xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#'UA-81427306-1 Wisdom and Folly: About That Truth You're Holding On To

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

About That Truth You're Holding On To

Truth is a fact or belief  that is accepted as true.  By this definition, truth is only what we accept. This acceptance can come from a variety of places.  Sometimes we prove things to ourselves and accept them because we can see the result of some personal experience we've had.  Sometimes acceptance comes from our trust in others whom we perceive as either more intelligent or more experienced than ourselves.  Part of being human is the ability to learn things, either on our own or from others.  For many people, the things they learn on their own are given less weight than those things learned from others.  The trust they place in those other people is stronger than their trust in their own abilities to figure things out on their own.  One might think that this lack of self-trust is an attribute of people of lower intelligence.  That is not the case.  Many people who are very smart will still trust the opinions and beliefs of someone whom they perceive as either smarter or more experienced, even if they've never met.  The opposite of this is also true.  Many people who think they are smarter than someone else will completely discount anything that person says, even if it can be proven.  I see both examples quite often.  

What happens when there is conflict introduced into our beliefs?  For example, you read a word for which you don't know the correct pronunciation.  In your mind, you hear it a certain way according to what you believe is correct.  It sounds right.  Later, you hear someone else say it differently.  There are now two conflicting thoughts in the mind at the same time.  This causes a feeling of uncomfortable tension.  This is called cognitive dissonance.  There are three factors which cause this dissonance to increase.  They are, the importance of the subject to us; how strong the thoughts conflict; and the inability to rationalize and explain away the conflict.  In the example of the word pronunciation, the importance would most likely be slight.  The strength of the conflict would also be slight.  We can see how the word could also be pronounced in such a way.  Finally, it would be easy to rationalize and explain away the conflict.  The result would be either we would start pronouncing the word differently or we might ask a third party how to pronounce it.  

There are three results that can arise from this feeling of discomfort.  We will either change our beliefs; justify ourselves by changing the conflicting cognition, or justify our beliefs by adding some new thought as a means to explain it.  When we apply these concepts to our religious beliefs, that uncomfortable feeling can be extreme.

I have seen this take place in many conversations I've had concerning the validity of the New Testament and Christianity as a whole.  Christianity roots itself in the idea that Jesus was the messiah foretold in the Hebrew scriptures.  Christians all over the world believe this without hesitation.  But, when faced with the Hebrew scriptures which refute that claim, cognitive dissonance kicks in with a vengeance. They are so uncomfortable with the thought that their Jesus could not possibly have been the messiah that they have to do something.  If they refuse to change their beliefs, they are left with two options, both of which include justifying their beliefs by either changing something or adding something.  Unbeknownst to them, the changes and additions were already made for them many years ago.  In order for the church to continue teaching that Jesus was the messiah even after his death, they were forced to change the scriptures to make it appear that he was the messiah.  They also added things to the scriptures to further convince  themselves and others that he was the messiah. The worst part of this is that the scriptures plainly say that they can't be changed.  The church uses this to their advantage as well.

Most Christians know that the scriptures can't be changed.  The church is counting on this.  The poor, unknowing Christian actually believes that their bible was never changed.  What they don't know, is that the ideas of the original scriptures have not changed.  They just don't know what those ideas are. When faced with these facts, most of them become so uncomfortable, they refuse to even listen to what they are being told.  A simple internet search will prove that their bible was changed in order to fit the Christology.  If you do such a search, look for reputable sites which are not run by a church or claim to be Christian.  Most Christian sites won't ever admit the truth. The church admits openly that they don't know who wrote the gospels.  The names were ascribed in later years to make them look like they are eye-witness accounts.  They were written may years after the death of Jesus.  The church has amended the bible several times throughout history.

Where does this leave us as individuals?  If you are reading this as a Christian, you have some options.  You can read the Hebrew Scriptures for yourself and trust that G-d will give you the understanding you need to comprehend it.  You can trust your church because your perception of them is that they are smarter than you or more experienced than you.  You can trust me if you think I am smarter or more experienced than you.  You can justify your beliefs by adding something else to them.  You can justify your beliefs by changing what you have learned.  I recommend the first option. If you will just read the scriptures for yourself and allow yourself the dignity of not reading it according to what someone else has told you, you will see the truth.  Think about it like this.  Why would G-d give us the Torah and make it where only a select few could understand it?  Remember, as a human, you have the ability to learn.  There is nothing in the Bible that you cannot understand, no matter what level of understanding you have.  You must get rid of any preconceived notions and read it with a clear mind.  Trust Him.  Ask Him to show you the truth.  You don't need anyone to tell you what it says.  Let G-d tell you what it means.  One of the magnificent things about the Hebrew Scriptures is that as you continue reading and studying, you level of understanding will increase. There are simple meanings and deeper meanings which require more advanced study.  Give it time, you can get there.  Trust only in the G-d of Abraham and no one else.      


Copyright 2016 by:
William Bouker