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Wednesday: Seeking Truth — 14 Comments

  1. We have an uncomfortable relationship with curiosity. Of course, many of us believe that Eve’s curiosity got us into trouble in the first place. If she had not let her curiosity reign she would never have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, and sin would not have entered God’s perfect creation. On the other hand, where we would we be if our early church folk had not been curious about the interpretation of prophecy?
    I mentioned some weeks ago the apparent contradiction of an omniscient God creating humans in his own image yet giving us the ability to learn and discover new things. In other words, it appears that God has gifted us with something that he, God, cannot have - curiosity.
    Against this background I am going to quote an excerpt from Scott Adam’s book, God’s Debris. I am not presenting this as Truth but merely to seed the discussion on the enigmatic topic of curiosity. It raises questions about beliefs, perceptions, limitations of understanding, handling mysteries, communication with those who have a different world view, and how we perceive where we fit in the big picture.

    Curious Bees
    “Why do people have different religions?” I asked. “It seems like the best one would win, eventually, and we’d all believe the same thing.”
    The old man paused and rocked. He tucked both hands inside his red plaid blanket.
    “Imagine that a group of curious bees lands on the outside of a church window. Each bee gazes upon the interior through a different stained-glass pane. To one bee, the church’s interior is all red. To another it is all yellow, and so on. The bees cannot experience the inside of the church directly; they can only see it. They can never touch the interior or smell it or interact with it in any way. If bees could talk, they might argue over the color of the interior. Each bee would stick to his version, not capable of understanding that the other bees were looking through different pieces of stained glass. Nor would they understand the purpose of the church or how it got there or anything about it. The brain of a bee is not capable of such things.
    “But these are curious bees. When they don’t understand something, they become unsettled and unhappy. In the long run the bees would have to choose between permanent curiosity—an uncomfortable mental state—and delusion. The bees don’t like those choices. They would prefer to know the true color of the church’s interior and its purpose, but bee brains are not designed for that level of understanding. They must choose from what is possible, either discomfort or self-deception. The bees that choose discomfort will be unpleasant to be around and they will be ostracized. The bees that choose self-deception will band together to reinforce their vision of a red-based interior or yellow-based interior and so on.”
    “So you’re saying we’re like dumb bees?” I asked, trying to lighten the mood.
    “Worse. We are curious.”

    Adams, Scott, God’s Debris, pp90,91, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Kansas City 2001

    The big question is: How do we know when curiosity is a good thing?

  2. Thank you Maurice for sharing the curious bees. It relates to all of us as human beings who have an inquisition about Church.
    Should you settle for some ones perception of faith or will you settle for your observation?
    Curiosity should never be conclusive we should daily seek for openings to get inside the church and see for ourselves and not Trust what we see through the church Windows and or what others think they have seen.
    What brought me to this Faith was my curiosity of true faith in Jesus and the good thing with the SDA church is that we continually search scriptures curiously and learn new things always that continue to build on our faith in God.

    • Good morning Wilson,
      I resonated with your comments and wanted to add that I looked up the word curious and noted it has something I call polarizing elements. On the one end, it is a search, a desire to learn, and on the other end, it includes the verbiage of strange, odd, fastidious, and intrusive. https://www.yourdictionary.com/curiosity
      Curiosity that is faith-building is good for us and enriches our Christian experience, it brings color and beauty to each day. Being curious to the point where we permit doubt to grow is a detriment to our soul, and leads us to darkness and a life without Jesus.

  3. The Bible is the Word of God left for us all. It is usefull for everything! Thank God because He gave us His truth. The truth is Jesus!

  4. I read the Steps to Christ chapter "What to do with Doubt" and found many nuggets but this one seems to fit well with our question of the day:

    "God has given us in the Scriptures
    sufficient evidence of their divine character, and we are not to doubt his word because we cannot understand all the mysteries of his providence".

    • Beth- the question remains, what should the church teach/not teach? How does one know in their curiosity when to turn away, or when to still keep searching to more? Many times we keep hearing about the same sermons but the bible is saturated with several different educational passages for which sermons can be form. Some people have read the bible and don't know the bible is made up of all different types of 'figure of speech. Many passages are interrupted literally when they are prophetic.

      • Lyn, for starters, maybe we should define who is "the church."

        Is it not the members -- meaning that we are the church? That makes it a bit more personal.

        So what should we teach? Should we not concentrate on *saving* truth? And I think we should present that in the most appealing way possible. That means we should avoid distracting details. Guided by the Holy Spirit, we can answer questions as they come up.

