Mennonites ask ‘What is Truth?’

Recently, a reader e-mailed Menno-lite with concerns about Mennonite Church Canada. One of these included a portion of an article in The Canadian Mennonite[1] (called What is Truth?) that deals with contemplative spirituality in a positive light. The reader commented that . . .

“It is interesting that the MC Canada writer confirms what your blog has said all along, that contemplative spirituality leads to an interspiritual “religion”. This is not new, see Ezekiel 8 for the description of the first “interfaith worship center” that the temple was turned into.”

The following is a quote from The Canadian Mennonite article called “What is Truth?”:

“It has become clear that there is a need to have some truths upon which many can agree, and it has become clear that there are different ways of finding truth. These ways are not the old ways of an individual studying and developing truth, nor of an individual prophet receiving a revealed truth that all must obey.

Historians like Karen Armstrong have come to the conclusion that there is truth to be found by studying the wide experience of many people over time and space. In her book A History of God, Armstrong proposes that mystics past and present, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and beyond, have come to truths through lives of contemplation. These truths include:

• There is a god/God who can be approached, found and communicated with through contemplative prayer.
• This god/God works to change people from the inside out into empathic and love-driven workers for change in society.

Because she finds this in many religions, she does not depend on outside influences like religious texts and practice, or hierarchies, to influence people. Instead, god/God works from the inside out to influence and change people no matter which religion nurtured and matured them. The Golden Rule—“Do to others what you want them to do to you” (Matthew 7:12)—is an example of this. Jesus’ two great commandments—“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself’ ” (Luke 10:25-28)—is a Jewish/Christian summary of the same.

At the Mennonite Church Canada biennial assembly in Winnipeg this summer, Betty Pries called on participants to turn to contemplative life, surrendering to God all of their lives; abiding in Christ, allowing God to free them from their attachments to anything other than God; and to incarnate Christ in their lives. This directly parallels Armstrong’s findings from her study of the Abrahamic faiths.”

SOURCE-“What is truth?”
By Dave Rogalsky
Eastern Canada Correspondent
Posted Oct. 22, 2014
http://www.canadianmennonite.org/articles/“what-truth”

What is truth?

Jesus said, in his high priestly prayer to the Father, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” (John 17:17). Jesus is the Word; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1), “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us… full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), “and his name is called The Word of God.” (Rev 19:13)

Jesus also said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father but by me.”(John 14:6) But the article in The Canadian Mennonite says it has become clear that there are different ways of finding truth. Are there?

Hear the word of the LORD, ye children of Israel: for the LORD hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. (Hos 4:1).

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 1 Thessl 2:13

The article says the ways to find truth are not the old ways, as an individual prophet receiving a revealed truth that all must obey. Is this true?

And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God. Ex. 31:18

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

The article says that people need not depend on outside influences like religious texts and practice, or hierarchies, to influence them. Does God work from the inside out? Don’t we need the Bible to know truth?

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. Psa 138:2

But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. John 20:31

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Rev 22:19

In summary, truth is not found from contemplating within. God gave us a written record for us to read, by which we can know truth. His Word has been preserved through the ages for our benefit. Martyrs have died for it. Our entire Juedo-Christian system of Law is based on it. In it we find truth, because Jesus is the Word, and He is the truth. We cannot trust any other source that claims to be.

____
[1] The Canadian Mennonite Mission statement: To educate, inspire, inform, and foster dialogue on issues facing Mennonites in Canada as it shares the good news of Jesus Christ from an Anabaptist perspective. We do this through a print publication (published 24 times a year) and through other media, working with our church partners. Canadian Mennonite serves primarily the people and churches of Mennonite Church Canada.

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4 thoughts on “Mennonites ask ‘What is Truth?’

  1. Betty Pries is a Buddhist who is confused as to her proper religious affiliation.

    The Canadian Mennonite exists to share the “good news” about Jesus, but they aren’t able to explain it with any cohesiveness or clarity, nor do they have any conviction as to whether or not it’s true.

    No wonder why the Mennonite Church Canada is dying a painful death. I recommend taking it behind the barn and putting it out of it’s rationally and theologically incoherent misery.

    The biggest joke in the world are the liberals who stop believing the scriptures are true but still hang on to their “religion” because they think that they can have the benefits of Christianity without Christianity.

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