'm still following God's commandments. From your perspective, I might be in trouble, just as from Kim's perspective Joe was in trouble. But Joe didn't get into trouble. And I personally believe I won't either, but just like Kim, probably no amount of logical reasoning will convince you otherwise. And to be quite honest with you, that's not my intention. In fact, it's contrary to my intention because my intention is to allow you to see things from YOUR perspective and me to see things from MY perspective. This is just my humble attempt to explain why I believe we're both right.

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