  5. When I was young, I remember that my mother purchased an old sewing machine that still worked well. My older brother driven by his curious mind, decided to discover how it worked and began to unscrew some of the moving parts of the machine, but when he attempted to put it together again, he found out he could not do it. This experience taught me to place a limit on my own curiosity.

  6. Curiosity! Very interesting. As one raised by SDA parents whenever I find something puzzling any answer that appears I try to find the answer in the Bible which I believe has the truth. I often wonder by what does the non- Christian or atheist judge the apparent conclusion. Thank God all who diligently seek Him find Him

  7. As I see it, seeking spiritual Truth can be understood in many different ways: seeking basic Truth, seeking truth specific to a particular topic, seeking truth to settle a difference in opinion etc. ‘Questioning’ can also be understood in different ways: questioning the correctness of information for one’s spiritual edification, for resisting unbalanced spiritual application by authority, questioning the outcome of someone’s research or interpretation of facts etc.

    I agree: “Never lose a holy curiosity”, and never settle for second-hand interpretations if finding can still be done by searching the Scriptures for yourself. So, maybe ones motives are what qualifies one as a Truth Seeker or disqualifies one as a malcontent, never satisfied trouble maker; the Pharisees and some of the religious legal establishment had questions based on ethically and morally different motivations than those of the disciples. 2Tim.3:7KJV - Regrettably, there are also followers of Christ Jesus which are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

    Seeking, in my opinion, should remain an entirely personally directed effort. The curiosity of some might never be satisfied with what they discover, others are satisfied by God’s basic, simple Truth that He IS, Christ Jesus is His Son and follow Their teachings by childlike, unquestioning faith.
    I think it can get ‘hairy’ when one loses the basic, spiritually motivated desire to uncover Truth – to want to be guided by the Light to rightly love God with all the heart and not to lean on one’s own understanding.

    For learning today's Truth, I very much appreciate Acts17:24-28KJV –

    “God that made the world and all things therein seeing that he is LORD of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the LORD, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us; For in him we live, and move and have our being; . .

  8. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. Matt 10:16

    Seeking Truth
    Is truth lost? Then why does one has to 'seek for truth?' Christ says, he is the way, the truth and the life, no man cometh to the father but through him. John 14:6. Human is incapable of finding God. We can't find him be merely reading the bible or listening to a preacher preach/teach once per week. Jesus used the metaphor about the wind- John 3:8.(for a renewed spiritual birth).

    But what about our social, physical and mental life? Is it wrong or right to be curious? How far, wide and deep should one be curious? What about some of us, our children were brought up in the church with 'tunnel visions'. They are older now and realized they wanted to be curious? What can be done?
    Toni wrote a great piece on Sabbath. What if, some of the members wanted to be curious and listen to those visitors?

    When Jesus sent out the disciples among those with different gospels, he first told them what was the right way. He went further to let them know many will appear as sheep but are wolves. The answer to that was, to be wise as the serpent himself but at the same time not to harm anyone. Be as gentle as a dove. Great and wise teaching. We are given by our creator choices. He never forces us to do anything we don't want to do. The church cant protect every last member every time. With true education and reinforcement, we pray that others will made right decisions even when they are curious.

    Solution- spend time reading and knowing the word for ourselves.

    What I have done- I personally am not afraid of reasoning with no one, whether 'break away' members or members of different faith. I initiate conversations with others as a means of showing them what the bible says. Love for God and humans must be our driving force. Jesus first, anything else comes after.

  9. I am not sure why the authors brought in the word curious. Seeking the Truth is much more applicable to today's lesson. Seeking has a plethora of action in it. The curious bee humms curiously out side, while the seeking bee has sought, found, and clings onto the honey(Christ Jesus the Truth, the way, and the life), flying away utilizing and sharing it. Jeremiah 29:13.

    The the seeking bee has found Truth, becomes rich in good works, sharing what he has found.

    Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
    I Timothy 6:18‭-‬19 NKJV

    • I appreciate your take on this, John.

      I am naturally curious, but I am reminded that Christ pronounced no blessing on the "curious." He pronounced a blessing on those "who hunger and thirst for righteousness." And that is the same as a hunger for Truth. Considering that Jesus said, "I am the Truth," I believe that our goal should be to continually seek to know Jesus better so we may become more like Him and draw others to Him. .

      Another positive point to this approach is that seeking to know Christ better does not lead to argument. Rather, I think it should lead to sharing what Christ has done for us and will do for others.

      Mere curiosity, on the other hand, can lead to arguments because different people will come to different conclusion on various fine points of doctrine.

      I don't wish to discourage seeking to understand "fine points of doctrine." But I would like us to put things in perspective.


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